Wayne Grudem on Steve Chalke, the Blasphemer

Now there’s a spicy title!! Adrian Warnock is currently publishing bit by bit an interview he recently conducted with Wayne Grudem. Of real interest to me is the question that he published today:

Adrian : John Piper – like you – is better known as a theological bridge-builder rather than a theological warrior. But he has gone into battle over at least two issues – the openness of God – where he stood out strongly against individuals who teach that God doesn’t know the future – and more recently in defence of penal substitution.
Personally, I was quite surprised by the level of passion he expressed in his recent talk at the DGM conference. He quoted a now infamous passage from Steve Chalke – a very well-known and influential member of the UK’s Evangelical Alliance – which claims that a traditional evangelical view of penal substitution is nothing more than “cosmic child abuse.” Do you agree with Piper’s choice of these two issues as ones to stand up for vigorously? Do you also think he was fair to then boldly declare that he believed that Chalke’s words were blasphemy? Do you agree with that assessment?

Wayne : (1) Yes. (2) Yes. (3) Yes. Chalke is denying the heart of the Gospel. Evangelicals in the academic world battled against liberals in scholarly writings about this issue fifty years ago, and I think that evangelicals like Leon Morris won the argument and won the theological battle. Now Chalke is giving away the hard-won victory. He is giving away the heart of the Gospel. I would never agree to give my approval to anyone who denies penal substitutionary atonement to be an elder at a church I attended, or to be a pastor or Bible teacher, or to teach at a theological seminary where I had influence on the appointment.

Do you know what? I think I agree with Wayne. I disagree with Dave Warnock.

3 Comments on “Wayne Grudem on Steve Chalke, the Blasphemer

  1. While I agree that the argument is nuanced, I don’t think Grudem is reading Chalke out of context. Chalke does undermine the idea of penal substitutionary atonement and in doing so ignores the witness of Scripture, for example the Letter to the Hebrews which picks up and applies to Jesus the penal sacrificial system of the Temple.

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