Mike L wrote:

> What is the difference between saying "God loves the whole world" and
> "God loves the whole human race?" Maybe Carpenter can enlighten us.

Well, if you read the comments on the Calvin quotes carefully, you would have seen the following:

<<If he [Calvin] 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.>>

<<If he [Calvin] 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.>>

As you see, I would not judge someone to be unregenerate just because he uses phrases like "the whole world" or "the whole human race." But taken in context, it is obvious that Calvin is talking about everyone without exception.

I welcome you or anyone else to give plausible alternative explanations of what Calvin meant by the quotes I provided in www.outsidethecamp.org/norefcal.htm. Not one person has yet provided plausible alternative explanations. There have been many people who have said I am wrong about Calvin (and would just pass me off as a nut and/or a heretic just because I dare call their beloved idol, John Calvin, into question), but when asked to give a plausible alternative explanation of these quotes, they suddenly fall silent or they go on some tangent that does not address the quotes and that is usually intended to change the subject of these heretical quotes.

> So I guess according to one in particular, 2 minutes after the ink
> dried on Luther's manuscript of Bondage of the Will, he stated: "Yes,
> Christ died for every single solitary individual, and now it's up to
> you to exercise your free will to make that death effective for you, as
> Salvation depends on YOUR will after all and not the will of Christ."

Well, as far as Luther goes, let's look at one quote in particular:

<<You say: Yes, I would gladly believe it if I were like St. Peter and St. Paul and others who are pious and holy; but I am too great a sinner, and who knows whether I am predestinated? Answer: Look at these words! What do they say, and of whom do they speak? "For God so loved the world"; and "that whosoever believeth on him." Now, the world is not simply St. Peter and St. Paul, but the entire human race taken collectively, and here no one is excluded: God's Son was given for all, all are asked to believe, and all who believe shall not be lost etc. Take hold of your nose, search in your bosom, whether you are not also a man (that is, a piece of the world) and belong to the number which the word "whosoever" embraces, as well as others? If you and I are not to take this comfort to ourselves, then these words must have been spoken falsely and in vain.

And surely, this has not been preached to any other than to humanity. Therefore, beware lest you exclude yourself and give place to the thought: Who knows whether it has been given to me? For that would be accusing God of falsely speaking in his Word. But, on the contrary, make a cross for yourself with these words, and say: If I am not St. Peter or St. Paul, I am, nevertheless, a part of the world. Had he intended to give it to the worthy only, then he would have had it preached to the angels alone, for they, are pure and without sin. He could then not have given it to St. Peter, to David, or to Paul, for they were sinners as well as I. No matter what I am, I know that God's Word is true; and if I do not accept it, then I am committing, above all other sins, this sin also, that I blaspheme the Word of God and the truth, and charge God with lying.>>

Sounds quite a bit like Billy Graham!

(1) God loved the world and gave His Son for all.
(2) I am part of the world, part of the "all."
(3) Thus, God loved me and gave His Son for me.

There can be no other conclusion than that Luther, in that sermon, was preaching a false gospel of universal atonement and salvation conditioned on the sinner, no matter what he said in Bondage of the Will.


Hello, Winnen!

You wrote:

<<I think this about says it all. It is NO MATTER to Marc Carpenter what Luther says in his TREATISE on man's part in salvation. And you say LUTHER sounds like Billy Graham?

The very ESSENCE of Billy Graham's theological method is to say, "NO MATTER what the WHOLE of the Bible says. Look at this verse I've snipped out of it!"

"Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.">>

First of all, I don't compare Luther's treatise to the Bible.

Secondly, since it DOES matter to you what Luther said in Bondage of the Will in relation to the quotes, then here's an opportunity for you to explain Luther's quotes (or even just the one I posted most recently) in light of Bondage of the Will. Go ahead and give it a shot. The contortions should be entertaining if nothing else. And while you're at it, why not take a shot at explaining the quotes from Calvin? This should be easy for you, a Calvin scholar. Go for it.

Thirdly, consider: Suppose a person says that salvation is based on the work of Christ alone. Then suppose he says that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception. How would you judge such a person? Would you say, "Well, I know he said over here that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception, but look -- over HERE he said that salvation is based on the work of Christ alone! He must be saved!" Or suppose a person writes in twenty different books that salvation is based on the work of Christ alone, and in only one book he writes that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception. Would you say, "He only advocated universal atonement once, compared to ALL THOSE OTHER TIMES in which he said that salvation is based on the work of Christ alone! He must be saved!" Of course not. His one statement of universal atonement shows that he REALLY DOESN'T believe in salvation based on the work of Christ alone, no matter how many times he says it!

