Except for the universalists we are all in agreement that only those who trust in Christ alone for salvation are saved and thus partake of the redemptive work of the Atonement. I personally could care less whether the Atonement is "limited/definite" or "universal" because in the grand scheme of things it is indeed "limited" in the sense that not everyone will be saved. That said, I would like to list some verses that either side uses to "prove" a "definite" or "universal" atonement--the one's, the many's and the all's. Here is a scenario where one affects many. Now, what does the many mean? It would seem from the plain reading of the text that the one and the many parallel each other in each half of the verse. Is the many here relative to the one, or relative to an implied "all"? In both parts? If one is to argue that the many here is used to prove "many rather than all" instead of "many in reference to one", then one would have to apply the same to both parts, right? To make sense of this verse, I would say that the many in both parts is relative to one and not contrasted to an implied "all". Because one man, Adam, sinned, many (all) were made sinners. Because one, Jesus, obeyed, many (not all, but still many) were made righteous. We know that in the first part many would imply "all" because of Romans 5:12 "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." The verse doesn't prove one way or the other. One affects many. Simple. I think everyone here who are not universalists would agree that the many here does not refer to "all." I don't think the intent of the verse is to say, "many, not all!" but I certainly believe in that truth. I think the verse is still simply saying "many as in way more than one." Again, I would say that the many is a simple statement about the sheer number of people who will be affected by Christ's atonement. I don't think the intention is specifically to say "many, not all!" (which it could or could not be, as not all are actually saved), but merely to say "many more than one or none." Christ's shed blood did and does indeed redeem many! Here we have two halves that each have a comparison of one and all. Because of one man, Adam, condemnation came to all; yet we know that not all are ultimately condemned. Because of one, Jesus, justification came to all; yet we know that not all are ultimately justified. This seems like a paradox. This verse might be a good case for "universal atonement" if it were read simply. Because both halves are parallel, "universal atonement" would imply an equal yet opposite "universal condemnation." All could be "universally condemned" in depravity through Adam, yet all could be "universally atoned" through justification in Christ; yet other verses place a condition upon this justification--faith. Of course I think most of us would agree that these verses imply a time vacuum based on the lack of a known present condition. There are indeed those that "seek after God." They are the redeemed of the Lord. These verses set up the understanding of the condition of all mankind for the application of the grace of God. The all could mean "all outside of grace," or "all... and then there's grace!" Here we have apparent "universal atonement" and "limited atonement" in the same statement. He died for all and He died for them [that live]. Of course, some would say that every time all is mentioned in a context that could be taken for "universal atonement" that the all means "all nations, kindreds, and tongues" rather than "all individuals." Ok. I can accept that in some contexts "all" does indeed imply that, but I think it would be stretching it to apply this reading into all of the verses that use all in these contexts. Anyway, suit yourself. These verses seem to strongly suggest "limited atonement." However, the next verse, which was shown earlier has the head-scratching parallel of all's that seem to place limits on frustrating the emphasis of "many as opposed to all" on the previous verses. So now I leave it up to you all. What do we do with this plethora of one's, none's, them's, many's and all's? Could the emphasis on one set of pronouns deteriorate the importance and meaning of the others? What is an appropriate theology that could interpret all these verses correctly without contradiction? Reading all these verses I would conclude with an atonement that is "universal" in nature yet "definite" or "limited" in application. However, I am open. It's not really an issue for me because neither the root cause nor the ultimate effect are altered by one or the other.