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L/A Limited atonement vs. general atonement

Discussion in 'Non-denominational' started by Blackhawk, Apr 11, 2002.

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  1. tericl2

    tericl2 A Work in Progress

    Romans 1
    19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them .
    20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
    21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him , but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
    22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
    24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
    25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie , and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator --who is forever praised. Amen.
    26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.
    27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
    28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done .
    29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,
    30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;
    31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
    32 Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

    All men have innate knowledge of God. According to Paul they made a choice to deny God or not accept God. They made this choice knowing the consequences. So, yes, people can feel the calling of the spirit and deny it. After a while God quits calling, but he does call, and we choose to accept that call or not.
  2. filosofer

    filosofer Senior Veteran

    Since I hold to neither a Calvinist nor Arminian position, I think the Biblical position is often lost sight of. We want to settle a tension that the Bible leaves unresolved. Namely, Christ's atonement is for the whole world (meaning all people, not the interpretation that is offered regarding limited time/space extension for only believers). It is an issue of "what the text (and context) says" vs. "what is my interpretation of that text." That's why, as insightful as Calvin can be, when he came to 1 Timothy 2:4-5, he used limited atonement as the doctrinal standard, and so judges the text accordingly. Thus, he retranslates the text ("God desires all kinds of people to be saved") to support his interpretation, rather than accept the text as it is written. If Paul had wanted the reader to understand a partitive use of God's desire to save (meaning only a portion), there is a clear way to do that, and Paul and other NT writers employed that elsewhere.

    Same thing happens with 1 John 2:1-2, "the whole world" now becomes "wherever the believers happen to be." No textual support at all. Context does not support that view either.

    So also with the following quote. The "retranslation" is an interpretation that tries to make the text say what the interpreter wants, rather than taking the text as it is written.

    Granted KOSMOS can have various referents. But what source can you provide to support this view that it is "world of believers" (aside from a Calvinist commentary)?

    The references in Romans 9 (which reflects back on Mal. 3) are interesting. Does that text support the Calvinist position? Suppose that Paul is discussing the role that an individual plays within salvation history, and does not refer to the individual's salvation/damnation? Certainly there is some overlap. But in the case of Esau, it is not clear cut that he was not saved. And using context to understand the love/hate phrasing helps us to evaluate what the text is saying and not saying. For example, in one place Jesus declares "Whoever does not hate his mother or father..." In another place he affirms the commandment "Love one another." Now, would we change that last statement to claim that what Jesus meant was "Love one another, except your mother and father"? Or is there another dynamic at work in what the text says and intends?
  3. Anise

    Anise New Member

    How does a limited atonement work with God's justice? The men who go to hell and suffer are not making full reparation for what they did wrong. No mere man could do that. A mere man has nothing to offer that is worth it to God to make up for the offense in a strict equivalence. So there are these sins that go without being repaired for in the limited atonement scheme, is that right? The offense just remains?
  4. BigEd

    BigEd an adopted child of God

    Jn. 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the
    world, but to save the world through him.

    I know I used this quote in another post.

    Still, its quite clear Christ came to save The WORLD..which would mean all the people that live apon it.

    So I would say the point goes to Arminism.
  5. tericl2

    tericl2 A Work in Progress

    I think it supoorts the Arminiast position, in that we all have a chance at salvation, not just an elected few. It is true that few will accept it. But as Paul made clear in Romans 9, people will choose to turn from God. God doesn't turn from us, at least not until we have completely and utterly rejected him.
  6. filosofer

    filosofer Senior Veteran

    Eric, I agree up to a point. But the Bible seems to indicate that the problem is stronger than the "free will to choose." This is where I think Calvinists stop too soon and Arminians don't stop soon enough.

    The tension is that if a person is saved, it is entirely God's work (Eph. 2:4-5). But if a person is condemned, the person is responsible (John 3:18 ). This is the uneasy tension with which we are left.
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