Friday, 20 February 2009

Anti Effectual Atonement Proof Texts 2

My church's full time elder Andy Hunter made a good point about the word "all" in Scripture.

Sometimes "all" doesn't mean absolutely everything. A case in point is 1 Corinthians 15:27:

For "God has put all things in subjection under his feet." But when it says, "all things are put in subjection," it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. (ESV)

Is it possible then, that when Scripture says Christ died for "all", that it doesn't mean absolutely everyone?


JohnGreenview said...

As in any literature the context must decide the intended range of the word.

Nick said...

Two problems.

1) As John said, context trumps everything.

2) The issue of the NATURE of the Atonement (eg was it penal substitution) is what is the real issue, because just arguing "all" vs "some" fails to hit at the root of the problem. If Penal Substitution is false, then the Reformed has much bigger problems than arguing "all" vs "some" is.

Nick Mackison said...

Dear Nick,
I suppose my blog is directed at people who assume penal substitution. It's too big a discussion for the comments here. I'll have a look at your debate sometime tomorrow.

Good name by the way!

Steven Carr said...

"If Penal Substitution is false..."

That's a really big "if", Nick. Here's a much bigger "if". If penal substitution is false then Christianity is no longer needed.
Pastor's who preach that we have been saved from the wrath of God can go home. Martyrs can stop dying for the truth of the gospel. Sinners can choose any religion they want to because without penal substitution it's all about morality. So, Nick, you are correct in saying that the Reformed have (not has) a bigger problem if penal substitution is false.

Nick said...

Steven: So, Nick, you are correct in saying that the Reformed have (not has) a bigger problem if penal substitution is false.

Nick: I disagree. If PS is false, then Protestantism (esp Reformed) is incorrect. Catholicism holds a different view of the Cross than Reformed, so it's incorrect to say 'Christianity' itself is false if PS is false.

Steven Carr said...


As I've stated, without Penal Substitution we are left with moralism. A moralistic Christianity, which is what Catholicism is is no great alternative to the rest of the world's religion.

Nick said...


You've totally lost me. What do you mean "moralism" is all we have left?

Also, are you defending PS from Scripture or from a philosophical presupposition?

If Scripture does not teach PS, which I don't believe it does, then charges of "moralism" should not be our concern.