Adrian curses Chalke, Wright and me

My last post on Adrian’s apostasy was not to be taken seriously. But this one is. Apostasy is not quite the right word. But what is the right word for someone who pronounces a public curse on his brothers and sisters in Christ for disagreeing with him on a theological issue?

In fact I rather appreciated most of Adrian’s interview with the authors of Pierced for Our Transgressions. It helped me to understand better where these authors are coming from and why they felt the need to write this book – although I can’t entirely agree with them. It is only in the last few paragraphs of Adrian’s interview that he steps well beyond the mark.

Before these last paragraphs Adrian quotes the following from Pierced for Our Transgressions:

Thirdly, there is the ultimate example of guilt by association. Penal substitution is portrayed as ‘a form of cosmic child abuse.’ This sticks in the mind, tugging at the conscience, for there are few crimes more despicable than violence towards an innocent, defenceless child.

The fact is that none of it is true. Nowhere in Chalke and Mann’s book do they even attempt to argue that it is true. The above quotation amounts to a form of verbal bullying, a scare tactic calculated to coerce people into abandoning long-held beliefs out of fear of being associated with something nasty.”

Now I am not quite sure how fair it is to accuse Chalke and Mann of “guilt by association” tactics and “verbal bullying”. I understand them to be responding to popular misunderstandings of penal substitutionary atonement (PSA) rather than to the doctrine as properly formulated. But I understand how the “cosmic child abuse” soundbite came to be associated with PSA itself – an association made not by Chalke and Mann but by their readers, but nevertheless an offensive association. So, less provocative wording would have been wiser. But my main point here is not to discuss the issue but to show what Adrian has done with it.

Here is what Adrian wrote in the final paragraphs of this post (his emphasis):

Where do you stand? Will you join arms with Andrew, Steve, and a whole generation of those of us who feel this issue is quite literally one of life and death?

Or will you seek to compromise, maybe downplay the importance of precisely how Jesus saves us, and adopt a gospel message that, whilst sounding more acceptable to the modern ear, is in the opinion of many of us nothing less than “another gospel.”

The stakes couldn’t possibly be higher.

“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8)

In other words, surely, he is saying that there are only two alternatives: “join arms with Andrew, Steve, and a whole generation of those of us who feel this issue is quite literally one of life and death”; or “adopt a gospel message that … is in the opinion of many of us nothing less than “another gospel.”” He leaves no room for a middle ground here, for those of us who accept PSA, as rightly understood, as a good and valid model but not that holding the right view of it is an issue of life and death. And by quoting Galatians 1:8 from ESV he pronounces a curse on those (or at least the males among them) who adopt what he considers to be “another gospel.”

This is what I just wrote in a comment on Adrian’s blog, which he might or might not accept:

Andrew, Steve and Mike are right to criticise “guilt by association” tactics and “verbal bullying”. So, Adrian, please avoid doing this yourself by implying, in your closing paragraphs, that anyone who does not entirely endorse their opinion is promoting “another gospel” and should be accursed as in Galatians 1:8. This is the ultimate verbal bullying: “if you don’t agree with us, you are going to hell”. Please refrain from this.

Let’s see how Adrian responds to this. Does he really mean what he seems to imply, that he wants millions of Christians to go to hell, whether opponents of PSA as he considers Chalke to be, or critics of Pierced for Our Transgressions like NT Wright, or those like myself whose main complaint is that the issue has been blown up out of all proportion? If he doesn’t intend to consign us to eternal punishment (something which fortunately he does not have power to do), he needs to apologise for the misunderstanding and explain what he does mean.

0 thoughts on “Adrian curses Chalke, Wright and me

  1. Pingback: Threads from Henry’s Web » Blog Archive » Slippery Language on the Atonement Debate

  2. I’ve heard this rhetoric from Oak Hill people (authors of Pierced for Our Transgressions) and I’m convinced that some of them do think that those of us who don’t accept PSA are going to hell.

    Salvation by doctrine.

  3. Thanks, Pam. Yes, there is an interesting issue here. The problem I think goes back to misunderstandings of the Greek word pisteuo and its English equivalent “believe”. As I explained in comments here, the Greek and the English word can have two significantly different meanings, “believe that” a fact is true and “believe in” a person in the sense of trusting them. And the Bible makes it clear (although not quite immediately so) that the requirement for salvation is not “believe that” any particular doctrine is true, but “believe in” Jesus Christ in the sense of trusting him to bring us into his heavenly kingdom. But this is the point and the distinction which the Oak Hill crowd, and I think very many American evangelicals, have failed to understand. Perhaps this needs a full blog post.

