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Particular Atonement

Discussion in 'Formal Debate -archives' started by MarkRohfrietsch, Nov 13, 2011.

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  1. MarkRohfrietsch

    MarkRohfrietsch Unapologetic Apologist Supporter

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    Stipulations:

    1. ) Title:
    Particular Atonement

    2.) Participants;

    • Affirmative: R Baker

    • Negative: MrPolo
    3.)Number of rounds:
    Four Rounds; each party makes four alternating posts, that would equal a debate with four rounds.

    4) Posts will be made alternating and the affirmative position goes first.

    5) Time limit between posts:
    1 week; that means within one week of the affirmative making their post, the opposing position needs to reply. The post can be made earlier, of course.

    6)Length of posts:
    The maximum length for each parties opening post: 2000 words; subsequent rounds will be a maximum of 1000 words.

    7) Quotes and References are allowed; Please note that all quotes will fall under the 20% rule.

    9) The start date of the debate:
    Monday November 14th, 2011.

    Link to Peanut Gallery Thread Here: Peanut Gallery--Formal Debate--Particular Atonement
     
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  2. R Baker

    R Baker Guest

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    It doesn't appear my reply was sent. When proposing the length of posts I saw suggestions but no confirmation. Considering the importance of this subject and that Mr Polo has written on this particular (or is it universal....just humor) subject far exceeding the 2000 word limit, my I suggest a 2500 word limit?
     
  3. R Baker

    R Baker Guest

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    My goal is to demonstrate that it was the triune God’s intention, in His sovereign grace, to send the Son to be a ransom for His chosen people – the Church, His sheep, the elect. God the Father decreed the salvation of the elect. Jesus’ intention was to fulfill that decree by actually accomplishing that work on the cross of Calvary as the substitute for the elect and their union with Him and the Holy Spirit invincibly applies all the many effects of that accomplished sacrifice to those for whom Christ died. These effects are: Redemption, Justification, Sanctification, Adoption as sons, Propitiation, Reconciliation, and Glorification( the tense signifying a guaranteed future gift by God’s action upon the individual).
    The overarching question then to be answered is “Did Christ’ death on the cross actually save anyone or just make all men savable? Was it an authentic, objective, penal, substitutionary atonement or a theoretical – hypothetical act leaving it up to the person to have the final decision of its efficacy? God’s design or purpose in the atonement must be the determining factor of its extent. His purpose or intention is declared: “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”(1Jn.4:10) Propitiation is the satisfaction of Divine justice averting the wrath of God due the sinner because full satisfaction has been made by a substitute, that is, Christ. Jesus, Himself, summed up the purpose of His mission: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” Luke 19:10 John Murray expressed our position well; “It is not the possibility of salvation that is offered to lost men but the Savior Himself and therefore salvation full and perfect. There is no imperfection in the salvation offered and there is no restriction to its overture – it is full, free, and unrestricted. And this is the warrant of faith… it is not as persons convinced of our election nor as persons convinced that we are the special objects of God’s love that we commit ourselves to Him but as lost sinners.”
    One must address the troubling concept – If Christ died for all, for every single person, then Hell is filled with those suffering the wrath of God that Jesus failed to save. Not only that, universal redemption must answer how Christ, the Substitute, can pay for everyone’s sins and yet God punishes all those in Hell for those same sins – double jeopardy. What does that say of divine justice? What does that say of His goodness? So either you limit the intention and power of God to accomplish His atoning work by making it universal in scope or you limit the scope to a particular people.
    Unfortunately we live in a time when the love of the Truth which motivates a person, as it did the Bereans, to study the Holy Scriptures to see what is true is grossly lacking. Add to that an ignorance of proper Biblical hermeneutics and what is left is people allowing their traditions and emotions to dictate what the Bible says. The Biblical assertion is plain and inviolable: “She(Mary)will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21 Romans 8:31-34 says “What shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God who also intercedes for us.” Those who are in Christ Jesus cannot be condemned. Those “things” Paul is referring to is described earlier in the same chapter. Those who are called, the chosen ones-the elect, were predestined and called and justified and glorified. Please note that all of these actions are accomplished solely by God Himself. There is no cooperation in this “Golden Chain of redemption” of man with God. This demonstrates that God is sovereign, not only in the affairs of men vs 28, but also in the salvation of the elect.
    That redemption is not made possible to all but to a particular group is seen in the contrast of two groups of people i.e. God haters(Rom. 8:7-8) and God lovers(vs.28). This unbreakable “Golden Chain of Redemption” is guaranteed to a specific group of people; not all men but limited to a particular group, “those who are called according to His purpose”. The hypothetical atonement group has throughout this controversy cited the many passages in Scripture which say that “Jesus died for all”, “for the world”, “whosoever” etc. and so Jesus’ death is available to every single person. Where does it say that? If it is as they say that Jesus died for every individual without exception then these verses must proclaim universal salvation. They know universal salvation is untenable so they must insert the concept of possibility into the texts. The all and world passages proof-texted by synergists to buttress their vacuous atonement theory has been soundly refuted many times by numerous capable exegetes. If you allow Scripture to interpret Scripture, applying sound interpretation to this most despised point of the acrostic TULIP, you must give up your supposed autonomy. This they must avoid at all costs.
    We who present Particular Redemption are consistent in exegeting the passages of Scripture regarding the understanding of all and world. The anology of Scripture interpreting Scripture sufficiently explains this supposed dilemma. Let’s consider Revelation 5:9-10, “And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” Therein is God’s definite intention and limited scope.
    In Hebrews we have Christ’ atoning work clearly connected to His intercession as our Advocate. “…but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever(NASB), to the uttermost(KJV), completely(NIV) those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”(Heb7:24-25) The Bible says that Christ is able to save men completely. There is no limit placed upon Him making Him subject to anything from man. All who draw near to God through Christ will always find total and complete salvation in Him. Please notice, Christ completely saves all who draw near to God. There is nothing about Christ interceding to the Father in behalf of those who do not draw near to God through Him. Christ's intercession is based upon the fact that He has died as the substitute for God's people, and, since He has borne their sins in His body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24), He can present His offering before the Father in their place, and intercede for them on that ground. God’s justice and holiness is satisfied. Sin is not simply overlooked but actually dealt with at Calvary. Remember His activity of intercession is inseparably linked with the other effects of His redemptive act in Romans 8:28-34 described above. “When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.” Heb. 9:11-12 Is this the language of the theoretical or that it only accomplished a possibility? Christ's intercession is not a second work outside of the scope of the redemptive work of Christ. Rather, Christ is presenting before the Father His perfect and complete, penal, substitutionary sacrifice. He is our High Priest, and the sacrifice He offers in our place is the sacrifice of Himself. Christ's atoning death is clearly connected with His advocacy before the Father. Therefore, we can see the following truths:
    1) “It is impossible that the Son would not intercede for everyone for whom He died. If Christ dies as their Substitute, how could He not present His sacrifice in their stead before the Father? Can we really believe that Christ would die for someone that He did not intend to save?
    2) It is impossible that anyone for whom the Son did not die could receive Christ's intercession. If Christ did not die in behalf of a certain individual, how could Christ intercede for that individual, since He would have no grounds upon which to seek the Father's mercy?
    3) It is impossible that anyone for whom the Son intercedes could be lost. Can we imagine the Son pleading before the Father, presenting His perfect atonement in behalf of an individual that He wishes to save, and the Father rejecting the Son's intercession? The Father always hears the Son (John 11:42). Would He not hear the Son's pleas in behalf of all that the Son desires to save? Furthermore, if we believe that Christ can intercede for someone that the Father will not save, then we must believe either 1) that there is dissension in the Godhead, the Father desiring one thing, the Son another, or 2) that the Father is incapable of doing what the Son desires Him to do. Both positions are utterly impossible.That Christ does not act as High Priest for all men is clearly seen in His "High Priestly Prayer" in John 17. The Lord clearly distinguishes between the "world" and those who are His throughout the prayer, and verse 9 makes our point very strongly: “I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.” When Christ prays to the Father, He does not pray for the "world" but for those that have been given to Him by the Father (John 6:37).” - James R White- ‘Was Anyone Saved at the Cross?'
    To complete this survey we read in Hebrews 10:10-14 - “And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifice, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Verse ten tells us that the effect produced by that “once for all” sacrifice of Christ is that we have been made holy-Gr. hagiazo “sanctified”-set apart unto God- the tense expressing the definiteness and completeness of the divine act. Strong’s #37
    I will close as I opened with a quote from a worthy champion of this position to eliminate any confusion, misunderstanding or misrepresentation of what supporters of Particular Redemption promote, John Owen – “God, out of His infinite love to His elect, sent His dear Son in the fullness of time, whom he had promised in the beginning of the world, and made effectual by that promise, to die, pay a ransom of infinite value and dignity, for the purchasing of eternal redemption, and brining unto Himself all and every one of those whom He had before ordained unto eternal life, for the praise of His own glory.” ‘The Death of Death in the Death of Christ’
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 16, 2011
  4. MarkRohfrietsch

    MarkRohfrietsch Unapologetic Apologist Supporter

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    If you both agree, feel free to up the limit:).

