The Penal Substitution Debate

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Dr. Brown revisits the question of penal substitutionary atonement – that Jesus died as a substitute for our sins – and takes your questions on this subject and on other doctrinal controversies. Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.


Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: It’s plain. It’s simple. It’s the gospel. It’s truth. Jesus died as the substitute for our sins.

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: What a revelation of the Father’s love, the horror of sin, and the beauty of Jesus. We get all of this at the cross.


This week, Dr. Brown is offering all 5 Volumes of his Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus book series for the extremely discounted price of only $75, postage paid! That’s a savings of more than $50! This highly acclaimed series has been considered by many to be the most comprehensive work on the subject of answering Jewish objections to Jesus. Get your complete 5 volume set today while this offer lasts. Order Online Here!

Other Resources:

Some Errors in Hyper-Grace Theology

Did Jesus Die as the Substitute for Our Sins?

The Messiah in the Torah and Answers to Jewish Objections

1 Comment
  1. Dr. Brown,

    I greatly appreciate your program today as it covered a subject that is central to the Christian faith. The Penal Substitutionary position is the fundamental historic position of the church throughout the ages. Of the various views that you mentioned, some being closely aligned, we find a definitive proclamation throughout the whole of Scripture that would point to the aforementioned view above and that you defended on the air.

    “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures”(1 Cor 15:3-4).

    Paul’s statement that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures…” stands as a fundamental truth. The Scriptures that he was referring to was the Tanakh (O.T.) of which he affirms to the highest degree. He said that “Christ died for our sins” in that His death indeed satisfied the Father as a substitution for the penalty that would be due to all those who put their faith in Him. I would agree with most scholarship that the apostle was referring to was Isaiah 53.

    “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (vs 4-5).

    Mr. Zahnd has attempted to pain a false picture of who G-d is in reducing Him into being a monster in that the atonement was being satisfied through death.
    Moses recounts for us in Numbers 25, when Israel played the harlot with the daughters of Moab, wherein Phinehas, a priest, sacrificed two people in the sense that he “pierced both of them through, the man of Israel and the woman, through the body. So the plague on the sons of Israel was checked. Those who died by the plague were 24,000… (and) has turned away My wrath from the sons of Israel”.

    Paul validates this understanding with the words, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all…” (Rom 8:32). We find a consistent thread that validates this concept in that the death of the righteous turns away the wrath of G-d on the guilty. Jesus was the sin offering to bear the sins of the world, and John, in his first epistle, confirms this truth in noting Jesus as a propitiation. The meaning of this word implies the turning away of wrath, of which the Penal position affirms.

    Again, thank you for this program, as I was blessed in the hearing. I’d also like to point you to some scholarly resources that you may be familiar with which speak to these truths as well: Where Wrath and Mercy Meet; The Glory of the Atonement; Defending Substitution


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