Contend Earnestly: J.I. Packer's View on the Atonement

Sunday, August 31, 2008

J.I. Packer's View on the Atonement

This is a book review of Packer's book, "In My Place Condemned He Stood." This book was really a love/hate relationship. I also knew that this would probably be the case heading into me reading it though as well. It is really 4 essays about the atonement of Christ. I found 3 of 4 to be very good and the one I figured I would find lacking is exactly the one that was lacking.

Here are the four different essays:

The Heart of the Gospel (J.I. Packer; taken from chapter 18 of Knowing God; 1973)

This is really a longer intro to the book as a whole. It speaks of the different aspects of the cross, such as propitiation, God's love, expiation, substitution and God's glory.

What Did the Cross Achieve? The Logic of Penal Substitution (J.I. Packer; first appeared in Tyndale Bulletin; 1974)

This is really a defense of understanding both words used here, penal and substitution. Packer does a very good job in rendering that logic can only take someone so far before they have to bow the knee to the omnipotent and omniscient God. He does a good job in the defense of the use of the term, "Penal Substitution." I very much liked this chapter even though it was a very tough read to get through.


Nothing But the Blood (Mark Dever; Reprint from Christianity Today; 2006)


This was very short and really marked a way for the modern reader to try and understand why we still need to make sure we speak of the bloody atonement. Why it was necessary and why it still is necessary as far as our focus within God's love. I liked this short article, although I found some of it to be repetitive to Packer's What did the Cross Achieve.

Saved by His Precious Blood: An Introduction to John Owen's The Death of Death in the Death of Christ. (J.I. Packer; 1958)

This chapter I really didn't like. I found that the work of Owen was really put up on a pedestal and said many times that there was no way for it to be refuted. This seems like words that should only be held up to the light of Scripture, not to a man's work with no inspiration of the Holy Spirit. J.I. Packer defends the understanding of a strict view of limited atonement in this article and says that those who don't believe in this view are not preaching the gospel. He says that preaching limited atonement is the biblical gospel, that if you preach otherwise you are preaching self esteem, that those who don't preach a strict view of the atonement are just trying to helpful to man and not concerned with the glory of God.

I still can't believe that he says some of this stuff. So, if I don't hold to a strict view of the atonement I don't preach the biblical gospel, I preach self esteem and are little concerned with the glory of God?

What I find interesting is that this comes after a quote in this very book by Martin Luther where Luther preaches an atonement that is more than limited, or particular. This is found on page 85 in the footnotes:

All the prophets did foresee in spirit, that Christ should become the greatest transgressor, murderer, adulterer, thief, rebel, blasphemer, etc. that ever was....for he being made a sacrifice, for the sins of the whole world, is not now an innocent person and without sins....Our most merciful Father...sent his only Son into the world and laid upon him the sins of all men, saying: Be thou Peter that denier; Paul that persecutor, blashphemer and cruel oppressor; David that adulterer; that sinner which did eat the apple in Paradise; that thief which hanged on the cross; and, briefly, be thou person which hath committed the sins of all men; see therefore that thou pay and satisfy for them. Here now cometh the law and saith: I find him a sinner...therefore let him die upon the cross.

Martin Luther(found at Galatians, ed. Philip S. Watson (London: James Clarke, 1953), 269-271; on Gal 3:13)

Notice there is not the particular in view here. But the understanding of the sins being laid on the Messiah and not of just some, but of the whole world. And Luther continues and says that Christ be thou person which hath committed the sins of all men.

I just really found this work to be lacking and very over the top with such arrogance in the understanding of the atonement. Although, I do believe that Christ did die for the whole world, he also died specifically, or especially, for the elect. So, it is a both/and statement in regard to the atonement, not an either/or.

I just find it funny that Packer has his arrogant statements in this book right after he quotes Luther saying just the opposite of what Packer would like him to say.

So, this book is a quandary for me. The first three-fourths of the book was very well done, but the last chapter on the Death of Death by Owen was just terrible. So, I am not sure what I would do with this book besides tell others to read it with caution, but shouldn't we do that with every book we read? Recommended (with caution) Link to Buy

If you would like to read some additional material on why Packer's and Owen's understanding of the atonement are misleading, take a look at these posts:

A whole slew of quotes from Luther on the Atonement can be found at Calvin and Calvinism here.

Tony Byrne has done some great research as well and this post you should find helpful in this argument: Double Jeopardy? and also Penal Substitution

Lastly, take a look at Steve's blog and especially at this small post: Pecuniary vs Judicial Debt

39 comments:

David said...

Hey Seth,

Here is the direct link to Martin Luther on the Death of Christ. His views on unlimited expiation and redemption are clear as crystal.

David

John D. Chitty said...

Take a look at my comments on your complaints at your Contend Earnestly Books website.

John D. Chitty said...

Poor Seth,

Perhaps it will help you get it if I compare Sproul's remarks on how theology proper is the most distinctive thing about Reformed theology even though the theology proper of Reformed theology is identical to all other orthodox Protestant theologies proper.

The way theology proper is distinct in Reformed theology is the fact that every other aspect of systematic theology is considered with specific reference to the attributes of God. This is the way Reformed theology remains consistently theocentric, as opposed to all other orthodox Protestant systematic theologies which give way to anthropocentrism in one way or the other.

It may feel like a harsh remark, especially when one is on the receiving end of it, but this is the route the logic takes when one wants to be consistently God-centered and to close off all detours into man-centeredness. It's naturally repugnant to fallen humanity, because not only rank Arminians and Lutherans and Roman Catholics, but also those who would like to believe they are Reformed are natural-born Pelagians.

