Atonement and Union with Christ

John Murray writes that the nature of union with Christ is both spiritual and mystical and that it is “the central truth of the whole doctrine of salvation.” If this is the case, how is it so? How does the atonement, the cross of Christ, relate to this “central truth of the whole doctrine of salvation”? Rob and Bob discuss these things and more on this week’s episode of Theology Simply Profound.

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Theology Simply Profound considers how even the simple truths God has revealed to us in his Word are deeply profound. Reformed theology need not be for scholars alone, it is for every believer. Browse more episodes from this program or subscribe to the podcast feed.

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Timothy Joseph

1 year ago

I don’t understand why you insist on mystical as an accurate description of either our union with Christ or prayer! Neither of these are mystical, instead they are spiritual. Both of these are Spirit wrought, which you obviously believe, so why not just call them that. Indeed, we can cannot fully explain our union with Christ in human terms, but this is not due to it being mystical, but rather spiritual and as such our understanding is limited by our experiences. Yet, the Word is clear about both of these teachings, the Holy Spirit intercedes in prayer and He applies our being united to Christ. Mystical language carries unnecessary bagged for the people in our pews. Sometimes extra biblical words are clarifying like Trinity, but often when a biblical word is available and doesn’t carry confusion, we should use it.

Robert McKenzie

1 year ago

Thanks for the comment. The term mystical is an acceptable term in Reformed theology and used by the Westminster Confession of Faith when speaking of the Lord Supper. I agree that the term mystical can have some baggage but so can the word spiritual. Both of these terms are used to speak of doctrinal realities that are beyond our normal understanding of experience. I use it because it is an appropriate term that I am hoping helps people understand that the reality is true even if it is beyond our experiential ability to fully understand. But again the term mystical is often used in Reformed Theology,
thanks for the thoughts



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