Countach wrote:

> That's a very long article you have there, presenting a very long,
> involved complex theological argument.
> If it's so blooming central to the gospel, shouldn't you just be able to
> quote dozens of verses that say
> that salvation is conditioned only on the imputed righteousness of
> Christ? I mean, if this is the heart of the
> gospel, Jesus and the apostles would be saying this every chance they
> get, but where are the verses?
> It's not good enough here to just prove your doctrine, you have to prove
> that your doctrine is *obvious*
> to make it central to the gospel.


What?? The article I posted presents an "involved complex theological argument"?? The doctrine is not obvious?? Did you even read the article?? This doctrine is so simple even a child can understand it!! An atonement that actually atones! What a concept!

If you think the atonement is just "complex theology" that is not "obvious" to every Christian, then you "obviously" have no understanding of what the gospel really is.

Incredible. I'm just shaking my head.

Marc


I wrote:

<<What?? The article I posted presents an "involved complex theological argument"?? The doctrine is not obvious?? Did you even read the article?? This doctrine is so simple even a child can understand it!! An atonement that actually atones! What a concept!

If you think the atonement is just "complex theology" that is not "obvious" to every Christian, then you "obviously" have no understanding of what the gospel really is.

Incredible. I'm just shaking my head.>>

Countach wrote:

<<Yes it can be expressed simply, but does the BIBLE express it so simply? If a Christian reads 1 John 2:2 "He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world", is your doctrine crystal clear? Or does some hard exegetical work have to be done? In short, what is the verse you claim that makes it so crystal clear that Christ's atonement is the only conditional? Don't all the verses discussing salvation by faith make it seem like there is another conditional? Again, doesn't it take good solid work to find one's way to your position? Again, where is the verse that makes it as clear as you claim? If people can quote verses at each other from both point of view, doesn't that show that this doctrine is a bit trickier to establish than a core doctrine?>>

Would you say that the deity of Christ is a core doctrine?

If a Christian reads Matthew 12:32: "And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him. But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, not in this age nor in the coming one", is your doctrine crystal clear? Or does some hard exegetical work have to be done? If the Jehovah's Witnesses can quote verses at each other from both points of view, doesn't that show that this doctrine is a bit trickier to establish than a core doctrine? After all, the Bible says:

Numbers 23:19: "God is not a man that He should lie, or a son of man that He should repent. Has He said, and shall He not do it? And has He spoken, and shall He not make it good?"

Doesn't this say that God is NOT a son of man? Thus, can we not make the following syllogism:

Jesus is a son of man.

God is not a son of man.

Thus, Jesus is not God.

So, using your reasoning, it's really not so clear, is it? New Christians can be ignorant or confused about the deity of Christ. They can even deny that Jesus is God. They need to do some "deeper study" into this "advanced doctrine," they need to read the writings of the "Church Fathers," they need to do some "theological research" and some "good solid work" before they come to the position that Jesus is God. If someone comes to them with a Bible verse that supposedly shows that Jesus is God, then they can counter with the verses that say Jesus is the son of man and that God is not a son of man. They can go to 1 Corinthians 15 and say that the deity of Christ is not clearly set forth in the definition of the gospel. It's quite a gray area, Countach. You shouldn't be so quick to judge all who deny that Jesus is God are unregenerate. This cannot be a core doctrine, according to your reasoning. There is controversy in the "Christian community" over this doctrine. Oh, well, I guess you gotta throw that doctrine out as a core doctrine. And what do you have left? A "jesus" who is not God. Just like if you left out the atonement, what you have left is a "jesus" who didn't accomplish anything for anybody.

You asked if 1 John 2:2 is crystal clear: It MOST CERTAINLY IS.

You asked for Scripture to show crystal clear that Christ's atonement actually accomplished something:

How about a bunch of them?