September 1, 2008 5:50 AM


John D. Chitty said...
Another thought,

Regarding your view of the atonement as both general and particular, rather than either general or particular, I must remind you that the extent that Christ is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world (as John put it) is that he is the only propitiation available to the whole world. All must come to Christ through faith in his propitiatory sacrifice to the Father, or they are justly condemned. In that sense he is their propitiation, but when the reprobate refuse them out of their own fallen hearts, they deserve the condemnation they receive. If I can think of a third way to repeat the same thing, I'll post it later (just kidding).

If Christ actually did propitiate the Father on behalf of the reprobate then they wouldn't be the reprobate but the elect, and thus universal salvation would be true. But in keeping the atonement of Christ God-centered (ala my previous post), one must realize that there are consequences to the fact that Christ's atonement wasn't a hypothetical atonement of everyone, and that consequence is that he didn't actually propitiate the reprobate, but from the human perspective, he's the only propitiation available to all who believe, and that's why we must preach the gospel to every creature, even the reprobate, because we don't know which are the elect and which are the reprobate. We must command all to repent and trust the propitiation of God through Christ as God's agents in not only saving the elect, but in confirming the justice of God's condemnation of the reprobate.

Thus, limited atonement is the truly God-centered gospel, and general atonement is a man-centered gospel.

Seth McBee said...

John
A Couple of things.

You said:

but also those who would like to believe they are Reformed are natural-born Pelagians.

Really? So, did you read Luther's quote? He is a pelagian? What about Calvin's words and Edwards words? Dabney's words? Bunyan's words? I think you need to do some more research before you start throwing around the terms that you do.

You also say:

If Christ actually did propitiate the Father on behalf of the reprobate then they wouldn't be the reprobate but the elect, and thus universal salvation would be true.

Based on what? Scripture? You'll need to shed some light if you find this in Scripture.

When do you believe the wrath of God was propitiated for you? Upon the cross and then upon your individual belief, so then it was applied? Or do you believe that it all happened at the cross?

I will be interested in your responses.

natamllc said...

Let me throw into this mix a question about the phrase used at Genesis 6, "the sons of God"?

Who are these? Angels that when they cohabitate with the daughters of Adam's race, they then become "fallen" angels? Angels that when they cohabitate with the daugthers of Adam's race, they are first "fallen" angels, hence, now demons before cohabitation?

My next question goes to the idea of Angels and their abilities to manifest as a human, though they are not? When Angels morf to human kind and likeness, does that mean when they do it is only then that they have "reproductive" capabilities?

Where am I going with all this?

Gen 6:1 When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them,
Gen 6:2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose.


It says does it not that these sons of God, "see" and "find" the daughters of men "attractive", implying some sort of "desire" in their makeup?

Second to it, I would point out that when these "sons of God" cohabitate with the "daughters of mankind", the offspring, of a necessity are a "changed" creature, are they not?

Third to it, I would point out that when God, the Only True God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, conjoins and reanimates the children of Adam they also are a "changed" being, are they not?

FF:Col 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
Col 2:9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,
Col 2:10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.
Col 2:11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,
Col 2:12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.
Col 2:13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,
Col 2:14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.


So, sizing it up summing it up this way:

1. God, Father Eternal, Son Eternal, Holy Ghost Eternal
2. Creations, before the creation of these present heavens and earth and after:
a. angelic beings
b. seraphims
c. cheribums
d. fallen angelic beings, demons
e. Adam and Eve and their posterity
f. "changed" human beings of Adams race because of the cohabitation of the "sons of God" with the "daughters of men found attractive by the sons of God
g. "changed" human beings of Adams race because of the conjoining and reanimating work of God, who puts His Faith in a heart to believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, died a brutal death at the inspired hands of an out of control world controlled by the god of this world, buried, descended into hell, suffered hell's wrath, was raised up because Death could not hold the Eternal Son of God, sent, and then by vindication of the Holy Ghost declared innocent of doing one sin or one fraction of sin, not one jot or tittle of sin, so that when He was made sin, He was made my sin too so that when He hung on that cross and before He was imputed with the sins of Adam's race, excluding those "changed" part man part "sons of God", God Our Heavenly Father, the Only True God could see to it that He raised Him to that Glory He had and left for this earthly Glory of being the Savior of the Elect of Adam's race, before He came to be a living being in the Virgin Mary.

Where am I off Seth and John?

I plead Agur son of Jakeh:

Pro 30:5 Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Pro 30:6 Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.

John D. Chitty said...

Considering that this is Labor Day, and I've got guests coming in half an hour, I'll deal with your first point and look at the rest tonight and tomorrow and resume then.

Aren't you familiar with the saying that "everyone is a natural-born Pelagian"? It's just a saying that means we all tend to seek credit for that which only God can do. It doesn't mean that I believe Luther, Bunyan, Calvin, or even you or me technically subscribe to Pelagius' heretical system. It is to highlight the anthropocentric tendency in doctrines that are not as self-consciously theocentric as the doctrines commonly known as five-point Calvinism (with an either/or view of Limited Atonement which errs in favor of God's sovereignty over all of humanity's equal opportunity).

I'll return with more comments tomorrow. Thanks for raising a great discussion.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

John, if I may remark, your suggestion that those who hold to a universal expiation must do so because of a failure to be theocentric is both offensive and historically inept. It's certainly possible to deny particular redemption for theocentric reasons. I do. Perhaps those reasons are faulty; but then attack them on their own merits—charging that they're anthrocentric without engaging with them on their own grounds just commits you to both the ad hominem and genetic fallacies, while achieving nothing in terms of debate. Surely you don't think that the majority view throughout Reformed history has been a "man-centered gospel" (not the real gospel at all, if Packer is to be believed)?

