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  • « Justification | Main | Puritan Hard Drive »

    What is your view on limited atonement?

    This is my quick response to Randy Alcorn's piece on Limited Atonement. Randy Alcorn is a four-point Calvinist who rejects particular redemption.

    Brother Randy,

    Jesus in his high priestly prayer in John 17, which is his prayer to the Father just prior to going to the cross, makes plain that his priestly prayer is "not for the world, but those the Father has given him." This passage seems to make plain that Jesus in his Priest-work has a particular people in mind for His atoning work. This is not drawn from some unaided logic. Likewise the idea presented in 1 John 2:2 as referring to all kinds of people is repeated later by the apostle John in Revelation 5:9 where he states that Jesus "purchased with his blood men FROM every tribe, nation, tongue ..." This gives a clear indication that this is what is on John's mind when he says "all"... not each and every person. Purchasing men OUT OF every nation.

    Furthermore, If you affirm the truth of irresistible grace then you really already affirm limited atonement (without knowing it perhaps) because they are the same thing looked at from different perspectives. Where do you think irresistible grace came from? Did it come from Christ or is it some generic grace granted to the elect APART from the Person and work of Christ? Either you have a Christless irresistible grace, (which is impossible since all redemptive benefits have their source in Christ (Eph 1:4, 5) or an irresistible grace granted BY Christ. This error is very problematic, because 4-point Calvinists, IMHO, make the doctrines of grace into an impersonal abstraction. It is Particular Redemption in Christ that makes all the other particular graces possible. We are elect IN CHRIST, Irresistible grace is granted by the Spirit IN CHRIST, and it is Christ who preserves us to the end. Apart from Jesus these graces are abstract, Systematic theology --- ... but with Particular Redemption, Jesus dies for the elect in a way (a redemptive way) that he does not for the non-elect. That is, to procure irresistible grace (an all grace for that matter)

    Mr. Alcorn, as much as you may embrace your four-point Calvinism, it is done away with Christ as the source of ALL GRACE.

    Posted by John on June 24, 2010 01:28 PM

    Comments

    This is really not worth addressing, you don't seem to grasp the idea offered by the 'four pointers'.
    The argument is not that Jesus loves the elect specially, the argument is that He loves the non-elect not at all. That's what the debate always comes down to.

    Further, your straw man that tries to pin the accusation of Christ not being the source of all Grace is exactly backwards. If Christ does not make an expiation for the sins of the non-elect then where do they get their common grace? Certainly not from Christ.

    I urge you to think this through some more.

    Hi Philip

    This is why it is called "particular redemption". Particular Redemption asks "What is God's REDEMPTIVE intent in Christ's work?" Answer: Christ died in a REDEMPTIVE way only for the elect. Of course we agree that Christ upholds all things and the common mercies he grants to all mankind and we affirm with you that this ALSO has its source in Him. But that is irrelevant to the discussion. The doctrine of Particular Redemption means that the REDEMPTIVE work of Christ is particular to the elect - because that is the only one that ultimately counts. This is what the debate HAS ALWAYS CENTERED UPON. Jesus is shown in the Scripture as saving His people by free, unconditional, invincible grace, not only justifying them for Christ's sake when they come to faith, but also raising them from the death of sin by His quickening Spirit in order to bring them to faith.

    Again, did Christ die for the elect in a way he did not for the non-elect... that is, redmeptively? If we agree that irresistible grace is granted only to the elect, where does it come from? Christ or somewhere else. If you say Christ, then you already believe in Particular Redemption just as we do.

    Hey there,

    If I may, for the sake of friendly discussion:

    You say:
    Jesus in his high priestly prayer in John 17, which is his prayer to the Father just prior to going to the cross, makes plain that his priestly prayer is "not for the world, but those the Father has given him." This passage seems to make plain that Jesus in his Priest-work has a particular people in mind for His atoning work. This is not drawn from some unaided logic.

    David: 1) The assumption that this is a high priestly prayer? Some questions then: 1) How do you know this? I believe the priestly prayer follows the shedding of the blood and its application to the altar. 2) Was Christ's prayer for his murderers a high priestly prayer?