    Meanwhile you have prompted me to catch up on your blog, so expect a few comments.

  4. I believe that the curse used by Adrian, from Galations, is out of context and is therefore null and void. I am by no means an exegetical expert, but after reading Wright’s paper “Gospel and Theology in Galations” (see extract below), it is clear that Paul is not damning to hell those that do not believe in “PSA only”. Rather:

    ” ‘The gospel’ is not, for Paul, a message about ‘how one gets saved’, in an individual and ahistorical sense. It is the announcement

    1. that the God of Israel is the one true God, and that the pagan deities are mere idols;

    2. that Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified and risen one, is not merely ‘Lord’ in some cosmic sense, but is actually King—King of Israel, and hence (on the Davidic model of passages such as Psalm 89) the King before whom all the kings of the earth shall bow;

    3. that Israel’s destiny has been fulfilled, her exile finished, her salvation won, but in a manner which undermines the Jewish ethnic and nationalistic hope that Paul had formerly espoused; and

    4. that the rule of the pagan idols, which have kept the pagan nations in their iron grip has been broken, and that those who follow and serve them are now summoned to share in the blessings of Israel’s ‘age to come’. ”

    Given this, I would suggest that those that cannot agree in principle and in essence with the above are the ones that will fall under Paul and Adrian’s curse. So I think Chalke, yourself and others can breath a sigh of relief 🙂

  5. Alastair, I agree that I am not subject to Paul’s curse, because I am not preaching or even holding another gospel to the one Paul preached. So the biblical curse does not apply to me, nor to Chalke or Wright. But Adrian is reapplying the biblical words to us who he identifies as holding another gospel, and as such is pronouncing the curse on us, using biblical words but reapplied in a non-biblical way. Now I am not afraid of such a curse because it has no power over us who have been redeemed from the power of the curse by the blood of Jesus who died for us – although I am afraid of the power of such curses to rebound on those who pronounce them, compare the second line of Genesis 12:3. Adrian has done something very wrong, and very dangerous for himself, and he needs to repent.

    Meanwhile Adrian claims to have written a response and clarification, but his HTML is so corrupt that I cannot read most of it.

  6. I have now found a way to read Adrian’s response, by editing the HTML source. In it he writes that he was only citing Paul’s curse, and “I did not curse anybody myself, and have no intention of doing so”. Well, it would have been wiser for him to make that clear the first time, but I will accept that this was not his intention.

    Revealingly, Adrian writes:

    PSA is so central to the presentations of the gospel I have heard that it seems to me at least that to deny it is to automatically be preaching another gospel …

    Maybe so, but is PSA so central to biblical presentations of the gospel? I don’t deny that, as correctly presented, it is a part of some of those biblical presentations. But it is by no means central to any of them. Perhaps the people whose gospel presentations are unbalanced are not those (including the apostles!) who don’t centre them on PSA, but Adrian’s “current and historical heroes”.

    Adrian then writes:

    The astonishingly long list of endorsements of the book pierced for our transgressions shows how important many people feel this is.

    Not really. People endorse books because they consider them good, but not necessarily because they consider them especially important. For Adrian this book is “something of a touchstone for a generation of Christians”, the issue is “is quite literally one of life and death”, and “The stakes couldn’t possibly be higher.” But for many of these endorsers this book is just one more among the thousands of good Christian books which are published every year, one that they are happy to endorse but not necessarily something special.

    Adrian then challenges others “to join with me in examining what the bible has to say” about the atonement. He seems confident that we will then agree with him. But, Adrian, many of us have examined the biblical teaching. Some of us have come to conclusions which are not the same as yours. Others, including myself, can agree with you that PSA as properly presented is a good and biblical explanation of the atonement. We don’t all believe that your teaching is so far from that of the Bible. But what we do reject is your insistence that your understanding is the only valid one, and that those who don’t make it central to every gospel presentation are preaching another gospel and need to be warned by Paul’s curse.