    Deleting a couple of posts to clean up the thread...
     
  5. MrPolo

    MrPolo Woe those who call evil good + good evil. Is 5:20

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    Sorry, I'm late replying.

    May God guide the participants and viewers of this debate, that the truth be known and embraced by all.

    The position I will defend is that the saving power of Christ's redemptive sacrifice is not withheld from any human being.

    In these opening remarks, I will stick with the affirmative of my position rather than respond to R Baker's opening statements. Thus, I'll begin by pointing out what the Scriptures say, that I think support the position of the universality of redemption (not to be confused with universal salvation).

    I don't want to limit my foundation to a single, contextless verse, but rather hope to convey that all Scripture understood in harmony consistently points to the idea that God does not deprive anyone of the chance to avail of Christ's work.

    ALL/WORLD
    The Apostle John says in the famous passage seen in sports grandstands:
    John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.​
    Another passage is from Paul:
    1 Timothy 2:3-4 ...God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.​
    These are just two examples among many in Scripture that refer to salvation for "all" or the "world."

    What cause is there to understand the terms "world" or "all" or "whoever," wide-scoped terms, to have a meaning as limited as the "elect" who will enter through a "narrow" gate? If a person believed that grace was always irresistible and and man has been given no will to accept or resist it, then we can see why a person would interpret "all" or the "world" to be equal to "those who enter the narrow gate." One may also understand "all" and "world" in a limited way as a result of believing God is belittled if man should not utilize His grace. However, that is not my position, and I may take those issues up in subsequent rebuttals.

    One way to see that the scope of "all" is greater than merely those who are finally elected is to look at passages like:
    1 Timothy 4:10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially those who believe.​
    Here we see a categorical distinction. Those who "believe" are included among those for whom God is Savior. God is "especially" Savior to them. Yet if limited atonement were true, how could there be anyone else for whom God is Savior? Belief is named as the appropriating condition for eternal life, as passages like the above John 3:16 state. Yet, here is Paul, identifying a category of persons for whom God is Savior distinct from those who "believe." A similar passage from Paul to Timothy is:
    1 Timothy 2:5-6 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony to which was borne at the proper time. ​
    The ancient Christian and bishop St. John Chrysostom wrote on this passage:
    Imitate God! If He wills that all men should be saved, there is reason why one should pray for all, if He has willed that all should be saved, be thou willing also; and if you wish it, pray for it, for wishes lead to prayers…And if you pray for the Heathens, you ought of course to pray for Heretics also, for we are to pray for all men, and not to persecute…Was Christ then a ransom for the Heathen? Undoubtedly Christ died even for Heathen; and you cannot bear to pray for them. (St. John Chrysostom, Homily 7 on 1 Timothy)​
    More from John:
    1 John 2:2 He is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole (holos) world.​
    Same thing here as in 1 Tim 4:10. John makes a categorical distinction between a believer like himself and the "whole world" for whom Christ is also the expiation.

    CHRIST DIED FOR THE RUINED
    There are a couple other Pauline passages I think state that a person who is damned is still considered one for whom Christ died. For example:
    Rom. 14:15 If your brother is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died.

    1 Cor. 8:11 And so by your knowledge this weak man is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died.​
    In both of these passages, we see the "destruction" and "ruin" of someone "for whom Christ died." In 1 Cor. we have an idea of what Paul means by the word destroyed by comparing it to the only other use of that word in the letter. The word for “destroyed” in 8:11, apollutai, is derived from the same root as the word “perishing” in 1:18, apollumenoiv. In 1:18, the word is contrasted with being saved: “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” So we can confidently understand Paul's teaching in these verses to be references about ruin from salvation. And Paul is admitting that a person damned, ruined person can still be considered someone "for whom Christ died."

    I will leave my opening comments to those for now. There is obviously much more expounding that could be done on these texts and other texts, including rebuttals to texts presented.
     
  6. R Baker

    R Baker Guest

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    John 3:16 states that God’s love for the world moved Him to send His Son and to give Him in sacrifice so that pas ho pisteuwn (everyone believing) in Him may have eternal life. Intention, accomplishment, and effectual result for a particular people. It is unwarranted to read into kosmos a universal view of mankind. It is just a general term with a common meaning. The following verse 17: “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.”(NET) There is no conditional element here. If MrPolo believes that world always means every single individual without exception he must explain how vs 17 is not “universal redemption.”

    “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.” Every individual on earth? Every person on every continent? Or was it perhaps, in particular, the Roman world?

    “So the Pharisees said to one another, ‘You see that you are not doing any good; look, the world has gone after Him.’” (Jn.12:19) Certainly not every person in the world?

    Hebrews 7 shows that Jesus is the guarantee of a better covenant (vs22) having a permanent priesthood (vs24) “Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (vs25) His redemptive act and His intercession for the redeemed are joined together. That being true, if redemption is universal in scope (including intercession) then how is it that Jesus does not pray for the world in John 17:9? And how can He say “They are not of the world even as I am not of the world.” According to your representation of world?

    1Tim.2:1-4 – “(1) First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, (2) for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (3) This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, (4) who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

    Paul, in verse 1) urges that prayers are to be made for 2) all who are in high places - he would like to see their salvation 3) This pleases God. 4) For He even desires these to be saved. It is God’s desire that the social class of those in higher authority are not excluded from his saving grace and our prayers. Surely we can see that there are many uses of the terms “All” and “World” even by the Apostle John himself. To deny this is to commit a “word fallacy” – false assumptions about technical meaning. (see; Exegetical Fallacies p.45 by D.A. Carson)

    “If a person believed that grace was always irresistible and man has been given no will to accept or resist it, then we can see why a person would interpret "all" or the "world" to be equal to "those who enter the narrow gate."

    This, of course, is a “straw man”. The Calvinistic position is that man’s will is enslaved to sin. He always chooses according to his nature which is fallen. (Rom.8:7; Jer.13:23) We do not believe God’s grace is “always irresistible”. Grace being God’s unmerited favor – giving to us what we do not deserve –such as the unavoidable knowledge of His existence (Rom.1) and the Gospel message of salvation through Christ alone is resisted and rejected by many. What we believe is that when God makes effectual His outward call of the Gospel by His inward call of the Holy Spirit’s regenerating and enabling grace, that person “shall be willing in the day of His power” (Ps. 110:3) and with the gift of repentance and faith (Eph.2:8; Acts 5:31, 11:18), an enlightened mind, a new heart and a love towards God he will invariably come to Christ for salvation.

    1Tim.4:10 - “For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.”

    As demonstrated above (1Tim.2:3-4), in context, Paul defines “all people” as all classes and in verses 6-7 “all” as ethnic groups – Jews and Gentiles. Not every single person who ever lived. What Paul is saying is that God is the only true Savior in the world, therefore humanity cannot find any other possible Savior outside of the living God. They have no other Savior to turn to.

    “Finally, I want to conclude with another interpretation that is compelling. The term for "especially" is malista. George W. Knight III argues that this term here should be rendered, "that is," thereby functioning as an explanation or further clarification of the preceding statement. The translation would be as follows: "who is the Savior of all people, that is, of those who believe." So this interpretation does not view "those who believe" as a subset of "all people"; instead, "those who believe" identifies the "all people" (NIGTC, The Pastoral Epistles, p 203–4).” JR White on 1 Timothy 4:10


    “Yet if limited atonement were true, how could there be anyone else for whom God is Savior?” Exactly “Belief is named as the appropriating condition for eternal life, as passages like the above John 3:16 state. Yet, here is Paul, identifying a category of persons for whom God is Savior distinct from those who "believe." So Jesus saves apart from belief?

    If faith is the “appropriating condition” for eternal life.

    And

    If Jesus, the Savior, is the object of faith.

    And

    If faith is absent.

    Then there is no eternal life because they have no Savior, for faith is the instrument (appropriating condition) not the savior. No faith no Savior.