Jesus Christ is "The Lamb of God, taking away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). He "was revealed that He might take away our sins" (1 John 3:5). His blood was "poured out for remission of sins" (Matthew 26:28). He "made purification of our sins through Himself" (Hebrews 1:3). His mission was "to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make atonement for iniquity" (Daniel 9:24), and to "undo the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8), that "through death He might cause to cease the [one] having the power of death, that is, the devil" (Hebrews 2:14). Jesus Christ" has been manifested for putting away of sin through the sacrifice of Himself" (Hebrews 9:26). He "washed us from our sins by His blood" (Revelation 1:5). He has "forgiven you all the offenses, blotting out the handwriting in the ordinances against us, which was contrary to us, even [He] has taken it out of the midst, nailing it to the cross" (Colossians 2:13-14). His blood "cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). In Him there is "the remission of sins" (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14). His blood was shed once, because "apart from shedding of blood no remission occurs. ... But where remission of these is, there [is] no longer offering concerning sins" (Hebrews 9:22; 10:18). God in Christ was "not charging their trespasses to them" (2 Corinthians 5:19), and "with His wounds we ourselves are healed" (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24).

God's people "were bought with a price" (1 Corinthians 6:20). They were "redeemed ... with precious blood of Christ" (1 Peter 1:18-19). They were "purchased through [His] own blood" (Acts 20:28). They "shall be saved from the wrath through Him" (Romans 5:9). They are "justified freely by His grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:24). They sing to Jesus Christ, "You were slain, and by Your blood purchased us to God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation" (Revelation 5:9). Jesus Christ came to "save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21) and to "set these free, as many as by fear of death were subject to slavery through all the [time] to live" (Hebrews 2:15). He is "the [One] delivering us from the coming wrath" (1 Thessalonians 1:10). He has "given Himself a ransom on behalf of all" (1 Timothy 2:6). He "gave Himself for our sins, so that He might deliver us out of the present evil age" (Galatians 1:4). He "gave Himself on our behalf, that He might redeem us from all lawlessness" (Titus 2:14). "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law" (Galatians 3:13). He came "that He might redeem the ones under Law" (Galatians 4:5), "to give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45). In Christ, "we have redemption through His blood" (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14).

God "reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ ... God was in Christ reconciling [the] world to Himself" (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). He "sent His Son [to be] a propitiation relating to our sins" (1 John 4:10) and set forth Jesus Christ as "a propitiation through faith in His blood" (Romans 3:25). Jesus Christ is the "propitiation relating to our sins, and not relating to ours only, but also relating to all the world" (1 John 2:2). He came "to make propitiation for the sins of [His] people" (Hebrews 2:17), "that He might bring us to God" (1 Peter 3: 18). "For He is our peace, He making us both one, and breaking down the middle wall of partition, in His flesh causing to cease the enmity, the Law of the commandments in decrees, that He might in Himself create the two into one new man, making peace, and might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, slaying the enmity in Himself. And coming, [He] proclaimed peace to you, the ones afar off, and to the ones near" (Ephesians 2:14-17). "For if [while] being enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life; and not only [so], but also glorying in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we now received the reconciliation" (Romans 5: 10-11). "... through Him making peace by the blood of His cross, to reconcile all things to Himself ... now He reconciled in the body of His flesh, through death" (Colossians 1:20-22). "But He was wounded for our transgressions; [He was] bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him ... But Jehovah pleased to crush Him, to make Him sick, [so that] if He should put His soul as a guilt offering, He shall see [His] seed; He shall prolong [His] days, and the will of Jehovah shall prosper in His hand. He shall see [the fruit] of the travail of His soul; He shall be fully satisfied. By His knowledge the righteous One, My Servant, shall justify for many, and He shall bear their iniquities. Because of this, I will divide to Him with the great, and with the strong He shall divide the spoil; because He poured out His soul unto death; and [He] was numbered with those transgressing; and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for those transgressing" (Isaiah 53:5-12).

Christ's work:

Justifies us and saves us from wrath (Romans 3:24; 5:9).

Reconciles us to God (Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18-19; Colossians 1:21).

Gives us justification of life, makes us righteous (Romans 5:18-19).

Makes us dead to sin (Romans 6:1-11).

Makes us not condemnable or chargeable, makes us free from the law of sin and death, makes us unable to be separated from the love of God (Romans 8:1-2, 31-39).

Makes us wise, sanctifies us, redeems us (1 Corinthians 1:30).

Makes us the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Delivers us from the present evil age (Galatians 1:4).

Redeems us from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13).

Redeems us, giving us the adoption of sons (Galatians 4:5).

Crucifies us unto the world and crucifies the world unto us (Galatians 6:14).

Blesses us with all spiritual blessings, makes us holy and without blame, redeems us, forgives our sins, gives us an inheritance (Ephesians 1:3-14).

Makes peace and abolishes enmity between us and God, reconciling us to God (Ephesians 2:13-17).

Redeems us and forgives our sins (Colossians 1:14).

Makes peace with us, reconciles us, presents us holy and unblameable and unreprovable in God's sight (Colossians 1:20-22).

Forgives us our trespasses, blots out the handwriting of ordinances against us and takes it out of the way (Colossians 2:13-14).

Redeems us from all iniquity and purifies unto himself a peculiar people (Titus 2:14).

Justifies us, makes us heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:6-7).

Purges our sins (Hebrews 1:3).

Delivers us, makes reconciliation for our sins (Hebrews 2:14-17).

Gives us eternal salvation (Hebrews 5:9).

Saves us to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25).

Eternally redeems us, purges our conscience from dead works to serve the living God, gives us an eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9:12-15).

Puts away our sin (Hebrews 9:26-28).

Sanctifies us (Hebrews 10:10; 13:12).

Perfects us forever (Hebrews 10:14).

Gives us boldness to enter into the holiest (Hebrews 10:19).

Redeems us (1 Peter 1:18-19).

Heals us, makes us die to sins and live unto righteousness (1 Peter 2:24).

Brings us to God (1 Peter 3:18).

Cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7).

Takes away our sins (1 John 3:5).

Preserves us (Jude 1).

Washes us from our sins (Revelation 1:5).

Redeems us to God (Revelation 5:9).

Is this clear enough for you? It's just as clear as the deity of Christ. The gospel includes the CORE DOCTRINE that "Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:3). Those who say that this is NOT a core doctrine are blasphemers. Those of us who have been washed by the blood of the Lamb are characterized by the following:

1Corinthians 2:2: "For I decided not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ, and Him having been crucified."

1 Corinthians 1:18-22: "For the Word of the cross is foolishness to those being lost, but to us being saved, [it] is [the] power of God. For it has been written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will set aside the understanding of the understanding ones. Where is [the] wise? Where is [the] scribe? Where [the] lawyer of this world? Did God not make the wisdom of this world foolish? For since in the wisdom of God the world [by] wisdom did not know God, God was pleased through the foolishness of preaching to save the ones believing. And since Jews ask for a sign, and Greeks seek wisdom, we, on the other hand, preach Christ crucified (truly an offense to Jews, and foolishness to Greeks), but to the called ones, both to Jews and to Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God; because the foolish thing of God is wiser [than] men, and the weak thing of God is stronger [than] men. For you see your calling, brothers, that [there are] not many wise according to flesh, nor many powerful, not many wellborn. But God chose the foolish things of the world that the wise might be put to shame, and God chose the weak things of the world so that He might put to shame the strong things. And God chose the low-born of the world, and the despised, and the things that are not, so that He might bring to nothing the things that are, so that no flesh might glory in His presence. But of Him, you are in Christ Jesus, who was made to us wisdom from God, both righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that even as it has been written, He that glories, let him glory in [the] Lord. And when I came to you, brothers, I did not come with excellency of word or wisdom, declaring to you the testimony of God. For I decided not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ, and Him having been crucified."

Galatians 6:14: "But may it never be for me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."

We preach and boast in CHRIST, and HIM CRUCIFIED, which is the ESSENTIAL, BASIC, HEART, CORE, ESSENCE, FOUNDATION, CORNERSTONE, CRUX of the gospel. Without CHRIST CRUCIFIED, there is no gospel. If one does not believe in CHRIST CRUCIFIED, he is yet dead in his sins. Those who believe that CHRIST CRUCIFIED is not essential to the gospel have no clue as to what the gospel is. And CHRIST CRUCIFIED doesn't just mean that a man got nailed to a cross and died. It means that the GOD-MAN MEDIATOR ACCOMPLISHED FULL PARDON, FULL REDEMPTION, FULL PROPITIATION, and FULL RECONCILIATION FOR EVERYONE WHOM HE REPRESENTED. THAT is CHRIST CRUCIFIED. Anything less is NOT Christ crucified.