    2) You say he does not pray for the world, but for the given ones. Actually at v9 the prayer is for the 11 apostles in contrast to the world. Hence world is not an exclusive reference to the non-elect. Next he prays for future believers. And after this, he prays for the world, in some sense at least vs 21 and 23.

    3) If we assume that this is a high priestly prayer, on what grounds would you claim that it limits the extent of the expiation.

    You say:
    Likewise the idea presented in 1 John 2:2 as referring to all kinds of people is repeated later by the apostle John in Revelation 5:9 where he states that Jesus "purchased with his blood men FROM every tribe, nation, tongue ..."
    This gives a clear indication that this is what is on John's mind when he says "all"... not each and every person. Purchasing men OUT OF every nation

    David: the problems are are 1) World in 1 John denotes the world of apostate mankind, not all kinds of people, not even all kinds of apostate people. 2) in Rev 5 "world" is not mentioned, so it cant norm world in 1 Jn2:2, and out of the world, the men, redeemed, from every tribe etc.

    You ask:

    Did it come from Christ or is it some generic grace granted to the elect APART from the Person and work of Christ?

    David: Effectual Grace comes from the Father, through the Son, by the Spirit. I assume you are trying to say that this grace was purchased for all those for whom Christ died? I would like to see some biblical support for this.

    Thanks kindly,
    David

    David

    You said, "Effectual Grace comes from the Father, through the Son, by the Spirit."

    Agreed. The Trinity works in Harmony. The Father elects in Christ (Eph 1, 4, 5), the Son redeems them (John 17, 6:63-65, 37) and the Holy Spirit applies Christ's redemption to the same bringing them into union with Christ (John 3:6; Rom 8:8,9; Ephesians 2: 5,10).

    That effectual grace is granted through Jesus Christ by the Spirit to those the Father has given him (John 6:63-65). The Spirit gives life and the flesh counts for nothing. That is why no one can come to to Jesus in faith unless God grants it. Since the whole context for John 6 is faith, this passage plainly demonstrates that faith does not come from the flesh, which can do nothing, but is the result of the work of the Spirit in those the Father has given the Son.

    John 6:63-65 is one of the most full-orbed Trinitarian passages in the New Testament, revealing that the Persons of the Trinity work in harmony to bring about effectual grace. This means that the work of Jesus Christ is necessary and sufficient for effectual grace. Four-pointers by asserting that particular redemption is false, by definition, remove Christ from this intimate process of effectual grace.

    Hey David.

    For a minute there I was confused. I thought I had somehow replied to myself. :-)

    You say:
    Agreed. The Trinity works in Harmony. The Father elects in Christ (Eph 1, 4, 5), the Son redeems them (John 17, 6:63-65, 37) and the Holy Spirit applies Christ's redemption to the same bringing them into union with Christ (John 3:6).

    David: I am still trying to find the argument here that disproves the classic Calvinist. Classic Calvinists hold too that the work of the Trinity is in harmony. The Son never wills contrary to the Father's will. The Son never effects redemption and expiation contrary to the Father's will, etc etc.

    What is more, the Holy Spirit applies redemption to the elect. All classic Calvinists would agree, totally.

    The other David says:
    That effectual grace is granted through Jesus Christ by the Spirit to those the Father has given him (John 6:63-65). The Spirit gives life and the flesh counts for nothing. That is why no one can come to to Jesus in faith unless God grants it. Since the whole context for John 6 is faith, this passage plainly demonstrates that faith does not come from the flesh, which can do nothing, but is the result of the work of the Spirit in those the Father has given the Son.

    This David: Sure. I don't see how that is in anyway a challenge to classic Calvinism?

    What is the assumption or premise that leads you to think that in this there is an argument to what you have styled 4 point Calvinism?

    Thanks,
    David

    David, it is not a challenge to classic Calvinism. It is a defense of a full-orbed biblical five point Calvinism.

    Hey John,

    I should have been clearer. Classic Reformation theology on the extent of the satisfaction was that Christ suffered for the sins of all mankind.

    I will try to say classic-Moderate Calvinism so as not to cause confusion.

    Bullinger, Zwingli, Calvin, Luther, and many others.

    I know you may dispute Calvin, thats one thing. But even with Calvin aside, Luther on this, Bullinger, Musculus, Zwingli, and many others, Christ suffered for the sins of all men.