Here's a quote from John Kennedy (very apropos, since he has recently been discussed here) who was responding to Horatius Bonar's argument that went something like this: "Look at all the GOOD THINGS that Moody has said! Look at all the ORTHODOX THINGS that Moody has said!" Sound familiar? "Look at all the GOOD, ORTHODOX things that Calvin and Luther wrote!" Read very closely:

"I am quite ready to allow that, in the addresses of those who hold the views to which I refer, there will be found statements that seem to contradict those which are objectionable. This, however, does not prove that the bearing of the teaching, as a whole, is not what I indicated. The telling part of the doctrine may be that which is unscriptural, and all the more is it helped to be so by the mixture of what tends to recommend it to acceptance. The measure of truth it contains merely serves, in many cases, to throw the conscience off guard. It seems to some, as if the utterance of an occasional statement, that is both indefensible and dangerous, can be quite counteracted by other statements, from the same source, that are confessedly scriptural. But in such a case, the character and tendency of the teaching are not determined by the counterpoise of truth. The sound doctrine cannot be intelligibly apprehended and honestly believed, if what is utterly inconsistent with it is both held and proclaimed. A breach in the wrapping exposes the contents of a parcel. To that opening the eye must be directed that would discover what the envelope enclosed. An occasional erroneous statement, breaking wildly through the bounds of possible orthodoxy, exposes the spirit of one's teaching, and is the index of its practical tendency."

To God alone be the glory,


Hey, Winnen -

I've been thinking some more about the whole issue regarding Luther and whether or not his The Bondage of the Will should matter if you see that he espoused universal atonement. And I have a couple things for you:

(1) Ever heard of a "four-point Calvinist"? Of course, we know that all of the doctrines of grace stand or fall together, but there are many people out there who say they believe the T,U,I, and P and don't believe the L. In fact, there are many of these people who would very vigorously defend the doctrine of Total Depravity and would give a hearty Amen to Luther's The Bondage of the Will. Some have even written treatises themselves defending the doctrine of Total Depravity. They say that a sinner has absolutely no ability to come to Christ in and of himself and that his will is completely bound, yet they also say that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception. Would you say that because they believe and defend the doctrine of total depravity (the doctrine of the bondage of the will), then their defense of universal atonement does not necessarily indicate that they are unregenerate? In other words, if someone confesses belief in universal atonement, would you then say, "but wait a minute, since he also believes in total depravity, in the bondage of the will, then this shows he is not necessarily unregenerate"? Would you say that there are some "four-point Calvinists" who are regenerate? Martin Luther was one such "four-point Calvinist." He vigorously defended the doctrine of Total Depravity in The Bondage of the Will. Yet he also preached universal atonement. If you say that all "four-point Calvinists" are unregenerate, you would have to include Luther in that category. If you do not believe that Luther was unregenerate when he preached universal atonement, then you cannot say that all "four-point Calvinists" are unregenerate. You can't have it both ways.

(2) I heard that you consider John Pedersen to be an unregenerate man. Is this true? If so, what did he say or do to lead you to that conclusion? You may wonder what this has to do with the Luther issue. Well, consider this: John Pedersen is a man who has vigorously defended the doctrines of grace. In fact, he has gone out on a limb in his own denomination in saying that all Arminians are unregenerate and all Tolerant Calvinists are in sin and need to repent. His web site is full of articles proclaiming the doctrines of grace. He would give a hearty Amen to Luther's The Bondage of the Will. He even wrote a great book entitled "Sincerity Meets The Truth." He is the kind of guy who would write a treatise like Luther's The Bondage of the Will. But, if you have judged Pedersen to be unregenerate, you have not taken any of this into account to the point of saying that these things show he is saved. Don't these things matter? Doesn't it matter that Pedersen has written all these things? After all, it matters to you that Luther, who preached universal atonement, wrote The Bondage of the Will. Why should it not matter in Pedersen's case? Why would you judge him to be unregenerate in spite of all that Pedersen has written and defended? John Robbins doesn't judge him to be unregenerate; why should you? (Or perhaps I heard wrong. Perhaps you do consider Pedersen to be a regenerate person and you think it's not schismatic to totally separate from a regenerate person's church.) You can't have it both ways. You can't say that Pedersen is unregenerate after all he's written, yet say that Luther was regenerate in spite of his preaching universal atonement because he wrote The Bondage of the Will. If Luther was regenerate, then Pedersen is regenerate. If Pedersen is unregenerate, then your argument of using other writings of the person in which the person defends at least one of the doctrines of grace falls flat.

I'm very interested to see how you respond to this. You and Mike L get all over my case because of what I've said about Luther and Calvin, and instead of actually addressing the quotes, you talk about the other things they've written in which they defend orthodoxy. So let's see if you're consistent or if you're double-minded (and double-tongued). Let's see if you apply the same standard across the board or if you're being hypocritical. Are all "four-point Calvinists" who defend total depravity but who also believe universal atonement unregenerate? Is John Pedersen, who has publicly defended and preached all of the doctrines of grace unregenerate? (Mike Leathers, feel free to chime in here, too.)

Looking forward to your response.

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)


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