    It would be absurd to assert that Christ gave himself as a ransom for every single person on this planet, for if he did, every individual would be saved, not to mention that God would have no basis to judge any man for his sins (Cf. Matt. 20:28).

    MrPolo’s understanding of Chrysostom is surface level as well.
    Imitate God! If He wills that all men should be saved, there is reason why one should pray for all, if He has willed that all should be saved, be thou willing also; and if you wish it, pray for it, for wishes lead to prayers…And if you pray for the Heathens, you ought of course to pray for Heretics also, for we are to pray for all men, and not to persecute…Was Christ then a ransom for the Heathen? Undoubtedly Christ died even for Heathen; and you cannot bear to pray for them. (St. John Chrysostom, Homily 7 on 1 Timothy

    Chrysostom nowhere states here that Christ died for every single person. But qualifies redemption as Paul does - "And if you pray for the Heathens, you ought of course to pray for Heretics also, for we are to pray for all men, and not to persecute)" All Kinds. We are not to distinguish. Don’t leave out the Heathen. Christ died for that class as well.

    “the ‘whole world’ for whom Christ is also the expiation.”
    It is true that some liberal translations have “expiation”, however expiation does not give an adequate translation for hilasmos. Better is - Propitiation (NASB, ESV, KJV) Atoning Sacrifice (NET, NIV, NRSV). It is a cleansing of sin and a satisfaction of God’s judgment averting His wrath. Is this really accomplished for every single person in the whole world as you assert?

    You affirm that position here:
    CHRIST DIED FOR THE RUINED
    “There are a couple other Pauline passages I think state that a person who is damned is still considered one for whom Christ died.”

    Christ died for those damned in Hell? I refer to my opening statement that according to this view God placed the sins of those sinners on Christ who propitiated them - atoned for their sins, suffered God’s wrath for them as their substitute satisfying Divine justice, and still they are sent to Hell to pay for those same sins again. Is this the actions of a holy and just God? Even sinful human beings recognize the injustice of double jeopardy.

    Rom. 14:15 If your brother is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died.
    1 Cor. 8:11 And so by your knowledge this weak man is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died.
    “So we can confidently understand Paul's teaching in these verses to be references about ruin from salvation. And Paul is admitting that a person damned, ruined person can still be considered someone "for whom Christ died."

    Let’s see. In this chapter Paul is addressing practices about which Christians differ and about judging a brother. We who have this knowledge of liberty are not to judge or put a stumbling block before a weaker brother causing them to stumble by imitating us against their conscience. “And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ” (1Cor. 8:12) “Being injured” (Rom.14:15) and their "stumbling” (1Cor.8:13) as a result of a brother’s example is certainly not being treated as the cause of a fellow believers damnation. Especially so since Christ has already paid for those sins as well. Ruined is also used in Luke 5:37 “And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed” (Louw and Nida p232) - helping us to see the sense in which this word is used. That is, no longer fulfilling the function for which it was designed.
    Some general and basic rules to consider when attempting to interpret Scripture must include;
    Does my interpretation make this passage contradictory with the author himself? Other Biblical passages? Common sense?
    What immediately precedes and follows the passage?
    Are any definitions provided by the immediate context?
    What is the main argument of the entire chapter?
    What is the main point of the passage itself?
    What is the consistent understanding of the passage in this context?
    What is the main theme of the book?
    What is the author’s purposes? The historical setting? Who is the audience? etc.
     
  7. MrPolo

    MrPolo Woe those who call evil good + good evil. Is 5:20

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    IS GOD'S WILL SOMETHING THAT MUST BE ACCOMPLISHED?
    R Baker asks: "If MrPolo believes that world always means every single individual without exception he must explain how vs 17 is not 'universal redemption.'" The verse in question is:
    For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:17)
    For those unfamiliar with Calvinist teaching, they teach if God desires X, that X must necessarily occur. So if God sent His Son into the world to save it, and if the "world" means all mankind, then all mankind would have to be saved, since it is presupposed that any facet of God's will means it must happen. This is also part of the Calvinists' issue with passages like 1 Tim. 4:10.

    So is the Calvinist correct? Is God's will something that always is accomplished?

    In one sense, yes. Divine revelation teaches "The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble." (Prov. 16:4) On the other hand, there are a number of passages that demonstrate that what God wills is not what occurs. For example:
    Not every one who says to me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (Matt. 7:21)
    Both R Baker and I believe some people will end up in hell. Yet if those persons had done God's will, then the Scriptures tell us they'd be in heaven. So in a sense, it is possible that what God wills may not necessarily occur.

    Another example from Paul:
    For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like heathens who do not know God; that no man transgress, and wrong his brother in this matter… For God has not called us for uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you (1 Thes. 4:3-8).
    This passage identifies that which is the will of God, and yet teaches that anyone who disregards it disregards God. In other words, there is a sense in which God's will does not necessarily occur. It is God's will that person X abstain from immorality. If person X behaves immorally, he disregards God's will in that sense.

    Move on to John 5, edited for brevity, but anyone who wants to read the whole chapter in context can do so here:
    John 5:19,21,34,39-41 Jesus said to [the Jews] ... For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. ... Not that the testimony which I receive is from man; but I say this that you may be saved. ... You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me; yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.
    In the above excerpt, Jesus is said to give life to whom he will. And it says Jesus' purpose for teaching the Jews as he did was "that they may be saved." Yet Jesus points out that they "refuse" his teaching and do not have life.

    Now, let's return to John 3:17. R Baker asks how Jesus can come to save the world and yet all people in the world are not saved. The answer is the same way a person can disregard God's will in Matt. 7, 1 Thes. 4, or John 5.

    KNIGHT, MALISTA, and TOUT' ESTIN
    I'd like to spend some time also on the Greek of 1 Timothy 4:10 because I think it could be argued that verse alone (though it is not alone) debunks the concept of a limited atonement. Here is the verse again.
    For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially [malista] of those who believe. (1 Tim. 4:10)
    R Baker's post cites: "The term for 'especially' is malista. George W. Knight III argues that this term here should be rendered, 'that is,' thereby functioning as an explanation or further clarification of the preceding statement." See Knight's comments in this article, for example.

    Anyway, I think it is of some evidence, that of 23 Bible translations I consulted (NIV, NLT, ESV, NASB, KJB, ISV, ABPE, GWT, KJ2000, AKJV, ASV, BBE, DRB, DBT, ERV, WBT, WNT, WEB, YLT, RSV, RSVCE, NAB, NJB), 22 of them translate the word malista as either "especially," "specially," and one "particularly." Only one Bible translates "malista" as "that is"––the International Standard Version first published in 1998.

    As I think reasonable comprehension of 1 Tim. 4:10 would conclude, there is a difference in whether the text says God is the Savior of all, "especially those who believe" versus "that is those who believe." If the former, then, as I said, one can make the argument that the idea of limited atonement is debunked without further examination. (The latter is neither conclusive for limited atonement, however, because the language does not preclude God as Savior of others in some sense – on that it is ultimately silent because there is no exclusive language in the verse.)

    Although 1 translation out of 23 favoring the "that is" translation provides little support for that translation, I think whatever remaining support remains is knocked over if we examine the etymology and use of terms in question.

    Consider the following Pauline verse.
    For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is [tout' estin], in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. (Rom. 7:18)
    Notice the Greek phrase I included. Paul uses the phrase tout' estin, literally translated "that is." All 23 of the above mentioned Bibles agree with the translation "that is" for tout' estin in Rom. 18. Paul uses this term in his letters 7 times (including one in Hebrews). In all 7 instances, Paul uses the term to clarify what he just said. So if Knight is trying to convince his audience that "that is" is a better translation for 1 Tim. 4:10, he should be looking for Paul's tout' estin in the verse, not malista.

    Understanding 1 Tim. 4:10 as descriptive of universal redemption also harmonizes it with other Scriptures (some mentioned in my prior post) such as:
    God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved ... Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all... (1 Tim. 2:3-4,6)
    For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men. (Tit. 2:11)
    He is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)
    For God delivered all to disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all. (Rom. 11:32)
    ...Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. (1 Tim. 1:15)
    Et al.
    A STRUCTURAL PARALLEL USING MALISTA ELSWHERE IN PAUL
    Citing another scholar, T.C. Skeat, Knight writes:
    Skeat ("Especially the Parchments") argues persuasively that malista in some cases (2 Tim. 4:13; Tit. 1:10, 11; and here) should be understood as providing a further definition or identification of that which precedes it and thus renders it by such words as "that is." ... This understanding is also in line with Paul's assertion that all sorts and conditions of people are in Christ...
    Notice in the last line that he is accepting Skeats' translation of the term on the basis that it fits with his theology that Paul is referring to "all sorts" of people in the context of 1 Tim. 4:10. But even if one looks at Skeat's "prooftexts," 2 Tim. 4:13 or Tit. 1:10, one cannot conclude the term malista is an exclusive clarification, especially (no pun intended) in Titus where no one would say that Paul believes only Jews and not Gentiles can be deceptive.