The only argument you seem to make (so far) is that universal expiation logically implies universal salvation; but even interpreting the argument as charitably as possible it is theologically naive: you've given us no reason to accept your implicit pecuniary assumptions about the atonement. From my perspective, you seem to simply be ignorant of why Calvinists such as myself and Seth believe in universal redemption. Have you considered the epistemic difficulties inherent in a view which grounds Christian faith in a promise which references a limited expiation? Have you considered the ethical difficulties inherent in a view which grounds God's judgment of those who reject the gospel on that same limited ontological referent? If so, then let's discuss your answers to these problems and be done with the name-calling (whether you intended it or not, that is what it is). If not, then I submit that you should take a less condescending tone with those of your brothers who have evaluated a number of theological, philosophical (and perhaps exegetical) arguments which you have not.

Regards,
Bnonn

natamllc said...

wow Bonn,

sharp sharp!

You might have given some sense to John. I believe he is going to oblige!

He approaches things as a scholar!

You seem to have a sound grasp on what you imply!

Please with that acumen answer my questions addressed to Seth and John.

And one more for the limited expiation issue. How is it that Jesus Himself says this and doesn't it imply God's Sovereign Grace is limited to whom He reveals Christ to?

And, can it be, in your opinion that God can reveal Christ to a soul and Christ not elect to reveal to that same soul God the Father?

Or what is it Jesus was teaching then?

The verse:

Mat 11:27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.


Now, would you agree with this conclusion that I make about this verse, that for anyone to "come" to Christ, God would have had to reveal Him to that one Jesus makes that request to?:::>

Mat 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.


thanks
michael

p.s., as I said before, I will say it again, good to see you back in blogsphere! How is Patrick your father? You can email the reply if you don't want to hereon?

David said...

Hey there,

Hey Dom, brilliant comment.

I am puzzled and a little concerned with 4 things from from John D.

1) The tone: whats with that? "Poor Seth..."? I know Seth has his problems, but... :-)

2) What does it mean to be theocentric versus anthropocentric? I know some take that so far as to become hypercalvinists (Hoeksema), even to denying duty-faith (John Gill). Obviosly gridding a discussion along such lines is not gonna take us too far, as all sides will says they have the balance and that it's the opposing team that has gone to extreme.

We also see those sort of claims in the baptism debates. One side accuses the other of having a man-centred view of baptism, the of stressing God's actions. That line has never convinced a single Baptist that I know of. :-)

And so, its really man versus God, but God and man acting. Now this is not synergism with two co-efficient causes, but each agent working his own part in the work of salvation.

3) Ive seen over and over the claim that natural man is naturally Pelagian, that we naturally want to effect our own "works" etc. I am not to sure that such is the case universally. Ive met many Evangelical Arminians and what seems to drive them is the phenomenological aspect of salvation: ie, its an epistemic question: as it appears to them that they are the one who makes the choices, comes to the point of belief, etc. It all intents and purposes they dont "see" the effectual work of God, so the natural default may be to a doctrine of regeneration congruent to this phenomenology. Its not that they think they are earning or meriting or working their way to heaven. I wanted to stress this just in case this point was gonna move in this direction.

4) The claim that if Christ died for all, all must be saved was addressed by Seth in his posting the links to double-joepardy etc.

So to sum up, 2 and 3 from John either are so open ended as to be easily challengeable. And the assertions from John are also off-target: as we could easily agree in principle and thank him for pointing us to God and his majesty, and yet all the while disagree in the particulars.

I want to say tho, its great to see John post and challenge, we all need that. For what its worth, John, keep posting.

Thanks,
David

natamllc said...

David,

I venture a bet, say 5 dolla? that John was being less than angelic but having a bit of fun at his expense? Maybe not. If I loose, how do I pay ya? :)

But to one of your points, can you explain this in light of it?

[3]:natural man is naturally Pelagian, that we naturally want to effect our own "works" etc. I am not to sure that such is the case universally.

Hmmmmm???

Would you interpret Scripture to imply this natural want of a man to always put what best reflects his best side of himself first as these verses imply?

Pro 18:17 The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.


Pro 21:1 The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.
Pro 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart.

John D. Chitty said...

Seth,

To begin with, it is not my intention to sound arrogant in my "Poor Seth," greeting, I was responding to the fact that you were frustrated. I write not as a conceited know-it-all, but as a friend with a sense of humor.

Secondly, my intention is to cast Packer's comments in the light of Sproul's explanation of the distinctiveness of Reformed theology. My goal is not to engage in name-calling, so all the other defensive commenters can relax. I'm no adversary, I'm an interested student.

I will admit to never having delved too deeply into the thinking of the proponents of general redemption, although my pastor takes a similar approach to what you say you believe; that it's a both/and proposition, rather than an either/or proposition. My comments on John's passage was actually an attempt to show that very both/and relationship. He is the propitiation for the whole world in one sense, and the propitiation of only the elect in another sense. We apparently disagree on which senses apply to which case.

I understand that the TULIP system became polarized post-Calvin and that there is some difference in the way post-Dort Calvinists handle the passages that have implications on limited atonement, but if nothing else, it shows that 5-point Calvinists are not the "mind-numbed robots" (to borrow from Rush Limbaugh) who slavishly follow everything Calvin ever wrote as Arminians tend to caricature us.

Now, as for your second question, I believe that propitiation was actualized for the elect at the cross, but that resulting regeneration and justification are Spirit-applied monergistically at the time the sinner receives Christ by faith. The faith is the result of the regeneration and the justification is the result of the faith, and the whole shibang was purchased 2,000 ago with Christ's propitiation of the Father's wrath in his death on the cross. As for Scriptural proofs I just pulled up and notice that the verses in the ESV that contain the word "propitiation" all seem to emphasize that propitiation is tied to the offering of the sacrifice, not the reception of the benefit of the sacrifice by the sinner. Primarily Romans 3:25 and Hebrews 2:17. 1 John 2:2; 4:10 are too generic to speak to it, although 4:10 may more clearly imply it than 2:2.

Seth McBee said...

John.
No biggie on the "name calling" stuff...the reason that people rush to defend such actions is because usually people like to bash the unlimited/limited position and ask questions later...it is really weird to see this happen over and over again...

So...that is why Bnonn and others quickly "come to the rescue."

I have done the same thing for them...so...hopefully you know nothing personal...but it is a reaction because of how we have been treated in the past.

Let's take this slowly.

You said the following:

I believe that propitiation was actualized for the elect at the cross

To propitiate means to divert wrath. If this all happened at the cross in toto, then there could be no more wrath upon the elect...correct?

Here is the problem with that argument.

The wrath of God still abides on the elect until belief. So, there is something that the elect still must "do" to receive the benefits of the cross, which is propitiation and expiation, namely, faith (of course the Reformed position is called duty faith, which I and all here adhere to)

Here is the verse that shows this:

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,

Ephesians 2:1-4


Notice that we were once children of wrath like the rest of mankind...something had to happen to relieve this wrath...namely faith.

So, for the elect the cross was an already/not yet as far as propitiation and expiation for the reprobate, it is an already/never will as far as propitiation and expiation...because they will never believe, where the elect will.

So...let's stop there...ask questions, clarify your position if need be, etc.

John D. Chitty said...

Bnonn,

Please detail my historic ineptitude in relation to these matters.

How is a denial of particular redemption made on theocentric terms? Might it be made in a manner similar to the hypothetical objections raised and then answered by Paul in Romans 9? In other words, an attempt to defend God's justice by denying his sovereignty over who he elects and reprobates? That's the first way that occurs to me. Let me know if there is another way.

To answer your question I've never engaged in serious epistemological study as you say you have in your blog. I'm glad it was able to bring you to faith, and I'll be interested to hear how you find it betrays inherent difficulties in the 5-pointer's grounding of Christian faith in particular redemption.

As for your second question on the alleged ethical difficulties of God's judgment on the reprobate, again, I must confess, it sounds to my ears like a reflection of the objection raised by Paul and answered by "who are you to talk back to God?" Not trying to shoot from the hip or be unkind in any manner, but I don't see a significant difference yet.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Michael, you asked if God can reveal Christ to a soul and Christ not elect to reveal to that same soul God the Father. I'm not entirely certain I understand the question. I would say that, in terms of the economic relationship within the Godhead, it is the Spirit who does the real work of enlightening the mind and revealing God in toto (1 Corinthians 2); which naturally involves revealing the Father and the Son, and the Spirit also. As regards your postscript: I never left the "blogsphere"; it's just a big place. And my father is well, but as Catholic as ever \;


John, in the same vein as what Seth has just posted (hooray for the preview function), could you clarify something? You say that you "believe that propitiation was actualized for the elect at the cross". What exactly do you mean by this? "Propitiation" is one of those words which people use in subtly different ways. I take it that you mean that reparation for the sin of the elect was paid on the cross; that their sins were expiated; that the full and sufficient penalty was paid in 33 AD. If this is what you mean, then under a pecuniary view it follows that God was appeased at the cross. But if he was appeased at the cross, then it would follow in turn that his wrath was turned away from the elect at that very moment. That is, if he was appeased at the cross, then no wrath remains, because "appease" means "to bring a state of peace" or to "pacify, conciliate" (Merriam-Webster Online, 'appease').

Therefore, if I have understood your view regarding the propitiation correctly, and if you are still committed to a pecuniary or equivalence view of the atonement, you appear to have contradicted yourself. Your view of propitiation logically implies that God's wrath was turned away at the cross; that the elect have had peace with God from the cross—in other words, that they have been justified since the cross. But you have also said that "the justification is the result of the faith", and certainly the elect have not had faith since 33 AD. Indeed, we know from Ephesians 2, as Seth has illustrated, that until our regeneration we were "children of wrath, like the rest of mankind." So it looks like you want to affirm two contradictory views. On the one hand (if I have understood you correctly) you want to say that the propitiation was actualized at the cross (with which I agree, by the way), but which, because of your Owenic pecuniary view, logically commits you to believe that God's wrath was turned away at the cross. On the other hand, you want to agree that God's wrath is turned away when we appropriate his promise through faith. Only one can be true. Since the former is wholly established on the basis of your pecuniary view, it seems sensible to drop that view. But once you drop it, you have no basis that I can see for critiquing general expiation.

As for Scriptural proofs I just pulled up and notice that the verses in the ESV that contain the word "propitiation" all seem to emphasize that propitiation is tied to the offering of the sacrifice, not the reception of the benefit of the sacrifice by the sinner.

Indeed, but doesn't that support general expiation, rather than particular?

As regards my charging you with historic ineptness, I was making an observation about the majority Reformed position throughout history being the "sufficient for all; efficient for some" view. You seem to want to go so far as to say (again, as I have understood you in defending Packer via Sproul) that this is not even a real gospel. Surely you don't believe that Calvin, Luther, Edwards, Dabney, Shedd et al preached a false gospel?

If you don't mind, I think it would be best to sideline, for now, the epistemological/ethical concerns I raised before. The atonement is a complicated area of theology; from experience, I know that it's helpful to concentrate on one topic at a time.

Regards,
Bnonn

David said...

I agree with Dom that the historical question is a side issue in some respects. But I will give this link nonetheless.

See here: Classic and Moderate Forms of “Calvinism” Documented Thus Far

The list below this is all the relevant documentation from pre-Reformation theologians, Reformation theologians, and post-Reformation theologians. The data-base is a work-in-progress.