Whatever one believes makes the difference between salvation and damnation is what one boasts and glories in. The one who believes that it is the work of Jesus Christ alone that makes the only difference between salvation and damnation boasts and glories in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ and does not boast or glory in self. What of those who believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception? They do not believe that it is the work of Jesus Christ alone that makes the difference between salvation and damnation; instead, they believe that it is the effort of the sinner that makes the ultimate difference between salvation and damnation. They do not boast or glory in the cross of Christ; they boast and glory in themselves. They might say they "give all glory to God" and that it is "the cross that makes the difference" and that it is "nothing but the blood of Jesus," but if they believe that Jesus Christ died for people who are burning in hell, then they DO NOT believe that it is the work of Christ alone that makes the difference between salvation and damnation. They DO NOT believe that the work of Christ was effectual to secure and ensure the salvation of everyone for whom Christ died. They DO NOT believe the very heart of the gospel. They are unregenerate boasters in self.

And what about people like Countach, who believes that some who believe that Christ's death did not actually accomplish pardon, redemption, propitiation, and reconciliation believe the gospel? This shows that people like Countach do NOT believe that the gospel includes the doctrine that Christ's death actually accomplished pardon, redemption, propitiation, and reconciliation. They do NOT believe that the gospel includes the doctrine that Christ's blood actually atoned. They deny that the atonement is part of the gospel. And in doing so, they deny the very gospel itself. They shows that they have no idea what the gospel is. They shows that they are just as unregenerate as the universal atonement advocate is.

REPENT and believe THE GOSPEL.

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter


Hello, Chris B -

I appreciate the fact that you addressed the actual quotes and at least tried to give a plausible alternative explanation to some of the quotes. I respect you for that. It's nice to find someone who's at least somewhat thoughtful. I hope we can continue to have thoughtful dialogue.

For the sake of others reading this, I'd like to put forth the quotes in question, then my explanation of the quotes, and then your comments.

---

Calvin: "And, indeed, in the Second Epistle of Peter, Christ alone is mentioned, and there he is called Lord. But He means that Christ is denied, when they who had been redeemed by his blood, become again the vassals of the Devil, and thus render void as far as they can that incomparable price." [Commentary on Jude 4]

[mdc] Calvin is here saying that some of those who were redeemed by the blood of Christ go back to being vassals of the Devil. [These people that Calvin believed were redeemed by the blood of Christ are described in 2 Peter 2 as false teachers who bring in damnable heresies (v. 1), made to be taken and destroyed, who shall utterly perish in their own corruption (v. 12), and cursed children (v. 14), among other things.]

Chris B:

> For the first one concerning Jude, Calvin apparently believes that
> Christians can at times sin and at such times would be regarded as slave
> to the devil. You may not think Calvin is right in this particular, but
> since he believes in the preservation of the saints, he clearly isn't
> saying that someone could become unsaved.


You failed to comment on the actual verse upon which Calvin was commenting. Here's the verse (as quoted in Calvin's commentary): "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation; ungodly men, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." These are the people whom Calvin believed were redeemed by the blood of Christ. Let's look at Calvin's own words regarding these people (also from the commentary on Jude 4):

"The word pareisduno, which he uses, denotes an indirect and stealthy insinuation, by which the ministers of Satan deceive the unwary ... He calls that judgment, or condemnation, or a reprobate mind, by which they were led astray to pervert the doctrine of godliness; for no one can do such a thing except to his own ruin."

It is clear about whom Calvin is talking. He is talking about ministers of Satan, people of reprobate mind, who pervert the doctrine of godliness to their own ruin. THESE are the ones who were redeemed by the blood of Christ, according to Calvin. THESE are the ones who "render void as far as they can that incomparable price." Calvin is saying they render Christ's redemption for them in particular void, but they do not render Christ's redemption for believers void. This is obviously universal atonement.

---

Calvin: "Also we ought to have good care of those that have been redeemed with the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. If we see souls which have been so precious to God go to perdition, and we make nothing of it, that is to despise the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ." [Sermon on Ephesians 5:11-14]

[mdc] Calvin is here saying that souls that go to perdition are precious to God, because they have been redeemed with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Chris B:

> For the Ephesians sermon quote, I'd like to see the quote in the
> original language, but I would take "perdition" here to have the meaning
> "ruin" (Webster's dictionary). You could more easily accuse James than
> Calvin at this point in James 5:19-20.


