Drinking Deeply

Tuesday, May 16, 2006 at 3:32 PM

(L)imited Atonement

Someone asked me to explain the 5 points of Calvinism today (wahoo!), and as I got to "L" - Limited Atonement they got that little look on their face that said "what? How can that possibly be biblical?" When I say that Limited Atonement basically says that "God didn't send Christ for everyone " immediately the response is, "what? I thought God loved everyone?"

My response in brief:

I guess "limited" emphasizes the wrong aspect that it's really supposed to illustrate. While I would say that God didn't send Christ to die for everyone, the point I would emphasize would not be the "scope" (how many people it's applied to), but rather the "extent" (how much it does). The point of saying that God didn't send Christ to die for everyone is to finish that statement with a positive one: Those that Christ died for are saved. Completely and irrevocably. Christ's death secures the salvation of those He died for. There isn't anything else that a person must do. The death of Christ upon the cross completely covers and removes all sin from a person and places Christ's perfect righteousness upon that person.

Thus a "Calvinist" limits Christ's death in one way (who Christ dies for), but has a much bigger picture of what Christ's death accomplishes: the salvation of each and every single one of those that God has chosen. A "synergist" removes the limit on Christ's death in one way, saying that Christ died for everyone, but places that limit on another aspect: Christ's death is only sufficient to save those who have faith (and yes, the terminology could probably be more precise) as well.

Yeah, "Limited Atonement" maybe could be replaced with "Definite Atonement" to clear up the confusion, but TUDIP doesn't quite sound so good as a TULIP =)

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Blogger Jessica said...


human inability
efficacious grace
particular redemption
unconditional election
perseverance of saints

OR, if you like "definite atonment" rather than "particular redemption"
you can have: DEHUP, PUDEH...

alternatively, if you like "assurance of salvation" rather than "perseverance of the saints" you can have funny ones like AHUED, HADUE

clearly, these are better than TULIP. who likes silly flowers anyway?  


Anonymous theocentric522 said...

It seems to me that whatever acronym we choose, we have to explain it and show biblical evidence for it. So just stick to TULIP.It's a good memory device. I've abandoned doctrines of grace out of frustration otherwise. j/k =)  


Blogger Frank Martens said...

Interesting :)

It's interesting to get into discussions with people about the topic of TULIP.

But most people have somehow been given an incorrect definition of what each point means.  


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