T.R. Halvorson has recently released a new book:Vicarious Satisfaction in Lutheran Catechisms, Confessions, and Hymns.
You may know Mr. Halvorson through Facebook, Steadfast Lutherans, LutheranCatechism.com, or his website trhalvorson.com. He is a thoughtful, interesting man, who loves to extol Lutheran catechisms and the Lutheran confessions and who researches theological and liturgical topics, even periodically putting together bibliographies for others to study Lutheran topics more easily. Obviously I can’t help but consider him a kindred spirit to me. 😀
Here is the Amazon description of this 170-page book:
Lutheran Orthodoxy teaches that a vital part of the work of God in Christ is atonement by vicarious satisfaction. Vicarious satisfaction is attested in Scripture, the Lutheran confessions in the Book of Concord, explanations of the Catechism, Lutheran hymns, the liturgy, the Sacraments, and so on.
Nevertheless, the atonement is in controversy in Lutheran circles. The adversaries deny vicarious satisfaction. They substitute a general amnesty that is announced in a bloodless absolution. According to them, the cross would not have been necessary had sinners only believed that God can and does just “up and forgive.” In their teaching, the cross does not win salvation. It is used to convince sinners of a sheer absolution that was available before and without the cross.
In a nutshell, the adversaries essentially deny Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article V, paragraph 101: “We are justified only when we receive Christ as the Atoning Sacrifice and believe that for Christ’s sake God is reconciled to us. Neither is justification even to be dreamed of without Christ as the Atonement.”
Chapter One of this book provides a formulation of the orthodox doctrine of vicarious satisfaction, lists the witnesses to vicarious satisfaction, provides preliminary evidence that there is a current controversy about the atonement in our circles, states what the controversy is, outlines the teachings of the adversaries, shows that the controversy is an old one, and briefly sketches the rhetorical tactics of the adversaries.
Chapters Two through Four survey three of the witnesses to vicarious satisfaction: explanations of Luther’s Small Catechism, the Lutheran confessions in the Book of Concord, and Lutheran hymns.