Do we all really believe in a 'limited atonement?'

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, Feb 4, 2012.

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  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    John Hendryx, a Calvinist, made this argument:

    The problem with this argument is that it appears to presume that atonement is equal to salvation. It ignores the fact that the demands of justice for one's sin may be fully satisfied without their being saved.

    The conditions for being saved are:

    (1) satisfaction of divine justice for your sin (atonement)
    and
    (2) authentic faith in Christ as Lord and Savior.

    The error John makes is to assume that if the first condition has been met then a person will necessarily be saved. This ignores the demand of God for the second condition to likewise be met. Thus, it is possible for someone to have the first condition met without ever meeting the second condition and therefore not be saved.

    Therefore, affirming unlimited atonement doesn't imply universalism.
     
  2. agedman

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    There are those on of the Calvinistic thinking that hold limited atonement as atonement sufficient for all, efficient for only those chosen by God.

    There are those of perhaps the more extreme Calvinistic thinking that hold limited atonement as applying only the world of those saved and not to the world as all inclusive.

    As you stated, many of the Arminian view would also hold the sufficient for all, efficient for the chosen" also.


    The error in the Arminian view isn't found in rejection of the limit of atonement, it is where does faith originate. Arminian would contend that there must be some innate ability in humankind to express man generated faith and acceptance. Then it is also must follow that man, being superior in the decision making process, can also reject at anytime (before or after) salvation. This is evident in such groups as Assemblies of God and other charismatic leaning assemblies.

    A total rejection of the limited atonement ultimately concludes there will be no eternal hell and that eventually all will enter into a heavenly rest. Unitarians and others, who dwell solely upon God's love and ignore justice in favor of mercy, are all part of this group.

    One realizing that all events and elements involved with the ability to "accept Christ," and the expression of such belief in a changed life as totally all of Christ and none of their own making, will make for a believer who is both secure in life and death and also align with Calvinistic thinking.
     
  3. quantumfaith

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    Just an honest question here Agedman. As to this "innate ability" to express faith. Does it "take away" from God's sovereignty at all, being that all things innate to man were put there by God in the first place, being that He was creator and engineer?
     
  4. 12strings

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    Just to clarify, are you saying that you believe it is not only "Possible" but in fact is the case that every person who ever lives has had their sins paid for on the cross, that not even their lack of faith "limits" the effectiveness of this payment? If so, what are they being punished for in hell? Lack of faith? Would not this be one of the sins that was already atoned for?
     
  5. Don

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    Calvin:
    (Note: I bolded parts for emphasis)

    Arminius:
    calvinists and arminians both agree that the atonement will only be applied to believers. An arminian who argues otherwise is not an arminian.
     
  6. Skandelon

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    The atonement satisfies divine justice for the sins of all the world, yes. So, if someone doesn't go to heaven its not for lack of atonement, it is for a lack of faith. I have several versus that support this teaching if you are interested...

    "They perish because the refused to accept the truth and so be saved." - Paul

    So, yes, their rebellion in denying the gracious provision of God is all that prevents them from being reconciled. They die as enemies and thus suffer the due consequences for their rebellion.

    We come to be in union with Christ through faith. When we accept the biblical teaching that forgiveness is provided to all who are 'in Christ,' this dilemma is reconciled. Unbelief is ONLY atoned for those 'in Christ.' When we are placed "in Him" through faith by the Spirit all our sin, including former unbelief, is forgiven. But those who continue in unbelief cannot benefit from the forgiveness that only found in Christ.
     
  7. Winman

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    The problem is some folks cannot accept synergy, even though it is repeatedly shown in scripture. The atonement is God's part, believeing is our part.

    Paul shows this synergy.

    1 Cor 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
    6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
    7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
    8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
    9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.

    My grandfather was a farmer. He would get up every morning around 4 A.M. and go out and work his farm. He would come in after dark, eat, and then go straight to bed and do it all over again the next day. I even helped my grandfather a bit when I was a boy, and man, it was hard work.

    Paul here compares himself and Apollos to farmers. Every farmer knows you must go and and work your farm. But every farmer knows that it is God that makes his crops grow. You can't sit back and let God grow your crops for you, you have to go out and plow the ground, plant your crops, water them, keep them from insects and vermin, etc... But only God makes the crops grow, no man has this power.

    God has chosen to involve us in salvation. We have to accept the atonement made for us. And we have to go out and tell people the gospel. God doesn't need us, but this is how he has chosen to save the world.

    God could have made my grandfather's crops grow all by themselves, but he didn't, he made my grandfather go out and work. And if he did go out and work hard, God blessed him with a good crop.
     
    #7 Winman, Feb 4, 2012
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  8. quantumfaith

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    Yes Winman some folks are just committed to giving "synergism" a bad reputation. I personally do not see any ABSOLUTE monergists around here, even the most ardent proponents of Irresistible Grace at some point "capitulated" to God's will, call, desire....etc for them. But I am certain to be wrong on this observation.
     
  9. Skandelon

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    Monergism claims it is all God because he is the one who irresistibly draws one to faith and repentance and thus leaves nothing for which to credit to man. So, my question is about the non-elect. Do Calvinists believe the reprobates response is also monergistic given that the nature they received from God at birth likewise irresistibly draws them to rebellion? Or does God work synergistically with the non-elect? :confused:
     
  10. quantumfaith

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    Perhaps my concept and understanding of absolute monergism is not correct, but as I understand it and take it to conclusion, God does everything meaning there is no requisite action necessary on mans part. No belief, no faith, no response. I think I understand the arguments for monergism as it relates to giving all glory to God for salvation, unfortunately I sometimes see this used here as a "whip" to somehow imply that some have more humility regarding their position before God because of this. I don't think this is accurate.
     
