"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." - Jerome

Friday, March 03, 2006

Limited Atonement: Power or Possibility?

I'm less and less offended by the "L" in TULIP. As R.C. Sproul Jr pointed out, everyone limits the atonement: Calvinists limit its scope or membership, Arminians limit its power. A blogger posted this by John Owen (the puritan theologian):

by John Owen

The Father imposed His wrath due unto, and the Son underwent punishment for, either:

1. All the sins of all men;
2. All the sins of some men, or;
3. Some of the sins of all men.

In which case it may be said:

1. That if the last be true, all men have some sins to answer for, and so, none are saved;
2. That if the second be true, then Christ, in their stead suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the whole world, and this is the truth;
3. But if the first be the case, why are not all men free from the punishment due unto their sins?

You answer, "Because of unbelief.

"I ask, Is this unbelief a sin, or is it not? If it be, then Christ suffered the punishment due unto it, or He did not. If He did, why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which He died? If He did not, He did not die for all their sins!"


Aaron said...

Universalisms does not limit atonement. But agreed, other Christians do...

Jared Nelson said...

Of course then there is the question of why some and not others if God choses. But then Paul kindly tells us to stop envying God His choice in
Romans 9:15-22: For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.
19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?
22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction