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Featured Understanding John Owen's argument.

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by 37818, Jan 7, 2022.

  1. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    John Owen in his To The Reader, in his book, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, wrote this complex question, "To what purpose serves the general ransom, but only to assert that Almighty God would have the precious blood of his dear Son poured out for innumerable souls whom he will not have to share in any drop thereof, and so, in respect of them, to be spilt in vain, or else to be shed for them only that they might be the deeper damned?"

    With this came to mind Romans 14:9, "For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living."
     
  2. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Active Member

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    I don't think Romans 14:9 has anything to do with the highlighted section from the Owen quote. By the way, you are getting into some heavy reading that will explode your head. Most people never make it past the "To The Reader".
     
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  3. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    My understanding of Romans 14:9, the "dead" are the lost, and the "living" refer to the saved. That Christ bought all to be Lord of all, Romans 14:11. Not just Lord of the saved.
    See also Philippians 2:10. Christ died to secure the salvation of His sheep and to be Judge of the goats. Romans 8:34.
     
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  4. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    This is a reason I cannot support the Calvinistic understanding of limited atonement. It rightly identifies that Christ died to save the sheep, but most of the time I see the doctrine expressed it completely ignores that Christ effectively redeemed (or purchased) all mankind (to include those who will not be reconciled). He is the salvation to those being saved and the Stone upon which the lost will stumble. And it is, for the condemned, a deeper damnation.
     
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  5. Two Wings

    Two Wings Well-Known Member
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    a "4 point Calvinist?"

    I remember Pops saying that and I never really knew what he meant. This Calvinist title is relatively new to me. It's hard enough for me to follow The Word, let alone remember who offered what in their major or minor.
     
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  6. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    No. Not a Calvinist at all.

    Calvinism is probably the easiest of the systems. It builds on itself. If one part is wrong (one point or part is slightly wrong then the whole thing falls apart logically).

    For me, I agree with the 5 points.....if I choose how we get there. But I wouldn't get there in a Calvinistic way (I do not believe the Penal Substitution Theory of Atonement is correct).

    So I can say Christ died to save only those who believe. At the same time I can say Christ died for all men without distinction. And that the entire world is reconciled to God, in some way, by the work of Christ.

    But I depart from Calvinism before the 5 points factor in.
     
  7. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Active Member

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    You're right on that JonC. To be a 4 pointer really doesn't make sense. But to many Baptists, who treasure sermons by Spurgeon and some of the puritans like Bunyan being a 4 point Calvinist allows a place to exist and show you are not a Methodist or Church of Christ person. If you are a 4 point Calvinist, and you take the time and trouble to wade through "The Death of Death in the Death of Christ" you will come out a 5 point Calvinist.
     
  8. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Penal
    Ezekiel 18:4, ". . . the soul that sinneth, it shall die. . . ."
    Romans 6:23, ". . . For the wages of sin is death; . . ."
    Substitution
    Isaiah 53:6, ". . . the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. . . ."

     
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  9. RipponRedeaux

    RipponRedeaux Well-Known Member

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    As a primer for the John Owen classic, folks should get the Grace Publication. Many Christian classics have been put into easier-to-read versions. And abridged version of The Death Of death In The Death Of Christ is the more manageable Life By His Death. H.J. Appleby prepared this. The original by Owen is 282 pages. This one is 87 pages. J. I. Packers Introductory essay was originally 25 pages. In Appleby's treatment it is just over three pages. It will warm people up to the original.

    The same can be said of Tony Lane and Hilary Osborne's abridgement of John Calvin's The Institutes Of The Christian Religion. This is published by Baker Book House. The original was around 1,500 pages. The briefer treatment is 250 pages. It deals with about 15% of the original. Of course his very first edition was quite short --about 3/4 the length of the N.T. It was basically a handbook. He kept expanding it over the years until his final edition made five years before he died.
     
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  10. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe a 4 Point Calvinist might. At best, I might be regarded as a 2 point Calvinist. A view of total depravity and perserverance of the saints. John Owen's coverage of the issue of general redemption is otherwise seemingly complete. I think anyone who thinks themself to believe in the general redemption, as I do, should read Owen on this matter. I found Owen's complex question, that I cited, it's later part, to present my view.
     
  11. JesusFan

    JesusFan Well-Known Member

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    That passage ONLY applies to the elect in Christ!
     
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  12. JesusFan

    JesusFan Well-Known Member

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    he is Lord in that passage over the saved dead and alive
     
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  13. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    So Jesus according to you is only the Lord of His elect, Romans 14:11, Philippians 2:10.
     
  14. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I think we all accept penal and substitution aspects of the atonement.

    Other passages include God laying our iniquities upon Him, Christ being made sin for us, and our healing via His stripes.
     
  15. JesusFan

    JesusFan Well-Known Member

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    In the passages that you have cited, yes indeed
     
  16. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    The meaning is simply this: that if the Lord Jesus shed His blood for people who will not not be saved by Him that only adds to the guilt of such people.
    The Death of Death was written in Owen's youth. At that time he had not come to the proper understanding of Hebrews 10:29, which I think he is referencing in his comment. 'Of how much worse punishment do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?' When he wrote Death of Death, Owen though that the 'he' referred to the sinner. In his mammoth commentary on Hebrews, which was the product of his more mature years, he realised that the nearest antecedent to the 'he' is 'Son of God.' It is Christ who sanctified Himself to suffer and die in the new covenant (John 17:19).
     
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  17. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    The healing from sin, 1 Peter 2:24, ". . . being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. . . ."
     
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  18. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    I am told that John Calvin himself is technically a "4 point Calvinist" since he would not go so far as to affirm Limited Atonement since it was a "logical" conclusion, but he could not find it "explicitly" stated in scripture (unlike the other 4 points). [... and I know the actual "T.U.L.I.P." came along much later, but the ideas go back to Calvin's day].

    I can sympathize with a weaker stand on "Limited Atonement" because the case from Scripture really is 'circumstantial'. There are a lot of "worlds" and "all men" in verses that require gymnastics to reach the WCF conclusions. There are just too many "His sheep" type verses to drink the Kool-Aid and embrace "Universal Atonement".

    I reckon it is an issue that is more complex than a simple "either/or".

    So I am a 5 pointer, but only willing to "fight" on 4 of the "hills". Neither side has a lock on "Atonement" IMHO.
     
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  19. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    What translation translates the "he was sanctified" in Hebrews to refer to the Son? [Having the meaning "was" of no longer sanctified.] I know of none.
     
  20. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    Do the damned need to be "deeper damned"?
    Does God need to go out of His way to increase the earned torment?

    (Maybe I am the only person in the world that finds that mental image troubling.)
     
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