Did Calvin believe in unlimited atonement?

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cupotea

Puritan Board Junior
someone listed this article

http://www.biblebelievers.net/Calvinism/kjcalvn4.htm

Any comments?

Also on that website I found the following statement:

Quotations from the Reformers of the 16th Century
Martin Luther (1483-1546): "Christ is not cruel exactor, but a forgiver of the sins of the whole world....He hath given Himself for our sins, and with one oblation hath put away the sins of the whole world....Christ hath taken away the sins, not of certain men only, but also of thee, yea, of the whole world...Not only my sins and thine, but also the sins of the whole world...take hold upon Christ."

Philip Melanchton (1497-1560): "It is necessary to know that the Gospel is a universal promise, that is, that reconciliation is offered and promised to all mankind. It is necessary to hold that this promise is universal, in opposition to any dangerous imaginations on predestination, lest we should reason this promise pertains to a few others and ourselves. But we declare that the promise of the Gospel is universal. And to this are brought those universal expressions which are used constantly in the Scriptures."

Other people involved to some degree in the Reformation who held to unlimited atonement include: Hugh Latimer, Myles Coverdale, Thomas Cranmer, Wolfgang Musculus, Henry Bullinger, Benedict Aretius, Thomas Becon, Jerome Zanchius, David Paraeus, and, as noted earlier, John Calvin.


What do you think?

Thanks for educating me.
 

R. Scott Clark

Puritan Board Senior
Originally posted by duncan001
someone listed this article

http://www.biblebelievers.net/Calvinism/kjcalvn4.htm

Any comments? ...Thanks for educating me.
Roger Nicole is terrific on this. See Jonathan Rainbow, The Will of God and the Cross.

See also W. R. Godfrey, "Tensions Within International Calvinism" (Ph.D. Diss. Stanford University, 1974). (available via inter-library loan)

Bob's written more on this and specifically on Calvin and the atonement, but I'm not sure where just now.

rsc
 

Pilgrim

Puritan Board Doctor
This is the old "Calvin vs. the Calvinists" argument. Paul Helm wrote a refutation of this view too. I think it's titled "Calvin and Calvinism".

I believe D. A. Waite is also a hard line KJV Onlyist.
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Originally posted by R. Scott Clark
Originally posted by duncan001
someone listed this article

http://www.biblebelievers.net/Calvinism/kjcalvn4.htm

Any comments? ...Thanks for educating me.
Roger Nicole is terrific on this. See Jonathan Rainbow, The Will of God and the Cross.

See also W. R. Godfrey, "Tensions Within International Calvinism" (Ph.D. Diss. Stanford University, 1974). (available via inter-library loan)

Bob's written more on this and specifically on Calvin and the atonement, but I'm not sure where just now.

rsc
:ditto:
 

Skeuos Eleos

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by R. Scott Clark

Roger Nicole is terrific on this. See Jonathan Rainbow, The Will of God and the Cross.

See also W. R. Godfrey, "Tensions Within International Calvinism" (Ph.D. Diss. Stanford University, 1974). (available via inter-library loan)

Bob's written more on this and specifically on Calvin and the atonement, but I'm not sure where just now.

rsc
Nicole and Rainbow are soundly refuted by A. C. Clifford in "Calvinus, Authentic Calvinism A Clarification".

For the memory of John Calvin and the cause of the gospel,
Martin
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by Skeuos Eleos
Originally posted by R. Scott Clark

Roger Nicole is terrific on this. See Jonathan Rainbow, The Will of God and the Cross.

See also W. R. Godfrey, "Tensions Within International Calvinism" (Ph.D. Diss. Stanford University, 1974). (available via inter-library loan)

Bob's written more on this and specifically on Calvin and the atonement, but I'm not sure where just now.

rsc
Nicole and Rainbow are soundly refuted by A. C. Clifford in "Calvinus, Authentic Calvinism A Clarification".

For the memory of John Calvin and the cause of the gospel,
Martin
Warmed over Calvin vs. the Calvinists. Not only is Clifford incapable of soundly refuting Nicole and Godfrey, he is apparently incapable of even doing basic documentary work:



This leads us to the question of Dr Clifford´s scholarship,
of his knowledge and use of the source material and
of the secondary studies today available in French. If he
seems (to the best of my judgment) reasonably well-informed
on the material available in English, his French
documentation appears to be astonishingly full of the most
amazing gaps. The great expert on Amyraut and on the
French Protestantism of the seventeenth century is François
Laplanche, a very thorough and able Roman Catholic
scholar. His works are absolutely indispensable reading for
a proper understanding of the issues raised by Dr Clifford,
who never even mentions him
. He also seems completely to
ignore the major work of Lucien Rimbault on Pierre Du
Moulin. This study is also vital to an understanding of the
reasons why Du Moulin so strongly opposed the teachings
of Amyraut
And one can see why this is left out:
Dr Clifford´s representation of the history of French
Protestantism can thus be characterised as clearly standing
in the line of nineteenth-century liberal German
historiography and can also be associated with the Kantian
position of Karl Barth and of his school of dialectical
theology, which opposes the supposedly dead scholastic
orthodoxy of the seventeenth century to the biblical theology
of the Reformation and to the neo-orthodoxy of the
twentieth century. In addition, Dr Clifford´s interpretation
renders the tragic history of the French Reformed Churches
quite incomprehensible for it ignores the influence within
the churches of the yeast of heresy and unfaithfulness and its
consequence within the covenant, the judgment of God on
the unfaithful Church.
Both Amyraut and his latter day disciple, Dr Alan
Clifford, seem to be quite incapable of seeing (what was
evident for the Divines of Dort and of Westminster) the inner
structure and coherence of Calvin´s thought. This method
of mental fragmentation leads Dr Clifford to limit himself to
the study of a particular doctrine"”limited atonement"”in
isolation from and at the expense of a proper understanding
of that coherent and systematic whole which is the Calvinistic
(and essentially biblical) system of divine Truth. As in all
nominalistic thinking the part is played over against the
whole (here a particular doctrine as against the ordered
body of systematic truth) at the expense of a proper understanding of the coherent meaning of the whole.

The nature of Du Moulin´s real opposition is minimised
(see p.  where Dr Clifford speaks of the proto-Amyraldian
language of so-called early Du Moulin) thus divesting the
debate of any substantial significance. For Du Moulin was
not merely concerned with a proper understanding of the
third of the five points defined at Dort. However important
the doctrine of particular redemption might be, it is clear
that the Christian faith does not stand or fall on its correct
formulation. And the denial by such a godly man as Richard
Baxter of the doctrine of limited atonement does not ipso facto
make of him a heretic! Du Moulin´s basic work on the
question, Eclaircissements des doctrines Saumuriennes (),5
which is not even mentioned by Dr Clifford, makes it
abundantly clear that the issues raised by Amyraut involved
far more than the precise question of limited atonement. For
Du Moulin it was nothing less than the orthodox structure
of the Reformed confessions and the biblical faith itself that
was being attacked by the new theology from Saumur. This
new doctrine, as he clearly demonstrates, is nothing else but
a disguised form of Arminianism modified by the influence
of the thought of Descartes. The following were under attack
by Amyraldism: the nature and the character of God; the
nature of salvation, the nature of the grace of God and of his
law; the attitude the theologian was to hold with regard to
the very words of Scripture in theological development etc.
Amyraut, and Dr Clifford after him, seeks to find in
the writings of John Calvin the indispensable confirmation
for such novelties. To do this, in the manner proper to the
atomistic hermeneutics described above, both Amyraut and
Dr Clifford quote a number of isolated texts extracted from
Calvin´s works which are thus used to buttress their theories.
Such an arbitrary method makes it impossible properly to
understand the exact meaning of Calvin´s texts for they are
not read within the context of Calvin´s complete theological
system but in terms of the artificially constructed thesis
http://www.kuyper.org/main/uploads/volume_10_no_4.pdf

[Edited on 2/23/2006 by fredtgreco]
 

Skeuos Eleos

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by Puritanhead
The way that guy writes-- you would think Calvin was a unitarian...
Which guy? Clifford? Provide evidence or take it back.

Originally posted by Puritanhead
Yeah, that sounds like the garbage some profs would teach at Liberty... Everything rolls around Geisler and Olson, and that so called Beyond Calvinism and Arminianism: An Inductive, Mediate Theology of Salvation with these crazy fundamentalists... They obfuscate, distort, lie and misrepresent, and entangle the issue in lies, malign Reformation church history, open it up from both ends, even calling themselves moderate Calvinist because it sounds prestigious, and heck than they lie and say Calvin wasn't a Calvinist to add insult to injury.
Never heard of the place or the people so cannot comment except to say: strong words, no substance - doesn't really further discussion does it? Perhaps its because you don't really want to (or can't?) discuss that you resort to ad hominems? If so, frankly, keep your sins between yourself and God, don't force others to have endure them as well. Offer arguments, don't try to start one.

Martin
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
I would agree with Fred's more than kind comment on Clifford. I have "Calvinus." It should be labeled "Arminius" or "Amyradius" or some like derrivation. He doesn't even begin to understand Calvin in context.

Nicole holds one the most exstensive Amyraldian libraries on the planet. He has studied him thoroughly in his original language. In talks with Nicole on "Calvinus" (part of what I did my master's thesis on) Nicole not only soundly refuted Clifford in open dialogue, but without notes. Nicole has documented, thoroughly, Clifford's misuse of sources and abberations on trying to make Calvin Amyraldian.

One of the problems I see with all the "Calvin" threads here is that people are not allowing Calvin to be read in context of his works. Proof texting Calvin overall will always get Calvin into trouble with Calvin.
 

Skeuos Eleos

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by fredtgreco
Nicole and Rainbow are soundly refuted by A. C. Clifford in "Calvinus, Authentic Calvinism A Clarification".

For the memory of John Calvin and the cause of the gospel,
Martin
Warmed over Calvin vs. the Calvinists.
No idea what that means I'm afraid.

Originally posted by fredtgreco
Not only is Clifford incapable of soundly refuting Nicole and Godfrey,
Actually I said Nicole and Rainbow NOT Godfrey.
Anyway, you´re a bit quick off the mark there. Can you provide some evidence to back that up? Have you read Calvinus?

Originally posted by fredtgreco
he is apparently incapable of even doing basic documentary work:
Well, I read the article that you provided a link to and, as per what you appear to be doing here, the majority of that article seems to be little more than ad hominems directed at Amyraut and Clifford and seems largely to ignore the fact that the primary purpose of the book is not to explore French Protestant History but to explore the "hotly debated question: did John Calvin teach limited atonement?" (from the rear cover) and thus it should not be expected to include translations of Laplanche or Rimbault. Indeed, most of the review is taken up with a critique of Amyraut by Du Moulin but one wonders for what purpose other than to poison the well?

When he does eventually turn to Clifford's thesis he says:
"œ(both Amyraut and) Dr Clifford quote a number of isolated texts extracted from Calvin´s works which are thus used to buttress their theories. Such an arbitrary method makes it impossible properly to understand the exact meaning of Calvin´s texts for they are not read within the context of Calvin´s complete theological system but in terms of the artificially constructed thesis formulated by those who thus miserably abuse the texts they quote."
One wonders whether he has actually read Calvin´s works as both Amyraut and Clifford have done. It is quite telling that he puts forward no evidence from Calvin to demonstrate how Clifford is misconstruing anything he says. That he fails to understand Clifford becomes even more apparent when he quotes Du Moulin thus:
"œCalvin never speaks of a general predestination; nor of a first and a second act of mercy; nor of salvation without knowledge of Jesus Christ; nor of faith in Jesus Christ without knowledge of the Saviour; nor of imputation of forgiveness of sins without its application to the sinner nor of sanctification without the Gospel; nor of a moral incapacity without a natural incapacity, nor of two redemptions; nor of three Covenants."
Quite simply: neither does Dr. Clifford!

Next he provides another, what he calls "œremarkable", quote from Du Moulin in which Du Moulin criticises Amyraut´s passing over of Calvin´s Institutes. What I find remarkable is that Berthoud provides this criticism, even though it is not true of Dr. Clifford. His acknowledgement of this fact is relegated to a footnote where he resorts to the tiresome, and unsubstantiated, charge of "œabusing Calvin´s purpose" leaving one suspicious as to why he provides the quote in the first place.

Bottom line: he presents no evidence from Calvin to show that Clifford misunderstands or "œabuses" him.

