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Friday, April 10, 2009

A good "Good Friday" read

I know I haven't been taking the time to post as frequently as I probably should, but my schedule is incredibly hectic. What I have taken the time to do, however, is to read a fitting article for the occasion. This is an article that asks one to ponder Christ's work on the cross and to ask oneself whether the Bible teaches that Christ actually accomplished something there or merely made something possible for all who will add their personal work (John 6:29) to His.

I challenge anyone reading this now to take 20 minutes (or less, depending on how fast you read) and read through this article. If you do, don't waste that time by merely blowing off the arguments made; rather, take the time to think through the challenges given, and think through how you would seriously answer these claims if you disagree with them. Then, do me a favor and take the time to write a short (or long) response to it in the comment box below.

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Audrius Bieksa said...

I read that article very carefully. I have to say it is excellent article defending the Calvinist position and the doctrine of limited atonement. But also I have to say that I have some disagreement with it (I am not Arminian at all but I am neither a Calvinist).
It is very interesting thought he said form Hebr. 7: 24-26. Basically he is saying that Christ is interceding for the lost (those for whom He died but they are yet to be saved). Very interesting relationship of Christ to the lost people. I always thought this verse is speaking of saved people. I believe this verse is teaching that Christ as a High Priest makes intercessions for those who are in Him (those who came to the God through Him) and therefore they are secured because He is interceding for them ( even they are not perfect and they often sin). Very interesting teaching – that is saying that Christ has special relationships to those who are not saved (but for whom He died), and therefore He intercede for them. Show me some other Bible passages because I see that this verse might be interpreted in a different way, and I cannot build my theology only on one verse. Moreover Bible speaks that they were separated from God (Eph 4: 18) having nothing to do with Him. I see clearly from the Bible that while outside of faith we have no relationship with God (because we are the Children of Wrath- Eph. 2: 3). We are the children os Satan not of God, and when we believe then the glorious transformation is taking place and we become children of God (not earlier).
His next argument of shepherd and a sheep. Is he trying to say that even those who are not saved are the sheep of God? Again I would say it is not true. Before our salvation we were not the sheep of God, rather goats or wolfs. I just do not see that the Bible would speak of special relationship of those who are lost (but for whom Christ died- elect) and God. God has special relationships with His church and His children but not the lost people (or maybe I do not see something in the Bible?) I guess some people can see something more than it actually is when they really want it.

Michael.Gabriel said...

Audrius, I think you may need to go back and read the article even more carefully because the main point of the author's argument is that Jesus will definitely intercede for all for whom He died, and that He could not possibly be interceding on behalf of those who will end up in hell for the simple fact that they end up in hell; and He is a perfect intercessor Whom the Father always hears.

I assure you that the author was not, by any means, suggesting that God has any special relationship with the lost, nor that Christ is interceding for them. I see why you'd be confused with him making that type of assertion--especially since the article was meant to defend the doctrine of Particular Redemption. Take another look, and you should be able to see this pretty clearly.

Anonymous said...


I've read this article before, and I appreciate the fact that he bases his position off of Edwin Palmer's book. My wife and I did a complete logical analysis of his specific chapter on limited atonement several years ago for a sem course on logic. I personally think that the problem of limited atonement/particular redemption is not that it limits the extent of the atonement, but it limits the foci of the atonment. I would word my position in this manner (this is a direct quote from my personal doctrinal statement):

When Christ died on the cross as a substitution for sinners, the wrath of God was propitiated (1 John 2:2) and full redemption was made available (2 Pet 2:1). Christ’s death paid the actual price for the salvation of every human being but the payment is only reckoned to the account of those who believe (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2; cf. 2 Pet 3:9).

Some would and have called this position limited atonement. I'm not entirely comfortable with the "sufficient but not efficient" language.

Part of the confusion, I think, is the confusing of election with atonement. Election guarantees redemption. Atonement pays for redemption. I'm not entirely uncomfortable with the "covenant of redemption" concept (although I think that it is a misnomer to use covenantal language for it).

C A Watson

Dramatized Exegesis