    Earlier in his comments, Knight was forced to admit that malista "has usually been rendered 'especially'." He offers no other cause to translate it as an exclusive "that is" meaning other than that it fits his theology. At least according to excerpts available online, Knight reads the word malista in the context of other passages (which I think are themselves suspect readings of those texts), but does not justify transplanting those usages into the passage in question.

    I would like to look at another specific Pauline verse that uses the term malista. And I want to emphasize that it is almost identical in structure to 1 Tim. 4:10.
    So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially [malista] to those who are of the household of faith. (Gal. 6:10)
    Compare the bold part to 1 Tim. 4:10: the Savior of all men, especially [malista] of those who believe.

    In Gal. 6:10, the "all men" in question are also those to whom we should do good. Now, apply Knight's exclusive "that is" meaning to malista to this twin-like verse. Paul would then be teaching that Christians should do good to other Christians to the exclusion of non-Christians. But this would be an explicit violation of the Gospel message to love enemies.
    Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. (Luke 6:27)
    Paul teaches the same.
    Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. (Rom. 12:14)
    In other words, when Paul uses the terms "all-especially" in Gal. 6:10 it is unmistakable that does not use malista to clarify the word "all" in an exclusive manner. Yet that is how Knight argues we should read that word in 1 Tim. 4:10, a structural and verbal parallel of Gal. 6:10.

    CHRYSOSTOM
    Let me make another point about St. John Chrysostom. I cited his interpretation of 1 Tim. 4:10 which included the statement: "Was Christ then a ransom for the Heathen? Undoubtedly Christ died even for Heathen." R Baker's response to my citation included:
    Chrysostom nowhere states here that Christ died for every single person. But qualifies redemption as Paul does - "And if you pray for the Heathens, you ought of course to pray for Heretics also, for we are to pray for all men, and not to persecute)" All Kinds. We are not to distinguish. Don’t leave out the Heathen. Christ died for that class as well.
    I am not sure how "Christ died for heathen" is interpreted as Christ suffered a limited atonement for "all kinds. A heathen is not considered someone who is going to heaven, yet Chrysostom said Christ was ransom for them. Let me expand the context of his statement for further evidence:
    Was Christ then a ransom for the Heathen? Undoubtedly Christ died even for Heathen; and you cannot bear to pray for them. Why then, you ask, did they not believe? Because they would not: but His part was done.
    Chrysostom says 1) Christ died for heathen; 2) yet they don't believe; 3) it was up to them to accept Christ's work which was done.

    Chrysostom was not a believer in a limited atonement.

    THE FEW WHO ENTER
    In my prior post, I said why should wide-scoped words like "all" or "the world" be understood in reference to man's salvation as the "few" who enter the "narrow gate." R Baker called this a straw man and followed with comments about the Calvinist believe on grace. I did not understand how that paragraph related to my comments. However, my comments are not a straw man. If the saved are the few who enter the narrow gate, as Scripture states (Matt. 7:14), then R Baker must argue that the terms "all" and "the world" in salvific contexts must be understood as references to these "few."

    HEBREWS 7 CHALLENGE
    R Baker also asked:
    Hebrews 7 shows that Jesus is the guarantee of a better covenant (vs22) having a permanent priesthood (vs24) “Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (vs25) His redemptive act and His intercession for the redeemed are joined together. That being true, if redemption is universal in scope (including intercession) then how is it that Jesus does not pray for the world in John 17:9? And how can He say “They are not of the world even as I am not of the world.” According to your representation of world?
    If I understand R Baker correctly, he is equating Jesus' eternal "intercession" in Hebrews 7 to be the same as the petition he makes in John 17. However, the Hebrews passage refers to the perpetuation of Jesus' sacrificial priestly ministry, not prayers of petition. Nevertheless, even if R Baker was correct that the Hebrews intercession is the same kind of intercession as that in John 17, I would point out that Jesus did indeed pray for those who were of the world, specifically the Jews and Romans who murdered him. "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do," he said. So the fact that Jesus focused his prayer on a certain group, and did not pray for a another group at that time in John 17 did not forbid or prevent him from praying otherwise shortly thereafter.

    I'd also like to point out John 17:6, which leads up to 17:9.
    I have manifested your name to the men whom you gave me out of the world. (John 17:6)
    Now, remember, in John 3:16, we are told that God so loved the world that He sent his son that those who believe have eternal life. This seems like a contradiction. Does God love the "world" that He saves it? Or does God save people by taking them "out of" the "world" he just said he was going to save in chapter 3?

    This would be a nonsensical contradiction, unless John is using the term differently here in chapter 17 than he did in chapter 3. In a sense, one could say John teaches that God is "Savior of the world from the world" where the former "world" refers to a scope of people, and the latter the domain of sin's inescapable grip. I have not espoused a rigid "representation of the world" as R Baker suggested in his above question. Like him, I believe context is important in discerning the meaning of a term in a text.
     
  8. R Baker

    R Baker Guest

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    I would like to consider three texts of Scripture John 6:36-40 45 Romans 8:28-9:24 and Ephesians 1:1-14


    John But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.

    Notice that these men are unbelievers 36. These men will turn away because Jesus is continually confronting them with the fact that He is the only source of eternal life. In 37 Jesus says He will not cast out anyone who comes to Him. The coming to the Son is grounded in the giving of the Father. It is the initial action of the Father’s giving to the Son that results in those given coming to the Son. Given the fact that the Unlimited Atonement group adheres to autonomous libertarian freewill i.e. man has retained the ability to chose either good or evil apart from any outside influence moving them they must explain how everyone given and thus coming to the Son and the Son losing none of the whole group of those given to Him and raised up on the last day depends upon them exercising their supposed freewill thereby self-generating faith to motivate God to save them . No the Son as Savior has the ability to save completely and perfectly without any cooperation on the part of man. This cannot be a synergistic salvation for there might be some or all that refuse to cooperate because of their freewill and so Jesus might lose some. In 40 who is it that is looking and believing on the Son? All those given by the Father and coming to the Son as a result. Because of this teaching the Jews are grumbling among themselves. Jesus answered and said to them Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him and I will raise him up on the last day. No one has the ability to come to Christ unless the Father draws him. The UL group says that everyone has that ability and that the Father not only draws everyone but actually atones for every single person. If that were true please explain according to this text how your view does not logically lead to Universal Salvation. The Son raises everyone given everyone coming to eternal life.

    How does Jesus deal with their grumbling? By repeating again in 65 For this reason I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father. They reject and leave Him. Why? Because they want salvation to be something that they can control something that they have the final determining decision of. Notice the order it is affirmed by Jesus in plain language here that it is God’s sovereign action of giving that causes a particular group (those given, those chosen, the elect) to come to Christ and believe in Christ resulting in Christ raising them up to eternal life.


    45 It is written in the prophets AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD. Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. Is the All every single person? What is involved in the drawing of the Father? Hearing and learning. Everyone who hears and learns a particular group. Jesus is central in salvation. God is sovereign in saving perfectly a particular people to the praise of the glory of His grace.


    Please turn to Romans 8:28-9:24. The word limit does not allow me to include the text so please use your own Bible.


    In verse 29 foreknew is an active verb with a personal object in view. It is those persons He foreknows not impersonal actions that is in view here. The Golden Chain of Redemption 29-30 gives us the absolute sovereignty of God accomplishing the salvation of a particular people to His own glory. He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who are the us all? Everyone who ever lived? 33 God’s elect. This same particular group is in view throughout. In 34 Christ intercedes for the predestined called justified glorified ones- the elect. A specific particular group. Not a possibility. Not a plan. Not a hypothetical deliverance.