And, of course, none of the article makes any difference to my original post since Berthoud makes no reference to the appendices in which Clifford refutes Nicole and Rainbow. So, I guest my post stands. :D

Martin
 

Skeuos Eleos

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by C. Matthew McMahon
I would agree with Fred's more than kind comment on Clifford. I have "Calvinus." It should be labeled "Arminius" or "Amyradius" or some like derrivation. He doesn't even begin to understand Calvin in context.
The "context" charge again. So, provide some context and prove it. :bigsmile:

Originally posted by C. Matthew McMahon
Nicole holds one the most exstensive Amyraldian libraries on the planet. He has studied him thoroughly in his original language. In talks with Nicole on "Calvinus" (part of what I did my master's thesis on) Nicole not only soundly refuted Clifford in open dialogue, but without notes. Nicole has documented, thoroughly, Clifford's misuse of sources and abberations on trying to make Calvin Amyraldian.
If only this were available to read.

Originally posted by C. Matthew McMahon
One of the problems I see with all the "Calvin" threads here is that people are not allowing Calvin to be read in context of his works. Proof texting Calvin overall will always get Calvin into trouble with Calvin.
One of the problems I see with all the responses to the "Calvin" threads is that nobody is providing any context which shows how this is happening. :bigsmile:

Seriously though, I cannot claim to have read the context of every Calvin quote in Calvinus or other such works but, for those I have, I don't recall seeing anything which contradicted the plain reading of the short quote but I am happy to be proven wrong.

Martin
 

Skeuos Eleos

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by joshua
{Moderator's Note}
The emphasized portion in your post is quite unnecessary itself, eh? No need for it. Ok? Thanks.
Ok sorry. But I am sure you can appreciate that it is frustrating to be on the receiving end of such remarks. Perhaps they should have drawn a comment from you as well? Besides, it was actually well meant. We are all afflicted by the sin of pride and sometimes an open rebuke, etc. I find that skirting around such posts tends to prolong the pain. Better to say it how it comes across. Anyway, I will be more careful and refrain in future. I just ask for consistency in moderation in return.

Thanks,
Martin
 

Skeuos Eleos

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by C. Matthew McMahon
Nicole holds one the most exstensive Amyraldian libraries on the planet. He has studied him thoroughly in his original language. In talks with Nicole on "Calvinus" (part of what I did my master's thesis on) Nicole not only soundly refuted Clifford in open dialogue, but without notes.
Can I just clarify here as I realised that this could be taken two ways. Are you saying that Nicole soundly refuted Clifford in open dialogue with Clifford or in open dialogue with yourself? I'm not aware of the two ever having held discussions with each other so I suspect you mean (and I take my cue from your bracketted comment) that he refuted Clifford in discussion with yourself. Is that what you mean? Of course, all that would mean is that he refuted Clifford in your opinion. If Clifford himself didn't take part in the discussion then he can hardly be said to have been refuted in open dialogue - especially since I presume that no evidence can be adduced.

Perhaps it would be better to keep the discussion to published evidence from the two? What, for example, in Clifford's response to Nicole in Calvinus do you disagree with and why?

To me, Clifford's response to Nicole make it clear that there are fundamental presuppositions at work in Nicole which prevent him from really understanding what Calvin is saying.

Originally posted by C. Matthew McMahon
Nicole has documented, thoroughly, Clifford's misuse of sources and abberations on trying to make Calvin Amyraldian.
If this be true he should do us all a favour and make it public. Otherwise this statement carries no weight. It does us as much good as if I should claim that there is a hitherto unknown work by Calvin, of which I have the only extant copy, where Calvin thoroughly vindicates Clifford and lambasts those who would attempt to argue that it is incontestable that Christ came for the expiation of only the sins of the elect. :bigsmile:

Martin
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Martin,

If you are looking something that would refute Amyraldianism, then you can look at Owen - he doth exhaust the subject.

If you are looking for refutation of Calvin being an Amyraldian, you can look to any published paper that Nicole did on Calvin's work. There are a few on APM as well.

http://www.apuritansmind.com/Arminianism/NicoleCaseDefiniteAtonement.htm

http://www.apuritansmind.com/Arminianism/NicoleRogerUniversalCallDefiniteAtonement.htm

http://www.apuritansmind.com/Arminianism/NicoleRogerCalvinsLimitedAtonement.htm


Martin, are you Amyraldian?
 

R. Scott Clark

Puritan Board Senior
Originally posted by Skeuos Eleos
Originally posted by R. Scott Clark

Roger Nicole is terrific on this. See Jonathan Rainbow, The Will of God and the Cross.

See also W. R. Godfrey, "Tensions Within International Calvinism" (Ph.D. Diss. Stanford University, 1974). (available via inter-library loan)

Bob's written more on this and specifically on Calvin and the atonement, but I'm not sure where just now.

rsc
Nicole and Rainbow are soundly refuted by A. C. Clifford in "Calvinus, Authentic Calvinism A Clarification".

