Contend Earnestly: The Reformed Doctrine of Unlimited Atonement

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Reformed Doctrine of Unlimited Atonement

This is a post that my friend David did over at theology online. I really liked it and hope that it will shed some light on those who refuse to believe that the unlimited view of the atonement is merely Arminian or by deviant Amyraldians. Take a look and also take a look at the links included within the post. David has compiled quite the list that is overwhelmingly in the favor of the Reformed TRUE understanding of the atonement. Here it is, enjoy:

For the last few months I have been working my way through some rare out-of-print works by Henry Bullinger.

These works include:

Henry Bullinger, Common Places of Christian Religion, (Imprinted at London by Tho. East, and H. Middleton, for George Byshop, 1572).

Henrie Bullinger, The Summe of the Foure Euangelistes Comprehending both the course of the historie, and also severall points of doctrine set foorth in the same, pointing foorth as it were with the hand, that IESVS is CHRIST, the only perfect and sufficient Saviour of all the Faithfull, (Imprinted at London: William Ponsonby at the signe of the Bishops head, 1582).

[Henry Bullinger], Looke from Adam, And behold The Protestants Faith and Religion (London: Printed by Iohn Haviland, for Thomas Pavier, and are to be sold at his shop in Ivie Lane, 1624).

Henry Bullinger, A Hvndred Sermons Vpon the Apocalipse of Iesu Christ. (London: Printed by Iohn Daye, Dwellyng ouer Aldersgate, 1573).

[Henry Bullinger], An Holsome Antidotus or counter-poyson agaynst the pestylent heresye and secte of the Anabaptistes newly translated out of the Latin into Englysh by John Veron, 1570.

Henry Bullynger, A moste sure and strong defence of the baptisme of children against the pestiferous secte of the Anabaptytses. set furthe by the famouse Clerke, Henry Bullyinger: & nowe translated out of Laten into Englysh by Jhon Verone (Imprynted at Worceter by Jhon Oswen, 1551).

These works have added a lot of useful material for my Bullinger file. What is clear now, beyond any doubt whatsoever, is that the doctrine of unlimited atonement was a Reformed doctrine. The evidence now is of such efficacy that only a proverbial fool would insist otherwise. When it comes to the Web’s many many uber-Calvinists and uber-apologists who insist that this doctrine was either invented by heretical Arminians or by deviant Amyraldians, it is now clear that they are just wrong. Some of our internet cowboys need to get their head out of their posterior on this point. One may not agree with the doctrine. One may claim it is illogical. One may claim it is inconsistent with the doctrine of Predestination. One may claim that later Calvinists refined and smoothed out earlier inconsistencies. One can think and believe all that. What one cannot do is be dishonest about the plain and undeniable historicity of the doctrine in early Reformed theology. To do that is just to engage in mindless smear campaigns and sectarian polemics. When we add other early Reformation leaders like Luther, Zwingli, Musculus, Gualther, Calvin and many others, it is either willful stubbornness or willful ignorance to deny the evidence of history. When folk over there at Puritanboard or on Paltalk or on the various boards out there, call the doctrine of ‘double-reference’ theory of the atonement “blasphemy” those persons exhibit some of the worst forms of ignorance imaginable.

It’s time that our uber-calvinists out there on the big wide web leave behind their sectarianism and arrogance and rethink their approach to Reformed theology and to those who deviate from them the merest nanometer.

David are the links to the quite large database of quotes and references compiled by David on the Reformed view of the atonement, love of God, desire of God, etc.

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