Wow.  I haven't posted here since the middle of May.  

Well, I've been busy…and whatnot.

For the last several months, I've been extremely busy with my company, Singularity Concepts.  I've launched several websites and currently have some "bigguns" in progress.

But for some reason, I've gotten the theology bug recently.  So here goes.

The other day, I came across a post talking about problems with Arminian theology.  As was once my practice, I jumped into the fray, gunning down the arguments of my Calvinist detractors (not to difficult, but good sport nonetheless).  At one point, one of the Arminians actually defended the Reformed view of the atonement, and pointed me to a post somewhere which he believed was a "great" defense of PSA theory from a non-Reformed perspective.

Needless to say, the argument highlighted was terrifically weak and philosophically thin, but one point did pique my interest.  One of the fundamental arguments made by the author for his view of atonement is that sin damages God's glory, and that this glory must be restored.

Obviously, this is nothing new.  Beginning primarily with Anselm, theologians have thought this way about atonement.  Simply, they suggest that in the fall and continuing sinfulness, humanity degrades the glory of God.  As God must be glorified, the argument continues, something must be done to restore God's honor.  The answer, for whatever reason, follows that punishment of the perpetrators of sin will effect this restoration.  So then, the peculiar mystery of atonement is that Christ is able, as the Incarnate God, to not only encapsulate the whole of history's dishonor of God, but is moreover able to vicariously bear the penalty of this, thereby fully satisfying the honor of God and its due requirement for restitution.

Several problems crop up, of course, for this theory.  The most disturbing, however, is its view of God's honor and glory.

Consider this.  If God is eternally glorious, it stands to reason that the eternality of this glorification concomitantly requires that the amount or level of God's gloriousness is not diminished.  After all, if God's glory waned at any moment, God's would seek to be eternally glorified, and would thereby cease to be God.  Simple enough.

However, we must go deeper: what is the source of God's glorification?  Is it attributed to God by others, or is it self-referential?  The former conclusion poses signficant problems, for it requires that that which attributes glory to God exist eternally with God, whereby the glory which accrues to God might be equally eternal with God (for if God is not eternally glorious, God is not eternally divine).  If we say that glory is attributed to God by that which is not God, one must posit that that which is not God has existed eternally whereby it might be identified as the source of attribution of God's glory.  This, of course, blurs any meaningful distinction between God and that which God has created, creating a thoroughgoing pantheism.  So it must be concluded that God's glory is self-referential.

If this is case, however, we must return to the original notation about the eternality of God's glory, e.g., that there is no point at which God's glory is diminished.  If the logic of this is understood, then it must be further concluded that there is nothing, either internal or external to God, that can in any way add to or diminish from God's glory.  For such a scenario to be possible, one would have to suggest that God's self-referential glory has not be as infinite and eternal as the divine existence toward which it is directed and from which it procedes.

So for discussions of atonement, the notion that God's glory and honor is somehow detracted through human sin must be rejected, for if this is true, we must admit that human sinfulness is capable of diminishing the eternality and fulness of the divine life, even though that which detracts is ultimately dependant upon the former for its primal ontology.  

What, then, does this mean?  It requires that when we approach an understanding of atonement, it must be recognized that the cross is not "for God."  The cross is not a mechanism for filling a deficiency in the divine person, as if something needs to be restored unto God, lest God be understood as incomplete.  This is ludicrous, for a God which lacks that which is essential to deity (e.g., eternal glory) is no longer God.