I hope you will read some of that.

A couple of theological questions come to mind and I would like to see them discussed here are:

1) What does it mean to say that 'propitiation was actualized on the cross.' I see Seth is addressing that. And so too Dom with his questions. I might explain something to be clear. When Dom speaks of pecuniary atonement, I think he means that one attributes to the atonement the sort of efficacy which can only properly be found in a pecuniary satisfaction. This arises from folk blurring the distinctions between pecuniary and penal satisfaction. See my Packer entry on this.

2) John's next premise seems to be something like this: Faith and all thing necessary to salvation are infallibly purchased for all whom Christ died. I would like to see that established from Scripture.

We still have the other premise that John tabled, regarding double-jeopardy/payment. It would be great if Dom or Seth could approach that by way of comment. Other than that, John D is welcome to scroll down on my index page and see the comments from C Hodge, et al: Double Payment/Double Jeopardy (aka Owen’s Trilemma)

Hey John, I see on your blog that you have invited others to join and defend limited expiation. That is good. The think I love is when folk actually look at the true Reformed history on this and thereby examine some of their tacit assumptions.

I am glad you clarified your "poor Seth" comment. We see too much of that attitude which does not help anyone.

Take care,
David

John D. Chitty said...

I'm not familiar with pecuniary and equivalence views of the atonement, I would categorize myself as a proponent of penal substitution. For that matter, I have no idea whether your two categories differ from the one I'm claiming.

What I believe about propitiation is that Christ suffered and satisfied God's wrath on the cross for the sins of the elect, but that the elect are not saved, forgiven, at peace with, reconciled to God until by his grace, the Holy Spirit regenerates the elect sinner and grants him repentance and faith upon which justification is declared and peace with the propitiated Father becomes the reality for the born again believer.

In short Christ propitiated the Father on the cross, but such propitiation is not applied to me until I am in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit by grace through faith.

Election is not salvation; election is election unto salvation.

Seth McBee said...

John.
Yes...Penal Substitution, we would agree...

To get a quick glimpse into why Double Jeopardy (Owen's View)doesn't work with a Penal view...look to these two posts...it will really help:

Double Jeopardy?

Pecuniary (Penal) vs Judicial Debt

As far as your thinking with what you wrote...I would totally agree, but now you have an issue or maybe better put...there is no issue in the unlimited/limited view at this point.

If at the cross God's wrath was appeased in regards to the "payment due" through Christ on the cross, yet God's wrath to sinners is not appeased until faith..meaning, if God's wrath can still abide on the elect until faith...then what is the problem if God's wrath continues on the reprobate because they don't believe?

Meaning...if God is not unjust by keeping his wrath on the elect until they believe, even though Christ propitiated it on the cross, then what is the problem if Christ propitiated God's wrath for the reprobate on the cross, and yet it stays on their head through eternity because the NEVER believe?

If wrath can continue on the elect until belief...then wrath can continue on the reprobate until eternity. This is not unjust and it is not double jeopardy.

Remember...double jeopardy is the SAME person cannot pay twice for a crime.

Questions? or clarifications?

Ask away.

John D. Chitty said...

Neither the elect nor the reprobate were actually in Christ when he was on the cross, although the sins of the elect were imputed to him. The actual wrath remains outstanding in the case of the elect pending God's gracious imputation of Christ's righteousness to them.

Hypothetical questions confuse the point. Did Jesus actually redeem those God passed over from all eternity? If he did, then their unbelief has been redeemed and they would believe. But if things get this far, then they weren't the reprobate to begin with, they were the elect.

Christ died, suffering the consequences of all the sins of all the elect from every nation, and none else.

Thanks for the links to the various atonement views.

Seth McBee said...

John.

You are now confusing terms. You are now jumping from propitiation to redemption. Why this jump? They are not equal.

And...you would have to find a verse that states your thesis, namely, that, "Christ died, suffering the consequences of all the sins of all the elect from every nation, and none else.

If you believe that propititation and redemption are interchangeable...we really have some issues to get through.

Seth McBee said...

John.
Let's take a step back again and have you answer one question:

Do you believe that the living unbelieving elect are being punished for their sin (under the wrath of God) until they believe?

Yes...or....no?

Thanks for the interaction.

John D. Chitty said...

I'm not confusing or interchanging propitiation and redemption. I'm getting back to the ultimate point about Limited Atonement, aka, Particular Redemption. Propitiation is the means of redemption in Christ (Romans 3:21-26). Christ ransomed (redeemed) sinners by satisfying the wrath of God (propitiation).

To answer your question, yes. Can't see where you take me with this.

Seth McBee said...

John.
Don't worry..not trying to trap you or anything...not trying to win a debate or a court case :)

Just want to think through this with you...

So, if God's wrath is still on living, unbelieving elect...

It is not unjust that, although Christ has propitiated the wrath of God at the cross, that he still has wrath against unrepentant people...correct?

If this is true. How can it be unjust to keep that wrath on unrepentant people for eternity? aka the reprobate?

In other words...what is the issue here? If Christ died and propitiated the wrath of God at the cross and he still keeps that wrath on the elect until they believe...what reasons do we have that Christ couldn't have died for all men and God's wrath abides on all men until belief? So, with the reprobate, the wrath will last forever because they never believe.

Where is the issue?

natamllc said...

Seth, John, David, Bnonn,

Is it "mercy" on God's part towards Satan by not destroying him, casting him into that certain wrath, everpresent and eternal wrath waiting for him as indicated at Revelation 20 by "Jesus Christ" stating unequivocally then this about Satan's future, ff and even now let him, [Satan] still actively go about to deceive the active living souls, about 6 billion of us supposedly now living on the planet earth, statistically equivalently living today?