For the memory of John Calvin and the cause of the gospel,
Martin
Soundly refuted?

I know Alan and he's a nice fellow but not a great scholar -- though he did argue correctly at a Reformation Studies conference 10 years ago that Calvin was a Presbyterian!

Carl Trueman took him to task quite soundly over his abuse of Owen and Carl has yet another book on Owen forthcoming. Whether he wastes time on Alan, I don't know. I criticize him in my Olevianus book for his methodological problems.

He starts with R T Kendall as a foundation. In a word, Yikes! I just read most of Mark Dever's excellent book (his Cambridge PhD thesis) on Sibbes and he quite properly eviscerates Kendall for his mishandling of sources and ignorance of context. My tutor at St Annes was only sharp with me twice. Once in re Mrs Thatcher and once in re Kendall. Let's just say he exhorted me with considerable force not to commit the same methodological errors as Kendall.

I could also point to Paul R Schaefer's DPhil thesis on the "Spiritual Brotherhood (Perkins, Sibbes, Preston et al) that follows on the heels of Dever's work. I think this book is to be published but it isn't out yet. Then there's Helm's still serviceable work on the Calvin v the Calvinists (Banner of Truth), Joel Beeke's well regarded and widely read diss/book on assurance (via Peter Lang). Indeed, There is a whole industry now refuting the Brian Armstrong (Calvin and the Amyraut Heresy, [Madison, 1969]-Kendall-Clifford thesis. Richard Muller has been refuting Armstrong for 30 years, most recently in the magisterial 4 vol Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics. Muller has not only published The Unaccommodated Calvin but also a collection of his journal articles in After Calvin. At the moment, that's all I can recall off the top of my bald head.

One major methodological issue is whether the entire question: Was Calvin an Amyraldian? is inherently unhistorical and anachronistic. It's like asking if Newton was a proto-quantum physicist (though it seems that Leibniz may have been...). Calvin wasn't as clear on the extent of the atonement as the later Reformed because he wasn't facing the same issues.

A discussion list is no place to sort out such things. That's why there are books.

The Amyraldians and early Arminians at least always claimed (including Amyraut himself) that they were the "true" followers of Calvin and Alan's in that mold. Of course the orthodox, confessional fellows denied that and claimed that they were the true followers of Calvin.

I think the orthodox folk have got the better part of the argument and virtually all of the modern scholarship agrees, but another false premise in the whole debate is that if one can determine Calvin to have said X that X is the normative Reformed view.

This premise has been foisted upon us by the Barthian Calvin studies industry who want to make Calvin a proto-Barthian! It's a little like Pentecostalism: name him and claim him.

The Reformed didn't function that way. They respected Calvin but he didn't function for us in exactly the same way Luther functioned for the Lutherans. There were attempts to make Lutheran ministers subscribe Luther's writings verbatim in toto! There are direct, explicit references to Luther's works in the Book of Concord.

Our confessions are, if I may say, a little more ecclesial and less oriented around one person. We confess what we do because of what we understand Scripture to teach.

At the end of the day, this is really a dogmatic/systematic issue. One of the problems in the whole Calvin v the Calvinists debate is that folk have been using Calvin to justify or promulgate their dogmatic views. This inevitably leads to bad history.

It's possible that Calvin did say things that would support the Amyraldian view. The question would then be about context and intent. What was Calvin's context? Why did he say what he said? These questions are not well handled by the Calvin v Calvinists crowd. E.g., they seize on his definition of faith in the Institutes and write as if Calvin didn't say anything else as he never acknowledged that Christians doubt. They make the same methodological error as the Barthians. They read only the Institutes and neglect the commentaries and especially the sermons and the other treatises. So much of what the Barthians, e.g., have claimed about Calvin has been shown to be patent nonsense (e.g., he moved his doctrine of election; rubbish. He "moved" his doctrine of providence from book 3 (where it was with predestination) back to the traditional place of book 1) that it's hard to imagine that the Calvin v the Calvinists approach still has any oxygen.

Take the hypothesis that Beza corrupted Calvinism. Is there ANY evidence of tension between Calvin and Beza? No. Beza served as Calvin's ambassador to some of the most important colloquies etc from '57-63, even before B came to Geneva. Beza was defending Calvin against Bolsec in the mid fifties already. Beza was Calvin's most trusted advisor. He succeeded Calvin as the president of the company of pastors until 1580.

Is there any evidence that Calvin rejected Beza's formulations? No. The so-called "Tabula Praedestinationis - really it's the Summa tota Christianismi"- was published in '55 (I think -- Calvin didn't die until '64) and Calvin was not shy about criticizing those whom he believed to have erred seriously, just ask Bolsec! In my view, it was perfectly consistent (and quite pastoral; you can read it on my website) with Calvin's teaching. There's no evidence that Calvin disagreed.

The first thing I do in the Reformed scholasticism course is to quote the older view of Beza ("cold," "dry," "scholastic," "rationalist," "began with an a priori supralapsarian" yaddah yaddah yaddah) and then I have them read Beza for themselves. Well, that's the end of that discussion. As soon as one actually lays eyes on the old fellow himself it's clear as day that Beza was nothing like he's been portrayed. To paraphrase the notorious Al Davis: Just Ad fontes baby, ad fontes. The same view emerges when they read his little Confession of Faith or his little Catechism (Q/A). What they find is a Christ-centered, pastoral (see Muller's magisterial, Christ and the Decree, 1988) theologian who doesn't address the attributes of God until he gets to Christology! They find a pastor who's deeply concerned about the spiritual welfare of his readers. He advocates the clear preaching of predestination because of the spiritual benefits to the congregation but he always treated predestination a posteriori -- i.e., we don't ask, "am I elect?" but rather "do I believe?" because believers are elect. He followed Calvin's law/gospel distinction, his Christology, his view of the Supper, his ecclesiology etc.

A priori rationalism? Not for Beza. He was and remained a great humanist scholar who didn't begin publishing theology until the mid '50's (when he was in his early 30's). He was quite adept at reading texts in context and interpreting them according to their intent. His theology was inductive. Only Scripture could have driven such a humanist to the doctrines of predestination and limited atonement. Hence, he derived his doctrine of predestination from Scripture. Remember, he lectured on the Greek NT for 10 years before he ever got to Geneva. This is a fellow who had read his Bible - contrary to the popular image. Poor Ted de Beze, he's been the whipping boy of the Arminians and Amyraldians and Barthians now for hundreds of years and it's been quite unfair. Too bad folk haven't taken the time to actually read him.

If the Calvin v Calvinists school is so profoundly wrong about Beza, and they are, I submit they are equally untrustworthy about the rest of the orthodox Calvinists and about the relations between Calvin and Calvinism.

As I say, that case cannot and should not be made here, but I've given enough literary clues to track down. You could also see the Trueman/Clark vol on Protestant Scholasticism as well as the Van Asselt/Dekker volume on the same topic.

Cheers,

rsc
 

polemic_turtle

Puritan Board Freshman
Just curious - has anyone read appendix a of Curt Daniel's Ph.D diss "John Gill and HyperCalvinism"? It's titled "Did Calvin teach limited atonement?" That has been my only introduction to the issue, but by reading the footnotes, it would seem that he interacted with Nicole et al fairly and answered their objections soundly.

For example, I believe he said that Nicole accepted the "ex opere operato" interpretation of the atonement( most do, I believe ), which lead him to redefine what Calvin usually meant by "world", because when interpreted by his presuppositions, Calvin would be teaching pure Universial Salvation. He (Daniel) deals with that objection by quoting Calvin saying that those who have been atoned for may in fact be damned, because the ratification of the atonement is in the application, not before.

Two things in closing: 1. ) He recognized the problem of selective quoting and thus gave a wide variety of quotes from Calvin's Institutes, Comentaries, and Sermons & 2. ) I don't yet own a copy of the diss, so I can't give you his quotes.

What trow ye? I'm an observer, by the way; I don't partake in debate right now, for I am unwise and unlearned; just a baby.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I think it is anachronistic to say that Calvin believed in either an unlimited or a limited atonement. His commentaries come down on both sides, and they do so without making a distinction between the atonement as made by Christ and as offered in the gospel. As a post-Dordt reader of his commentaries I can understand his unlimited sayings as referring to the offer of the gospel and his limited sayings as referring to the work of Christ itself. However, I am conscious that in doing so I am metamorphosing Calvin in order to make him comprehensible to a later age which used categories of thought he was not bothered by.
 
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