    Adrian then writes of “those of us on this side of the PSA fence”. But, Adrian, there is no fence, except for the one which you are trying so hard to erect – and perhaps the fence between believers and unbelievers which does not divide you from Steve Chalke. Steve probably does not believe that you “are in danger of falling on the wrong side of Paul’s curse”, I’m sure he just believes that you are misguided and a nuisance. I agree that it would be helpful for him to say more on this, but he may have decided that silence is the best answer to the kind of harassment you and others are giving him.

    Adrian writes: “I will not apologize for highlighting Paul’s curse of those who disagree with him over the gospel.” Fair enough if that was his intention. I am glad that Chalke, Wright and I, and Adrian, are not subject to this curse, because none of us are preaching a gospel which Paul would consider different from his own.

  7. Peter, I have posted a response to Adrian’s update. I think it was inappropriate of Adrian to use that verse; as I said before its out of context and therefore should not be used. I doubt Paul would condemn to hell his fellow “brothers” who were doing the work of Christ; he might rebuke/correct them, as he certainly did at times, but his curse was surely reserved for those that were clearly aligned against him and Christ’s mission.

    We Christians can surely continue to fellowship based on our love of Jesus as Lord, Saviour, King, and God; theological discussions on the nature of the atonement need not degenerate into civil war!

  8. “his curse was surely reserved for those that were clearly aligned against him and Christ’s mission.”

    Wouldn’t it be feasible, that Paul was saying, if anyone, even himself, and even an angelic being, would preach any other Gospel, than the one that you have heard preached, and the one that I will once again explain to you in this short letter, then let him be accursed.

    Very, very serious declaration.

  9. Yes that seems to be the gist of it, “donsands”. Yet it seemed that Peter was proclaiming at different gospel because his table-fellowship was excluding Gentiles at one point: did Paul actually mean his curse to apply to him? Or did he just rebuke him and correct him, as he goes on to say? I don’t know either way…

  10. It seems clear to me from the context in Galatians that the “different gospel” Paul is referring to in 1:6-9 is the message of salvation by works and circumcision which he condemns in chapter 3. Those who were preaching it were the “circumcision group” of 2:12 and 5:12, not Peter who was afraid of them but not one of them. Thus the curse of 3:10 is the same as that of 1:8, that for those who rely on observing the law. This is the curse from which Christ set free all of us who trust in him for salvation by grace, 3:13,14.

    At this point we do see substitutionary atonement, Christ taking on himself the curse which is due to us for disobeying the law. But in this book this is not described in penal terms, but with the rather different model of a curse. This surely shows us that even for Paul the penal description of atonement is not an absolute truth but one picture among many of a truth which is too deep to be described in human words.

  11. “Christ taking on Himself the curse”.

    I disagree here Peter.

    “Being made a curse for us”, is quite stronger language, and much deeper I would think.

    Also: “Cursed is every one who hangs on a tree” is a very intense assertion from the Apostle .

    I agree with Luther who says: “” .. we are sinners .., and therefore guilty of death and everlasting damnation. But Christ took our sins upon Himself, and for them died upon the Cross; therefore, it is right that He should become a transgressor, … But some man will say, it is absurd and slanderous to call the Son of God a CURSED sinner. I answer, if you will deny Him to be a sinner and accursed, deny also that He was crucified and dead. For it is no less absurd to say that the Son of God was crucified and suffered the pains of sin and death, than to say that He is a sinner and accursed.
    … “Christ was made a CURSE for us: God made Christ, who knew no sin, to be sin for us; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).

    I don’t think Paul would want to seperate 3:10-14 from the rest of his teachings on the Cross.
    It’s a vital portion of this most holy truth.

    The Galatians were guilty of slipping away into a life of living by faith + works. This is a gospel that is twisted. And the truth that Christ was made a curse, and was made sin for us, is essential to understand, in order to contend against this false gospel.

    I appreciate you allowing me to share my heart.
    Christ’s most wonderful blessing be with you.

  12. ” did Paul actually mean his curse to apply to him?”

    Yes. If Peter would not agree with all that Paul would write in his letter, then yes let him, and all who oppose the gospel be accursed.

    Peter of course knew the gospel like no other. And he did get caught up in his religious leaning, which is hypocricy.

    Peter himself says that Paul had many difficult teachings for the body of Christ, and that “unlearned and unstable” teachers twist his teachings, as they do “the other sciptures” as well.

