The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Limited Atonement?

So, I was reading “Five Points” by John Piper and read something I’ve never heard from a Calvinist before on limited atonement. Listen:

I guess I now believe like Piper that Christ died for all in some sense. Where I disagree with him is that I believe that the sense in which Christ died for the reprobate is when He extends this mercy to them in hell intertwined with His punitive wrath. For those who have faith in this lifetime God’s punishment is removed from them. They are saved by grace through faith. For those sinners who go to hell and receive the just punishment for their sins He tempers this justice with His mercy as He reconciles all to Himself. And this is all driven by holy love. So, I no longer believe Christ died only for His elect. This is also consistent with the Greek word Kolasis. As the New Testament Greek Lexicon states:

So, while people will be punished as they pay for their sins, they will be being corrected at the same time. It is my belief that while they are paying the price for their sins and receive God’s correction, they will be purified in the fires as well. God often intertwines His mercy and His punitive justice in the Bible. This is the paradox. Here’s a few examples:

I’ve heard R C Sproul say something similar.

The idea of double predestination is a hard pill for many to swallow, which is why there are folks that call themselves 4 point Calvinists. They can not bring themselves to say that Christ only came for some.

If we look at the elect and reprobate in a different way, (from a UR view) we could say that God desires all men to be saved ( 1Tim 2:4) but predestines some to be his workers. I would say these (elect) are the heirs of the promise. This is a very easy leap if we think of all punishment as corrective and not indiscriminate vengeance. We are told that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess Christ.

I’ve always questioned if predestination, from the usage in Ephesians and Romans, is tied to the evangelizing church. While some people may very well have deathbed conversions (and thus be a part of the body of Christ at that point) and even have some sort of effect on those around him or her, it seems that Paul is talking (when talking about predestination) to the church in action.

Just a thought

Hey maintainanceman,

I believe God predestines the first-fruits. The second-fruits receive mercy as do the first-fruits just not in the same way. The second fruits are punished and purified as they are baptized in the lake of fire. The first will be last and the last will be first but we will all make it.

Christ died for all and will reconcile all to Himself. He just didn’t die for all in the same way. That is to say, God shows mercy to all but not in the same way. Those in hell experience mercy under God’s just wrath or retributive punishment. Those who are in faith union with Christ are crucified with Him as they die to the old self and resurrected to new life. God’s wrath is removed from their vision (along with their rebellion) so that the can see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. They are saved by grace through faith. God may discipline them but this isn’t His punishing wrath.