Quote of the Day: Limited Atonement (Warning: Calvinist Content)

I’ve been wondering why the Calvinist doctrine of Limited Atonement is important. I had just the answers I was looking for in Living for God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism which I reviewed. Here is part of just one:

It slanders God’s justice. Did Christ satisfy God’s justice for everyone? Did Christ take the punishment due to everybody? If he did, how can God punish anyone? Is it justice to punish one person for the sins of another and later to punish the initial offender again? As Augustus Toplady said,

God cannot payment twice demand;
Once at my bleeding Surety’s hand,
And then again at mine.

God can’t and won’t demand payment twice. Double punishment is injustice.

–Joel Beeke, Living for God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism

Some others are:

  • It slanders God’s power (by being dependent on people and their free will)
  • It disables the deity of Christ (because he didn’t succeed–I can see non-Calvinists really getting steamed now)
  • It undermines the unity of the Trinity (in that Christ died for more than God decreed)

There are just as many more but I’m tired of typing. I’m glad I looked into it further. I’m certain I’m not a ‘Four Point Calvinist’.

6 Responses to “Quote of the Day: Limited Atonement (Warning: Calvinist Content)”


  1. 1 Eric

    Hi Jeff – Soteriology is such a mystery to me. I can certainly follow the logic of the above thoughts, but I’ve just never found it (personally) helpful to delve into the doctrine of election. I’ve agonized over the arguments for/against for years, but have never really found a satisfying answer. But then I don’t fully understand the doctrines of hell or the Trinity…and a lot of other things. I appreciated the warning about “Calvinist Content,” though 😉 Eric

  2. 2 MK @ Teach Sunday School

    This was an incredibly interesting quote that made me think quite a bit. I can’t believe that I missed your review of “Living for God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism”, and I’m going to head over to read it right after I post this comment. I hate to admit that I don’t know much about Calvinism, and I have a feeling that this book might be a good place for me to start.

  3. 3 Scripture Zealot

    You’re welcome Eric for the warning. If you wanted to really look into it further, as far as Calvinism vs Arminianism, there are two books (you may know about), one by Roger Olsen and the other by Horton (?). They go together and are written by one of each, so it isn’t a biased thing.

    Anyway, glad you could put up with it and still like me. I used to be Arminian and came to Calvinism, which at first was rather bizarre.

    I hope to write a little post and prayer request soon that isn’t doctrinal or whatever the correct word is.

    MK, I think it will be good. Beeke is pretty traditional, which is mostly good but he’s also very against Arminianism, as they were in Calvin’s successor’s day, so be sure to read about the other side if you haven’t, as much as I’d like to sway someone towards Calvinism.
    Jeff

  4. 4 Eric

    Thanks for the book suggestions. I like & respect both Olson and Horton and saw them debate recently at Biola University. I always appreciate your evenhandedness when it comes to the issue of Calvinism.

  5. 5 Scripture Zealot

    I bet that would be a good, friendly debate.
    Jeff

  6. 6 Eric

    It was. More like a conversation than a debate.

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