    Click on my name and read some of the files. Ive changed the link connected to my name to take a reader straight to the page.

    Apart from Calvin, as a disputed case, there is no extant primary source evidence that any other original Reformer held to limited expiation/sin-bearing.

    I know that will sound terribly kooky to you, but what documentation is there?

    I know this will sound impossible and implausible to you, but if you check out the files, you may see what I am talking about.

    Thanks,
    David

    David,

    I am really interested in what the Bible teaches, not what some particular men teach. The Bible is our ultimate authority on this matter.

    Jesus died redemptively only for the elect. If you embrace irresistible grace then you already agree with me on particular redemption. Irresistible grace is from Christ, not somewhere else. Just pointing out your inconsistency.

    ey John,

    John says: I am really interested in what the Bible teaches, not what some particular men teach. The Bible is our ultimate authority on this matter.

    David: Sure I can understand that. But we must be careful when we use labels, as some labels speak to history. So on the scripture front Ive already asked some questions.

    Would that mean then that you concede that Bullinger, Musculus, Luther and others taught unlimited expiation and redemption, alongside unconditional election and preterition?

    John:
    Jesus died redemptively only for the elect.

    David: If by redemptively, you mean effectually, agree. By by redemptively mean that in no sense can it be said that Christ redeemed all mankind, that is the thesis you wish to prove.

    John: If you embrace irresistible grace then you already agree with me on particular redemption. Irresistible grace is from Christ, not somewhere else. Just pointing out your inconsistency.

    David: It looks like you are appealing to logic as well. How is it inconsistent? How does effectual grace logically entail limited expiation and sin-bearing?

    Or in other words, how exactly does limited divine intent limit the extent of the satisfaction?

    Take care,
    David

    David

    Thanks for your posts. I believe I have already shown you in my above posts. But let me summarize: If you agree with me that the Spirit, Whom Jesus sent, effectually works regeneration only in the elect (John 6:63-65), then this particular grace granted to the elect demonstrates beyond a doubt that Christ died for the elect (to procure irresistible grace) in a way He did not for the non-elect (whom He did not grant this grace).

    Hope this clarifies.

    David, I frankly think that if you already agree with me that the Spirit only quickens the elect effectually,(and that all grace comes from Christ) then you and I are already agreed 100%. Any further discussion on this would be arguing over words, and not substance. Unless you somehow affirm that effectual grace does not find its source in Christ. The only way four-point Calvinism is biblical, is if you could demonstrate that effectual grace is Christless.

    Hey there John,

    You say: Thanks for your posts. I believe I have already shown you in my above posts. But let me summarize: If you agree with me that the Spirit, Whom Jesus sent, effectually works regeneration only in the elect (John 6:63-65), then this particular grace granted to the elect demonstrates beyond a doubt that Christ died for the elect (to procure irresistible grace) in a way He did not for the non-elect (whom He did not grant this grace).

    David: Sure, but now thats exactly what a "so-called" 4-Point Calvinist would agree to (at least in terms of classically published material). After all, those are the targets for your post. The classic-moderate Calvinist position says that Christ suffered for, died for, made a sacrifice of expiation for all mankind, which sustains a universally sufficient satisfaction for all men. However, in doing this, he dies effectually and especially for the elect, and this to lay down the exact and proper means whereby they shall be saved.

    So the classic-moderate Calvinist totally affirms what you just said.

    However, if you want to challenge the classic moderate Calvinist position of unlimited expiation and sin-bearing, I believe you need to say something stronger and more specific than this.

    You also say: David, I frankly think that if you already agree with me that the Spirit only quickens the elect effectually,(and that all grace comes from Christ)

    David: Actually I would say grace comes from the Father, through Christ. This may look like semantics, but this language reflects the biblical language better, in my mind.

    Now here is the point which I hope you will see: Even Amyraut affirmed that Christ died to infallibly procure faith and all salvation for the elect, and in this sense, for them alone. So what version of so-called 4-Calvinism are you challenging?

    You say: then you and I are already agreed 100%. Any further discussion on this would be arguing over words, and not substance. Unless you somehow affirm that effectual grace does not find its source in Christ. The only way four-point Calvinism is biblical, is if you could demonstrate that effectual grace is Christless.

