Misunderstanding Unlimited Atonement.

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by glad4mercy, Oct 13, 2016.

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  1. glad4mercy

    glad4mercy
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    Some people claim that unlimited atonement equals universalism. This is a false claim. In order to critique a doctrine you must examine it according to WHAT IT'S PROPONENTS MEAN BY IT. Limited atonement does not mean universalism.

    That the doctrine is misunderstood by some Calvinists is evident from numerous quotes. I will give a few quotes one at a time that demonstrate this. First, one from Lorraine Boetner.

    1. For the Calvinist it is like a narrow bridge which goes all the way across the stream; for the Arminian it is like a great wide bridge which goes only half-way across. (Loraine Boetner, Limited Atonement from "Reformed Doctrine of Predestination")

    This is a false statement. Arminians do not believe that the bridge to God only goes halfway across, we believe that it goes all the way across.

    Arminius- ",,,as the very first commencement of every good thing, so likewise the progress, continuance and confirmation, nay, even the perseverance in good, are not from ourselves, but from God through the Holy Spirit. For "he who hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ;" (Phil. i. 6;) and "we are kept by the power of God through faith." (1 Pet. i. 5.) "The God of all grace makes us perfect, stablishes, strengthens and settles us." (i, 10.)..." Works of Arminius"

    Besides, the bridge analogy is an incomplete analogy. For regardless if a bridge goes all the way across or only halfway across, it is only profitable to those WHO CROSS IT.

    SO Arminians do not teach that the bridge only goes halfway across, they teach that it goes all the way across, but we need to BY THE GRACE OF GOD walk across it, as it is written "enter in at the straight gate, for straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to salvation..."

    Unlimited Atonement teaches that God has made a bridge for all men, and that a man can only begin, continue, and complete the trek across it by the Grace of God alone, but the responsibilty to cross it (by receiving and continuing in GOD'S GRACE ) belongs to us. That is why Jesus said "STRIVE to enter"

    (and continuing in God's Grace does not mean perservering by our own strength, it is the day by day walking in the grace of God that not only justifies us but also preserves us. For it is God who begins and God who finishes the work in us, the Author AND Finisher of our faith, the one who is able to keep us from falling, etc.)

    ...and we strive because it is GOD WHO WORKS IN US both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Yet we do not passively sit at the entrance of the bridge, nor in the midst of the bridge, we cross it by the grace of God leading to salvation.
     
    #1 glad4mercy, Oct 13, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2016
  2. Iconoclast

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    you do not understand the bridge analogy

    For this reason Spurgeon used the nomenclature of limitation sparingly and with positive explanation in his exposition of the atonement. He preferred to speak of effectuality and certainty. But just as strongly, his consideration of “limitation” as an insult led him to reject the concept of universal atonement. In fact he was glad to use the term “limited” if one set the idea of “general” opposite it, for such a limitation was really no limitation at all.
    Now, beloved, when you hear any one laughing or jeering at a limited atonement, you may tell him this. General atonement is like a great wide bridge with only half an arch; it does not go across the stream: it only professes to go half way; it does not secure the salvation of anybody. Now, I had rather put my foot upon a bridge as narrow as Hungerford, which went all the way across, than on a bridge that was as wide as the world, if it did not go all the way across the stream.[10]
     
  3. glad4mercy

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    Do you have a quote or a statement of a doctrine by a proponent of general atonement that supports your (and Boetner's and Spurgeon's) claim that the bridge only goes halfway across the stream in Classical Arminians view of Unlimited Atonement? I have never heard any Arminian (in the classical sense), even hint at such a thing (though I have heard hyper arminians do so)

    Just as there are hyper-Calvinists, there are hyper-arminians, but the bridge analogy does not fit the view of the VAST MAJORITY of Arminians that I have known and read.

    When I heard (listening to an audio reading) and then read what Boetner wrote in the bridge analogy, I imedietely thought "not according to my understanding".

    Oh, and also I do not mock the doctrine of Limited Atonement. Calvinists wrongly assume that to believe that Jesus died for all, yet not all are saved limits the value of the atonement. Nothing can be further from the truth. Man's rejection of the Gospel does not subtract from the value of Christ's blood, which is of infinite value. Neither does man's rejection of grace limit God's Sovereignty in salvation, since GOD Himself decreed that everyone who believes on the Son has eternal life and whoever does not believe has no life, but the wrath of God abides on Him.

    In other words, man is made free to choose by a SPIRITUAL OPERATION OF GOD when hearing the Gospel and when the Spirit Himself sets Christ before Him to either believe unto salvation or to reject unto condemnation, and THIS BY THE DECREE OF GOD HIMSELF. SO there is no injury done to the sovereignty of God, nor to the value of the blood of atonement.

    John 5:24- “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

    (BTW, I know of people who fit the bridge analogy, but they are not Arminian. The only people I have talked to that fit that analogy are of Socinian/Unitarianism persuasion.)
     
    #3 glad4mercy, Oct 14, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
  4. Revmitchell

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    What you are doing here is addressing the vitriolic opposition from Calvinists toward others with whom they disagree. It appears they do not feel they have enough with which to disagree with when they simply take people at their word so that feel they must characterize them in an unrealistic, exaggerated, over the top, and completely dishonest manner. It is some for some honesty from many Calvinists with regard to those with whom they disagree.
     
  5. Iconoclast

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    Your 4th paragraph has all men on the wide bridge.....they must finish it
     
  6. Iconoclast

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    No scripture,no theology another attack by rm.....nothing new here
     
  7. glad4mercy

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    No, the fourth paragraph does not have all men on the bridge. It has the bridge available to all who will hear the gospel, see the Son, and believe on Him. Some are on it, some refuse it, and some don't know about it yet but it's still there for all who will hear and obey the gospel
     
  8. glad4mercy

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    I would say that "a bridge that doesnt go all the way across" would certainly be a misrepresentation of our position. And there are other things which I will address later, all for the purpose of informing and clearing misunderstanding
     
  9. Iconoclast

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    Hello g4m,

    Salvation is all of God.He starts it...He finishes it.

    Jesus did not say He came to make man....saveable....He said He came to seek and SAVE that which is lost. He came to save all the Father has given to Him in the Covenant of Redemption....No more, no less...he will save every single one of His sheep.
    He is not willing that any perish , but that ALL come to repentance.
     
  10. glad4mercy

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    I quoted Paul in Galatians where he said that God will complete what HE started and also in Hebrews where Christ is the Author and Finisher of our faith. No disagreement with you on salvation is all of God. Classical Arminians believe this.

    I do not say that Jesus came to make man saveable. He did not make me saveable He saved me.

    I have repeatedly stated my belief that regeneration is monergistic (albeit resistable). Resistable salvation does not mean synergistic salvation. That is a non sequitur.

    Agree that Jesus saves all the Father gives to Him. He is the Shepherd of God's people.

    He will save every one of His sheep. His sheep are those who HEAR His voice, are known of Him, and follow Him. He gives them eternal life because they trust in Him.

    ...and God is not willing that any should perish. But there's a lot of things that happen that are not according to God's will. That is why we pray "thy will be done in earth as in heaven". If His will is infallibly done, what need to pray that prayer.

    Is it God's will when a Christian sins? Or when a Christian fails to witness to His neighbor? Do Christians ever fail to do God's will?

    Not to say that I believe in "possible to lose salvation". My point being that not everything that happens according to God's perfect will. Some things are part of His permissive will, like people who could have been saved perishing because they did not receive His grace.

    And receiving a gift is NOT synergism.
     
  11. Iconoclast

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    "glad4mercy,

    :Thumbsup

    I am glad we can find many areas of agreement. You might not make that statement, but many do.

    I think you are thinking along the correct lines up to a point, but inconsistent.The salvation of God is not ultimately resisted by God's people....goats do always resist...
    Good...It is a multitude, a fixed number however.
    Yes

    NO.....They trust Him Because they are Sheep and enabled to trust by the Spirit of God. it is just the opposite of what you posted;
    Jesus explained this to the unbelievers he faced in Jn 10;
    26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

    God's will is a separate discussion...

    I
     
  12. TCassidy

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    That makes it synergistic. The Grace of God plus your not resisting.

    Non-sequitur. Grace + not resisting = synergism.
     
  13. Benjamin

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    Grace + The manmade soteriological position of Strict Determinism = A host of problems concerning a message (Gospel) of a "genuine offer" of salvation to all.

    If they believe otherwise that the offer is not made to all Calvinists should be more honest and transparent about their true soteriological beliefs by adjusting their gospel message to be relaying an offer that is only "genuinely" given to the lucky pre-selected few...
     
  14. rsr

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    I might address this post if I could make heads or tails of it.
     
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  15. rsr

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    And some want to make problems where they don't exist. We are not God. We don't know who is elected, so the offer is made to all. All soteriology has "a host of problems." Why do some accept the gospel and others reject it?
     
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  16. Benjamin

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    I consider, to put it in nicer words, "a lack of transparency" about one's true beliefs when delivering a message of (supposed) hope of salvation to all when you believe it is really for the lucky pre-selected few a problem rather you want to admit it (this problem) exists or not.
    Really? :Rolleyes
    And that's my point, why pretend the offer is made to all instead of being transparent and telling it like you truly think it is? ...Ashamed?
    But, the topic here is Unlimited Atonement and I'm really not into chasing down your entire soteriological system to make a specific point on this subject.
     
  17. Revmitchell

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    Yea, one has to wonder why they don't just say"Look I want you to be saved but the truth is God may not ever let that happen. I don't know if you are one of the elect so all I can do is share the gospel with you. Even then if you are not one of the elect there is no way God will offer you any grace.He gave me grace but He may never give you grace or allow you to ever be saved."

    What a sad gospel. Good thing its not the Gospel Jesus delivered.
     
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  18. glad4mercy

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    Not resisting is not the same thing as working together with God which is what synergism should mean. Otherwise it is very inaccurate and imprecise terminology. That's what happens sometimes when you make up words that are not in the Bible and then put imprecise meanings or definitions on them.

    I choose not to put the label "synergist" on myself because I do not think that I added any work or effectual power to my salvation and B. I find it the definition applied to it to be very imprecise and misleading.
     
  19. glad4mercy

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    Agreed, with a couple comments.

    a. Fixed multitude...fixed multitude of sheep does not mean fixed number that Jesus died for. The scriptures say that He died for the sheep, but nowhere says He died ONLY for the sheep.

    b. Yes, God enables man to believe, but are they His sheep BEFORE they believe?

    If they are sheep before they believe, how can it be said that they hear His voice and follow Him?
     
    #19 glad4mercy, Oct 17, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
  20. glad4mercy

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    Because God permits/allows them to.

    Sovereignty of God is not affected if He allows or permits people to reject His Call. If He wills to send His Son to die for all and to powerfully draw all while still allowing them to resist, then He is still Soveriegn.

    Permissive will is part of Calvinism, right?

    And the answer why some men resist is simple. They are fools.

    The Bible does say that some are wise and some are fools. A fool is a person who has been given everything he needs but chooses to ignore it

    A fool has even been offered pardon and liberty.

    Just as every Christian, has been given all things that pertain to life and godliness. But does every Christian appropriate everything that has been granted and bequethed to them?
     
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