4-Point Calvinists and Limited Atonement

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by KenH, Aug 31, 2002.

  1. KenH

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  2. Pastor Larry

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    Being what most would call a four-pointer and reading just the first part of this article, I think James White missed the boat. Every four pointer of my stripe believes strongly in the sovereignty of God and fully affirms the 4 points (contrary to White's assertion). However, we do not believe that an infinite atonement can be limited in regards to its sufficiency. It is that simple. Perhaps there are other four pointers out there who would differ but I find myself unaddressed by what I read here of White. I do not know any four pointers of the species that he talks about.
     
  3. KenH

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    Pastor Larry,

    Since James White used to be a 4-pointer himself, I think he is saying that those who object to Biblical Calvinism latch onto Limited Atonement as the item that sticks in their craw and say they reject Biblical Calvinism because of particular redemption when what they really object to are other points, especially unconditional election.

    After all, to reject total inability, unconditional election, effectual calling, and preservation of the saints requires one to exhibit human pride in some achievement of his own, whereas rejecting particular redemption does not.

    Just my take on his opening paragraph.

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite
     
  4. BobRyan

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    So the idea in 4 point Calvinism is that God - after going through all the effort to die for and provide payment for all the sins of all people - then fails to "flip on the light" for those people so that they can accept that costly gift - given in such great effort and pain?

    I admit - it solves the problem of 1John 2 - that of needlessly restricting the basic universal theme of salvation to 'just elect Jews". But it seems to have other problems.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  5. AITB

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    I've never understood 4 point Calvinism because it seems 'deceptive' that Jesus died for you but you can't be saved (in the case of many people, so it would seem).

    And I'm sure God is not 'deceptive'.

    :confused:

    AITB
     
  6. Pastor Larry

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    Ken,

    Perhaps he is referring to people I don't know about. There may be some who used LA as a basis for rejecting other things that they don't like. I just don't know them.

    Bob,

    What are you talking about with reference to the elect Jews?? The elect are not just Jews. There are some to be sure but they are elect from every nation. The issue in limited atonement is whether or not Christ's death accomplished something (propitiation) or whether it simply made it possible. We believe that Christ's death accomplished it and no more merit is required.

    AITB,

    The issue with most four pointers that I know about is the limited of sufficiency. Jesus' death was sufficient for all the sins of every man for all time. It was not intended for them. We can preach to all that Christ died for them because in a sense he did. His atonement gives them every day of their lives, every breath that they take, etc. This is common grace that is rooted in the atonement.
     
  7. russell55

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    Pastor Larry,
    I don't understand how this statement of yours contradicts particular redemption in any way. Can you explain?
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    I don't think it does. That is why I don't mind that people call me a 5 pointer. However, some think that I am not a five pointer becuase I believe that Christ's atonement was unlimited in its sufficiency and merit. I can say that Christ died for the sins of the world without any problem. Not all can say that.
     
  9. russell55

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    Okay. I understand.

    According to their definition I guess wouldn't be a 5 pointer either. But then I just say they've got their definition wrong....... [​IMG]
     
  10. KenH

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    5-pointers believe this also.

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite
     
  11. BobRyan

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    [quote} Pastor Larry
    What are you talking about with reference to the elect Jews?? The elect are not just Jews. There are some to be sure but they are elect from every nation. The issue in limited atonement is whether or not Christ's death accomplished something (propitiation) or whether it simply made it possible. We believe that Christ's death accomplished it and no more merit is required.
    [/quote]

    The "elect Jews" is a restriction often imposed on the text of 1 John as a way to defend Calvinism.

    In 1John 2 we find "He is the atoning sacrifice for OUR sins and not OURS only but for those of the whole World".

    Some have tried to force the 2nd person of 1John so that it only refers to elect Jews and then make "the whole World" refer only to elect Gentiles.

    But it has been shown that to do so limits the Gospel itself to just Jews -- "IF we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins" 1John 1:9.

    It is a "restriction" that the text does not demand - it only comes up as a "need" for the model of Calvinism to avoid having the "Atoning sacrifice" actually be applicable for "The Whole World".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    Having recently preached through 1 John and using most of the major sources (articles and commentaries), I did not see one person even reference this position. It is not a position that is supported by many apparently.

    The our/whole world distinction is better understood by john and his readers vs. those not in his intended readership.
     
  13. Pastor Larry

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    Many 5 pointers have suggested I am not a calvinist because of the distinction I mention. Sad ... but true.
     
  14. Sularis

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    Ken and Larry - obviously you have run across different brands of 5 pointer Calvinistic guys then I have. I can tell by what Ken posts

    total inability - total depravity
    There's a slight difference - but essentially I would have no problem with either

    unconditional election
    This makes no sense to me - I believe there are the elect - but that they have been set aside - picked and elected for a specific purpose. I also believe that there are "Free "Will"" Christians out there

    Limited Atonement -
    Larry states:
    Jesus' death was sufficient for all the sins of every man for all time. It was not intended for them. We can preach to all that Christ died for them because in a sense he did. His atonement gives them every day of their lives, every breath that they take, etc. This is common grace that is rooted in the atonement.

    I still REALLY have a problem with that - despite the fact that is a "liberalish" interpretation of Limited Atonement. God intended only a few people to be saved but he desires that none perish - and that all be saved - I know you'll argue its all that He intended - but thats just not it. Justice demands everyone pays the price for sin; but then we throw Mercy into the equation, but we limit it, to only a few - God's Mercy and Justice are equally absolute

    Irresistible grace - Effectual calling
    there's a major difference here - in removing grace and placing calling in its place

    God showed grace in the freeing of the Israelites from Egypt - but many were not grateful
    God showed grace in the times of the judges but Israel fell away
    God shows us grace in the area of spiritual gifts, and many turn away

    Some are called to be apostles-prophets-teachers - where are these leaders? Where are those called to be in support roles. For as surely as someone will disagree with this post - God has ordained roles that would benefit His kingdom for every person - and in His love He permits to choose to serve in the way that He would have us do. I see so little effectual calling that I would again remove the elect from being the entirety of the Christian body, to a subgroup. In fact the more I think about it - perhaps elect isnt a good word for those saved in that predestined manner

    preservation of the saints - perserverance of the saints

    Hoooo boy if you cant tell the difference - between those - well lets just say there's a difference and I much rather go with the first then the second

    Total Depravity/Inability - I agree no prob
    Unconditional Election - Nope
    Limited Atonement - Nope, prefer Larry's lib over con
    Irrestible Grace/Effectual Calling - Nope
    Perserverance/Preservation of the saints - Yes in regards to eternal security

    Thought I was 3.5 guess Im only 2.5

    BTW Ken were yer "remixes" of the standard TULIP acronym part of this other acronym that I've heard of, but dont recall actually coming across
     
  15. russell55

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    Well, then they are also eliminating many others who historically claimed to be 5 pointers along with you, including the authors of the Canons of Dordt:

    [ September 02, 2002, 03:25 PM: Message edited by: russell55 ]
     
  16. KenH

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    Sularis,

    No one really knows who came up with the TULIP acronym but it fits in with the Synod of Dordt being in Holland. The Canons of Dordt actually only have 4 sections to them in response to the points of Arminianism they were responding to, so you can see how TULIP was a "forced" acronym for a specific region of the world. Because of that it is easy to remember but not very accurate in conveying Calvinism, neither in the words used nor in the order they should really be discussed in. That is why I prefer to use more accurate descriptions of Calvinism.

    Christian regards,

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite

    [ September 02, 2002, 02:58 PM: Message edited by: Ken Hamilton ]
     
  17. AITB

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    I don't understand how the atonement gives people those things. I thought creation by God gave them life and breath.

    What does the atonement add to that, for those who after this life, will be eternally condemned?

    Could you clarify, for me?

    AITB
     
  18. russell55

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    Well, for one thing, if God wasn't going to redeem a people from among the fallen race, wouldn't He have just destroyed the earth and everything in it right after the fall? Christ's death gave a temporary reprieve from God's wrath for everyone, and even the reprobate owe their existance to Christ's atoning work.
     
  19. AITB

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    Originally posted by russell55:
    Well, for one thing, if God wasn't going to redeem a people from among the fallen race, wouldn't He have just destroyed the earth and everything in it right after the fall?


    Why though? God has all eternity to punish people. So how can you know that he would have destroyed the earth right after the fall? It's hard enough to know what His purposes are in the world we do live in, I find, let alone, trying to guess at what He would have done in a different world...

    Christ's death gave a temporary reprieve from God's wrath for everyone, and even the reprobate owe their existance to Christ's atoning work.

    I'm not seeing how you logically get to this.

    I still don't see how people owe their life in this world to the atonement rather than creation.

    AITB [​IMG]
     
  20. russell55

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    Well I think that Romans 3:25 tells us that a propitiation had to be set in motion in order for God to hold off on punishment of sin.
     

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