    David: Well okay... what can one say to that, John? Youve set up the terms so that no conversation can ensue. All I can say that is that saving grace, from the Father, is granted to the all the elect, through Christ, by the application of the Spirit.

    The component of "through" Christ has a few aspects to it, through vital union, through elective union, and on the grounds of the penal satisfaction Christ sustained.

    However, none of that precludes the classic moderate Calvinist idea that Christ suffered for the sins of all men, was punished for the sins of all men. No classic moderate Calvinist, like Luther or Musculus, as examples, think that in Christ dying for all, grace to the elect is christlessly given.

    Your argument beats against no actual classic-moderate version of Calvinism, or what you style "4 point" Calvinism that I know of.

    If we go back to Scripture, what about my questions above? And regarding Rev 5, thats redemption applied, clearly so. By itself, it does not limit redemption accomplished on the cross.

    Now I say the last remark in a very friendly way, but while trying to be clear, given Amyraut, given Luther, Musculus, et al, how can it not be said that you are fighting a strawman version of so-called 4-point Calvinism?

    Now of course, I dont know about all the possible permutations out there that you may know about which I dont, so speak from only from what I know and how I am reading you.

    Anyway, my motive is not to offend. If you wish to continue conversing or converse later (in email perhaps) thats fine with me. If not, thats fine too.

    Thanks and take care,
    David

    you said >>>Sure, but now thats exactly what a "so-called" 4-Point Calvinist would agree to (at least in terms of classically published material).

    I know -- exactly - this is what I am trying to point out to you. The Five-point Calvinist position is already embraced by the four-pointer without knowing it. As soon as you acknowledge that you affirm effectual grace, you ALREADY acknowledge PARTICULAR REDEMPTION because they cannot be separated. The debate has always been about the redemptive benefits of the atonement, effectual grace being one of those benefits.

    The terms are what they are... Perhaps the conversation cannot ensue because you have just discovered that you actually embrace particular redemption as Calvinists always have. What Calvinists are doing is showing the sheer inconsistency of your assertions. You cannot say you embrace effectual grace and then deny particular redemption. That is an impossible supposition.

    Redemptive benefits are the only ones that count. Ultimately non-redemptive benefits, such as common mercy etc. (also found in Christ), are irrelevant as far as Christ's REDEMPTIVE work is concerned.

    Its interesting that this exact theme is being discussed at the following web link today: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2010/06/24/limited-atonement/

    John,

    I could be wrong but what it seems to me that you are missing in David's posts is the distinction he makes between, if you will, redemption accomplished, and redemption applied. Similarly, what Randy Alcorn appears to be rejecting is limited expiation/sin bearing, and not the particular intent to redeem the elect.

    Hope this helps clarify,
    Martin

    John,
    So long as you claim that Christ's death effectually saves the elect you are arguing against an Arminian not a moderate Calvinist.
    It's a no go man. You have to grasp the difference between them and us if you want to make headway rather than continue to assert that Christ died for the elect. We already agree to that.

    Hey John,

    You say: I know -- exactly - this is what I am trying to point out to you. The Five-point Calvinist position is already embraced by the four-pointer without knowing it. As soon as you acknowledge that you affirm effectual grace, you ALREADY acknowledge PARTICULAR REDEMPTION because they cannot be separated. The debate has always been about the redemptive benefits of the atonement, effectual grace being one of those benefits.


    David: If what you say is true, why do you post against 4-point Calvinism? But let try again.

    What is an argument? What is an assertion? Assertions are not arguments. Arguments, at least, contain premises in a form of wherein premises are related, and then with logical connectors (therefore, for, thus, etc) conclusions are established. Arguments can be deductive or inductive.

    For example, This is not an argument: There are three persons subsisting in one divine nature. That is an assertion, true nonetheless, but assertion still.

    We have a set of propositions. God unconditionally elects some to life. God effectually draws those elected to full salvation. Christ was punished for the sins of all men.

    That third proposition is essential to what you are styling 4-point Calvinism. The Classic-moderate Calvinist does not affirm "limited" redemption, but only "effectual" redemption. The classic Calvinist says that Christ redeemed all men, as to the universal and objective payment of the ransom. This is part of redemption accomplished. What is more, with regard to the elect, Christ effectually redeems them and them only.

