Over at Stand Firm, Fr. Matthew Kennedy has posted a "Very Brief Thought on Penal Substitutionary Atonement in which he asks:
What do we call a judge who acquits a guilty person on the basis of a loving personal relationship?Without meaning to be disagreeable, I think this is a singularly inapt analogy. Fr. Kennedy misses the reason that we would call such a judge as he hypothesizes a corrupt judge, i.e., that the judge would be sacrificing the rights of other parties for his own benefit. That simply isn't the case with sin; God is both the wronged party and the judge; the wrong is His to forgive. And God, in forgiving sin, is enacting in perfect form what we are bidden to do for each other--forgive wrongs not seven times, but seventy times seven.
Justification is given to us through the vehicle of repentance and surrender to Christ's Person and full trust in his Work--or "faith" alone.
But justification is only possible through Christ alone--because Christ has borne hell in our place.
We are not acquitted on the basis of a personal relationship...God cannot simply "forgive" without compromising his character...an impossibility
The better analogy is what would we call a parent who, seeing his beloved child break a cherished family memento, forgives? Whatever the answer may be, it isn't corrupt.
Gore's notion may not be comprehensive, but I think it leads in a better direction.