Joh 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.

Luk 11:17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls.
Luk 11:18 And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul.
Luk 11:19 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.
Luk 11:20 But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
Luk 11:21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe;
Luk 11:22 but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil.
Luk 11:23 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

I will tell you what I "now" believe and understand to be that "armor" Jesus took from Satan, "it is the Law of sin and death Satan used to keep mankind in fear of death and the Wrath of God".

Satan, though his accusations to God and me about "my" sinful nature and "my" actual sins are "true", I nevertheless now have a Redeemer who knows all about my sins too!

Col 2:13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,
Col 2:14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
Col 2:15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
Col 2:16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.
Col 2:17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.


Heb 2:14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,
Heb 2:15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
Heb 2:16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham.
Heb 2:17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
Heb 2:18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

I have received, because of the Sanctification Work of the Holy Ghost, "His Faith", therefore I too am "now" a child of Abraham according to the Word of the Holy Ghost to me and so by "His Faith" and not mine working in me, I can now boldly lay claim to these promises from God as Paul the Apostle raises here:

Rom 4:11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well,
Rom 4:12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
Rom 4:13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.

Because I am declared a descendant of the Hebrew, father Abraham, by the "Word" the Holy Ghost causes to come alive within me, these promises, though yet to be fulfilled for me are equally imputed to me as though fulfilled yet I do not as yet realize their working in me:

Act 2:34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, "'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand,
Act 2:35 until I make your enemies your footstool.'

and

Rom 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

and

Rom 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.


Bnonn, to your question to me. Let me quote it again and you tell me what you believe "Jesus" is teaching here, not what Paul wrote many years later to the Corinthians:

Mat 11:27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Michael, I would say that, taking Matthew 11:27 in isolation, Jesus is saying that Christians become Christians because Jesus chooses to reveal the Father to them. But why would you take the verse in isolation? If you did that, and took Jesus' statements unequivocally, you'd deny that the Holy Spirit knows the Father and the Son; you'd deny Trinitarianism.

That's fairly crazy.

Regards,
Bnonn

natamllc said...

Bnonn,

I agree and let it be noted I have never accused you of being crazy!::)

My point goes obviously to the debate on limited and unlimited.

What is the significance of either or??

That is all I am wanting to know.

Is this issue a "salvation" deal breaker?

I do accept what Paul taught and let it also be known the reason I do accept the verse from 1 Co. is because of these verses from Acts among others too:

Act 13:1 Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
Act 13:2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."
Act 13:3 Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
Act 13:4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.
Act 13:5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John to assist them.


and

Act 14:3 So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
Act 14:4 But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles.

and here too:

Rom 15:15 But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God
Rom 15:16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
Rom 15:17 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God.
Rom 15:18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience--by word and deed,
Rom 15:19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God--so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ;
Rom 15:20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation,
Rom 15:21 but as it is written, "Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand."

I would say "the Holy Ghost" has given us Good Scripture to cling too when we are doubtful and confused by debates on limited and unlimited.

I want the plain meaning and I want it now!! waaaaaaa! waaaa, waaaa, waaaaaaaaaaaaaa!:(

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Michael, I wouldn't say that the issue of limited versus unlimited expiation is a "salvation deal breaker" at all. Packer seems to couch it that way, which is rather sad; but although I think it's important, and I personally find it very interesting, I wouldn't have thought it was anywhere near significant enough to affect your standing as a Christian. I don't see any evidence for that.

Regards,
Bnonn

natamllc said...

I agree!

thanks.

I am open to be persuaded otherwise seeing I am no Packer scholar. In fact I am no scholar of any learned man of letters. There may be some who care to develop the foundation for why his position, at least in my view, "leans" that way.

I honor very learned men seeing I am not.

I spend my time in that that I am most comfortable in, the Word of God, seeing God has sent His Son to dwell in my heart by that wonderful work of the Holy Ghost.

I know I am not the brightest light bulb among the sons of Light that grace this blog and other blogs I choose to comment into, so I am reluctant to be as close to that persuasion as others about it.

I believe though that I am more persuaded towards those who develop Calvin's thought over Harmenson's, as I don't believe My God would be so unkind as to entrust one such as I am with any responsibility for my own salvation. I am very very passive when it comes to Salvation and Righteousness, being saved and declared justified.

I begin with the statement of Scripture that "I am dead" in trespasses and sins and any offer of God's to me with regard to regeneration or sanctification or justification or redemption, that I am given, is quite a bit more than I deserve from Them.

I deserve both temporal and eternal punishment. I know that I know that I know that!

So when one raises the bar for unlimited over limited it raises my level of wanting to know why.

Having said that, because I have pondered many things revealed to me after my first glimpse of God's involvement in my knowing who Jesus Christ is and Jesus' giving me such a fresh and active sense of who Our Heavenly Father is, that each of Them are so very real, everpresent and vibrant and powerful and gentle and kind to me continually daily, it sometimes is hard to distinguish Them from the Blessed "sent" Friend, My God, the Holy Ghost.

When I read that verse, Matthew 11:27, I come away with a sense of limitedness, not unlimitedness.

When I pray in the Name of the Lord to God, either one of Them, by Their Particular Names, I begin to think about particular Scriptures that come to mind.

I know this is surely in my spirit and I believe the Holy Spirit put it in my spirit this knowledge of the True Grace and Salvation from God. Here is Truth in words Who equally is an Eternal, Everpresent Being within me:::>

Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Rom 10:5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them.
Rom 10:6 But the righteousness based on faith says, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down)
Rom 10:7 or "'Who will descend into the abyss?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
Rom 10:8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);
Rom 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
Rom 10:11 For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame."