    Your need to establish by way of argument that effectual calling entails limited redemption, simply considered. You position needs to prove that effectual calling entails that Christ only bore the sins of the elect, was only punished for their sins alone, only redeemed for them alone. By the latter, we both know what it meant: that in any sense whereby Christ properly "redeems" a sinner, he redeemed only the elect.

    However, you are not presenting any "argument" to that end.

    Look at it this way. On the one hand I strongly suspect you want to preclude Amyraut from being an orthodox full-orbed Calvinist (as you understand the latter). And yet by your own words, you would have to so include him. Yet Amyraut held to all three propositions.

    John says: The terms are what they are... Perhaps the conversation cannot ensue because you have just discovered that you actually embrace particular redemption as Calvinists always have.

    David: Sorry John but that's very condescending and smug on your part. Its offensive, not because of any moral lack, but because of the condescension you exhibit here.

    You say: What Calvinists are doing is showing the sheer inconsistency of your assertions. You cannot say you embrace effectual grace and then deny particular redemption. That is an impossible supposition.

    David: John, all I have seen are your assertions, naked assertions, devoid of a single argument. Look back on what you have said "to me" these two days and tell me where you actually present an argument?

    You: Redemptive benefits are the only ones that count. Ultimately non-redemptive benefits, such as common mercy etc. (also found in Christ), are irrelevant as far as Christ's REDEMPTIVE work is concerned.

    David: With respect, John, comments regarding common grace benefits are not relevant. The argument you need to establish is that effectual calling entails limited atonement. And by limited atonement, we all know we mean things like this: a limited expiation for the elect alone, limited sin-bearing where in Christ only bore the sins of the elect, so that Christ was only punished for the sins of the elect, in behalf of the elect; Christ only sustained a penal and redemptive payment for the elect, in behalf of the elect alone.

    John, Ive tried to be very specific so we know what we all mean by the terms we use here. Can you sustain an argument where effectual calling entails limited atonement?

    To wrap this up, Ive responded to your comments regard Jn 17:9, Ive given an initial response to your allusion to Rev 5. After that tho, you've not supplied any "argued reason" why anyone should be persuaded to your position. Ive not seen either exegesis, history or argument, just the same assertion repeated.

    Take care,
    David

    Universal Redemption does not negate Particular Redemption. Think of two circles one large and a smaller one inside it. The larger circle- benefits all, the inner circle-Particular Redemption benefits the Elect.

    The universal contains the particular and the particular does not negate the universal.

    Particular Redemption is a true statement-however it is not a full statement.

    "Furthermore, If you affirm the truth of irresistible grace then you really already affirm limited atonement (without knowing it perhaps) because they are the same thing looked at from different perspectives. Where do you think irresistible grace came from?"

    This conclusion is an oversimplistic view of "four-pointers" and their view is far more robust and complicated than what has been presented here. That said, there are logical inconsistencies that drive and keep me in the five-point frame, but I think we do a disservice to marginalize dissent and disagreement here so quickly - even if it just does come down to semantics.

    Brad

    hey Brad,

    You are totally right.

    I would love to hear about those problems which keep you as a 5-pointer, to use that expression.

    If ever you want talk more, click on my name and scroll down to my e-addy.

    If you want to discuss here or in a more neutral context, I would be more than willing to as well.

    My web-site deals with a lot of standard arguments, such as double-payment, negative inference, the expiation-intercession argument and much more. All by citing Reformed theologians like Dabney and Shedd, for example. We've been trying to set out an exegetical, logical and historical case for classic moderate Calvinism.

    Thanks,
    David

    Hi David,

    I certainly didn't want to give the impression that I was enlightening anyone here or was barging in to rehash what is very likely to be old ground. Consider my introduction just a reminder. I love the tone and tenor from what I've seen in the meta. It's refreshing, and rare.

    "We've been trying to set out an exegetical, logical and historical case for classic moderate Calvinism."

    Understood, and in many ways that's how I would view myself and those at my church - though within "the fold" the definition of who are what Calvinist seems to change from person to person.

