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In case you are unfamiliar with this debate: Anselm thought that Jesus had to qualify himself to be the Savior, so he divided Jesus’ obedience into phases. The 1st half (active obedience) was for himself, 2nd half (passive) for us. He divided Christ’s work chronologically. The first part of of his life was for himself, to qualify himself to be the Savior. The last part, Anselm argued, was for us, to suffer as our substitute. He did not actually address the question of Christ’s active and passive obedience but his chronological distinction became important when the debate arose after 1570.
The terms “active” and “passive” are potentially confusing because we tend to juxtapose active and passive differently. When we say “passive” in that context we mean “something done to us.” In this case, however, it is just Latin. It is from the deponent Latin verb, patior, to suffer. From that comes the abstract noun, passio, suffering.
Views - Imputation - Obedience - IAO - Christ
There are two views regarding the imputation of active obedience (IAO). One distinguishes Christ’s work into two phases and says that the first phase was for himself, to qualify himself to be the Savior and that only his suffering (passive) obedience, rendered at the end of his life was for us. Those who deny IAO tend to think and say that Jesus’ suffering and death makes the believer innocent but, say the proponents of the IAO, it does not address the need for a positive righteousness. Those who deny IAO complain that it punishes Christ twice for the same crime. Those who affirm IAO understand the law to require two things: perfect obedience, or positive righteousness and punishment of those who transgress. They say Christ rendered both for us, perfect obedience (active obedience) and substitutionary suffering obedience. Those who affirm IAO do not make a chronological...
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