Did Charles Finney deny the blood atonement of Christ ?
If so, please give source of information. Thank You!
- CJLv 61 decade agoFavorite Answer
This article exposes the facts that Charles Finney was never a saved believer, and taught a false gospel. Which makes you wonder, why do some "evangelicals" think Finney was so great, and are those "evangelicals" likely false themselves?
- TommyLv 61 decade ago
Poor Charles. The doctrinal serpent was bent to far one way. God put Finney on the scene to take out a few kinks so some gospel work could be done. Which is more than can be said for some of his critics. Over time that serpent bends the other way and here we are. No revival and the same old snake in the grass.
I never ran across any denial of the blood atonement on his part; although I have probably read less than 3,000 pages of his work. It is interesting that his name has come up again in the past few months. I even heard him put down over a pulpit whose leadership had, years before, praised his preaching.
I did read the page posted above; ie. P. Johnson, regarding Finney. To the best of my recollection some of the points against Finney are skewed. I would also point out that hardly any Christian doctrine these days is solid Bible and ask the following question in reply?
Are those who claim doctrinal understanding so necessary for salvation really, at heart, teaching the blood atonement? Or are their claims just subtle misdirection?
Consider that Judas, who betrayed Jesus, had a first hand ministry with correct doctrine from the very source --- and did not make the cut. It is one thing to preach, teach and even demand blood atonement; and another thing to be under the blood. This same principal applies for all doctrine. Not those who say, but only those who do.Source(s): Bible, kjv
- Anonymous1 decade ago
I think it is regrettable that Finney came to think of himself as a theologian. He was a gifted evangelist but I suspect his great intellect (rather than God's Spirit) led him to write on theological topics. Finney's teachings are filled with apparent contradictions and imprudent use of terms that have meanings easily misconstrued. He also frequently uses the dialog approach found in many older theologians in which the author first argues the case he disagrees with and then answers it in full. One can easily piece together isolated statements from Finney to make him look like he rejected essential Christian doctrines. The only way to really understand him is to read his works for oneself. I think it is fair to say that his ideas are aberrant at some points but one really should read Finney's works for oneself to see what Finney meant by what he said in some of the more notorious, isolated quotations that are found on Calvinist websites that reject Finney as a total heretic.
It is true that Finney flatly rejected the Calvinist concept of atonement. He did not deny the blood atonement of Christ. He addresses this issue in chapter 21 of his Systematic Theology. I'll give you a few quotes from this chapter to give you a feel for its essence:
"The English word 'atonement' is synonymous with the Hebrew word 'cofer.' This is a noun from the verb 'caufar,' to cover. The 'cofer' or cover was the name of the lid or cover of the ark of the covenant, and constituted what was called the mercy seat. The Greek word rendered atonement means reconciliation to favor, or more strictly, the means or conditions of reconciliation to favor; from 'katalaso,' to 'change or exchange.' The term properly means substitution. An examination of the original words, in the connection in which they stand, will show that the atonement is the governmental substitution of the sufferings of Christ for the punishment of sinners. It is a covering of their sins by his sufferings."
"Without an atonement, the race of man after the fall sustained to the government of God the relation of rebels and outlaws. And before God, as the great executive magistrate of the universe could manifest his benevolence toward them, an atonement must be decided upon and made known, as the reason upon which his favorable treatment of them was conditioned."
"The whole Jewish Scriptures and especially the whole ceremonial dispensation of the Jews attest, most unequivocally, the necessity of an atonement. The New Testament is just as unequivocal in its testimony to the same point."
This chapter contains dozens of Scripture quotations and references. Finney did reject the Calvinist idea of limited atonement; many of his statements considered in isolation sound worse than his intent understood in context; and some of his views were aberrant. Still, I do not think a fair and honest study of his teachings as a whole would lead an objective reader to conclude that Finney rejected the biblical revelation concerning blood atonement or that his beliefs placed him outside of the bounds of Christianity.