    Romans 9:6 is key to understanding what follows. But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel. Chapter 9 is not about nations. God’s promise of salvation is freely given according to His sovereign choosing and His sovereign accomplishing in keeping with His sovereign purpose towards His particularly chosen people. Paul addresses the personal application to individuals of God’s choosing. Before the twins were born. Before Jacob and Esau had done anything good or bad. Not according to works. Why? So that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls vs11. Not man’s purpose or man’s choice or man’s actions. You assert that Christ made atonement for everyone. Yet Paul answers in 14-23. God mercies whom He desires and hardens whom He desires. So then does God mercy everyone equally? You may respond inconsistently No only those who by their freewill choose to exercise their faith in Him.16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. The origin and accomplishment of salvation is not in man’s activity or man’s will but in the mercying God alone and He does this “not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. 24 There is the All mankind. The whole world is made up of either a Jew or Gentile.


    If it is not dependent on anything in man his actions or will etc in accomplishing atonement.
    And
    If it is God’s purpose as the potter,according to His will that some are chosen and others are not.
    Then there is a Particular group whom Christ death must definitely accomplish the atonement for.

    Please turn to Ephesians 1:1-14


    Once again Paul is talking about a personal group the people of God. The blessings throughout this text occur only in Christ in Him in the Beloved there is no synergistic cooperation. It is He chose us in Him not He chose Him and we are in Him by our choice. We are the direct object of God’s choosing before the foundation of the world as individuals of the Elect based upon God’s freedom of choice not upon our supposed freewill. God does not take in knowledge of what a person might or might not do by foreseeing certain events in the future and then respond to them depending upon autonomous man’s free choice. No He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will not ours to the praise of the glory of His grace which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of His grace. This is why God chooses one person rather than another. Is His saving grace given to everyone equally? This grace that saves is only for those in Christ. God has accomplished His purpose of redemption for those in Christ. Not as a possibility but in eternity past He set His love upon the Elect. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will. You can see in this Ephesian passage that God accomplishes in time what He freely chose to do in eternity past. You can also see the harmony of these three passages in declaring God’s freedom is not dependent upon anything outside of His own good pleasure declaring plainly that His provision of atonement is actually applied to a particular group of individuals, atonement is not simply a provision if...

    Just a couple of short comments on MrPolo’s last post.

    CHRYSOSTOM
    Imitate God! If He wills that all men should be saved, there is reason why one should pray for all, if He has willed that all should be saved, be thou willing also; and if you wish it, pray for it, for wishes lead to prayers…And if you pray for the Heathens, you ought of course to pray for Heretics also, for we are to pray for all men, and not to persecute…Was Christ then a ransom for the Heathen? Undoubtedly Christ died even for Heathen; and you cannot bear to pray for them. St. John Chrysostom, Homily 7 on 1 Timothy

    My response to what was MrPolo’s original comment and submitted quotation as his argument: Chrysostom nowhere states here that Christ died for every single person. But qualifies redemption as Paul does - And if you pray for the Heathens, you ought of course to pray for Heretics also for we are to pray for all men and not to persecute All Kinds. We are not to distinguish. Don’t leave out the Heathen. Christ died for that class as well.

    MrPolo: I am not sure how Christ died for heathen is interpreted as Christ suffered a limited atonement for all kinds. A heathen is not considered someone who is going to heaven, yet Chrysostom said Christ was ransom for them. Let me expand the context of his statement for further evidence
    Was Christ then a ransom for the Heathen? Undoubtedly Christ died even for Heathen; and you cannot bear to pray for them. Why then, you ask, did they not believe? Because they would not: but His part was done.

    Below is what is between the dots in MrPolo’s original quotation of Chrysostom
    Observe how from every quarter He urges this upon the soul, to pray for the Heathen, showing how great advantage springs from it; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life; and what is much more than this, that it is pleasing to God, and thus men become like Him in that they will the same that He does. This is enough to shame a very brute. Fear not therefore to pray for the Gentiles for God Himself wills it but fear only to pray against and for that He wills not.

    One can see that Chysostom uses the term Heathen as Paul did translated also as Gentile. I believe there are also some from that class for whom atonement is made and considered as someone who is going to heaven. This full-er context of his citation should give additional clarification from the author

    From his post in the Peanut Gallery
    One other thing I want to throw out is this. I do prefer that R Baker either make his own arguments or at least link to a full context of his citations as I did earlier with Chrysostom. It makes it tougher for me to examine the context of the quotes to see if there is additional clarification from the author or if there is further evidence as to where that author went right or wrong.

    Does anyone else see a “double standard” here? Also I am not able to post links until I reach the minimally required amount of posts. And I am ignorant of how to link to a book for viewing unless it is a free Ebook. My quotations are complete to the point being made. I am not consciously intending to mislead or misrepresent.

    THE FEW WHO ENTER
    In my prior post I said why should wide-scoped words like all or the world be understood in reference to man's salvation as the few who enter the narrow gate. R Baker called this a straw man and followed with comments about the Calvinist believe on grace. I did not understand how that paragraph related to my comments. However my comments are not a straw man. If the saved are the few who enter the narrow gate, as Scripture states Matt. 7:14 then R Baker must argue that the terms all and the world in salvific contexts must be understood as references to these few.


    In point of fact I referred to the following statement as a straw man and gave the actual teaching of Calvinism accordingly. If a person believed that grace was always irresistible and man has been given no will to accept or resist it, then we can see why a person would interpret all or the world to be equal to those who enter the narrow gate. Straw Man or just plainly a false representation.

    Also, If the saved are the few who enter the narrow gate, as Scripture states Matt. 7:14 then R Baker must argue that the terms all and the world in salvific contexts must be understood as references to these few.

    My answer Thank you I am.

    MrPolo: I'd also like to point out John 17:6 which leads up to 17:9. I have manifested your name to the men whom you gave me out of the world. John 17:6 Now remember in John 3:16 we are told that God so loved the world that He sent his son that those who believe have eternal life. This seems like a contradiction. Does God love the world that He saves it? Or does God save people by taking them out of the world he just said he was going to save in chapter 3?
    This would be a nonsensical contradiction unless John is using the term differently here in chapter 17 than he did in chapter 3. In a sense one could say John teaches that God is Savior of the world from the world where the former world refers to a scope of people and the latter the domain of sin's inescapable grip. I have not espoused a rigid representation of the world as R Baker suggested in his above question. Like him I believe context is important in discerning the meaning of a term in a text.

    So are you limiting the atonement to a scope of people?
     
  9. MrPolo

    MrPolo Woe those who call evil good + good evil. Is 5:20

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    ROMANS
    A few things regarding R Baker's use of Romans 8-9. Nowhere at the end of Romans 8 does the text suggest the reprobate were excluded from the redemptive work of Christ. Paul refers to Christ being delivered for the elect, which is quite true. To then inject the thought "and therefore Christ was not given in any sense for the damned" does not follow from the text that is there.

    R Baker contended that Romans 9 "is not about nations." I disagree. Esau, the "elder," represents Jews/Israel, and Jacob, the "younger," represents the Gentiles. Like Esau, Israel lost the "elder's" place due them in their inheritance. Let me say a word about Jacob and Esau doing neither good nor bad. The text says:
    Romans 9:10-12 10And not only so, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad, in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call, 12she was told, "The elder will serve the younger."
    Then he describes God's "patience" with the "vessels of wrath" (9:22). This aligns with God's patience for Israel. After all, Paul follows up these thoughts with: “Israel pursued righteousness…based on law…not…through faith.” (9:31-32) It is Israel that parallels, Esau. They are a vessel of destruction because to pursue righteousness based on OT law is to be a vessel of destruction. In the same way, Esau's inheritance was a right in the eyes of man's law, but that is not the ultimate way. God's "purpose of election" includes first His work among the Jews and then the Gentiles. Go back to Esau "serving" Jacob. This aligns with Jews being for the service of Gentiles in the order of election.

    Paul carries all these thoughts throughout chapters 10-11. He writes:
    "So I ask, have [the Jews] stumbled so as to fall? By no means! But through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous." (Rom. 11:11)
    This parallels Jacob and Esau perfectly, that the elder served the younger, and even includes Esau's jealousy (Gen. 27:41). God's "purpose of election" in this context does not refer to Jacob being given eternal life while God ordains Esau to damnation. What was Esau's fate? He is reconciled to Jacob in Genesis 33. Just as Esau stumbled but did not fall, so too Israel does not stumble so as to fall. The context of Romans 8-11 is thus the order of election which includes Jews and Gentiles (i.e. everyone), and their purpose in the entire scheme. God was patient with the destructive vessel that was Israel in its pursuit of righteousness by OT law.

    One more passage that introduces the flow of Paul's thought is this:
    Just as you [Gentiles] were once disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their [Jews] disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may receive mercy. For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all. (Rom. 8:30-32)
    In other words, Esau was given to disobedience for Jacob's sake who in turn induces Esau's reconciliation. And in 8:32, Paul demonstrates the universal sense of the term "mercy upon all" when he compares it to "all men to disobedience."

