Boettner’s Misrepresentation of Unlimited Atonement

Kevin Jackson sets the record straight in this excellent post at SEA:

Addressing a Boettner Quote About Limited Atonement

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6 Responses

  1. If i asked you, for whom did Christ die? Would you answer be, “Everybody…everybody, Christ died for the whole world, He died for all sinners.” And most people then in the church believe, and I’m sure many people outside the true church, many people associated with Christianity, believe that on the cross Jesus paid the debt of sin for everyone because He loves everyone and He wants everyone to be saved.” That’s pretty much the common evangelical view. Jesus died for everybody, He paid the price for the sins of everybody. And all we have to do is tell sinners that He loves them so much that He paid the price and He wants them to be saved and all they have to do is respond.

    Now if that is true, then on the cross Jesus accomplished a potential salvation…not an actual one. That is, sinners have all had their sins atoned for potentially and it’s not actual until they activate it by their faith. So, what we need to do is to tell sinners that they need to pick up the salvation that’s already been purchased for them. Since Christ died for everybody, everybody therefore can be saved, it’s just a matter of them coming to receive that salvation. And so, our responsibility is to convince people to come and take the salvation that’s been provided for them, to convince them to come and accept the gift.

    So the message then, the typical evangelical message, is to sinners, “God loves you so much He sent His Son who paid in full the penalty for your sins and won’t you respond to that love and not disappoint God and accept the gift and let Him save you since He already paid in full the price for your sins?” The final decision is up to the sinner.

    It is limited. JOHN 8 makes it very clear. Chapter 8 verse 12, “I am the light of the world,” Jesus said, “he who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.” Here’s a condition. You have to follow Christ. It is limited then to those who follow Christ. You find over in verse 24 a similar saying. “I say therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.” There is a hell and people are going there. In fact, Matthew 7 says, “Many are going there.” And the only way to avoid going there, the only way to avoid dying in your sins, that is dying without a sacrifice for your sins, the only way to avoid that is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. How could Jesus say you could die in your sins if their sins had been paid for? They had not been paid for if they died without believing in Him.
    Number one, is the atonement limited? Yes
    Number two, how is it limited? Well first of all, it’s limited because not everybody is saved, only those who repent and believe. That’s how it’s limited. Only those who believe in Christ and confess Him as Lord are saved. Only those have their sins atoned for. It is limited to those who believe. That’s how it’s limited, GOD bless,Randy

  2. If i asked you, for whom did Christ die? Would you answer be, “Everybody…everybody, Christ died for the whole world, He died for all sinners.”

    Yes, in accordance with the fact that the Bible says this exact same thing. Whenever the Bible specifically addresses the scope of the atonement, it uses universal language.

    But notice how you do not even address this point. You just move right past it into your personal philosophical objections to what the Bible says about the scope and extent of the atonement. This is telling for me since Calvinists so often try to paint Arminianism as being based on philosophy rather than on exegesis, and yet time and time again I see that the main Calvinist arguments being used are entirely philosophical.

    Notice also how you brush aside such passages which speak of the extent of the atonement and instead find your so called limited atonement view in a passage that doesn’t even deal with the scope of the atonement at all. That should tell you something about your methodology.

    I don’t really have time to debate this issue with you right now, but I will point you to some posts I wrote (a three part series) that I believe address your points. Hopefully, you will find the time to check them out at some point:

    https://arminianperspectives.wordpress.com/category/provisional-atonement-series/

    God Bless,
    Ben

  3. Ben you said; Yes, in accordance with the fact that the Bible says this exact same thing. Whenever the Bible specifically addresses the scope of the atonement, it uses universal language. Please explain to me how you came up with this methodology.OK Lets talk about scripture, how about, Isaiah 53
    Who has believed our report?
    And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
    2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
    And as a root out of dry ground.
    He has no form or comeliness;
    And when we see Him,
    There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
    3 He is despised and rejected by men,
    A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
    And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
    He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
    4 Surely He has borne our griefs
    And carried our sorrows;
    Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
    Smitten by God, and afflicted.
    5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
    He was bruised for our iniquities;
    The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
    And by His stripes we are healed.
    6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
    We have turned, every one, to his own way;
    And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
    7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
    Yet He opened not His mouth;
    He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
    And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    So He opened not His mouth.
    8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,
    And who will declare His generation?
    For He was cut off from the land of the living;
    For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
    9 And they made His grave with the wicked—
    But with the rich at His death,
    Because He had done no violence,
    Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
    10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;
    He has put Him to grief.
    When You make His soul an offering for sin,
    He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
    And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
    11 He shall see the labor of His soul and be satisfied.
    By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
    For He shall bear their iniquities.

    Our griefs, our sorrows.” Verse 5, “Our transgressions, our iniquities, our well-being.” “All of us,” verse 6 , “each of us, but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” Our, our, our, our, us, us, us, and the question comes, who is this? Whose sins did He bear? Whose transgressions? For whose iniquities was He crushed? For whose healing was He scourged? Whose iniquity was placed on Him?

    Go down to verse 10. “The Lord was pleased to crush Him.” Because God is by nature a Savior and He finds His own satisfaction in saving sinners which means He is pleased to have His Son be the sacrifice that saves them. “The Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief if He would render Himself as a guilt offering.” “He will see His offspring.” In other words, He is being crushed, He is being put to grief, He is being given as a guilt offering in the confidence that He will see His seed, His offspring. Verse 11 says, “As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied.” God was pleased and Christ was satisfied because out of it would come His offspring, His seed.
    And then verse 11 says, the end of the verse, “My servant,” meaning Messiah, “will justify the many and He will bear their iniquities.” And at the end of verse 12, “He Himself bore the sin of many and interceded for the transgressors.” And the question is, “Who are the ours and the us’s and the many?” It must be the offspring. Must be those that are the seed born out of that sacrifice because that is what pleased God and that is what satisfied Christ.

    By the way Acts 3:12-19 is talking about the Jews it is not a universal call to repentance.
    We can talk about the prophecies of the Jews that Peter is talking about in Acts if you would like to?

  4. Randy,

    I always enjoy reading the comments by people on the site, but I must confess, I find your last two comments rather hard to follow. Are you saying that the scope of salvation is not universal in nature, based on Old Testament prophecy?

    It seems like you argue for both limited and unlimited atonement based on your remarks, so I wanted to be sure I understood before I said something of my own.

    Thanks!

    -steven

  5. Ben you said; Yes, in accordance with the fact that the Bible says this exact same thing. Whenever the Bible specifically addresses the scope of the atonement, it uses universal language. Please explain to me how you came up with this methodology.

    It is simply the methodology of letting Scripture define the scope and the extent of the atonement in those passages that you continue to ignore.

    OK Lets talk about scripture, how about, Isaiah 53

    How about it? There is nothing in Isaiah 53 that limits the atonement to a few. Even if we take the offspring the way that you do, it doesn’t limit the atonement. Only believers will benefit from the atonement, but that does not mean that the provision of atonement wasn’t made for all. The chapter is mainly speaking about Israel as a whole. It is not speaking only of a few elect Israelites. It is not speaking of only a few who have gone astray, but of all who have gone astray. Yet, obviously, not all Israel benefited from the atonement. It was made for all, but not all benefited from it. That’s provisional atonement received by faith, the Arminian position exactly.

    By the way Acts 3:12-19 is talking about the Jews it is not a universal call to repentance.
    We can talk about the prophecies of the Jews that Peter is talking about in Acts if you would like to?

    Peter’s message is addressed to all of them (vs. 12). They are all called on to repent and return (vs. 19). Peter says that Christ was raised for the purpose of turning all of them from their wicked ways (vs. 26). It is pretty clear that Peter saw Christ’s death and resurrection as a provision for all of the Israelites he was addressing. Are you suggesting that every one of those Jews were elect, and that Peter knew they were all elect and therefore told them that Christ’s death was for them?

    I hope you will take the time to read all three of the posts I directed you to. If you do, I am sure you will see why I find your arguments lack cogency.

    God Bless,
    Ben

  6. The Calvinist view of the atonement is more akin to an invisible and random wormhole that teleports a few lucky ones to the other side.

    lol beam me up st. Peter.

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