First of all, if "perdition" means "ruin without going to damnation," the commentary makes no sense. If the reader sees a redeemed soul go to ruin without damnation, how is this to despise the blood of Christ? Obviously, to Calvin, this has to do with the BLOOD. More specifically, it has to do with the REDEEMING blood. He is saying that if the reader sees these "souls which have been so precious to God," "that have been redeemed with the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ," go to eternal ruin, then this would be to despise the blood of Christ that redeemed these people who go to eternal ruin. To make this say that Calvin means a kind of ruin that is not of damnation but is some kind of temporal ruin is a large stretch. And the stretch doesn't make sense, since some kind of temporal ruin has nothing to do with despising the redeeming blood of Christ.

Also, just to let you know, Calvin said this a few sentences before the quote:

"And this serves not only to show the zeal which we have that God should be honoured, but also to restrain poor souls that are on the way to destruction, and to bring them back again into the way of salvation."

Obviously, he's not talking about temporal destruction.

---

Calvin: "The four reasons, whereby Paul doth carefully prick forward the pastors to do their duty diligently, because the Lord hath given no small pledge of his love toward the Church in shedding his own blood for it. Whereby it appeareth how precious it is to him; and surely there is nothing which ought more vehemently to urge pastors to do their duty joyfully, than if they consider that the price of the blood of Christ is committed to them. For hereupon it followeth, that unless they take pains in the Church, the lost souls are not only imputed to them, but they be also guilty of sacrilege, because they have profaned the holy blood of the Son of God, and have made the redemption gotten by him to be of none effect, so much as in them lieth. And this is a most cruel offense, if, through our sluggishness, the death of Christ do not only become vile or base, but the fruit thereof be also abolished and perish ..." [Commentary on Acts 20:28]

[mdc] Calvin is here saying that the lost souls within the church are part of the redemption gotten by Christ, and the fruit of the death of Christ is abolished and perishes when the pastors do not do their duty.

Chris B:

> For the Acts 20:28 paragraph, The key to your misunderstanding is the
> phrase "so much as in them lieth". The fruits of being redeemed can be
> "abolished or perish", and it makes their redemption - as regards to
> fruits - to be of no effect, which is "so much as in them lieth" - i.e.
> to the limited extent which is dependant on the pastor.

Oops, Chris, you missed a key part of Calvin's quote that renders your explanation void. Read the quote again closely. I'll quote the sentence in question with the key word in all caps: "For hereupon it followeth, that unless they take pains in the Church, the LOST souls are not only imputed to them, but they be also guilty of sacrilege, because they have profaned the holy blood of the Son of God, and have made the redemption gotten by him to be of none effect, so much as in them lieth." Did you get that? Calvin was talking about the LOST souls. He is saying that unless the pastors take pains in the church, the LOST SOULS are charged to the pastors' account and the pastors are guilty of making Christ's redemption for these LOST SOULS of none effect, so much as in them (the pastor) lies. You are correct in saying that "so much as in them lieth" means "to the limited extent which is dependant [sic] on the pastor." Calvin is saying that the pastors have made Christ's redemption for these LOST SOULS of none effect, to the limited extent which is dependent on the pastor. He's saying that the pastors are not held TOTALLY responsible for the damnation of these LOST souls, but they are PARTIALLY responsible for the damnation of these LOST souls. He is obviously saying that negligent pastors are partially responsible for making Christ's redemption for lost souls of none effect.

---

Calvin: "He makes this favor common to all, because it is propounded to all, and not because it is in reality extended to all; for though Christ suffered for the sins of the whole world, and is offered through God's benignity indiscriminately to all, yet all do not receive him." [Commentary on Romans 5:18]

[mdc] Calvin is here saying that although Christ suffered for the sins of the whole world, yet all do not receive Him. If he had just said, "Christ suffered for the sins of the whole world," we could have considered the possibility that he could have meant "the whole world of the Jews and Gentiles" or "the whole world of the elect" and not everyone without exception. But he goes on to say that "all do not receive him," which means that he believed that Christ suffered for the sins of the whole world, including all who do not receive him.

