Eternal Judgment Can Only Be Satisfied By A Infinite Being?
Updated: Nov 21, 2022
A challenge is often put forward, that no finite creature could ever satisfy an eternal judgment. Only the eternal one Himself can do that.
Brief thoughts: This criticism is self-defeating, for Romans 5:19 says “For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one shall the many be made righteous.”. In order for this claim to have merit, we would have to insinuate Adam as a member of the “infinite” divine identity. For if it took an eternal being to satisfy an eternal judgment, then it makes little sense to exclude a finite being to have initiated eternal judgment. Thus the parallels to Adam, who is a creature are unclear if the eternal being was Christ.
David Wheeler doubles down on this argument in his work “Evangelism in Daily Life” He says "...only an infinite, uncreated being...could suffer for a finite amount of time and pay for an infinite amount of sin. If Jesus was a finite created being, then he would have had to suffer for an infinite amount of time to pay the penalty for even one sin of one sinner. However, since Jesus is God (an infinitely holy, uncreated being), he could suffer for a finite amount of time (several hours on the cross) and pay an infinite penalty. Thus, the created (finite) Jesus of Islam, Mormonism, and Jehovah's Witnesses cannot pay for even one sin of one sinner."
Objection -The Apostle Paul presents a more mechanical soteriology as opposed to the blissful “Jesus must be ο θεος” soteriology. Paul occasionally associates Jesus as the “last Adam.” Adam as a created being that lost a chance at eternal life by sinning and died. Jesus however did not sin and voluntarily died. Adam was our father and failed. Jesus was our appointed replacement father and prevailed. (Romans 5:12, 14-19; 1 Corinthians 15:45). This harmonizes with divine justice as expressed in the Law of Moses, as soul was to be given for soul. (Exodus 21:23; Leviticus 24:18). Consequently, Jesus corresponded to what Adam lost.
Conclusion: This assertion isn't convincing enough to be a coherent biblical presentation, "only x could do y" has no real substance. It's totally unsupported by the literature. Also, this seems to presuppose substitutionary atonement, which is ironically rejected by large swaths of Christianity. This theory ultimately presents an imaginary view of atonement composed to justify an imaginary theology. None of which can be explicitly derived from scripture. Admittedly, It has a sort of internal logic but doesn't correspond anywhere in biblical theology. So has the appearance of legitimacy, but fails every legitimate test biblically. The theory can be summed up as such-
"I've invented a God who can die and not die at the same time. Your God can't do that so he's not good enough to save anyone."
- exactly, why is this a biblical ultimatum?