    I consider myself a Calvinist in the the Whitefiled, Bunyan and Edwards vein. I like to open the arms wide, set the T as the threshold and reason with my fellow family members from there. Looks like you do too...

    Peace,
    Brad

    "I would love to hear about those problems which keep you as a 5-pointer, to use that expression."

    Well, how much time do you have? ;o)

    To be brief, as related to the topic here, it was Owen's arguments surrounding his assertion that Christ could not have died for those who are in hell - that did it for me. His arguments rose up and became an immovable impasse - and his arguments struck me very emotionally on this point (the "dreaded" L), as well as logically. I'm not without sympathy for the Alcorn's of the world. I get their attempts to reconcile a 1 John 2:2 with a Romans 9:15-16, I cannot follow them down that path, but I certainly don't consider it one that leads to ruin.

    Brad

    Hey Brad,

    Just in case, I didn't read your intention or motive as bad in any way.

    You say:
    I consider myself a Calvinist in the the Whitefield, Bunyan and Edwards vein. I like to open the arms wide, set the T as the threshold and reason with my fellow family members from there. Looks like you do too...

    David: There are two aspect there, the well-meant offer as a reflection of God's compassion. On m site I even cite one of JohnH's essays on God's revealed will.

    The thing to keep in mind that Bunyan held that Christ died for all. Edwards clearly has universal expiation. From Whitefield we've found comments where he says things like, "Christ bought you, so why will you reject him..." My paraphrase for sure.

    edit

    To be brief, as related to the topic here, it was Owen's arguments surrounding his assertion that Christ could not have died for those who are in hell - that did it for me. His arguments rose up and became an immovable impasse - and his arguments struck me very emotionally on this point (the "dreaded" L), as well as logically. I'm not without sympathy for the Alcorn's of the world.

    David. Sure I understand. But what does it mean to say Christ died for those in hell? Who says that exactly? Clearly folk don't mean that he died so that folk in hell may be saved. I doubt any evangelical Arminian says that, certainly no classic-moderate Calvinist. What is meant is twofold.

    Christ died for all in this way: whatever was necessary to satisfy for the sins of one man, was necessary for all men. Christ suffered the curse of the law which condemned all; as much as it condemned any one man.

    What condemned one, was the same which condemns all. To satisfy for one, by extension, all things being equal, is to satisfy for all. (C Hodge, System. 2:544-5.)

    Its not as if he suffered the curse due only to the elect for their sins sake. Rather, the curse which condemns one elect man, condemns the non-elect man: its the same curse.

    Next, Christ sustained this sufficient satisfaction for all so that all men, while alive, may be saved (John 12:47-8; with Jn 3:14-17). All men while alive have access to pardon. But after death, that door is closed.

    As an aside, the "world" there for John means apostate humanity, as opposed to the faithful and the God. For John, the world is the world of the living, in apostasy.

    So its like this, Christ sustained the very same curse due to all men. The offer of pardon is now made to all. Any man who rejects this offer, even unto death, now faces that very curse against sin in is own person.

    So in this sense he died for all, even for those who are now in hell, but not as men in hell, simply considered, but as men once alive, once savable.

    This avoids all the confusion about Christ having died for all men who have lived, live and shall live: As if, the way some folk portray this its as if others teach that Christ died in order to save even those in hell, those already dead and excluded from Heaven.

    Does that help?

    You say: I get their attempts to reconcile a 1 John 2:2 with a Romans 9:15-16, I cannot follow them down that path, but I certainly don't consider it one that leads to ruin.

    David: Roms 9 clearly refers to discriminating election and preterition. So whats going on in 1 Jn 2:2. Two things to keep in mind, the Greek for "Expiation" (or propitiation or atonement), hilasmos, is expressed as a noun, not as a verb.

    This is critical. Owen when he discusses this verse, converts hilasmos into a verb (DoD p., 222.) John is not saying, Christ expiated (past tense action or accomplishment) our sins and the sins of the whole world. Rather he says, he is the expiation for our sins and the sins of the whole world. As a noun, its pointing to the sacrifice of expiation. This why the NIV and NET translate the noun as atoning sacrifice. John is saying that Christ is the sacrifice of expiation for all sins. Cf Dabney on this. (Lect. 525 / C Hodge Systematic. 2:558-9).