Chris B:

> For Rom 5:18, we are back again to arguing what Calvin means by "the
> whole world". Is John similarly condemned in 1Jn 2:2? Now if you read it
> a bit more carefully, Calvin says that it is "//propounded to all, and
> not because it is in reality extended to all". i.e. while many hear the
> message, it isn't IN REALITY extended to all.

Of course John is not similarly condemned in 1Jn 2:2. Did you actually read my explanation of Calvin's quote? I would never judge someone lost based on the fact that he said that Jesus died for the sins of "the world" or of "the whole world" or "of all men." I would first have to find out what he means. And we know what John means.

And we know what Calvin means because of the context of the quote. More context might be helpful. Right before this quote, Calvin wrote,

"... the righteousness with which he was endued reached farther, in order that, by conferring this gift, he might enrich the faithful."

Thus, "this favor" that is "common to all, because it is propounded to all, and not because it is in reality extended to all" is the gift of righteousness. This "favor" is NOT Christ's death; it is imputed righteousness. Calvin believed that not all for whom Christ died would receive the gift of righteousness. So what does Calvin mean by "whole world"? Does he mean the same thing as 1 Jn 2:2? Obviously not, based on the context. Read closely: "... for though Christ suffered for the sins of the whole world, and is offered through God's benignity indiscriminately to all, yet all do not receive him." The "whole world," according to Calvin, INCLUDES the ones who are OFFERED Christ but who DO NOT RECEIVE Christ. Any other reading of this is an attempt to avoid the obvious conclusion that Calvin believed that Christ suffered for those who do not receive Him.

---

Calvin: "True it is that the effect of His death comes not to the whole world. Nevertheless, forasmuch as it is not in us to discern between the righteous and the sinners that go to destruction, but that Jesus Christ has suffered His death and passion as well for them as for us, therefore it behoves us to labour to bring every man to salvation, that the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ may be available to them ..." [Sermon CXVI on the Book of Job (31:29-32)]

[mdc] Calvin is here saying that Jesus Christ has suffered His death and passion for the righteous as well as the sinners that go to destruction. (Note also that Calvin used the term "whole world" to mean everyone without exception.)

Chris B:

> For the Job one, you are assuming that "them" refers to sinners that go
> to destruction. I'd like to see more of the context for this one because
> I suspect the context would clear things up. But I think in the context,
> Calvin is saying that we can't discern between the elect and non-elect,
> therefore we labour to bring every man to salvation (not knowing which
> are the elect), because among them are those for whom Christ died.


Now I had to chuckle at your explanation. It defies logic. Please, Chris, look at this logically. Calvin was a very logical person. Take a look:

"Nevertheless, forasmuch as it is not in us to discern BETWEEN THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE SINNERS THAT GO TO DESTRUCTION, but that Jesus Christ has suffered His death and passion AS WELL FOR THEM AS FOR US ..." What you're trying to get Calvin to say is this: "Nevertheless, forasmuch as it is not in us to discern BETWEEN THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE UNREGENERATE ELECT, but that Jesus Christ has suffered His death and passion AS WELL FOR THEM AS FOR US ..." But this is obviously to totally change the meaning of this passage. He was talking about SINNERS THAT GO TO DESTRUCTION. (I'm surprised you didn't try to say that "destruction" meant some kind of temporal ruin.)

Let me try to make this parallelism very clear:

THE RIGHTEOUS - THE SINNERS THAT GO TO DESTRUCTION

US - THEM

It is so logically plain that THE RIGHTEOUS = US, and THE SINNERS THAT GO TO DESTRUCTION = THEM.

Go ahead and look up the context.

---

Calvin: "The word many is not put definitely for a fixed number, but for a large number; for he contrasts himself with all others. And in this sense it is used in Romans 5:15, where Paul does not speak of any part of men, but embraces the whole human race." [Commentary on Matthew 20:28]

[mdc] Calvin is here saying that in Matthew 20:28, the "many" for whom Christ was given as a ransom is not talking about any part of the human race but the whole human race. If he had just said that Christ is a ransom for the whole human race, we might be able to consider the possibility that he did not mean everyone without exception. But he contrasts "part" and "whole," obviously meaning that he believed that Christ was given as a ransom for the whole human race as opposed to just part of the human race.

