Like I have said, 99% of my thoughts are unoriginal. This is no different. Below are two dialogues between an unbeliever and one who holds to Particular Redemption and one who holds to Universal Atonement. This was written by an internet acquaintance of mine named John. He and I participate on another forum. Here is his post: These two little scenarios are the best way I can demonstrate how incomprehensible it is to me that someone needs to have a hypothetical atonement that he's free not to believe in before he can actually believe. Since we all agree that the one who will believe has his atonement objectively up there on the cross, this whole discussion really boils down to the one who will never believe. That's what the Calvinist is having to justify to the Universal Atonist--that there is an objective atonement up there that we can objectively offer to the one who will never believe. Of course, I think it's absurd to even want to do that, since God's elective decree works hand in hand with His gift of regeneration. Here's the way I see the issue between the Particular Redemption view and the unbeliever, which hopefully will demonstrate my problem with this whole line of thinking: REPROBATE: Is my objective redemption up there on the cross? JOHN: Do you believe it is? REPROBATE: No. JOHN: Well, redemption is for those who believe. Believe and you will be saved. REPROBATE: Well, I don't believe. I don't want to believe. I never plan to believe. But I still want to know if my redemption is up there. JOHN: Redemption is for those who believe. Believe and you will be saved. REPROBATE: Okay, what about the possibility of my redemption. Is that up there? JOHN: Yes, it is. If you truly believe, you will be saved. And as far as I know, it's quite possible that you will believe. REPROBATE: I already told you I will never, EVER believe. But is the possibility of my redemption there anyway? JOHN: No, there is no possibility of redemption if you will not believe. But yes, if you believe, you will be saved. REPROBATE: No, you don't understand. What I want to know is: can I never believe and still have my salvation objectively up there? That's what I really am dying to know. JOHN: Well, as I said, redemption is for those who believe. I'm having trouble understanding. Are you asking me if a savior in whom you do not believe provided a real, objective redemption for you? To me, that's sort of like saying you don't believe in unicorns, but you just have to know what their meat tastes like. REPROBATE: Hmmmm. No, not exactly. I'm asking if the metaphysical possibility of my redemption through faith exists anyway even though I will never actually have faith and be redeemed. JOHN: Why in the world would you care about such a thing if you don't believe and are determined not to believe? REPROBATE: I have no idea. Idle speculation, I guess. JOHN: Well, I'm not really into idle speculation. I can tell you this: believe and you will be saved. It's been nice talking to you. ___________________________________________ On the other hand, here's how I see the discussion between the universal atonement advocate (labeled "UA," who desperately wants to convince the unbeliever that Christ died for him), and the unbeliever who will never believe (since, as I said, we all agree that the atonement is objectively there for the elect): REPROBATE: Is my objective redemption up there on the cross? UA: Yes. REPROBATE: Whoo hoo! I'm saved! Even though I don't believe in Christ. UA: No, not quite. You still have to believe it to be saved. REPROBATE: Why do I have to believe it? If my redemption is objectively up there on the cross, then I'm saved objectively whether I believe or not. UA: Well, no. It's a hypothetical redemption. Everything necessary for salvation is up there on the cross. It's up to you to take it. REPROBATE: Well I don't want to take it. I'll never want to take it. I'm a reprobate, after all. But I appreciate at least having a concrete object for my eternal non-faith, even though I don't actually believe that the concrete object exists. I find it epistemologically satisfying. Thanks. UA: You're welcome.