I can unequivocally tell you that I am very much ashamed of myself and equally I am very much unashamed of Jesus Christ and His equitable deeds done already on my behalf too!

So I can proclaim, "I will be saved"!

John D. Chitty said...

Seth,

No disclaimers needed, that was my sarcastic sense of humor showing up again. I'm enjoying the exchange as well . . . mostly. I'm sorry I don't have the credentials or the time to treat the myriad of issues raised by your other commenters.

But the way I would answer your question about why is it that it can't be that God's wrath continues to abide on the reprobate even though Christ actually propitiated the Father on their behalf, is to say that it would have been superfluous for Christ to have propitiated those the Father never elected in the first place. Why bother? Such conclusions are only drawn in order to justify claiming actual or hypothetical propitiation for those who never have it applied to them by grace through faith. This in itself suggests that the generalistic interpretation of such passages is erroneous.

It's a matter of interpreting Scripture with Scripture. Given the fact that Scripture is not self-contradictory, when we have passages that sound general with regard to the atonement, and we also have passages that sound particular with regard to the atonement, then they must be interpreted in light of each other. Actually, the fact of the matter is that the unclear passages are to be interpreted in the light of the clear passages. Considering the fact that the controversy swirls around the generalistic passages, I believe it's safe to say that compared to the particularistic passages, the former better qualify as the unclear passages. In short, the generalistic passages should be interpreted in light of the particularistic passages.

That's why five point Calvinists will find interpretations for the generalistic passages that do not contradict or undo the meaning of the more perspicuous particularistic passages. And from the scholarship I've read, there are legitimate Scriptural reasons for taking the "all" passages and the "world" passages in ways other than a general atonement sense.

Seth McBee said...

John.
You say:

But the way I would answer your question about why is it that it can't be that God's wrath continues to abide on the reprobate even though Christ actually propitiated the Father on their behalf, is to say that it would have been superfluous for Christ to have propitiated those the Father never elected in the first place. Why bother? Such conclusions are only drawn in order to justify claiming actual or hypothetical propitiation for those who never have it applied to them by grace through faith. This in itself suggests that the generalistic interpretation of such passages is erroneous.


Here is the problem. You didn't deal with the question at hand, but you said, "Why bother?" as your answer. You are trying to seek to answer the secret will of God. That is like asking, "why does God love the reprobate?" "Why would God do...such and such?"

What needs to happen is to deal with the texts that God gives us to instruct us.

Let me point back at you...Are you not just using your humanistic reasoning to reason against God? You are saying exactly what you said against all of us in the beginning...that we are man centereed when born. So, isn't your answer a man centered question?

You then go on to say that your reasoning for this is because you take unclear passages are to be interpreted in the light of clear passages.

Then you say,

Considering the fact that the controversy swirls around the generalistic passages, I believe it's safe to say that compared to the particularistic passages, the former better qualify as the unclear passages. In short, the generalistic passages should be interpreted in light of the particularistic passages.


Who says? Shouldn't all of Scripture be taken together? Who is to say that some Scriptures are unclear?

These seem pretty clear to me:

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes will not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:16

who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.

1 Timothy 2:4-6


(but we could go back and forth what seems "clear" so that isn't helpful)

John...you have to see what you are doing here. You answered that the wrath can stay on those who have not repented and the answer you gave for why can't Christ die for all is "Why bother?"

You have to see this doesn't make sense to answer like this...aren't you saying what Paul asked and you said to me earlier.."Who are you oh man to answer back to God?"

Keep asking questions, and I like our exchanges...I also understand if you can't answer everyone's quesitons...that is fine...

But...you have to answer the question for yourself...whether it makes sense on the "why" or not of the original question:

If God can keep his wrath on living unbelieving elect, why can't he do the same for living unbelieving reprobate...and then keep that wrath on them for eternity?

John D. Chitty said...

How's this for a short answer: Because if such were the case, then Christ died in vain. If "the gifts of God are without repentance" then if he gave his Son for their sins of the reprobate, he wouldn't then take back the gift and not apply the benefits of the redemption to them.

Then there's the issue of the relative clarity of varying passages. Did not Peter testify that some of Paul's "Scriptures" were hard to understand? The things necessary for salvation are clear enough for a child to understand, but that doesn't mean that the things that are not necessary to believe to be saved are equally clear. If they were, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Hebrews 9:12 teaches that Christ's blood "secured eternal redemption." This means that all for whom he died will certainly and effectually be redeemed.

Then there's the passage that convinced me of limited atonement, 2 Cor. 5:15. . .

"14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised."

This passage teaches that all for whom Christ died, die and live in him. That's the salvation of all the elect. If he died for every person ever born, then they'd all be saved.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Sorry John, how does 2 Corinthian 5:15 specifically teach particular expiation? It says that Christ died for all of the elect. I don't see where it confines his death exclusively to the elect. Whether or not his death extends to the reprobate in some sense isn't in view; it isn't discussed at all. That is not the focus of the passage.

A verse which only talks about Christ dying for the elect is not the same as a verse which talks about Christ only dying for the elect. I don't see how your understanding of this passage more than an argument from silence.

Regards,
Bnonn

John D. Chitty said...

The if/then nature of the statement confines his death exclusively to the elect.

As for your second paragraph, that's what the Catholics said when Luther wrote "sola" in the margin to modify "faith."

Davd said...

Hey John,

Seth had asked you:

“If God can keep his wrath on living unbelieving elect, why can't he do the same for living unbelieving reprobate...and then keep that wrath on them for eternity?”

You answer: “How's this for a short answer: Because if such were the case, then Christ died in vain. If "the gifts of God are without repentance" then if he gave his Son for their sins of the reprobate, he wouldn't then take back the gift and not apply the benefits of the redemption to them.”