Chris B:

> For the next one, you are very confused on this one. Calvin gives the
> opinion that the word "many" in Mt, was written here with the sense of
> "a large number", rather than "a limited number". He is not denying that
> there is a limited number, only that this is not Jesus' intent in this
> passage. Then he says that "many" is used this way in Ro 5:15, where he
> asserts that it refers to the whole human race. (which it does, in so
> far as the whole human race "died" because of Adam, so Calvin is correct
> as to this minor point). But Calvin does NOT link "the whole human race"
> - the meaning in Ro 5:15, with the meaning in Mt, where Calvin asserts
> the meaning is "a large number". He only says that the sense is similar
> to Ro, in so far as it is not trying to limit the number but express a
> great number.


Sorry, Chris, but this one doesn't fly, either. Perhaps some of your confusion would be eliminated by seeing what Calvin wrote in the original:

"Il prend PLUSIEURS, non pas pour quelque certain nombre, mais pour les autres: car il fait une comparaison de sa personne a tout le reste des hommes;" -- "He takes MANY, not for any fixed number, but for the others; for he makes a comparison of his person with all the rest of men."

Calvin is saying that when Christ said "many" in Matthew 20:28, he was talking about all other persons other than himself. And he confirms this by giving an example from Romans 5:15 in which the word "many" is used twice: once to talk about the "many" whom Adam represented and the "many" whom Christ represented. Calvin says that the "many" in both cases are talking about the WHOLE HUMAN RACE.

To conclude: Really, really good try, Chris! It's the best try I've seen. But, as you can see, it falls way short of absolving Calvin of teaching universal atonement.

Now I'd like to address the rest of your post:

> Don't forget that many people would cite 1jn 2:2, and 1Ti 2:4 and say
> the same thing about the apostles, so we only need a plausable
> explanation.

Like I said above, I would never judge someone lost based on the fact that he said that Jesus died for the sins of "the world" or of "the whole world" or "of all men." I would first have to find out what he means. And we know what John and Paul mean.

> It is also
> conceivable that Calvin himself only became clearer about these things
> later in life, so what you should do, if you want to know the truth, is
> also lay out the quotes pro and con by chronologically when he wrote them.


A Christian does not "grow" from believing in a false gospel of universal atonement (salvation conditioned on the sinner) into believing the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the work of Jesus Christ alone. There are certain basic gospel doctrines that are believed by all believers the moment of regeneration and conversion. The doctrines of the PERSON of Christ and the WORK of Christ are two fundamental gospel doctrines. Without them, you do not have the gospel.
So if Calvin believed in universal atonement earlier in his life, he was unregenerate earlier in his life. And if he then later changed his mind about the atonement while still believing that he was a regenerate person when he believed in universal atonement, he remained unregenerate. There is nothing in Calvin's writings that I know of in which Calvin considered himself to be unregenerate when he espoused universal atonement.

> >And what of the "as is most everything on this web page wrong"?
> Would you
> >care to elaborate?
>
> Well, it says that "reformed" means to "improve with change". If
> anything that is more a secondary meaning. The word also means to form
> again. "Re" meaning "again" - form again.


Now if "re-formed" means "to form again," meaning that it is not merely a correction or improvement or betterment and that it has absolutely nothing to do with the synagogue of Satan that it came out of and that it is a forming of a completely new thing, then that's great! But here's what I'm finding regarding "reformed": Synonyms of "reform": amend, better, change, correct, reorganize, improve, mend, rehabilitate, revise.

And here are the definitions of the verb "reform" from Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary - Tenth Edition (note that these definitions are listed in order of meanings: primary, secondary, tertiary, etc.):

"1 a: to put or change into an improved form or condition. b: to amend or improve by change of form or removal of faults or abuses. 2: to put an end to (an evil) by enforcing or introducing a better method or course of action. 3: to induce or cause to abandon evil ways (~a drunkard). 4 a: to subject (hydrocarbons) to cracking. b: to produce (as gasoline or gas) by cracking. ~vi: to become changed for the better. syn: see CORRECT.

So, far from being a "secondary meaning," the PRIMARY meaning, even with its SYNONYMS, means "improve with change."

> And there's much other
> meaningless and nonsense fluff, but it's hard to know where to start.


Wow -- "meaningless and nonsense fluff," eh? Hey, while I have my dictionary out, I see that "fluff" in this context means "something inconsequential." So the gospel and judging by the gospel are inconsequential? Hmmmm ...

So it's hard for you to know where to start. I'm very happy to help you start. The Lord willing, I will post some articles from our web site on this list. I then welcome you (and any others on this list) to review these articles, and we can discuss them. Please be sure to point out the "meaningless and nonsense fluff" in the articles I post if there is any. And if any of you agree with these articles, I'd like to know that as well. Perhaps this will turn into some very fruitful discussion about essential life-and-death issues of the gospel.

To God alone be the glory,
Marc D. Carpenter

"Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive with them." (Proverbs 28:4)


Chris B wrote:

> So what you're telling me is that not only is holding to the 5 points a
> prerequisite to salvation, but ALSO that believing that all 5 points are
> a pre-requisite is also a pre-requisite?


Absolutely not! If I believed that anything the sinner does or believes or is enabled to do or believe is a prerequisite to salvation, I would be holding to a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner, just like the universal atonement advocates! NOTHING the sinner does or believes is a prerequisite to salvation! Got it? NOTHING! Not even believing in the deity of Christ! Not even believing in the work of Christ! NOTHING is a prerequisite to salvation!

You obviously haven't read our web site (even though you say it's fluff). I will post the article "Doctrinal Regeneration" that addresses this very thing. I will also post a letter I wrote to Credenda/Agenda on this subject.

Now there must be a distinction made between a PREREQUISITE and a NECESSARY FRUIT. A NECESSARY FRUIT of salvation is belief of the gospel. When God saves someone, He gives that person a knowledge, understanding, and belief of the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. Every regenerate person believes in the Thus, every regenerate person believes in the PERSON and the WORK of Christ. Belief in the person and work of Christ is not a prerequisite for salvation; it is the necessary, immediate, and inevitable FRUIT of salvation. Got it? Every believer believes in Christ crucified. Every believer believes that it is the work of Christ alone that makes the difference between salvation and damnation. Got it?

Read the articles.

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter


Chris B wrote:

> Let me clarify then. You are saying that anybody who doesn't believe the
> 5 points are a necessary sign of salvation, even if they themselves
> believe the 5 points, are not saved?


For a guy who said that "most everything" on our web page is "wrong" and that there is so "much much other meaningless and nonsense fluff" that it was "hard to know where to start," you sure have manifested an ignorance of what is on our web page. If you say that "most everything" on our web page is "wrong" and "meaningless and nonsense fluff," would it not be reasonable for the readers to assume that you actually READ everything on our web page so you could make a judgment that "most everything" is "wrong"? After all, if you had not read everything, then how would you be qualified to say that "most everything" is "wrong"? You didn't say "most everything I read on your web page was wrong." You said, "You are wrong about that (actually not so much wrong, as very VERY wrong) as is most everything on this web page wrong." Thus, the reader should assume you read everything on the web page. Obviously, you haven't, or else you would not have asked the question above, and you would not have even had to clarify your previous question regarding holding to the 5 points being a prerequisite to salvation and believing that all five points are a prerequisite to salvation being a prerequisite to salvation. Anyone who had read through our web site would know that we do not believe that believing the 5 points is a prerequisite to salvation. Anyone who had read through our web site would know that we do not believe that believing that all five points are a prerequisite top salvation is a prerequisite to salvation. So your blanket statement that "most everything" on our web page is "wrong" is actually deceptive, since you haven't even read enough of our web page to make that statement.

And where are your statements on what is "wrong" and what is "meaningless and nonsense fluff" in the articles from our web site that I have posted to this list? You need to prove your assertions, and you haven't yet. So it's time to get busy.

So now we have a question above that is also answered in our web site. And you would have known that if you had read what's on our web site. So instead of answering your question here, I will post some more things from our web site that answer your question. And then you can dissect it and show us all what is "wrong" and what is "meaningless and nonsense fluff."

It's not about "five points" of anything; it's about THE GOSPEL. (I will also post the article "Essential Gospel Doctrine.") Anyone who does not believe THE GOSPEL is unregenerate. Anyone who knowingly speaks peace to a person who brings a false gospel is unregenerate.

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter


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