    When folk convert the noun to a verb they then inject a reductio into their argument. 'It cant be that world = apostate mankind because (or all men) for then it would mean that all the sins of apostate mankind have been expiated (past tense accomplishment) or God propitiated with regard to those sins.'(Owen, DoD p222.)

    They've set up a false reductio by this noun-to-verb conversion.

    The bulk of arguments which limit world in 1 John 2:2 to exclude the non-elect rely on this noun-to-verb switch, which is then generally coupled with the double payment claim.

    Take any noun and form a sentence, like John's construction, and you cant define it as an accomplished action but not as to function etc.

    John is the company driver not only for the board members, for also for all the company employees.

    Here nothing is a said that John has actually driven anyone. But yet he is the official driver for all.

    Peter is the barber not only for his immediately family, but also for all the village males. Does this mean that John has cut the hair of all males in the village? No. But he is the town barber for all the town.

    Rather, this is what they do, this is their function and purpose. This is their service.

    As I said, construct any like sentence using a noun and not a verb. Convert the noun to a verb and see what happens?

    And so John says, Christ is the sacrifice of expiation not only for our sins but for the sins of all the world.

    Second thing to keep in mind, John never uses "world" or "whole world" to denote either (elect) gentiles or the elect as a class. World for John means the totality of the world in apostasy, which we are not to love, the church comes out of the world, etc. Scope out John's repeated uses of world in 1 John and you will see this.

    So, 1 Jn 2:2 understood correctly does not negate Roms 9, in any way as alleged by Owen, et al.

    Does that help? Does it modify how you understand 1 Jn 2:2?

    If you want, you could table what you believe is the strongest argument for limited expiation. The email conversation is still open for anyone who wants to discuss this.

    Thanks,
    David

    "The thing to keep in mind that Bunyan held that Christ died for all. Edwards clearly has universal expiation. From Whitefield we've found comments where he says things like, "Christ bought you, so why will you reject him..." My paraphrase for sure."

    Hi David, Spurgeon also makes similar remarks in several of his sermons, but he clarified them carefully, as did the men above. So how exactly would you classify these saints under the umbrella of Calvinism...or would you put them elsewhere?

    "Does that help?"

    Sure, in the sense that I have a much better understanding of where you're coming from and going.

    "Does it modify how you understand 1 Jn 2:2?"

    Not particularly, since we largely agree. I think perhaps you misunderstood my sympathies for 4 pt'ers from what I actually hold, though I appreciate the zeal and passion for this particular topic.

    Brad


    Hey Brad,

    You say: Hi David, Spurgeon also makes similar remarks in several of his sermons, but he clarified them carefully, as did the men above.

    David: I would like to see the Spurgeon info if you have it handy. I saw one from him and as I read it it something more like the death is available for all. However it was not that Christ bore in his body the sins of all men.

    Bunyan and co said that Christ died for all and bore the sins of all.

    You ask: So how exactly would you classify these saints under the umbrella of Calvinism...or would you put them elsewhere?

    David: Ive always read Spurgeon as a limited expiation advocate. For the men Ive listed at my site, I would them in the unlimited expiation category.

    The question comes to this: For whose sins was Christ punished? There can be no middle ground here as I see it. Either for the sins of the elect alone, or for the sins of all men. Classic Calvinists have affirmed the latter. Luther, tho not a "calvinist" properly speaking held that election was discriminating, the elect were effectually called, etc etc and yet maintained that Christ died for all, bore the sins of all. He never affirmed limited atonement. This was also the the position of Zwingli, Musculus, Bullinger and many others. Richard Muller argues that it was the position of men like Ursninus and Kimedonius, as they, he asserts, held to a non-Amyraldian form of hypothetical universalism; as did men like Twisse, Zanchi and others, says Muller. Personally I am hoping that JohnH will acknowledge this historical truth too.

    You say, re: 1 Jn 2:2: Not particularly, since we largely agree. I think perhaps you misunderstood my sympathies for 4 pt'ers from what I actually hold, though I appreciate the zeal and passion for this particular topic.

    David: Can I ask then, regarding 1 John 2:2 agree that the sacrifice of expiation was for the sins of all mankind? Not only our sins, but the sins of the whole world?

    Thanks for your time,
    David

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