Tenet: Limited Atonement
What I Remember it Meaning: Jesus only suffered enough for the unconditionally elect. Not an ounce more.
What it Actually Means: Atonement is limited in the sense that it is intended for some and not all.
Engaging Limited Atonement
First things first. I have long-held this argument to be pretty nonsensical. I now would say, "Okay, if you really want to think that much about it, go ahead. I just don't think it's a question that we really need to deal with." So, before I go into whether I agree or not, let's get into some quotes, starting with the ever controversial Karl Barth...who apparently from the grave recently followed me on Twitter.
Uh-oh. Barth didn't hold the party line. It's okay. I like anomalies.
Next, David Steele, et al.
Christ's redeeming work was intended to save the elect only and actually
secured salvation for them. His death was a substitutionary sacrifice
of the penalty of sin in the place of certain specified sinners. In
addition to putting away the sins of His people, Christ's redemption
secured everything necessary for their salvation, including faith, which
united them to Him. The gift of faith is infallibly applied by the
Spirit to all for whom Christ died, thereby guaranteeing their
Okay. So, here's the deal. What is being argued is who Jesus died for...in legal terms, for you scholars it refers to penal substitution. All that means is sin is caused us to have a certain price to pay Thus, to redeem mankind, Jesus had to pay a certain price. And to me holding God to a contract just doesn't even enter the picture. I don't see a lot of "Do this, and this will be the payment" in Scripture. Sure, we present salvation that way, "Pray this prayer and you get into heaven...yay!" But a contract with God just really isn't something I think we really need to get into.
I'm sorry for being so flippant, but when I look at the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross to save men and women from their sin, I don't automatically think, "Now let me look at the fine print." I don't assume when I meet someone, "Let me consult with Jesus to see if He shed blood on your behalf." So, yeah...as stated before I think it is just a nonsensical side road, but I also don't agree with it. I mean, if you are going to go with unconditional election and think that since only these people get in, that Jesus needs to cut a check for this much blood, I guess you can hold to it.
And in all honesty...this post is just going to stop here. I'm not going to go into much further detail, because frankly it doesn't interest me enough to meet my usual daily word quotient!
So, since this lacks my normal amount of text and you still clicked over today, I will leave you with a picture of a panda riding a plastic horse: