If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you’ll know that I wrote an article about a year ago warning people about the apologetics ministry of Jason L. Petersen. At the time, Jason had an article up on his website in which he stated that he did not think the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement (PSA) was biblical. The article saddened me, and it gave me concern for those who perhaps thought he fully affirmed PSA.
Moving forward in time, I was asked if there were any problems with Jason’s ministry. I voiced my concern, but a friend of Jason’s told me that Jason no longer affirmed that PSA was unbiblical. He said that Jason had some issues with forms of PSA in which Jesus literally (i.e. ontologically) becomes a sinner on Calvary – a version of PSA that I believe all sound Christians reject – but the at that time, when I looked the original article up, it was still there.
Now, fast-forward to the present month. Jason personally messaged me and clarified that he doesn’t object to the doctrine of PSA, as his friend informed me some months ago, but objects to the versions of it that make Jesus into an actual sinner. Jason says that he believes, rather, that Jesus’ death was substitutionary and does not object to the label of PSA, if by that we don’t mean that Jesus actually became an actual sinner (ontologically) but only that bore the punishment due to actual sinners (i.e. he became legally guilty as opposed to ontologically guilty).
I’m glad to hear that Jason has clarified where he stands on this issue, seeing as it is of utmost importance not simply for the sake of one’s ministry, but for the sake of one’s eternal salvation. If you know anyone who is curious about Jason’s beliefs in this matter, please pass this article along to them.
Soli Deo Gloria