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Another argument I don't mention in the essay above is that a Christian cannot disbelieve in retribution and believe in the standard substitutionary atonement theory of Christ that Anselm wrote of in his 1098 "Cur Deus Homo?" https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Cur_Deus_Homo. As Joe Bayly put it in 1977 in Eternity magazine:

"The penalty is removed by our Lord Christ's action in taking it upon himself on the cross. His death was as our substitute. A penalty always results from the violation of law, and that penalty is always borne. It may be borne by the sinner or it may be borne by Christ. It may be borne by the criminal or it may be borne by the victim and by society. But in a moral universe, the penalty is borne; it must be borne.

Retribution is at the heart of our Lord Christ's redemptive work. The sentence imposed by God upon me was death; Christ fulfilled the sentence, bore the punishment, and therefore I am pardoned."

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