    Regarding Pharoah, it is worth referring to the OT. There are a number of verses that tell us Pharoah hardened his own heart (e.g. Ex. 8:15, 32; 1 Sam. 6:6; and other persons besides Pharoah, cf. 2 Chron. 36:13, etc.)

    It is true, salvation depends not upon man’s will or exertion, but upon God’s mercy.” (Rom. 9:16) Man can will with all effort, but election is entirely dependent on God’s mercy. And I think it can be shown that the terms of God's covenant demand man's free response of faith. Man does not determine the terms. And we cannot conclude any person is excluded from grace from reading Romans.

    JOHN 6
    R Baker states:
    "[T]he Unlimited Atonement group adheres to autonomous libertarian freewill i.e. man has retained the ability to chose either good or evil apart from any outside influence moving them."
    Regarding this claim, I must offer a correction, at least on behalf of Catholics. For instance, the Council of Trent states "[Man is] not able, by his own free will, without the grace of God, to move himself unto justice in His sight." So it is incorrect to say all believers in UA believe man can come to Christ without God first drawing him. So I won't try to defend a position I don't hold.

    R Baker later asks why isn't everyone saved if God draws everyone and Christ atoned for all? Much of that question is addressed in my prior post. Also, man can reject God and the grace given him. Scriptural examples of man showing such resistance include (Acts 7:51; 2 Cor. 6:1; Heb. 6:4-6, et al).

    Regarding the text of John 6, I think the key phrase around which the Calvinist position is built is in 37: "Everyone the Father gives me will come to me." R Baker states:
    "In 37 Jesus says He will not cast out anyone who comes to Him. The coming to the Son is grounded in the giving of the Father. It is the initial action of the Father’s giving to the Son that results in those given coming to the Son."
    Based on my citation of Trent above, I have no problem with his interpretation that those who come to Christ must first be moved by God's "initial action" of grace. But remember, it is Calvinist doctrine that all given grace is "irresistable" (addressed a couple paragraphs above). Hence the reason for R Baker's conclusion that God must therefore give grace only to those who end up coming to Christ. However, the text in this passage does not say as much. The text does not specify the basis by which the Father ultimately "gives" someone to the Son.

    A few verses later, Jesus goes back to those who believe –– "this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life" (6:40) and later "he who believes has eternal life." (6:47) The verb for belief in both these verses is pisteuō, which is a present active participle. Strong's lexicon says of active voice:
    "The active voice represents the subject as the doer or performer of the action. e.g., in the sentence, "The boy hit the ball," the boy performs the action."
    In other words, it is the human who must perform the action of belief.

    And I think these 2 verses are among a plethora of NT passages referring to man's response that must be taken into consideration if we are to grasp the totality of the text. Man's active response is consistently referenced in regard to coming to Christ.

    CHRYSOSTOM ONCE MORE
    R Baker focused on Chrysostom's use of the term Gentile:
    "One can see that Chysostom uses the term Heathen as Paul did translated also as Gentile. I believe there are also some from that class for whom atonement is made and considered as someone who is going to heaven."
    The reason I cannot accede to that argument is because Chrysostom says: "And if you pray for the Heathens, you ought of course to pray for Heretics also, for we are to pray for all men, and not to persecute." If we consult the Greek of Chrysostom's homily, the term in his writing for Heathens is Ἑλλήνων, which some also translate as Greeks or Gentiles. But he proceeds to include heretics too, and uses the different term, αιρετικών, meaning heretic. These he includes in his interpretation of 1 Tim. 2:6 among the "all men" for whom Christ is Savior.

    AFFIRMATIVE EXAMPLES OF UNIVERSAL REDEMPTION

    For now, I'm going to skip responding to R Bakers Ephesians 1 argument because of space and because it is refuted in the same way as Romans 9 and John 6, whose texts do not mention an exclusive atonement. I now move toward more affirmations that redemption is universal.

    HEBREWS 2 - JESUS HUMAN NATURE
    Hebrews 2:9-17 9But we see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for every one. 10For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified have all one origin. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12saying, "I will proclaim thy name to my brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will praise thee." 13And again, "I will put my trust in him." And again, "Here am I, and the children God has given me." 14Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage. 16For surely it is not with angels that he is concerned but with the descendants of Abraham. 17Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people.
    I bolded some of the phrases that most emphasize my point here. The text says Jesus had to become human, sharing in flesh and blood, to make expiation for the people. The author, often believed to be Paul, has great emphasis on the fact that Jesus became human for the purpose of sharing a nature and freeing it from the bonds of sin. This understanding has been recognized through the centuries by numerous of Christians, both ancient and modern. The text also refers to the "brethren" he will save as those amidst whom he preached, which we know included those who believed and otherwise, such as those who persecuted him in the synagogues.

    Now, in order to proclaim a limited atonement, and to be faithful to passages like Hebrews 2, I believe one must argue that the unsaved are not human. I say this because Paul's conclusion is that Jesus took on the human nature to unite with those brethren of that nature, thus making sacrifice as the representative for those who share the human nature.

    Incidentally, St. John Chrysostom is one of the ECFs who recognized the solidarity of Christ's "human nature" with humans and "freed from bondage" that people. (Chrysostom on Hebrews 2)

    ACTS 17 - BECAUSE GOD GIVES BREATH TO ALL
    Acts 17:24-31 24The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by man, 25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all men life and breath and everything. 26And he made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation, 27that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after him and find him. Yet he is not far from each one of us, 28for `In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your poets have said, `For we are indeed his offspring.' 29Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the Deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, a representation by the art and imagination of man. 30The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all men everywhere to repent, 31because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all men by raising him from the dead."
    In the above passage, the speaker, Paul (quoted by the author Luke), identifies "all men" as those who are alive and breathing and have anything. This would include even unbelievers who would not breath if not for God willing them able. Paul also says that it is God's "hope" that such people scattered about the earth "find Him." Stopping right there, I think it is undeniable that this is a reference to any human being because he has identified them as anyone alive and breathing and have anything. Thus it makes sense to understand the later part as God's hope that "men everywhere repent" to mean all men everywhere. Similarly to Hebrews 2, I think in order to argue for limited atonement, and stay true to Acts 17, one would have to argue that the unsaved are not alive or breathing or have anything. And of course, I think that position would be untenable.

    2 Peter 2 - GOD RANSOMED THE DAMNED TOO
    2 Peter 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.
    In the above verse, we are told that even false profits bound for "destruction" were "bought" by God. Following up on this teaching on false prophets, Peter even says "for them the nether gloom of darkness has been reserved." (v.17) The language in verse 1 is a reference to the ransom Christ paid for humanity seen throughout the New Testament. The word in this verse for "bought," agorazō, is identical to the following verses in the NT referring to the purchase of persons:
    "You were bought [agorazō] with a price." (1 Cor. 6:20 and 1 Cor. 7:30); "thou wast slain and by thy blood didst ransom [agorazō] men for God" (Rev. 5:9); and "the forty-four thousand who had been redeemed [agorazō] from the earth ... these have been redeemed..." (Rev. 14:3-4)
    The Revelation verses even refer only to those who are ultimately saved. All the more profound is Peter's teaching that even false profits bound for destruction may also be said to be included in Christ's work of ransom.
     
  10. R Baker

    R Baker Guest

    +0
    Holman Bible Dictionary NAS and RSV used reprobate to mean one rejected by God Psalms 15:4 compare REB TEV

    MrPolo is arguing that the Father rejects and damns many of those for whom Christ dies and makes intercession for making the persons of the Godhead at cross-purposes with each other

    To then inject the thought "and therefore Christ was not given in any sense for the damned" does not follow from the text that is there

    MrPolo injects in quotes a fallacious and non-existent statement Another logical fallacy tactic

    The Council of Trent also says Canon IX If any one saith that by faith alone the impious is justified in such wise as to mean that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to obtaining the grace of Justification and that it is not in any way necessary that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will let him be anathema

    Canon XI If any one saith, that men are justified either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ or by the sole remission of sins to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost and is inherent in them or even that the grace whereby we are justified is only the favor of God let him be anathema

    Acts 17:24-31 has nothing to do with LA Also it says God commands all men everywhere to repent.

    Open your Bibles to1Cor 2:6-16

    My previous posts demonstrated that the Father gave His Son with the express intention and Christ’s death actually accomplished its purpose to atone for sins and that man cannot come to Christ outside of the Father’s enabling Jn 6 Which without God’s intervention left to ourselves the whole world would have been eternally damned The reason being that all those in Adam are spiritually dead in trespasses and sins Eph 2:I

    Because of our lost condition faith and repentance are stated as being necessarily gifts from God not given to All

    Acts 11:18 When they heard these things they fell silent And they glorified God saying Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life

    Philippians 1:29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should... believe in him

    Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith And this is not your own doing it is the gift of God not a result of works so that no one may boast

    John 14:16-17 And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Helper to be with you forever even the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees him nor knows him

    Romans 9:16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion but on God who has mercy

    Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure

    UA proponents tenaciously cling to an unscriptural view of fallen man as retaining the autonomous ability to exercise an unfallen libertarian freewill cooperating with God, leaving the decisive verdict determining their final destiny in their own power restricting God’s sovereign choice and ability to the exercise of their will contrary to Scripture

    This view is not consistent with the Biblical record but it is familiar

    Out of the night that covers me Black as the Pit from pole to pole I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul

    In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody but unbowed

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade And yet the menace of the years Finds and shall find me unafraid

    It matters not how strait the gate How charged with punishments the scroll

    I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. (emphasis mine)
    Invictus by William Ernest Henley

    Please open your Bibles to1Cor. 2:1-16

    9 As it is written What eye hath not seen. As to what follows respecting the entering of these things into the heart of man For in ascribing this knowledge to God alone, he excludes from it not merely the bodily senses of men, but also the entire faculty of the understanding I come now to the subject-matter I prefer, however, to understand him simply as referring to those gifts of God's grace that are daily conferred upon believers. In these it becomes us always to observe their source, and not to confine our views to their present aspect. Now their source is that unmerited goodness of God by which he has adopted us into the number of his sons He therefore who would estimate these things aright will not contemplate them in their naked aspect but will clothe them with God's fatherly love as with a robe and will thus be led forward from temporal favors to eternal life It might also be maintained that the argument is from the less to the greater for if man's intellect is not competent to measure God's earthly gifts how much less will it reach the height of heaven? John 3:12

    10 But God hath revealed them to us Having shut up all mankind in blindness, and having taken away from the human intellect the power of attaining to a knowledge of God by its own resources he now shows in what way believers are exempted from this blindness by the Lord's honoring them with a special illumination of the Spirit Hence the greater the bluntness of the human intellect for understanding the mysteries of God, and the greater the uncertainty under which it labors so much the surer is our faith, which rests for its support on the revelation of God's Spirit In this too we recognize the unbounded goodness of God who makes our defect contribute to our advantage
    For the Spirit searcheth all things This is added for the consolation of the pious, that they may rest more securely in the revelation which they have from the Spirit of God as though he had said Let it suffice us to have the Spirit of God as a witness for there is nothing in God that is too profound for him to reach For such is the import here of the word searcheth By the deep things you must understand not secret judgments which we are forbidden to search into but the entire doctrine of salvation which would have been to no purpose set before us in the Scriptures were it not that God elevates our minds to it by his Spirit

    11 For what man knoweth? Two different things he intends to teach here first that the doctrine of the Gospel cannot be understood otherwise than by the testimony of the Holy Spirit and secondly that those who have a testimony of this nature from the Holy Spirit have an assurance as firm and solid as if they felt with their hands what they believe for the Spirit is a faithful and indubitable witness This he proves by a similitude drawn from our own spirit for everyone is conscious of his own thoughts and on the other hand what lies hid in any man's heart is unknown to another In the same way what is the counsel of God and what his will is hid from all mankind for who hath been his counselor? Romans 11:34 It is therefore a secret recess inaccessible to mankind but if the Spirit of God himself introduces us into it or in other words makes us acquainted with those things that are otherwise hid from our view there will then be no more ground for hesitation for nothing that is in God escapes the notice of the Spirit of God…There is this difference however between God's thoughts and those of men that men mutually understand each other but the word of God is a kind of hidden wisdom the loftiness of which is not reached by the weakness of the human intellect Thus the light shineth in darkness John 1:5 aye and until the Spirit opens the eyes of the blind

    12 That we may know the things that are given us by Christ The word know is made use of to express more fully the assurance of confidence Let us observe however that it is not acquired in a natural way and is not attained by the mental capacity but depends entirely on the revelation of the Spirit The things that he makes mention of as given by Christ are the blessings that we obtain through his death and resurrection -- that being reconciled to God and having obtained remission of sins we know that we have been adopted to the hope of eternal life and that being sanctified by the Spirit of regeneration we are made new creatures that we may live to God In Ephesians 1:18 he says what amounts to the same thing That ye may know what is the hope of your calling For they are foolishness to him, neither can he know them The doctrine of the gospel says he is insipid in the view of all that are wise merely in the view of man But whence comes this? It is from their own blindness In what respect then does this detract from the majesty of the gospel? In short while ignorant persons depreciate the gospel because they measure its value by the estimation in which it is held by men Paul derives an argument from this for extolling more highly its dignity For he teaches that the reason why it is contemned is that it is unknown and that the reason why it is unknown is that it is too profound and sublime to be apprehended by the understanding of man What a superior wisdom this is which so far transcends all human understanding that man cannot have so much as a taste of it While however Paul here tacitly imputes it to the pride of the flesh, that mankind dare to condemn as foolish what they do not comprehend he at the same time shows how great is the weakness or rather bluntness of the human understanding when he declares it to be incapable of spiritual apprehension For he teaches that it is not owing simply to the obstinacy of the human will but to the impotency also of the understanding that man does not attain to the things of the Spirit Had he said that men are not willing to be wise that indeed would have been true but he states farther that they are not able Hence we infer that faith is not in one's own power but is divinely conferred Because they are spiritually discerned That is the Spirit of God, from whom the doctrine of the gospel comes is its only true interpreter to open it up to us Hence in judging of it men's minds must of necessity be in blindness until they are enlightened by the Spirit of God Hence infer that all mankind are by nature destitute of the Spirit of God otherwise the argument would be inconclusive It is from the Spirit of God it is true that we have that feeble spark of reason which we all enjoy but at present we are speaking of that special discovery of heavenly wisdom which God vouchsafes to his sons alone. Hence the more insufferable the ignorance of those who imagine that the gospel is offered to mankind in common in such a way that all indiscriminately are free to embrace salvation by faith

    16 For who hath known… Now, in like manner Paul by this interrogation designs to teach that his secet counsel which is contained in the gospel is far removed from the understanding of men This then is a confirmation of the preceding statement

    Excerpted from Calvin's Commentaries

    Revelation is understood only where the Spirit provides the requisite discernment Unmistakably so far as the granting and receiving of God’s wisdom are concerned we are shut up within the closed circle of the Spirit’s working
    Ch1 pg13 Epistemological Reflections on 1 Corinthians 2:6-16 Richard B Gaffin Jr in Revelation and Reason P&R Publishing 2007 by K Scott Oliphint and Lane G Tipton

    From the testimony of Scripture and the helpful consistent exegesis and commentary of theologians we see this Gospel truth And she shall bring forth a son and thou shalt call his name JESUS For he shall save his people from their sinsMatt1:21 by grace alone through the gift of faith alone accomplished by Him for His chosen people alone to the glory of God alone

    If salvation( faith, repentance, atonement, regeneration etc) is a gift from God
    And
    If revelation(illumination and discernment) is solely the prerogative and essential requirement of the Holy Spirit to apprehend the Gospel which is “The power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes…Rom1:16”
    And
    If only some by God’s choice receive these gifts
    Then
    Christ’s definite atonement is limited in scope by God to a particular people

    “Inconsistency is a sign of a failed argument.”
     
  11. MrPolo

    MrPolo Woe those who call evil good + good evil. Is 5:20

    +692
    Catholic
    Private
    MAN'S WILL IS INSUFFICIENT WITHOUT GRACE
    In R Baker's 3rd debate post, he asserted that believers in UA also believe man has autonomous fallen libertarian free will to choose salvation for himself. This was not accurate. As part of my evidence, I cited the Council of Trent:
    "[Man is] not able, by his own free will, without the grace of God, to move himself unto justice in His sight."
    R Baker responded to this by quoting a later paragraph from Trent:
    "If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema." (He also quoted another paragraph condemning the doctrine of imputed righteousness which I did not understand as pertinent to the issue of free will.)
    Baker then proceeded to continue arguing against the idea of an "autonomous fallen libertarian freewill cooperating with God," even though neither Trent nor I asserted such a thing. The second Trent quote above refers to the cooperation of man's will, but Trent had already established in the earlier paragraph that man's will is only able to cooperate by first receiving the grace of God. So for Baker to continue asserting that I and the Catholic Church believe man has autonomous free will to determine his own destiny is simply false.

