Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Anti-Effectual Atonement Proof Texts

So your evangelical/Arminian sparring partner doesn't like limited atonement (which you've now re-named Effectual Atonement). He's got issues with it; exegetical issues. He's arguing for Ineffectual Atonement. In a flash he gets out his "Spirit of Arminianism Study Bible" and hits you with 2 Corinthians 5:14. "For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died" (ESV). "Hah, explain that one. Christ died for all" he says lovingly.

You come back, in that same spirit of kinship with Romans 6:5 "For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his." (ESV)

If 2 Corinthians 5:14 states that the "all" whom Christ died for consists of absolutely everyone who ever lived, then, according to the same passage, absolutely everyone who ever lived has died with him too. Then Romans 6:5 tells us that those who have been united with Christ in death WILL be united with him in resurrection. Therefor we are left with two options; universalism (everyone will be saved) or effectual atonement. The only conclusion for one wishing to remain within the bounds of historical Christian orthodoxy is that the "all" of 2 Corinthians 5 must be ALL the elect from Israel AND the Gentile nations. More to come on this...


Nick said...

I'm Catholic, but too often I see Reformed not realizing the "Catholic view" on the Atonement.

I invite you to check out a Penal Substitution debate I'm having with a Reformed guy:

The options shouldn't be "Arminian" or "Calvinist," because "Catholic" is neither (though most don't realize that and label it Arminian).

Nathan said...

However Romans 6:3 (only 2 verses earlier) specifically states that we are baptized into his death. This is what unites us. While Christ died for all, not all are untied with Christ therefore his atonement is not effectual for all.