    Peter repented. Peter knew that Christ was made a curse for himself, and that Christ was made sin for us.

  13. Don, I appreciate your comment, but I have problems understanding it. You claim that “Christ was made a curse for us” in a sense which does mean that Christ took the curse upon himself, or became accursed as Luther has it, but is “much deeper”. But I don’t know what else it can mean that a person was made a curse. Presumably you don’t mean that his name was made a word used in cursing. And I don’t suppose you mean that his existence has such evil effects on us that it can be called a curse, as you might mean by “Stalin became a curse for Russia”. So what do you mean?

    I am also surprised to read that Luther said that Christ became a sinner, and presumably died as a punishment for his own sins. I don’t think that is what is meant by “God made Christ … to be sin for us”. But quite frankly I don’t understand what this does mean. Yes, there is something deep here, in both “Christ was made a curse” and “Christ was made sin”, but I would like an explanation.

  14. The Galatians were guilty of slipping away into a life of living by faith + works. This is a gospel that is twisted. And the truth that Christ was made a curse, and was made sin for us, is essential to understand, in order to contend against this false gospel.

    I totally agree with this.

    However, please explain to me how “You will go to hell if you don’t intellectually assebt to PSA” does not turn salvation into the “work” of “accepting the right doctrine”?

    I appreciate that the “PSA only” crowd believe that PSA is the only way to acknowledge God’s grace, but I respectfually submit that they are incorrect.

  15. “So what do you mean?”

    Simply that Paul said that Christ was made sin, not a sin offering, which is true as well. But he was made sin, without the word offering.

    I need to be clear that I’m not in the Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, and Joyce Meyer camp, which states that Jesus became Satan incarnate when God made Him sin, and went to a literal hell, where demons tortured Him, and he was born again on the third day. This is blasphemous heresy.

    So the mystery is that the holy Lamb of God perfect in every way; pure in mind, heart, and body, without sin, became sin.

    Similar deep things for me are Christ is 100% God, and 100% man. And also the Triune God.

    I believe we need to see this divine act of forgiveness as an infinite and eternal forgiveness, which we finite humans can not comprehend completely.
    Though we surely can understand the truths of Scripture that are pure and simple. The Gospel is a deep profound truth, that is also crystal clear, and when preached in the power of the Holy Ghost delivers wicked people from the wrath to come.

    Christ is my substitute. He paid a debt He did not owe, and I owed a debt I could not, nor wanted to have paid.

    What a Savior we do serve and adore!
    Christ bless you.

  16. “However, please explain to me how “You will go to hell if you don’t intellectually assebt to PSA” does not turn salvation into the “work” of “accepting the right doctrine”?”

    I think all would agree that salvation comes in many different levels, but always through Christ’s Cross, and the empty tomb.

    When one is first saved he surely will not understand the deep doctrines of Scripture. I didn’t.
    But the evidence of the Good Shepherd’s sheep being genuine sheep is that they hear His voice and they will follow Him, and they won’t follow the wolves in sheeps clothings, though they surely can hinder the sheep along the way.

    That’s a short thought on how I see it. You may have to ask Adrian directly to find out his heart on this.

    God’s comfort to you.

  17. the mystery is that the holy Lamb of God … became sin

    A mystery indeed, at a very deep philosophical level, how a person could become an abstract noun or an action. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that it is logically impossible. I don’t like to say that anything is impossible for God, but Christ being both God and man is easy compared with him becoming an abstraction or an action. That this abstraction or action was an evil one is a comparatively trivial matter.

    Of course the way to resolve it is to realise that “Christ … was made sin” is some kind of figure of speech, and this is how interpreters over the centuries have understood it. But, Don, if I understand you correctly you are rejecting any such figurative interpretation and insisting on this being literal. Unfortunately, if it is literal it is also meaningless.

    I believe we need to see this divine act of forgiveness as an infinite and eternal forgiveness, which we finite humans can not comprehend completely.

    Amen! The main problem I see in this debate is when supporters of PSA insist that they have comprehended this completely, and that anyone who disagrees with them is preaching another gospel and should be treated as an unbeliever. Their comprehension may be closer than any other human one, but that does not imply that it is perfect, still less that every other partial human comprehension is completely and damnably wrong.

  18. “Unfortunately, if it is literal it is also meaningless.”