    In order to grasp the UA idea of free will I'm defending here, one must recognize the difference between a purely natural will, and a will fueled by the supernatural grace of God. R Baker subsequently provided verses like Acts 11:18 which speaks of God granting repentance or Romans 9:16 that refers to the insufficiency of dependence on the "human" will. But since neither I, nor the Catholic Church, nor many believers in UA believe in the power of the "fallen autonomous free will" that R Baker is imposing, such verses are not of consequence to the UA position.

    As I said in a prior post, "the terms of God's covenant demand man's free response of faith. Man does not determine the terms." And as I also said, the response cannot occur unless God's grace first be given. This mystery reconciles the Scripture challenges herein. There are verses that teach man can do nothing for his salvation. And there are other verses that demand man's action for his salvation. The former are actions done apart from grace. The latter done with the supernatural power of grace in accord with the terms of the covenant entirely set forth by God. and when we exercise His grace to repent, we can credit God for bringing us to repentance (as Acts 11:18 says of the Gentiles).

    ACTS 17 REVISIT
    R Baker stated: "Acts 17:24-31 has nothing to do with LA Also it says God commands all men everywhere to repent." (emphasis his)

    I disagree that this passage is unrelated to the scope of the atonement. I presume R Baker bolded the term "command" (because there is no explanation why) to point out that the verse only says God "commands" everyone to repent, not that God would will that everyone repent. But I think if we examine that interpretation further, we will see that it cannot stand. The LA position would say God commands everyone to repent, knowing that it is impossible for many to do so. But if we granted this, one would have to conclude that God wills that His command be rejected. Otherwise, it is not a "command" at all but some ulterior motive disguised as a command.

    Also, I reiterate what I said in the prior post. In Acts 17, it is said God gives life and breath to all (which would include everyone) and put them about the earth for the purpose that this same group "should seek God...in the hope that they...find him." To limit the scope of those God hopes will find Him (v.27) is to amputate the verse from the context of all persons alive and breathing (v. 25). So I maintain that Acts 17 is most supportive of an unlimited atonement because it demonstrates that God truly "hopes" all persons find Him.

    RE: CALVIN'S COMMENTARY
    As to the commentary by Calvin, the gist of the whole excerpt is Calvin arguing against mere the "human" mind to take hold of the Gospel. Says Calvin: "[The Gospel] is too profound and sublime to be apprehended by the understanding of man." I have no quarrel with that statement, as the reader may already see from what I've written in the last 2 posts, including my quotations from Trent. The human will alone cannot move itself toward justification without the grace of God.

    JESUS COMPARED TO ADAM
    Consider further evidence in the context of Jesus vs. Adam. Paul more than once contrasts Christ's work affecting "all" in contrast to Adam's work which affected "all." For instance:
    Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. (Rom. 5:18)

    For God delivered all to disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all. (Rom. 11:32)
    In both of these examples, I think one must conclude that the latter "all" must be understood in the same way as the former "all" in each verse. That means just as Adam's work affected literally all, so too did Christ. Otherwise, Paul's comparisons would not make sense as stated.

    SLAVERY
    Now, consider the issue of slavery. Prior to Christ's work, mankind was resigned to slavery. For instance:
    Were you a slave when called? Never mind. But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity. For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a slave of Christ. You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. (1 Cor 7:21-23)
    In this passage, we can see that even those who were "bought" are warned against becoming slaves to men. Essentially, the way to understand how Christ's redemption affects all mankind is to view it through the prism of man's condition prior to Christ. Prior to Christ, it was impossible for man to be restored in his friendship with God. This applied to everyone. After Christ's work, it became possible for man to be restored to friendship with God. This also applies to everyone. Where the Calvinist would say Christ failed if UA doctrine were true, I remind the audience that Christ most certainly succeeded in raising all mankind out of the OT position of futility. But going back to the slave analogy, it may help to view Christ's work as him having bought mankind from slavery. He succeeded. If those "bought" choose to remain or become "slaves of men," then it is not a failure on Christ's part. One who frees a bunch of slaves cannot be said to be a failure if some of the slaves choose to remain in slavery. So Paul tells the Corinthians to "avail themselves of the opportunity" to be free. The term "avail" in this verse is an imperative verb, which Strong's defines as the issuance of a command or order.

    THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS (Matt. 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-28)
    Take the Matthean account for instance. The "Master" summons his "slaves" (v. 14). Then he distributes gifts of talents to them. "[T]o one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away." (v.15) I submit that one sense of the talents is to understand them as the spiritual gifts of grace. Look at the language of Paul:
    Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them. (Rom. 12:6)

    In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace. (Eph. 1:7)
    The term for riches in Ephesians is ploutos, which means wealth. This further ties in to the parable of the talents, which are measures of money. And it fortifies the idea that the "Master" distributing "gifts" is Christ the Master distributing his spiritual gifts of grace.

    So what happens in the parable. The first 2 slaves make use of their gifts, having grown them with the good they did with them. But the third servant does nothing with his gift. At this third servant, the Master says, "And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth." (v.30) This is a reference to hell at the end of the age. (Matt. 14:40-42)

    The point of this parable in relation to this debate is that the servant who did not avail himself of the master's gift is depicted as going to hell. The parable is one about salvation and man's response. And even though he ended up in hell, he still received the same type of gift the other two servants also received but utilized. I think this parable is incompatible with the Calvinist notion of a limited atonement where those who go to hell went there because they were deprived ("passed by") of God's grace. (cf. Calvin, Institutes, 22.5) Rather, even the damned received some measure of the same gift the others did. By failing to "avail himself," the slave accepted the grace of God "in vain."

    Also, this parable shows that even if the Master "entrusted" the slaves with things that are "his property" (v.14), it is not a violation of his sovereignty, but rather a testament to his generosity that he empowers slaves to collaborate with him.

    FINAL COMMENTS
    In closing out my last post here, I'll just offer a few thoughts on some of the debate.

    A multitude of Biblical passages refer to Christ dying for "all" or the "world." (e.g. John 3:16; 1 Tim. 4:10; 1 Tim. 2:6; Heb. 2:9, 1 John 2:2; Rom. 5:18, etc.) I think it was demonstrated herein that this exhaustive language need not be redefined as "all the elect only." I think this is especially evident in cases which compare Christ's work to Adam's work affecting all mankind (e.g Rom. 5:18) and that demonstrate Christ was a ransom even for the damned (e.g 2 Pet. 2:1). I also think this is evident in passages like 1 Tim. 4:10 which says Christ is Savior "especially" of those who believe––I broke down the Greek of that passage herein, and I think it strongly suggests that those who are included under the umbrella of Christ's redemptive work are those who believe and otherwise.

    I also addressed the idea of God's will and whether or not His will must necessarily occur. I don't believe Scripture teaches that to be the case, for there are a number of occasions that refer to those who resist or defy God's will (e.g. Matt. 7:21; 1 Thes. 4:3-8; John 5:19-41, etc...). Therefore it is not a violation of Scripture to recognize the mystery that God wills the salvation of all, yet not all are saved. The same goes for God's grace. We can ask, how can some not be saved if they received God's grace? It is because it is possible for man to resist such movements (i.e. Acts 7:51; 2 Cor. 6:1; Heb. 6:4-6, et al). There is a difference in understanding between Limited Atonement Calvinists and UA believers in that the Calvinist believes man's response to be a violation of God's sovereignty (e.g. John Calvin's Doctrine of Election by Rev. Bryn MacPhail). Yet, as we see in places like the parable of the talents, if one utilizes the Master's gifts, it is by no means a violation of his sovereignty. He chooses to "entrust" man with his property.

    Finally, I discussed the teaching on Jesus' "human nature" as the representative for mankind. I think we can see from Hebrews 2, supported by its historical interpretation, that uniting with humanity, Jesus makes expiation for all mankind.

    There were many other worthy points throughout this debate that I will leave to the viewer to read. I also welcome and remind anyone who has comments, or if R Baker has any additional thoughts, to visit the Peanut Gallery for this debate.

    May God have guided this debate so that His truth be known to all.

    With that, thanks to R Baker for suggesting the debate, Mark Rohfrietsch for setting it up, and any of you for visiting the debate thread.
    Merry Christmas. :)
     
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