Friday, August 28, 2009
Questions from Owen
I have been re-reading John Owen's Death of Death and drawing out what I believe are his questions he poses to a person that believes that "Christ died for every single person." This assertion is draw from a reading of verses that use wording such as Christ dying for all or the world. The assumption is that all (pas in Greek) or world (kosmos in Greek) mean exactly what the English equivalent means as "every single one." Owen challenges this assertion, positing instead that Christ's death is not just potentially for all, but has its desired and intended purpose, salvation, on the elect. To assert a "universal atonement" requires answering these pointed questions on what that would actually mean:
Questions from Book I:
1) Did the death of Christ accomplish the end for which Christ intended or was that aim (if it was every single person) thwarted?
2) If Christ suffered hell (separation from the Father) in substitution for all persons, why would they have to suffer hell?
3) If Christ paid for the sins of every person, why is any person made to pay for their sins again in hell?
4) If Christ's death and intercession before the Father are inseparably related [i.e. the only basis for intercession is pleading what Christ has done one behalf of those He intercedes for - Romans 8:33-34, Isaiah 53:11-12] how can Christ die for all and only intercede for some?
5) Why does Christ specify that He only intercedes for the elect (John 17)?
6) If Christ died in place for all, why are all not saved? Is Christ's death insufficient for those He allegedly dies for but wind up in hell?
7) Why is "Christ died for your sins" good news if the person it is said to might still have to answer for those sins?
8) Why would God the Father elect some, and not all, and the Holy Spirit regenerates some, but not all, yet Christ would aim to die for all? Are the Persons of the Godhead at cross-purposes, have different minds or different wills?