  11. Iconoclast

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    Bible believers known as Calvinists understand that the sin nature comes from Adam, why do you say it comes from God. Can you offer a verse that says this...or a calvinist who makes this claim?

    Reprobates are bound in sin being conceived dead in Adam...it is very natural for reprobates to continue in sin and resist God's grace.
     
  12. agedman

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    Nothing can "'take away' from God's sovereignty at all." (I think I punctuated that sentence correctly. Maybe not?)

    However, just because God created Adam with innate abilities does not automatically mean that those abilities were not also corrupted as part of the fall. As such, there is no "innate ability" in the natural man that would ever consider God, for corruption has no fellowship with the incorruptible.

    Adam had the innate ability to tended Eden. What he tilled and grew was not corrupted, didn't rot, and was not poisonous, poison-able, or poisoned. After the fall, there is nothing man tends, creates, builds... that has not within its very design the seed(s) of decay and death - poison(ed). It is all cursed (even humankind) by God.
     
  13. quantumfaith

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    Please friend, have no fear, I am NOT a grammar nazi. I too am very lacking in my grammar skills.

    I am "with you" that the fall indeed was a major game changer for mankind and our relationship with God. Do you see anything in the narrative of the fall and curse that indicates that mankind lost this ability? Corrupted, warped, yes, but I personally still mankind still minimally"functional" in that man still seeks to worship "something" a constant stream in almost all cultures, tribes and peoples. We, I believe are lost, without God's grace, to our own devices, created god's and fruitless searches for meaning and purpose.

    Now as to you last thoughts, about decay etc. I realize I am in the vast minority around BB land on this, in that I think death and decay, are part of the natural created order and existed prior to the fall, this created order is by design naturally entropic. I do not believe that the fall brought this particular poison to creation. I see in the creation accounts hints that humanity was not created to live indefinitely in the first place, as indicated by the Tree of Life, and Adam's banning from it after the fall. I think the far more important message of death in the narrative of the fall is the chasm and separation from fellowship with God.
     
    #13 quantumfaith, Feb 5, 2012
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  14. convicted1

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    Well Brother Quant, the bible states that sin brings forth death. If Adam and Eve had not sinned, would they still have died? I think that what caused this is that God drove them from the Garden, and the Tree of Life. If they had not sinned, wouldn't they still have had access to It? I believe this is what could have caused them to die the physical death; IOW, no access to the Tree of Life equates death. What do you think? This is pure conjecture on my part, and I could easily be wrong. I am not dogmatic about this.
     
  15. quantumfaith

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    That is exactly what I was attempting to imply, the Tree of Life, by God's design was the provision of indefinite life span.

    I think the narrative of scripture is much more concerned with the message of death being separation from fellowship with our God. Physical death and the emotions it wells up within us should serve to make us pause and consider our mortality and the separation from our loved ones. One day we will be healed completely from this void of death and separation.
     
  16. Skandelon

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    Who, if not God, made the determination that all men would be born with a totally depraved nature due to the fall? Is someone else in control of that? Is that the one thing God isn't sovereign over in Calvinism? :confused:

    You know, by calling something 'natural' in a system where God is in complete control of nature seems like double speak to me. I know you guys don't believe in 'Mother Nature' so we all know when you say "natural" you mean 'God causally determining through secondary means,' thus how do you think these answers address the question posed? What do you think you are avoiding?
     
  17. Van

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    To use the word "atonement" is to play into the hand of the Calvinists. They combine the work of the cross, reconciliation provided for all mankind, with the work of salvation where God puts us "in Christ" where we "receive" the reconciliation. Still monoergism, but not upside down and backward monoergism.

    All these charges of universalism stem from their doctrine that Christ died for only those to be saved, and therefore if He died for everybody, that is universalism. Fiddlesticks
     
    #17 Van, Feb 5, 2012
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  18. quantumfaith

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    :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  19. Winman

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    I tend to agree with you and Willis, what brought about death was being cast out of the garden and being separated from the tree of life. All mankind was barred from the tree of life as well as a consequence of Adam's sin.

    We see that in the New Jerusalem that the tree of life will be restored.

    Rev 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
    2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
    3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

    It seems to me that this suggests we will always be dependent upon the tree of life. It even speaks of "healing" that suggests bacteria causing illness or even injury might still occur.

    But I do believe there was a corruption introduced by the curse, the scriptures say thorns and thistles would spring up.


    Gen 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
    18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
    19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

    This seems to imply some sort of hardship was introduced. It seems to imply that beforehand crops had simply sprung with up little or no effort, now thorns and thistles are introduced and man would have to labor much more to grow food.

    Perhaps man himself was also corrupted in intellect and judgment, though this is not said. Or perhaps the thorns and thistles represent the environment we would live in, corrupted by sin and causing us hardship and harm. Our way would be made more difficult.

    This is speculation, but one thing is certain, there is not one word that says man's moral nature was corrupted and that man would henceforth be unable to respond to God. It does not say man would henceforth be born dead in sin, or that Adam's sin would be imputed to his descendants. It is amazing that this was not mentioned if it indeed took place.

    But man was removed from the tree of life and therefore all men die physically. This is actually a good thing, and I think it is notable God said he cursed the ground "for thy sake". It would actually be a terrible thing if man lived forever sinning, becoming more and more corrupt. All men know they will die, and this truly is an incentive to repent and trust Christ for salvation.
     
    #19 Winman, Feb 5, 2012
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  20. quantumfaith

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    Just a thought here WM, could not the effects of the curse be also that access to the garden was denied?
     
    #20 quantumfaith, Feb 5, 2012
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