    Let me get back to you on this Peter. I’ll put my scrambled thoughts together and see if I can’t explain what I am saying a little beteer than I have up to now.

    God bless.

  19. I don’t suppose we will ever see eye to eye on this. Though I believe we may have help to sharen one another in the truth.

    In 2 Cor 5:21 Paul uses the word sin. And I truly believe he was saying much more than Christ simply bearing our sins.

    Did he literally become sin? No. But “being made sin” is spiritually deeper than you and I will ever know this side of heaven. Though I believe if we prayerfully study the Holy Scriptures in whole, we will be enlightemed more and more.

    I will be studying this verse a bit more. Kick it around with a Bible prof. And maybe one day we’ll meet again, and discuss it further.

    One last thought. When Jesus said to the disciples, (both genuine and false), in John 6 that they had to eat His fllesh and drink His blood, do you take this literally? I hope not. However, I see it ore than just remembering Christ by celebrating the Last Supper.

    I believe there are infinite ways to discribe what our Lord meant here.
    I see 2 Cor. 5:21, and Gal. 3:10-13 the same.

    Christ bless you, and have a magnificient Lord’s Day.

  20. Though I believe we may have help to sharen one another in the truth.

    That should have read: “helped to sharpen one another”.

    I am such an inept typist

  21. Don, I don’t think we are actually very far apart on this. It is just that perhaps I would allow a little more leeway than you for different models of the atonement. I would be very interested to hear back from you when you have had a chance to study the issue in more detail.

  22. I think all would agree that salvation comes in many different levels, but always through Christ’s Cross, and the empty tomb.

    When one is first saved he surely will not understand the deep doctrines of Scripture. I didn’t.

    But the evidence of the Good Shepherd’s sheep being genuine sheep is that they hear His voice and they will follow Him, and they won’t follow the wolves in sheeps clothings, though they surely can hinder the sheep along the way.

    That’s a short thought on how I see it. You may have to ask Adrian directly to find out his heart on this.

    God’s comfort to you.

    I can basically only interpret what you said above as something like “Believing in PSA is evidence that one is saved and having problems with PSA is evidence that one is not saved.'” But that’s a question and I’m open to being corrected if I’ve heard wrongly.

    It’s no good me asking Adrian questions; he has never once answered any of my questions.

  23. “having problems with PSA is evidence that one is not saved.”

    I wouldn’t say that. Though it surely could be true at the same time, if the problem is a fervant disdain against this doctrine.

    The genuine disciple of Christ the Lord will hear His voice. His voice speaks of the Cross, and it’s infinte love and wisdom. The true follower will have an open heart when the death of Jesus is spoken of.

    The Cross will be precious to the child of Christ. Paul said he wouldn’t boast, except in the Cross. He preached Christ crucified.

    Paul was a lover of Christ, and of His sacrificial death. And all who love and adore Christ will love the truth of His death for the sins of His people.

    To understand the deep things of this death, which are infinitely deep, will never happen, and yet I believe, for all children of God, there will be a hunger to know all we can possibly know about this most magnificient death.

    I long to have a heart that says, “I will not boast, except in the Cross, and I am crucified to the world, and the world to me.”

    Have a most blessed Lord’s day.

  24. The genuine disciple of Christ the Lord will hear His voice. His voice speaks of the Cross, and it’s infinte love and wisdom. The true follower will have an open heart when the death of Jesus is spoken of.

    I can agree with this. Which is why I would get very nervous about calling down biblical anathamas on people who do not believe as I do. The classical theories of atonement predated PSA by hundreds or tens of hundreds of years, depending on when you think PSA was introduced. I’m not willing to say that the people who held these theories were damned nor am I willing to say that the classical theories of atonement damn people.

    Have a most blessed Lord’s day.

    Thank you. And to you.

  25. Thank you, Don and Pam.

    Don, you suggest that “a fervant disdain against this doctrine” of PSA might be evidence that one is not saved. Well, maybe, but I don’t see anyone in this dispute having “a fervent disdain” for anything. Well, perhaps Steve Chalke was showing this towards a completely perverted and anti-Christian version of PSA, and perhaps he failed to make it clear enough exactly what his target was. But most of the people concerning whom doubt has been cast on their salvation have done no more than question the uniqueness and centrality of PSA. But, as Sam Storms points out, even the authors of “Pierced for our Transgressions” agree that “PSA is not the only model of atonement (of course, no one ever said it was)”. Well, I think some people in the recent debate have implied it was, or the only valid one. But I hope that we can agree that accepting the validity of other models of the atonement is not “fervent disdain” for PSA and evidence that someone is not saved.

  26. Not apropos of this thread, but as I’ve been looking through threads, the passwords that have presented themselves have been ‘bethel’ (on the previous thread) and ‘jethro’ (on this thread). Do you have some kind of biblical password option on your blog? :-0

  27. Don, I wonder if this might be helpful for your studies of what it means to say that Christ was made sin for us:

    The awful image of the crucified, bruised and bleeding body of Christ on the cross was the sin of man against God personified. … To the world, Jesus was Sin in person – someone to be reviled and despised. … Jesus was made ‘sin’ – this was how He was viewed by those who were against Him. It is a powerful metaphor, but not one to be taken literally.

    – from a comment by Norman McIlwain on this post of Adrian’s.

    This certainly makes good sense to me of 2 Corinthians 5:21. Of course you may have a different perspective, and I would be interested to see it.

    In the same comment Norman writes:

    In Exodus 32:32-33, we read: ‘”Yet now, if You will forgive their sin – but if not, I pray, blot me out of your book which You have written.” And the Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.”’ What Moses requested was contrary to God’s justice. He asked to die, if God could not forgive. You see, forgiveness does not require punishment. Moreover, to punish others in the place of the guilty is something God forbids. God’s answer was not to say that Moses was too impure to qualify as a substitute, but to state the rule of justice: those bearing their sins and guilt must be punished. Where there is no forgiveness, there is condemnation. … If we understand this, we will realize that the suffering servant of the prophecy bore our sins in His body as one afflicted with our sins. He suffered because of our sins against Him and against God.

    This gives a strong biblical basis to the objection some of us have to over-simplified presentations of PSA.

  28. “To the world, Jesus was Sin in person”

    I’m not sure about this.

    I do know to the world, the cruciifed King of kings is foolishness. And to the religoius community it is a stumbling block to their good works.

    To the born again Christian the Crucified One is Forsaken by God, so that we are not forsaken. The wrath of God that was upon us, as we were children of disobedience and of wrath has to be dealy with, is the cry of PSA.
    Norman says, “No”. The wrath of God is simply forgiven. No action needs to be taken. Though Christ became a curse for us, this too is unnecessary for forgiveness. Unless I’m reading him wrong.

    The PSA view is clearly and objectionally laid out from the Scriptures for me personally.

    And sujectionally this doctrine overwhelms my soul and truly displays a divine love that far surpasses Abram’s love for God, by sacrificing his own son, which he didn’t have to do, because God is so merciful, and so faithful.

    It’s all God. It’s all about Christ our Lord. I know we agrre on that.

    I appreciate you letting me discuss these deep things with you. Thank you peter, and may the Lord train us up, and make us strong for the work of the ministry.

  29. I’m disappointed to see you acting as if he really wants anyone in particular to go to hell simply because he’s issuing a warning that this issue may be an important gospel issue that those who disagree with him ought to be careful about. He quotes Paul as issuing a curse on those who have taught another gospel. He gives reasons why we might think that the “cosmic child abuse” view is another gospel and calls those who have endorsed the view to consider whether they have denied the gospel. But that does not constitute speaking for those people and accepting that their view is the view that he hopes it’s not, and it does not constitute hoping that these people have committed the heresy he thinks they may have committed. Therefore, it does not follow that he wants anyone in the group to go to hell. That doesn’t follow even if he’s convinced that their view really does amount to the view he thinks it is, and my impression is that he’s hoping they don’t really think what he thinks they think.

  30. Jeremy, I’m sure you are right that neither Adrian nor the apostle Paul actually wants/wanted anyone to go to hell. Probably Paul’s meaning with anathema esto in Galatians 1:8,9 is more like “let him/her be treated as an unbeliever”. But I see no sign of anyone hoping that, for example, Steve Chalke doesn’t really think what they think he thinks. Rather, those opposing him seem determined to put the worst possible interpretation on his words. They will not consider my argument that Chalke was only attacking a perversion of PSA, but insist that he was rejecting and mocking the doctrine of PSA as a whole, and with it the whole gospel. No benefit of the doubt is to be accorded to such a person, it seems.

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