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Is the Penal Substitution Theory of the Atonement an Essential Doctrine, like Calvinists claim?
Augustine did not believe in Penal Substitution, because that theory didn’t exist yet, and yet Calvinists never call Augustine a heretic. They only pull the heresy card out when it is convenient but they are inconsistent. Jonathon Edwards Jr taught Governmental theory, but again, they don’t call him a heretic because he still identified as a Calvinist.
I reject Penal Substitution because the penalty of the law is eternal hell and Jesus didn’t suffer that. His atonement is a substitute for penalty, not a substitute in penalty.
Also, it destroys evangelism. If those Jesus died for cannot be justly punished, everyone Jesus died for is already saved because they are in no threat of danger – no threat of punishment. In other words, if Penal Substitution is true, everyone Jesus died for is already safe, and therefore there is no need of evangelism. As a street preacher, who sees the world Jesus died for as going to hell, this would be inconsistent. Getting saved implies there is a real threat of danger.