Sadly, this person is aware of all the passages in the Bible that speak of Jesus' death as being a substitutionary atonement. Of course, his presupposition forces him to redefine and explain away certain passages; which he does instead of submitting to the Word of God.
Here are a few of those verse:
- And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6)
- Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him (Isaiah 53:10)
- Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.(Isaiah 53:12)
- whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed (Romans 3:25)
- For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
- Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (Galatians 3:13)
- 1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. (Hebrews 10:1-4)
Interestingly enough, one of the strongest opponents of penal substitution historically was Socinius. If that name rings a bell, it should. He was an anti-trinitatian "theologian" whose name is now used to describe the heresy he promoted--Socinianism. I wonder if those who oppose the clear Biblical teaching of substitutionary atonement are comfortable in this company?
This person I debated also, I assume, holds what the patristic fathers wrote in high esteem, seeing as where this person comes from theologically (although I have found most like him enjoy picking and choosing what they like). So, I would be interested to see what he would think of what Athanasius (c.293 - 373) said:
It would, of course, have been unthinkable that God should go back upon His word and that man, having transgressed, should not die; but it was equally monstrous that beings which once had shared the nature of the Word should perish and turn back again into non-existence through corruption. It was unworthy of the goodness of God that creatures made by him should be brought to nothing through the deceit wrought upon man by the devil… Yet, true though this is…it was unthinkable that God, the Father of Truth, should go back upon his word regarding death in order to ensure our continued existence. He could not falsify himself; what then was God to do? …This is what happens when the Bible is not your authority. The Bible is so clear on why Jesus died for us (for more on that go here). It is possibly one of the most important things to understand. Jesus died for our sins so we don't have to!
The Word perceived that corruption could not be got rid of otherwise than through death; yet He Himself, as the World, being immortal and the Father’s Son, was such as could not die. For this reason, therefore, He assumed a body capable of death, in order that it, through belonging to the Word Who is above all, might become in dying a sufficient exchange for all and, itself remaining incorruptible through His indwelling, might thereafter put an end to corruption for all others as well, by the grace of the resurrection. It was by surrendering to death the body which he had taken, as an offering and sacrifice free from every stain, that He forthwith abolished death for His human brethren by the offering of the equivalent. For naturally, since the Word of God was above all, when He offered His own temple and bodily instrument as a substitute for the life of all, He fulfilled in death all that was required.