What's wrong with limited atonement?


True enough in terms of “evangelicalism” of which Calvinism is a dead branch; BUT there’s more to the biblical story than that, IMO.

As I understand it, redemption i.e., being bought, was indeed limited BUT its effect comprehensive and universal. How does that work you might ask?

As a pantelist I understand that redemption was pertinent predominately to Israel — Israel in “trespasses and sins” had fallen short of God’s glory as His image bearer to the wider world. As a result Israel needed “saving” i.e., redeeming, a bringing back, and that is exactly what Jesus did — he saved his people (Israel) from their sins — sins that needed perpetual year-on-year atoning for Jesus paid for, ONCE for all to redeem all Israel. In this light compare…

Mt 1:21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Rom 11:26-27 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.”

Heb 9:15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

ONLY Israel was under the old covenant — NO-ONE ELSE — His people being historic corporate Israel, period. In the gospel however faith-filled Israelites came to be the nucleus of God’s new covenant, again, ON BEHALF OF their “brethren” Israel. To this many a Gentile in the gospel then joined, having been… “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

The NT story is about THEIR redemption — specific (Rev 5:9-10). This however in the greater plan of God was no end in or of itself, no. Israel’s redemption through Christ the firstfruit AND his firstfruit saints of that era was the catalyst for the reconciliation of man to God. Thus redemption and reconciliation though indelibly linked are two different things — two wings however of the one dove of God’s graciousness.

And this from the pantelist perspective is what this looks like, as per Paul…


Thanks for sharing. Limited atonement certainly seems hard to reconcile with that verse.


Jesus said he came to give his life as a ransom for many. If he died for all, why did he say many instead of all?


I think as in Romans 5:18,19, “the many” was often a Greek expression used for the whole population, being used in Romans as parallel to “all men,” and to everyone who was “in Adam.” I.e. I think it was not used in distinction to all, but perhaps used as a way for the Gospels to show that Jesus didn’t see his death as just being for the elect, or for the select few of Israel. But of course most of the development of the nature and scope of Jesus’ atonement was left to the apostles after the event.


This is the malady of evangelicalism, which once you get past it you start to realise there is more than the maddening four walls of that stupid mindset in understanding the bible — I’ll qualify that with… “IMO”.

The “many” was Israel (Isa 53:12) i.e., “He will save His people from their sins” as per Mt 1:21 — Jesus DID! In consequence this “many” translated to the “all”, i.e., as explained above from Rom 11:12, 15the redemption of Israel wrought the reconciliation of man.


I wish everyone could understand this simple fact.


As Bob said. And/or, perhaps, following Isa.53:1-12 (read the whole chapter), which davo referred to, which also uses the word “many” (v.11-12) in the context of Christ’s death/ransom for sinners. The ransom which Paul applies to all mankind (1 Tim.2:4-6).


“For there in one God, and one Mediator between God and MEN, the man Christ Jesus, Who gave Himself a RANSOM FOR ALL, to be testified in due time.” (1 Timothy 2:5-6).

and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the WHOLE WORLD. (1 John 2:2)

For at just the right time, while we were still powerless, Christ died for the UNGODLY. (Rom.5:6)

“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. . . . God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (Jn.3:16-17)

For God has imprisoned everyone in disobedience so he could have mercy on everyone. (Rom.11:32)

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (Jn.1:29)

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that having been lost.(Lk.19:10)

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, because of the suffering of death, having been crowned with glory and with honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. (Heb.2:9)

14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that One died for all, therefore all died. 15 And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died for them and was raised again. (2 Cor.5)

how that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not reckoning their trespasses to them, and having put into us the word of reconciliation. (2 Cor.5:19)

That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. (1 Tim.1:15)

And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself. (Jn.12:32)

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34)

Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? (Heb. 10:29)

Rom 5:18 Consequently, then, as it was through one offense for ALL MANKIND for condemnation, thus also it is through one just act for ALL MANKIND for life’s justifying."
Rom 5:19 For even as, through the disobedience of the one man, THE MANY were constituted sinners, thus also, through the obedience of the One, THE MANY shall be constituted just."

Col.1:16 For by Him ALL was created that are in HEAVEN and that are on EARTH, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.
All was created through Him and for Him.
20 and by Him to reconcile ALL to Himself, by Him, whether on EARTH or in HEAVEN, having made peace through the blood of His cross.


Origen, all those verses about all mankind can be explained from a Calvinist perspective as referring to all the elect.


All the “cults” have their “explanations” for how they twist, er, explain, the Scriptures to support their doctrines of demons.

As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable twist, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. (2 Pet.3:16)

so that no longer we might be infants, being tossed by waves and being carried about by every wind of teaching in the cunning, in the craftiness of men with a view to the scheming of deceit. (Eph.4:14)


So qaz… what is it about the Calvinist spin on election that has you convinced it is true? I know I’ve given you an alternative position (pantelist) — what has you so sold as to assume the Calvinist position must be correct?


@davo Ephesians 1 and John 10 seem to so clearly teach predestination, any attempt to interpret them otherwise comes off strained.


Yeah… predestinated to what? What is it about the Calvinist take on predestination that has you convinced it is correct? I know in the past I have shown you an alternative to this — please explain how / why you accept the Calvinist position on this etc.


Salvation, obviously.


You’re still being extremely evasive and vague as to why / how you find Calvinism so compelling with regards to both election and predestination — like you’re consistent in asking questions of everyone else BUT hmmm when it comes to giving any cogent answers to questions asked in return — frustrating.


Davo, have these verses not virtually unanimously been understood as referring to salvation? If they have, then they probably in fact refer to salvation.


You’re convinced Calvin is right… WHY?

You’re convinced “salvation” means postmortem paradise… WHY?

Something over than a single word or sentence would be appreciated… so don”t rush, take your time and try a considered response.



Unless Jesus died for someone, that person can’t be saved.
The people Jesus died for are his sheep.
Jesus says that some people are not his sheep.
Therefore some people won’t be saved.


Any recommendations for commentaries on John (especially chapter 10)?


qaz… you’re just repeating lines already stated. Why haven’t you acknowledged or at least dealt with the likes of Mt 1:21 in this context — I gave you an explanation above — you are free to disagree, BUT at least show some explanation as to HOW / WHY you apparently disagree.

I’m less inclined to waste my time answering WHEN you invariably just trot out the next objection WITHOUT dealing with what’s already been given. Again you don’t have to agree, BUT some semblance of an argument as to HOW / WHY you object isn’t asking too much, is it?