I need to know if I understand the Calvinistic view of limited atonement (its definition) correctly. I have read an explanation by John Owen that if Christ died to atone for all of the sins of all men, then all would be saved. If it was atonement for some of the sins of all men, then none would be saved. Therefore Christ died for all of the sins for some men (the elect). Robert Lightner (The Death Christ Died) brings up a good point regarding effectual atonement. If Christ’s death atoned for all of the sins of some men (the elect alone), then faith is not relevant or needed because the elect are saved by the atoning work of Christ – they are saved because their sins were atoned for, not because of faith – or, for that matter, the resurrection of Christ. I’ve read Calvin, where he indicates that Christ atoned for the death of every individual to include the unregenerate, but that His purpose in dying was specifically to save the elect (Commentary on 1 John). But this does not seem to sum up the position. I understand that the Calvinistic position objects to potential atonement, but agrees in the atonement as sufficient for all – choosing instead to believe that Christ’s death was for the specific sins of specific sinners (the elect) and it is actual for these people rather than potential for all people. (‘Sufficient for all, efficient for the elect’). I suppose this is why many falsely claim that supporters of universal atonement claim that this results in universal salvation – there is a difference in the definition or understanding of atonement itself, not its actual effect. The difference then, seems to be in the definition of atonement and the order in which each aspect of salvation occurs (election then atonement – limited atonement; atonement then election – universal atonement). So, for me, it boils down to this: If I view atonement as redemption accomplished, then it is limited in scope only to the elect. If, however, I view atonement as the nature of the work of Christ on the cross (apart from the resurrection, and as an act in time which precedes faith), then it seems it would have to be in relation to sin and God (or God and man) rather than being applied to individual men (and thus universal in scope). My question is, if Christ’s death atoned for the sins of the elect in an applied manner, then why the Resurrection? Why even suppose a requirement of belief on the part of the elect – they’re saved regardless because their sins are atoned for? If God holds the unregenerate guilty because of evidences of Himself revealed to all, why would he hold the non-elect guilty for rejecting Christ (John 3) if the atonement is entirely foreign to them? OR, am I looking at atonement as too limited? Does Calvinism consider the work on the cross to include all that is implied in salvation? Am I erroneously separating atonement and redemption?