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Sep 07, 2011

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Christiane

Peter, the Orthodox Christians believe that the answers to 'who' Christ would have the ability to save are found in the great mystery of the Incarnation.

David R. Brumbelow

Great information.
David R. Brumbelow

peter lumpkins

Christiane,

Thanks. Not sure your point, unfortunately...

David,

Glad to be of service!!

With that, I am...
Peter

Remi

Peter,

Good article.

Christiane,

What?

Steve Evans

Peter, thanks once again for hitting the nail on the head when it comes to truth. But, of course, the detractors have yet to come and share their 2 cents worth. Also, I didn't understand what Christiane was saying............

Christiane

Hi Peter,

My comment above referred to your post's quote, this:

"Eusebius (260-340 AD), penned these words about the Atonement: “it was needful that the Lamb of God should be offered for the other lambs whose nature He assumed, even for the whole human race.” "

The Orthodox of eastern Christianity celebrate the mystery of the Incarnation as a part of the whole 'Christ event' and Eusebius was not alone among the early Church Fathers in seeing the 'connection'.

If you wanted to explore the eastern Orthodox high view of the mystery of the Incarnation, you will find more references that are in agreement with the opinion of Eusebius.

Tony Byrne

Peter wrote:

"Of interest in Allen's historical analysis is the discouraging reality--discouraging at least to strict Calvinists--that he only uses Calvinist sources. In other words, Calvinists rejecting Calvinism!"

If I am reading this correctly in context, I assume you're saying something like this in the last sentence:

"Calvinists rejecting [what is exclusively deemed to be true] Calvinism [today by strict Calvinists]!"

Am I correct?

I don't think you're saying that Allen is arguing that the Calvinists he lists rejected Calvinism on the point (as some may misread you). Rather, so others can know, what Allen argued is that they (the Moderates) were in a distinct (yet authentically Calvinistic) trajectory than the other Owenic Calvinistic trajectory, since the moderates did not view Christ's satisfaction as limited in terms of His sin-bearing (as Owenism did). Consequently, Calvinistic men like R. L. Dabney and Charles Hodge (among others) took an unlimited reading of 1 John 2:2, though still seeing a sense of limitation or particularity in terms of Christ's decretal intent in dying. The Puritan Stephen Charnock, as an example of one in this trajectory, took an unlimited reading of John 1:29, and even referenced Amyraut's words on it in a footnote.

This is what R. C. Sproul seems unaware of. He assumes that if one believes in a Calvinistic sense of election, that necessarily entails that they view Christ's sin-bearing itself as limited. No, a real universality in terms of Christ's sin-bearing can co-exist with a real limitation in effectual intent, according to what these classical and moderate Calvnists are saying, just as universal offers, common love and God's universal saving will can co-exist with limited effectual callings and a limited decretal will to save only the elect. Sproul, like other contemporary Calvinistic teachers need to read men like Dr. Richard Muller who concedes that men like Ursinus, Bullinger, Zanchi, Musculus, Twisse, Kimedoncius, etc., held to the classical Christology that said Christ suffered for all He shares a nature with (i.e. all mankind), yet the efficacy of His death only pertains to the elect. This "middle way" has been eclipsed by the prevailing strict Calvinism today, yet scholarship is starting to come around, as can be seen in the recent book "Drawn Into Controversie: Reformed Theological Diversity Within Seventeenth-Century British Puritanism," ed. Michael A. G. Haykin and Mark Jones (Vandenjoeck & Ruprect, 2011). Of particular interest in this debate are Richard Muller's historiographical introduction (pp. 11-30) and Jonathan Moore's (admittedly problematic) chapter on "The Extent of the Atonement: English Hypothetical Universalism versus Particular Redemption." See pages 124-161. Moore is the first Reformed historian in print to concede that Henry Scudder (a Westminster Divine that Dr. David Allen references in Whosoever Will, pp. 67, 73-74) taught the classical model. This information has yet to trickle down to the Calvinistic laymen. Then, hopefully, it will at least help to correct the historical record, and perhaps help to set forth a moderate alternative to the prevailing strict Calvinism of today.

Eric Opsahl

When Folks agree with Luther's statement: "Christ hath taken away the sins, not of certain men only, but also of thee, yea, of the whole world…Not only my sins and thine, but also the sins of the whole world … take hold upon Christ.”

Isn't this implying that those who reject Christ and end up in Hell also have their sins forgiven?

peter lumpkins

Tony,

Precisely. My "Calvinists rejecting Calvinism" remark was intended as a literary 'eye-grabber' displaying a humorous paradox toward Calvinists like Sproul (and so many Baptist Calvinists) who insist true Calvinists are exclusively high Calvinists, leaving "low" Calvinists like yourself either, at best, in the Amyraldian pasture or worst in an Arminian barn! In addition, what "low" or "moderate" Calvinists reject in Calvinism (concerning Limited Atonement) is the ism--i.e. the developed logical system in second & third generation post-Calvin Calvinism--opting instead for the plain teaching of Scripture including language which emphasizes Christ died for "all", "the world", and "every man".

Thanks for your clarity on this issue Tony.

Grace, brother.

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

Eric,

To answer your question--No.

And, it's not just "agreeing" with Luther but virtually the entire history of the Christian church on the atonement. The strict Calvinist view of the atonement is arguably but a shade beyond a footnote in two millennium's of Christian theology. Why young Calvinists such as yourself (presumably, of you obviously) uncritically "buy into" such an innovative doctrine of the Cross remains fascinating.

Grace, my brother.

With that, I am...
Peter

Tony Byrne

Eric asked:
"Isn't this implying that those who reject Christ and end up in Hell also have their sins forgiven?"

No, that no more follows from Christ's universal satisfaction than the idea that the unbelieving elect have their sins forgiven merely because Jesus died for them, unless you want to buy into the unbiblical view of justification prior to faith (all the elect forgiven at the cross), or perhaps even the justification of all the elect in eternity. One is not forgiven merely because Jesus died for one. Faith (as a vital instrumental cause) in the all-sufficient Savior results in the forgiveness of sins, i.e. justification. If you'd like to read Calvinistic arguments against the double payment argument which seems to be underneath your question, see here (click).

Eric Opsahl


When folks (such as Luther) say something to the effect of:
"Christ hath taken away the sins, not of certain men only, but also of thee, yea, of the whole world"
I would say that Christ Limits "taking away a person's sins" to those who trust in Him, thru saving faith.

I would also say that those who die in sin without faith, do not have their sins forgiven.

Is it more complicated than that.

Tony Byrne

Eric,

It appears that you're reading "taken away the sins" as synonymous with forgiveness, rather than Luther's sense of "to bear," as in the lamb metaphor in John 1:29. Christ has "taken away the sins of the world" in the sense that He bore the punishment due for our sins, and thus "takes them away," or bears them, like the typological scapegoat.

We agree with you that only a person who has saving faith is forgiven, but that's not how we're reading the expression "taken away the sin of the world" in Luther or in John 1:29. We also agree with you that those who die in sin without faith do not have their sins forgiven, but we're contending that Jesus did suffer sufficiently for them, as their Redeemer and penal substitute.

Grace to you,
Tony

Eric Opsahl

Tony,

Yes i was.

Thanks

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