David: I would say you are proof-texting there. The verse you allude to from Romans (11:29) refers to God’s covenantal faithfulness, first to the Jew and second to the church. What is more, I how does it address Seth’s question? And if we are going to use tricky counters, this was a standard proof-text we used as Charismatics for the continuation of tongues... :-)

John Said: Then there's the issue of the relative clarity of varying passages. Did not Peter testify that some of Paul's "Scriptures" were hard to understand? The things necessary for salvation are clear enough for a child to understand, but that doesn't mean that the things that are not necessary to believe to be saved are equally clear. If they were, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

David: Balance that out with the Reformed doctrine of the Perspicuity of Scripture.

John says: Hebrews 9:12 teaches that Christ's blood "secured eternal redemption." This means that all for whom he died will certainly and effectually be redeemed.

David: Thats a good verse. I would never have thought it would be used like that tho. And I think that you have taken that verse out of context. The verse says: NIV Hebrews 9:12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.

David: Christ obtained eternal redemption is the key. He entered the Holy of Holies and secure an infallible, unmovable and eternal redemption, which will effectively and infallibly secure salvation, cleansing for all who come to Christ. The contrast is the temporary work of the OT priests and all the temporary redemptions with the one true age-lasting redemption. But the verse is not saying: _for all whom Christ died_, they obtained eternal redemption.

John says: Then there's the passage that convinced me of limited atonement, 2 Cor. 5:15. . .

"14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised."

This passage teaches that all for whom Christ died, die and live in him. That's the salvation of all the elect. If he died for every person ever born, then they'd all be saved.

David: Who the “all” are is tricky. And in what sense did all die in Christ? Some Reformed theologians take the all there as referencing all men, Dabney, Polhill, Vermigli, and this is generally based on Augustine and Chrysostom’s exegesis. For example, Dabney:

But there are others of these passages, to which I think, the candid mind will admit, this sort of explanation is inapplicable. In John 3:16, make “the world” which Christ loved, to mean “the elect world,” and we reach the absurdity that some of the elect may not believe, and perish. In 2 Cor. 5:15, if we make the all for whom Christ died, mean only the all who live unto Him—i. e., the elect it would seem to be implied that of those elect for whom Christ died, only a part will live to Christ.

David: Dabney is tapping into the subjunctive there. ‘If Christ died for you, then you "should" no longer live for yourself...’ There are good clues in this text that indicates he means all who profess faith, his readers. For example, 2 Corinthians 5:16 “So from now on we regard *no one* from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.”

Obviously no one feels compelled to extend “no one” to all mankind.

Lastly, this is a good candidate for one of those not-so-clear texts.

To close, can I ask if by citing 2 Cor 5;15 this is your answer to your opening point: “If Christ actually did propitiate the Father on behalf of the reprobate then they wouldn't be the reprobate but the elect, and thus universal salvation would be true.”

Thanks,
David

Davd said...

John says:

As for your second paragraph, that's what the Catholics said when Luther wrote "sola" in the margin to modify "faith."

David: Naa, thats not a good comeback. Luther didnt simply convert a simple positive (Justified by faith) into a negation (Justified by faith alone). Rather he made a correct inference because Paul juxtaposes faith with works: we are justified by faith, *not by works* (Rom 3:28). Bnonn's point still stands.

Thanks,
David

John D. Chitty said...

Good grief!

. . . I think I hear my mommy calling . . .

See you boys in the funny papers! Thanks for the strenuous exam, but I think I'll keep my L petal intact.

Davd said...

Hey John,

I am sorry if you were offended: as you seem to be. I dont think anything I said was rude.

Sorry, too, that you are exiting the conversation.

I hope that some time in the future you will come back and chat.

And if ever you want to dig deeper into Reformed theology and Calvinism, check out the links:
Classic and Moderate Forms of “Calvinism” Documented Thus Far

And in answer to Owen's trilemma, as per that other fellow's blog post, see Double Payment/Double Jeopardy (aka Owen’s Trilemma) [Scroll down].

I hope that one day you will feel inclined to look into the history and theology of some of this.

Take care,
David

Seth McBee said...

John.
I am not sure why you comment like that...it is interesting that when I simply ask you to think about the Scriptures and your views of strict understanding of the atonement...that you just say, "no thanks"

Not sure what you mean by "funny papers" and I don't believe anyone was rude to you in any way.

I really find it interesting that you won't test this to what the Scriptures say.

You still give no reason why if the unbelieving living elect can have the wrath of God on them until belief how then it would be unjust of God to keep his wrath on the reprobate for eternity, even though Christ died for the penalty of their sins.

You just say, "why bother?"

Can't we say that about a lot of things with God? Why bother calling all to repent? Why bother loving the reprobate? Why bother letting them live? Why bother letting them enjoy life with food, wine and sex? Why bother with any of life? Why not just save the elect and get it over with?

Seems odd to respond like that.

Also, although you leave before we could tackle some issues, sometime take a look at all the passages that speak about Christ dying for the elect, sheep, his friends, etc. and then ask, "Does any Scripture say that Christ only died for the elect and did not die for the reprobate?

Because as you look through the Scriptures you will notice there are none...and this is what made me rethink my understanding.

Yes, Christ died especially for his sheep...I completely agree...

But, if I tell my wife that I love her, does that mean that I don't love my enemies? No. The silence on the issue does not negate it.

Positive inforcement, do not negate others by silence.

Hope all is well John. And at least test your understanding of the atonement.

John D. Chitty said...

It's just fatigue.

Don't worry, I'm just done, and moving on.

natamllc said...

Seth, David,

go ahead and tackle my questions then, please don't move on?

John,

I will pray for you that Our Good Lord give you a dose of refreshing rest in Him! Bless you and your endeavors!

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