V. Finally, it is objected that the atonement of Christ was unnecessary. It is supposed that God could have maintained His Honor equally in acquitting sinners with or without a satisfaction.
Of course, we have already addressed this ridiculous assumption in part when we refuted the 3rd objection. But we will take it head on now as a separate issue.
The problems with this objection:
A. It is presumptuous. It is not for us, on the ground of mere abstract reasoning, to say what is necessary or not necessary for Almighty God. We step way beyond our limits when we venture to say what would or would not be honorable for God to do. It is setting up our weak, erring, finite understandings as judges over the infinite mind of Jehovah.
B. For the sake of argument, let us assume that the necessity of the atonement could not be shown, it would not follow, even then, that we are at liberty to pronounce it unnecessary. There may be reasons for it which we have never discovered, or which we are not qualified to comprehend. We are not justified in assuming we know as much as God about the situation.
C. This objection works on a horridly imperfect and restricted view of the nature of man's sin against God. Inadequate views of sin are at the bottom of almost all doctrinal and practical errors in the world. Men are ready to regard it as something altogether different from what it is regarded by God. It is our natural bent to downplay the sinfulness of sin.
D. Further, this objection proceeds on an imperfect view of human salvation. Even assuming for argument's sake that God might honorably forgive sin without a satisfaction, it should be remembered that remission of sins is not the whole of salvation. In other words, salvation entails more than mere pardon of sins. Supposing that God could forgive sins without a satisfaction, this leaves completely untouched all the other areas of salvation.