The satisfying of the requirements of divine justice by means of Jesus' great atonement is central to the Father's plan of salvation, a plan which clearly reflects and is sustained by Jesus' character and atonement, an atonement made possible by Jesus' character. In this happy and merciful situation, the Lord can forgive our sins, yet He "cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance," hence the unclean and unrepentant, though resurrected, will not be exalted (Alma 45:16; D&C 1:31).
Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God.
And thus we see that all mankind were fallen, and they were in the grasp of justice; yea, the justice of God, which consigned them forever to be cut off from his presence. . . .
What, do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God. (Alma 42:13-14, 25; see also D&C 88:40.)
Even divine mercy cannot rob justice! Such, therefore, is the very basic need to satisfy the requirements of divine justice, which are "affixed," and thus "answer the ends of the atonement" (2 Ne. 2:10).
In God's plan of happiness the atoning Christ paid a debt He personally did not owe and at a costly price that we could not possibly pay by ourselves. Unlike the Father's plan, in today's context of indulgent secularism, however, too many insist that mercy "rob justice," and much more than "one whit." C. S. Lewis saw the modern trend coming well before it became more fully blown:
The Humanitarian theory wants simply to abolish Justice and substitute Mercy for it. . . . Mercy, detached from Justice, grows unmerciful. That is the important paradox. As there are plants which flourish only in mountain soil, so it appears that Mercy will flower only when it grows in the crannies of the rock of Justice: transplanted to the marshlands of mere Humanitarianism, it becomes a man-eating weed, all the more dangerous because it is still called by the same name as the mountain variety. ("The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment" , in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, ed. Walter Hooper [Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1970], p. 294.)
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Today's Maxwell Quote
From One More Strain of Praise (1999), 34-35: