Is there a problem with the use of "sufficient" in Limited atonement discussions?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by austinbrown2, Aug 17, 2006.

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  1. Flynn

    Flynn Puritan Board Freshman

    G'day Matthew:

    Thats it? Thats your response? I cite Bullinger. I cite Musculus. I cite Dabney and your rejoiner is that? Come on. Surely you can do better than that? You wont even interact with Musculus, Bullinger or Dabney, but you assert that the burden is on me. Oh man. You still blow me away.

    I could have cited Vermigli where he affirms the Scholastic maxim that all men have been redeemed sufficiently. I could have cited the Hiedelberg Catechism, with Ursinus and David Paraeus comments where they affirm that Christ died for all sufficiently, but for the elect efficient (q37, Lords day 15). You should check out the comments to that question. Actually I will look at posting it all later.

    And as for the tradition with respect to the atonement, J Edwards, C Hodge, Dabney and Shedd all say that Christ bore the wrath due to the sins of the world. He made an expiation and satisfaction for the guilt of the world.

    Have you ever checked out the interpretive history of 2 Peter 2:1? Trapp, Poole, and Adams and Calvin all allow or posit the interpretation that here the meaning is that Christ paid a sufficient price for all sinners, and so is said to have redeemed them in this sense. 2 Pet 2:1 historically has been one of the key texts originally used to justify the unlimited sufficiency of Christs redemption as an ordained unlimited sufficiency. Check out Calvin on this verse (with Jude 4). This shows that there was an early interpretive tradition that has been obscured.

    You say this:

    As I said in the post you quoted, after Dordt Calvin's unlimited statements can be understood in the context of the gospel offer; his limited statements in the context of the work of Christ.

    David: Can you prove this? Can you sustain it from Calvin? Seriously, how would you go about proving this directly from Calvin? I mean, how does the reader here know you are not just making this up?

    At a personal level I really dont care if you disagree with this tradition, yet this Reformed tradition is easily documentable. But to just try and blow it off is not credible.

    Give me something more than a suggestion that its all in my imagination.

    Take care,
    David

    [Edited on 8-22-2006 by Flynn]
     
  2. Flynn

    Flynn Puritan Board Freshman

    That other Reformed Tradition. Copy and paste this, print it out. Read it carefully. Follow the logic and argument. Look for the key phrases, sins of the whole world, sins of the whole human race, sins of all mankind, take notice of how it says Christ died for all sufficiently, but the application is limited to the elect, and if you still turn around and say this tradition never existed right in the heart of Reformed orthodoxy, then I cant believe such an assessment is an expression of honesty.

    If any want to discuss this, I am open.

    The text: there may be typos and gliches. I will clean it up later.

    The authors: some of these comments were written by David Paraeus, Ursinus's student. None believe he differed from his teacher here. Some are from Ursinus directly.

    Ursinus' Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism

    1) The answer to this question consists of two parts:--Salvation through Christ is not bestowed upon all who perished in Adam; but only upon those who, by a true faith, are ingrafted into Christ, and receive all his benefits.

    The first part of this answer is clearly proven by experience, and the word of God. " He that believeth not the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him." " Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven." "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3: 36; 3: 3; Matt. 7 : 21.) -The reason why all are not saved through Christ, is not because of any insufficiency of merit and grace in him-for the atonement of Christ is for the sins of the whole world, as it respects the dignity and sufficiency of the satisfaction which he made- but it arises from unbelief;--because men reject the benefits of Christ offered in the gospel, and so perish by their own fault, and not because of any insufficiency in the merits of Christ. The other part of the answer is also evident from the Scriptures. "As many as received him to them, gave he power to become the sons of God." "By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many." (John 1: 12. Is. 53 : 11.) The reason why only those who believe are saved, is, because they alone lay hold of, and embrace the benefits of Christ; and because in them alone God secures the end for which he graciously delivered his Son to death; for only those that believe know the mercy and grace of God, and return suitable thanks to him.

    The sum of this whole matter is therefore this: that although the satisfaction of Christ, the mediator for our sins, is perfect, yet all do not obtain deliverance through it, but only those who believe the gospel, and apply to themselves the merits of Christ by a true faith. [p., 106.]


    2) Obj. 4. If Christ made satisfaction for all, then all ought to be saved. , But all are not saved. Therefore, he did not make a perfect satisfaction. Ans. Christ satisfied for all, as it respects the sufficiency of the satisfaction which he made, but not as it respects the application thereof; for he fulfilled the law in a two-fold respect. First, by his own righteousness; and secondly, by making satisfaction for our sins, each of which is most perfect. But the satisfaction is made ours by an application, which is also two-fold; the former of which is made by God, when he justifies us on account of the merit of his Son, and brings it to pass that we cease from sin; the latter is accomplished b j us through faith. For we apply unto ourselves, the merit of Christ, when by a true faith, we are fully persuaded that God for the sake of the satisfaction of his Son, remits unto us our sins. Without this application, the satisfaction of Christ is of no benefit to us. [p., 215.]

    3) FIFTEENTH LORD'S DAY.

    Question 37. What dost thou understand by the words, "he suffered?" Answer. That he, all the time he lived on earth, but especially at the,,end of his life, sustained in body and soul, the wrath of God against the sins of all mankind that so by his passion, as the only propitiatory sacrifice, he might redeem our body and soul from everlasting damnation; and obtain for us the favor of God, righteousness, and eternal life....


    I. What are we to understand by the Passion of Christ, or what did Christ suffer?

    By the term passion we are to understand the whole humiliation of Christ, or the obedience of his whole humiliation, all the miseries, infirmities, griefs, torments and ignominy to which was subject, for our sakes, from the moment of his birth even to the hour of his death, as well in soul as in body. The principal part of his sorrows and anguish were the torments of soul, in which he felt and endured the wrath of God against the sins of all mankind. By the term passion, however, we are to understand chiefly the closing scene, or last act of his life, in which he suffered extreme torments, both of body and soul, on account of our sins. "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death." "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me." "Surely he hath borne our griefs. He was wounded for our transgressions." "Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him." (Matt. 26 : 38; 27 : 46. Is. 53 : 4, 5, 10.)

    What, therefore, did Christ suffer? 1. The privation or destitution of the highest felicity and joy, together with all those good things which he might have enjoyed. 2. All the infirmities of our nature, sin only excepted : he hungered, he thirsted, mas fatigued, was afflicted with sadness and grief, &c. 3. Extreme want and poverty; "The Son of man hath not where to lay his head." (Matt. 8 : 20.) 4. Infinite injuries, reproaches, calumnies, treacheries, envyings, slanders, blasphemies, rejections and contempt; "I am a worm, and no man; and a reproach of many." "He hath no form or comeliness, and when we shall see him there is no beauty that ve should desire him." (Ps. 22: 6. Is 53 : 2.) 5. The temptations of the devil; "He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." (Heb. 4 : 15.) 6. The most reproachful and ignominious death, even that of the cross. 7. The keenest and most bitter anguish of soul, which is doubtless a sense of the wrath of God against the sins of the whole human race. I t was this that caused him to exclaim, upon the cross, with a loud voice, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" as if he should say, Why dost thou not drive away from me such severe anguish and torments? Thus we see what, and how greatly Christ has suffered in our behalf. But since the divine nature was united to the human, how is it possible that it was so oppressed and weakened as to break forth in such exclamations of anguish; and especially so when there were martyrs who were far more bold and courageous? The cause of this arises from the difference which there mas in the punishment which Christ endured and that of martyrs. St. Lawrence, lying on the gridiron, did not experience the dreadful wrath of God, either against his own, or against the sins of the human race, the entire punishment of which was inflicted upon the Son of God, as Isaiah saith, he was stricken, and smitten of God for our sins: We say, then, that St. Lawrence did not feel the anger of an offended God piercing and wounding him; but felt that God was reconciled, and at peace with him; neither did he experience the horrors of death and hell as Christ did, but he had great consolation, because he suffered on account of confessing the gospel, and was assured that his sins were remitted by and for the-sake of the Son of God, upon whom they were laid, according to what is said, "Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world.". (John 1 : 29.) Hence it is easy to be accounted for, why St. Lawrence seemed to have more courage and presence of mind in his martyrdom, than Christ in his passion; and hence it is also that the human nature of Christ, although united to the Godhead, was made to sweat drops of blood in the garden, and to give vent to the mournful lamentation, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ?" Not that there was any separation between the natures in Christ; but because the humanity was for a time forsaken by the Divinity, the Word being at rest, or quiet, (as Irenaeus saith) and not bringing aid and deliverance to the afflicted humanity until a passion altogether sufficient might be endured and finished. [p., 212-213.]

    4) III Did Christ die for all?

    In answering this question we must make a distinction, so as to hamonise those passages of Scriptures which seem, to teach contradictory doctrines. In some places Christ is said to have died for all, and .for the whole world. "He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." "That he, by-the-grace of God, should taste death for every man." "We thus judge that if one died for all, then were all dead; and that he died for all that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him that died for them, and rose again." "Who gave himself a ransom for all," &c. (John 2 : 2. Heb. 2 : 9. 2 Cor. 5 : 15. 1 Tim. 2 : 6.) The Scriptures, on the contrary, affirm in many places, that Christ died, prayed, offered himself, &c., only for many, for the elect, for his own people, for the Church, for his sheep, &c.'' I pray for them; I pray not for the world; but for them which thou hast given me, for they are thine," that is, the elect alone. " The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." " I am not sent, but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." He shall save his people from their sins." " This is my blood of the New Testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins." " Christ mas once offered, to bear the sins of many." "By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities." " Christ loved the Church, and gave himself for it." (John 17 : 9. Matt. 20 : 28; 15 : 24; 1 : 21. Heb. 9 : 28; Is. 53 : 1; Ep. 5 : 25.)

    What shall we say in view of these seemingly opposite passages of Scripture? Does the word of God contradict itself? By no means. But this will be the case, bless these declarations, which in some places seem to teach that Christ died for all, and in others that he died for a part only, can be reconciled by a proper and satisfactory distinction, which distinction, or reconciliation, is two-fold.

    There are some who interpret these general declarations of the whole number of the faithful, or of all that believe; because the promises of the gospel properly belong to all those that believe, and because the Scriptures do often restrict them to such as believe: "Whosoever believeth in him shall not perish." The righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe." That through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." It is in this way that Ambrose interprets those passages which speak of the death of Christ as extending to all: The people of God," says he, "have their fulness, and although a large portion of men either neglect, or reject, the grace of the Saviour, yet there is a certain SPECIAL UNIVERSALITY of the elect, and fore-known, separated and discerned from the generality of all, that a whole world might seem to be saved out of a whole world; and all men might seem to be redeemed out of all men," &c. In this way there is no repugnancy, or contradiction; for all those that believe are the many, the peculiar people, the Church, the sheep, the elect, &c., for whom Christ died, and gave himself.

    Others reconcile these seemingly contradictory passages of Scripture by making a distinction between the sufficiency, and efficacy of the death of Christ. For there are certain contentious persons, who deny that these declarations which speak in a general way, are to be restricted to the faithful alone, that is, they deny that the letter itself, or the simple language of Scripture does thus limit them, and in proof thereof they bring forward those passages in which salvation seems to be attributed, not only to those that believe, but also to hypocrites and apostates, as it is said : "Denying the Lord which bought them." And, also, when it is said that they "have forgotten that they were purged from their old sins." (2 Pet. 2 : 1; 1 : 9.) But it is manifest that declarations of this kind are to be understood either concerning the mere external appearance, and vain glorying of redemption, or of sanctification; or else of the sufficiency, and greatness of the merit of Christ. That it may not, therefore, be necessary for us to contend much with these captious and fastidious persons concerning the restriction of those passages which speak so generally (although it is most manifest in itself) and that those places which speak of the redemption of hypocrites may the more easily be reconciled, some prefer (and not without reason according to my judgment) to interpret those declarations, which in appearance seem to be contradictory, partly of the sufficiency, and partly of the application and efficacy of the death of Christ. They affirm, therefore, that Christ died for all, and that he did not die for all; but in different respects. He died for all, as touching the sufficiency of the ransom which he paid; and not for all; but only for the elect, or those that believe, as touching the application and efficacy thereof. The reason of the former lies in this, that the atonement of Christ is sufficient for expiating all the sins of all men, or of the whole world, if only all men will make application thereof unto themselves by faith. For it cannot be said to be insufficient, unless we give countenance to that horrible blasphemy (which God forbid!) that some blame of the destruction of the ungodly results from a defect in the merit of the-mediator. The reason of the latter is, because all the elect, or such as believe, and they alone, do apply unto themselves by faith the merit of Christ's death, together with the efficacy thereof, by which they obtain righteousness, and life according as it is said, "He that believeth on the Son of God, hath everlasting life." (John 3 : 36.) The rest are excluded from this efficacy of Christ's death by their own unbelief, as it is again said, " He that believeth not shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3 : 36.) Those, therefore, whom the Scriptures exclude from the efficacy of Christ's death, cannot be said to be included in the number of those for whom he died as it respects the efficacy of his death, but only as to its sufficiency; because the death of Christ is also sufficient for their salvation, if they will but believe; and the only reason of their exclusion arises from their unbelief. I t is in the same may, that is, by making the same distinction that we reply to those mho ask concerning the purpose of Christ, Did he will to die for all? For just as he died, so also he willed to die. Therefore, as he died for all, in respect to the sufficiency of his ransom; and for the faithful alone in respect to the efficacy of the same, so also he willed to die for all in general, as touching the sufficiency of his merit, that is, he willed to merit by his death, grace-righteousness, and life the most abundant; manner for all; because would not that any thing should be wanting as far as he and his merits are concerned, so that all the wicked who perish may be without excuse. But he willed to die for the elect alone as touching the efficacy of his death, that is, he would not only sufficiently merit grace and life for them alone, but also effectually confers these upon them, grants faith, and the holy Spirit, and brings it to pass that they apply to themselves, by faith, the benefits of his death, and so obtain for themselves the efficacy of his merits.

    In this sense it is correctly said that Christ died in a different manner for believers and unbelievers. Neither is this declaration attended with any difficulty or inconvenience, inasmuch as it harmonises not on1y with scripture, but also with experience; for both testify that the remedy of sin and death is most sufficiently and abundantly offered in the gospel to all; but that it is effectually applied, and profitable only to them that believe. The Scriptures, also, everywhere, restrict the efficacy of redemption to certain persons only, as to Christ's sheep, to the elect and as such as believe, whilst on the other hand it clearly excludes from the grace of Christ the reprobate and unbelieving as long as they remain in their unbelief. "What concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?" (2 Cor. 6 : 15. See, also, Matt. 20 : 28; 26: 28. Is. 53 : 11. John 10: 15. Matt. 15: 24.)

    Christ moreover, prayed only for the elect, including those who were already his disciples, and also such as would afterwards believe on his name. Hence he says, "I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me." (John 17 : 9.) If, therefore, Christ would not pray for the world, by which we are to understand such as do not believe, much less would he die for them, as far m the efficacy of his death is concerned; for it is less to pray, than to die for any one. There are also two inseparable parts of the sacrifice of Christ"“intercession and death. And if he himself refuse to extend one part to the ungodly, who is he that will dare to give the other to them.

    Lastly, the orthodox Fathers and Schoolmen, also distinguish and restrict the above passages of Scripture as we have done; especially Augustin, Cyril and Prosper. Lombard writes as follows: "Christ offered himself to God, the Trinity for all men, as it respects the sufficiency of the price; but only for the elect as it regards the efficacy thereof, because he effected, and purchased salvation only for those who were predestinated." Thomas writes : " The merit of Christ, as to its sufficiency, extends equally to all, but not as to its efficacy, which happens partly on account of free will, and partly on account of the election of God, through which the effects of the merits of Christ are mercifully bestowed upon some, and withheld from others according to the just judgment of God." Other Schoolmen, also, speak in the same manner, from which it is evident that Christ died for all in such a may, that the benefits of his death, nevertheless, pertain properly to such as believe, to whom alone they are also profitable and available.

    Obj. 1. The promises of the gospel are universal, as appears from such declarations as invite all men to come to Christ, that they may have life. Hence it does not merely extend to such as believe. Ans. The promise is indeed universal in respect to such as repent and believe; but to extend it to the reprobate, would be blasphemy. "There is," saith Ambrose, as just quoted, "a certain special universality of the elect, and foreknown, discerned and distinguished 'from the entire generality." This restriction of the promises to such as believe, is proven from the plain and explicit form in which they are expressed. " That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." " The righteousness of God, which is by the faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon a11 them that believe." "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden.'' "Whosever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." "He became the author of eternal salvation unto all that obey him." And from the words of Christ: give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye pearls before swine," &c. (John 3 : 16. Rom. 3 : 22. Matt. 11 : 28. Acts 2 : 21. Heb. 5: 9. Matt. 7 : 6.)

    Obj. 2., Christ died for all. Therefore his death does not merely extend to such as believe. Ans. Christ died for all as it regards the merit and 2 efficacy of the ransom which he paid; but only for those that believe as it respects the application and efficacy of his death; for seeing that the death of Christ is applied to such alone, and is profitable to them, it is correctly said to belong -+ properly to them alone, as has been already shown. [pp., 221-225]

    Olevianus has the same explanation for this question: Christ bore the sins of the world.

    Clearly, Ursinus and Paraeus were among those Protestants whom Owen says got it wrong.

    David.

    [Edited on 8-22-2006 by Flynn]
     
  3. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    David,

    You seem surprised that I haven't wasted my time by interacting with what you obviously regard as weighty evidence for your position. I am sorry, but you are proving the wrong point. I have already affirmed, after the tradition of Dordt and Owen, the sufficiency of Christ's death for all. What you are trying to prove is the double reference theory of the atonement, and your particular thesis is that the early reformed tradition taught it. But apart from Musculus you have not provided any evidence in that direction. Musculus held that Christ died for all men, but intercedes only for the elect. He also appears to have taught infant communion.

    Cunningham says quite explicitly, "the advocates of a limited or definite atonement do not deny, but maintain, the infinite intrinsic sufficiency of Christ´s satisfaction and merits." (HT, 2:331.) So when you proceed to prove that earlier reformed divines held to the infinite intrinsic sufficiency of Christ's satisfaction and merits, you have not succeeded one whit in proving your thesis. This is what all reformed divines hold in common. When men perish it is through no lack in Christ's sufferings. There is enough virtue in His sufferings to have redeemed all men.

    The double reference theory of the atonement does not teach that Christ's death is sufficient for all, but that Christ died for the purpose of saving all men on condition that they believe. This ascribes to Christ a purpose or intention of dying for all men. This is a completely different proposition from the one that asserts Christ's death is sufficient for all. The traditional reformed view is that which found expression in the Marrow of Modern Divinity, that the virtue of Christ's death is offered to all men upon condition that they will believe. That is, Christ is dead for all hypothetically in the gospel offer. Hence all have a warrant to take Christ for their Saviour without first settling the question whether or not they are elect and Christ died for them.

    Concerning Calvin, it has already been admitted that his statements come down on both sides. One cannot expect him to express himself according to the orthodoxy that was formulated after him. He was not privy to the abuses of the "sufficienter" language, which emerged after his death. Yet it is clear that he denied any saving virtue in the death of Christ for all men. Consider the following from "the eternal predestination of God," 94, 95:

    "Hereupon follows also a third important fact, that the virtue and benefits of Christ are extended unto, and belong to, none but the children of God." "That the Gospel is, in its nature, able to save all I by no means deny. But the great question lies here: Did the Lord by His eternal counsel ordain salvation for all men?"

    It is upon this basis, and how Calvin states the matter himself, that I argue the unlimited statements can be applied to the preaching of the gospel, while the limited statements may be referred to the death of Christ itself.
     
  4. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    This requires to be set straight. Twisse is speaking of what men are bound to believe in the gospel, not what Christ has done. In the Riches of God's Love, 1:153, Twisse specifically takes note of this distinction: "Now to believe the Gospell is one thing, the summe whereof is this, That Jesus Christ came into the World to save sinners; but to believe in Christ is another thing, which yet this Author distinguisheth not."

    Then, on p. 154, he subsequently states that it is the gospel proclamation in which Christ is said to die for men on condition they believe, but only in the sense that the forgiveness and salvation merited by Christ are offered in the gospel: "I suppose, as out of the mouth of all our Divines, that every one who hears the Gospell (without distinction between Elect and Reprobate) is bound to believe that Christ died for him, so farre as to procure both the pardon of his sinnes, and the salvation of his soule, in case he believe and repent."

    That Twisse did not believe Christ died for all men is clearly stated on p. 193: "To the contrary, that Christ died not for all; I prove thus: First, the reason why none can lay any thing to the charge of Gods elect, is because Christ died for them Rom. 8 [Margin: Rom. 8.33, 34]. If therefore Christ died for all, none can lay any thing to the charge of a Reprobate, more then to the charge of Gods Elect. Secondly, Christ prayed only for those who either did or should believe in him; and for whom he prayed for them only he sanctified himselfe. Ioh. 17 [Margin: Iohn 17.9, 19]. And what is the meaning of the sanctifying of himselfe for them, but that he meant to offer up himselfe in Sacrifice upon the crosse for them; as Maldonate confesseth, was the joynt interpretation of all the Fathers, whom he had read. Thirdly, did he dye only for all then living, or which should afterwards be brought forth into the World, or for all from the beginning of the world? If so, then he dyed for all those that already were damned. Fourthly, if he dyed for them, then Christ hath made satisfaction for their sinnes; and is it decent that any man should fry in Hell, for those sinnes for which Christ hath satisfied? Lastly, if Christ hath died for all, then hath he merited Salvation for all; and shall any faile of that salvation which Christ hath merited for them? Is it decent that God the Father, should deale with Christ his Sonne, not according to the exigence of his merits? If we had merited salvation for our selves would God in justice have denied it unto us? Why then should he deny any man salvation, in case Christ hath merited salvation for him?"

    [Edited on 8-23-2006 by armourbearer]
     
  5. Flynn

    Flynn Puritan Board Freshman

    G´day Matthew,

    Matthew:

    You seem surprised that I haven't wasted my time by interacting with what you obviously regard as weighty evidence for your position.

    David: I detect the knives coming out Matthew, talking to me is a _waste_ of time. For my part, interacting with good challenging primary sources shouldnt be a waste of time.

    Matthew: I am sorry, but you are proving the wrong point. I have already affirmed, after the tradition of Dordt and Owen, the sufficiency of Christ's death for all. What you are trying to prove is the double reference theory of the atonement, and your particular thesis is that the early reformed tradition taught it. But apart from Musculus you have not provided any evidence in that direction. Musculus held that Christ died for all men, but intercedes only for the elect. He also appears to have taught infant communion.

    David: Apart from Musculus? There is also Bullinger. That was not the only example I could have cited. There are more in the same confession and more in his Decades. We also have Vermigli and Ursinus and Paraeus. There are also more from Dabney, (which along with Shedd and C Hodge), I´ve already posted in this forum). I cant make you want to engage these primary sources. I can only try and start to make you aware of them.


    John Owen: it is denied that the blood of Christ was a sufficient price and ransom for all and everyone, not because it was not sufficient, but because it was not a ransom. Death of Death, p., 184.

    David: Owen says, along with others, that the death of Christ was not "˜externally´ sufficient for all men. It as an innate internal infinite sufficiency, but that its only infinitely sufficient for the sins of the elect. This is clearly the opposite of Bullinger, Ursinus and Musculus.

    Matthew: Cunningham says quite explicitly, "the advocates of a limited or definite atonement do not deny, but maintain, the infinite intrinsic sufficiency of Christ´s satisfaction and merits." (HT, 2:331.) So when you proceed to prove that earlier reformed divines held to the infinite intrinsic sufficiency of Christ's satisfaction and merits, you have not succeeded one whit in proving your thesis. This is what all reformed divines hold in common. When men perish it is through no lack in Christ's sufferings. There is enough virtue in His sufferings to have redeemed all men.

    David: Like I said, I cant make you read what Ursinus, Calvin et al actually said. I cant make you read even Owen´s confession that some early Protestant divines held to this other construction, but they are wrong. I cant make you see that these other Reformed held to an "œordained" sufficiency, while Owen et al, only held to an innate internal sufficiency.

    Matthew: The double reference theory of the atonement does not teach that Christ's death is sufficient for all, but that Christ died for the purpose of saving all men on condition that they believe.

    David: Well thats why thats your label, not mine.

    Matthew: This ascribes to Christ a purpose or intention of dying for all men. This is a completely different proposition from the one that asserts Christ's death is sufficient for all. The traditional reformed view is that which found expression in the Marrow of Modern Divinity, that the virtue of Christ's death is offered to all men upon condition that they will believe. That is, Christ is dead for all hypothetically in the gospel offer. Hence all have a warrant to take Christ for their Saviour without first settling the question whether or not they are elect and Christ died for them.

    David: Well thats all nice and neat and dandy. But it says nothing about the early history of Reformed thought with regard to the extent of the sufficiency of the atonement. You can think all that, but its still clear that the early Reformed thinkers held that Christ´s death is sufficient for all sinners.

    Part of the problem is that this is so psychologically threatening to you. I could show you a 100 citations from the early Reformers, and you would still deny their force. For example the burden of proof claim you made and tried to impose upon me. I could say, okay, here are 10 citations from Bullinger, 7 from Dabney, 8 from Shedd, 6 from C Hodge, 9 from J Edwards, 3 from Musculus, 15 from Calvin, and I know you still would just deny their force.

    So to close this discussion: When Calvin says that Christ suffered for all sufficiently but for the elect sufficiently, he clearly meant it in the sense as outlined by Ursinus and Paraeus:

    Question 37. What dost thou understand by the words, "he suffered?" Answer. That he, all the time he lived on earth, but especially at the, end of his life, sustained in body and soul, the wrath of God against the sins of all mankind that so by his passion, as the only propitiatory sacrifice, he might redeem our body and soul from everlasting damnation; and obtain for us the favor of God, righteousness, and eternal life.

    And part of the answer Paraeus give us: The principal part of his sorrows and anguish were the torments of soul, in which he felt and endured the wrath of God against the sins of all mankind...

    Matthew: Concerning Calvin, it has already been admitted that his statements come down on both sides. One cannot expect him to express himself according to the orthodoxy that was formulated after him.

    David: But thats where you seemingly want to have your cake and eat it too. You say, he comes down on both sides, but then you just allege that when he seemingly came down on the unlimited side, he was only referring to the free offer of the gospel. Well that clearly means he did come down on both sides.

    Matthew: He was not privy to the abuses of the "sufficienter" language, which emerged after his death.


    David: Well stop press: what that is really saying: if Calvin had been around later he would not have beleived what he did. Thats so second quessing Calvin, along with special pleading. The sufficiency doctrine was already being abused to prove absolute universalism: and yet he consistently maintained the same exegetical and theological response his whole life. So this evasive move has no substance


    Mattwe: Yet it is clear that he denied any saving virtue in the death of Christ for all men. Consider the following from "the eternal predestination of God," 94, 95:

    "Hereupon follows also a third important fact, that the virtue and benefits of Christ are extended unto, and belong to, none but the children of God." "That the Gospel is, in its nature, able to save all I by no means deny. But the great question lies here: Did the Lord by His eternal counsel ordain salvation for all men?"

    David: Sure, who here is claiming that Calvin imagined that the saving virtue of the death of Christ, its _benefits_, _extend_ to the reprobate. And we know that he denied that the Lord ordained the salvation of all men. By will secret, the death of Christ is intended only for the elect. Fine. So what have you proved exactly? Youve proved, that for Calvin there is a sense where he believed Christ did not die effectually for the reprobate. But this is exactly what one would expect to find in Calvin, given that he has affirmed that Christ _suffered_ for all sufficient, but for the elect efficiently. What you have to prove is the flip side of the formula: that when Calvin ever spoke of the suffering and death of Christ, in an unlimited sense, he was


    But now, if we use the tool Paraeus and others outlined, the tool of twofold intentionality, we can allow Calvin to also say: "œcan be applied to the preaching of the gospel, while the limited statements may be referred to the death of Christ itself." [see below where you say this].

    But can this be proven? Can you establish that claim?

    Also, in all honesty, calling upon one´s deepest commitment to personal integrity, can that "œalleged theory" adequately explain the following:

    Since then, this robber was a man disapproved of by all, and God called him so suddenly, when our Lord made effective for him His death and passion which He suffered and endured for all mankind, that ought all the more to confirm us.... But though our Lord Jesus Christ by nature held death in horror and indeed it was a terrible thing to Him to be found before the judgment-seat of God in the name of all poor sinners (for He was there, as it were, having to sustain all our burdens), nevertheless He did not fail to humble himself to such condemnation for our sakes... Calvin, Sermons on the Deity of Christ, Sermon 9, Matt 27:45-54, pp., 151, and 155-156.

    There is no room to doubt that our Lord discoursed to them about the office of Messiah, as it is described by the Prophets, that they might not take offense at his death; and a journey of three or four hours afforded abundance of time for a full explanation of those matters. Christ did not, therefore, assert in three words, that Christ ought to have suffered, but explained at great length that he had been sent in order that he might expiate, by the sacrifice of his death, the sins of the world,--that he might become a curse in order to remove the curse,--that by having guilt imputed to him he might wash away the pollutions of others. Calvin, Luke 24:26

    And stuff like this:

    And secondly again, thereafter as we see the mischief prevail, let us bring these back unto God which are gone astray, and labor to stop those that lead their neighbors after that fashion to destruction, and seek nothing but to turn all upside down: let such men be repressed, and let every one that hath the zeal of God show himself their deadly enemy, breaking asunder whatsoever may hold us back: and whither there be friendship or kindred between us, or any other or the straightest bonds in the world: let us bury everywhit of it in forgetfulness, when we see the souls that were bought with the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, so led to ruin and destruction: or when we see things that were well settled... Calvin, Sermons on Galatians, Sermon 10, 2:11-14, p., 216-7/155.

    His language of redemption here comes right out of that interpretative tradition that you would prefer to have never existed.

    Matthew: It is upon this basis, and how Calvin states the matter himself, that I argue the unlimited statements can be applied to the preaching of the gospel, while the limited statements may be referred to the death of Christ itself.

    David: The problem is, that is not an adequate theory. It does not do justice to Calvin´s many statements that Christ suffered and/or bore the sins of the whole world/whole human race. Nor does it do justice to his statements that men who were redeemed by Christ perish. The two-fold intentionality model is the soundest way to understand Calvin as, indeed, it was THE model of choice of the early Reformation theologians (of Anglican, Lutheran and Reformed). And the two-fold intent model says that Christ bore the sins due to every one, to all sinners (Institutes, 2.16.2): for its human sin that was imputed. It is the application [as per also: Ursinus/Paraeus, Shedd and Dabney] of this unlimited expiation that is limited to the elect, but the secret will of God. And so in this way, and only in this way, can the satisfaction of Christ be said to be sufficient for every sinner. For now the satisfaction is applicable to any and every sinner.

    He calls the Spirit ANOTHER Comforter, on account of the difference between the blessings which we obtain from both. The peculiar office of Christ was, to appease the wrath of God by atoning for the sins of the world, to redeem men from death, to procure righteousness and life; and the peculiar office of the Spirit is, to make us partakers not only of Christ himself, but of all his blessings. And yet there would be no impropriety in inferring from this passage a distinction of Persons; for there must be some peculiarity in which the Spirit differs from the Son so as to be another than the Son. Calvin Commentary, John 14:16.

    Paraeus: He died for all, as touching the sufficiency of the ransom which he paid; and not for all, but only for the elect, or those that believe, as touching the application and efficacy thereof. Comm Heidelberg, p., 215.

    In the end I cant make your acknowledge the presence of this other Reformed tradition. Maybe one day you will take a peek at it.

    David
     
  6. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    :lol: Sounds like Doug Wilson who claimed he was just interacting with the Westminister Confession in his diatribe against the Christian faith; Reformed is Not Enough.

    :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:
     
  7. Flynn

    Flynn Puritan Board Freshman


    Hey Moderators... [self-deletion]...

    oh whats the point

    David



    [Edited on 8-23-2006 by Flynn]
     
  8. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Exactly! What is the point? Whether it is shown from the writings of Turretin, Calvin or Twisse, or anyone else for that matter that you have unfairly quoted and have marshaled in support of a position that none actually held or advanced, you just plod ahead merely waving off refutation after refutation as if they were just so many gnats on a camping trip. I played the same game with you in 1999 and Matthew is playing the same futile game with you again here. And to think you can even take offense when someone suggests that debating you is waste of time.

    Maybe there is a point after all. :)

    [Edited on 8-23-2006 by Magma2]
     
  9. Flynn

    Flynn Puritan Board Freshman

    While we are setting things straight.

    Lets be clear here, I had said:

    cut

    You cite some stuff from Twisse:

    Then, on p. 154, he subsequently states that it is the gospel proclamation in which Christ is said to die for men on condition they believe, but only in the sense that the forgiveness and salvation merited by Christ are offered in the gospel: "I suppose, as out of the mouth of all our Divines, that every one who hears the Gospell (without distinction between Elect and Reprobate) is bound to believe that Christ died for him, so farre as to procure both the pardon of his sinnes, and the salvation of his soule, in case he believe and repent."

    David: As an aside, I cant even begin to imagine how a pure Owenist could imagine that from hearing the gospel, even a reprobate was bound to believe that Christ died for him. The only reason Twisse could say this is because of what Ive posted below.

    Matthew:
    That Twisse did not believe Christ died for all men is clearly stated on p. 193: "To the contrary, that Christ died not for all; I prove thus: First, the reason why none can lay any thing to the charge of Gods elect, is because Christ died for them Rom. 8 [Margin: Rom. 8.33, 34]. If therefore Christ died for all, none can lay any thing to the charge of a Reprobate, more then to the charge of Gods Elect. Secondly, Christ prayed only for those who either did or should believe in him; and for whom he prayed for them only he sanctified himselfe. [cut cut cut cut]

    David: well all thats well and good. But now,

    From another work: he said all this [copy paste and print and read CAREFULLY]:

    1) And In the stating of this thesis we have a miserable confusion, as if these men delighted to fish in troubled waters. For when we say Christ dyed for us, our meaning is that Christ dyed for our good, and a benefite redoundes unto us by the deathe of Christ, now, it may be, there are diverse benefites redounding unto us by the deathe of Christ, and they of so different nature, that, in respect of some, wee spare not to professe, that Christ dyed for all, and in respect of others, the Arminians themselves are so farre from granting that he dyed to obteyn any such benefite for all, as that they utterly deny them to be any benefites at redounding to any by the deathe of Christ. Though we willingly acknowledge them to be benefites redounding to us by the death of Christ, albeit not redounding unto all, but only God's elect. Now if this be true, is it not a proper course which this author takes in confounding things so extreamely different? And that it is so as I have sayde, I now proceede to shewe in this manner. We say, that pardon of sinne and salvation of soules are benefites purchased by the deathe of Christ, to be enjoyed by men, but how? not absolutely, but conditionally, to witt, in case they believe, and only in case they believe. For like as God doth not conferre these on any of ripe yeares vnles they believe, so Christ hath not merited that they should be conferred on any but such as believe. And accordingly professe that Christ dyed for all, that is, to obteyne pardon of sinne and salvation of soule for all, but how? not absolutely whether they believe or no, but only conditionally, to witt provided they doe believe in Christ. So that we willingly professe, that Christ had both a full intention of his owne, and commandment of his Father to make a propitiation for the sinnes of the whole world, so farre as therby to procure both pardon of sinne and salvation of soule to all that doe believe, and to none other being of ripe yeares, according to that Rom. 3:24. we are justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. v. 25. Whome God hath sett forth to be a propitiation (or reconciliation) through faith in his blood. But we further say, that there are other benefites redounding to us by the death of Christ, to witt, the grace of faith and of repentance. For like as these are the gifts of God wrought in us by his holy Spirit, so they are wrought in us for Christ his sake, according to that of the Apostle, praying for the Hebrewes, namely that God will make them perfect to every good worke, working in them that which is pleasing in his sight through Jesus Christ. Now, as touching these benefites, we willingly professe, that Christ dyed not for all, that is, he dyed not to obtaine the grace of faith and repentance for all, but only for God's elect; In as much as these graces are bestowed by God, not conditionally, least so grace should be given according to mens workes, but absolutely, And if Christ dyed to obteyne these for all absolutely, it would follow herhence that all should believe and repent and consequently all shoulde be saved William Twisse, The Doctrine of the Synod of Dort and Arles Preface, pp. 15-17

    2) Now for the cleering of the truth of this, when we say Christ dyed for us, the meaning is, that Christ dyed for our benefite. Now these benefites which Christ procured unto us by his death, it may be they are of different conditions, wherof some are ordeyned to be conferred only conditionally, and some absolutely. And therefore it is fit we should consider them apart. As for example it is without question (I suppose) that Christ dyed, to procure pardon of sinne, and salvation of soule, but how? absolutely, whether men believe or no? Nothing lesse, but only conditionally, to witt, that for Christs sake their sinnes shall be pardoned and their soules saved, provided they do believe in him.

    Now I willingly confesse that Christ dyed for all in respect of procuring these benefits, to witt conditionally, upon the condition of their faith, in such sort that if all and every one should believe in Christ, all and every one should obteyne the pardon of their sinnes, and salvation of their soules for Christs sake William Twisse The Doctrine of the Synod of Dort and Arles 3.1, pp. 143-144.

    3) For as touching the benefite of pardon of sinne, and salvation procured by Christs death, we say that Christ dyed to procure these for all, and every one, but how? Not absolutely; for then all and every one should be saved; but conditionally, to witt, upon condition of faith; so that if all and every one should believe in Christ, all and every one shoulde be saved. [?]

    And if it appeare that but a small number believe and persevere in true faith, it is manifest in the issue, that but fewe are saved, and that albeit Christ dyed to save all and every one conditionally, yet he died to merit faith for a very fewe. Nowe what is become of this Authors riddle, and the pretended contradiction betweene these two propositions? William Twisse The Doctrine of the Synod of Dort and Arles 3.2, p. 152.

    4) The truth is, we deny that Christ dyed for all, in as much as he dyed not to procure the grace of faith and regeneration for all, but only for Gods elect; and consequently neyther shall any but Gods elect have any such interest in Christs death, as to obteyne therby pardon of sinne and salvation, for Arminians themselves confesse, that this is the portion only of believers. But seing pardon of sinne and salvation are benefites merited by Christ, not to be conferred absolutely but conditionally, to witt, upon condition of faith; we may be bold to say, that Christ in some sense dyed for all and every one, that is, he dyed to procure remission of sinnes, and salvation unto all and everyone in case they believe; and as this is true, so way we well say, and the Councell of Dort might well say; that every one who heares the Gospel is bound to believe that Christ dyed for him in this sense, namely, to obtayne salvation for him in case he believe. William Twisse The Doctrine of the Synod of Dort and Arles 3.3, p. 165.

    So summary:

    1) Twisse did say Christ died for all IN CASE THEY DO BELIEVE. I was totally spot on.

    2) Twisse can say this because he did hold that in some sense Christ died for all conditionally.

    3) Therefore he can say that from the Gospel, even the Reprobate were expected to believe that Christ died for me.

    4) That last claim was eventually completely dropped from Protestant Scholastic theology as assurance or knowledge that Christ died for me can only be known as on the basis of a reflex act of faith.

    5) Twisse therefore was clearly transitional here. He represents a movement away from the early theology, to the more Owenic type.

    So where do we stand now? And finally Mods wont you do something about Gerety?

    At every turn Ive actually had to correct Matthew's use of the primary sources. At no turn has he refuted my alleged 'twistings.'

    All this bandwidth to what profit? So far I dont even have confidence that Matthew is reading the citations Ive supplied.

    David


    [Edited on 8-23-2006 by Flynn]
     
  10. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    David,

    I did not say talking to you was a waste of time; although if you are going to become defensive I can see it will capitulate to that. There are no knives here. I said interacting with your arguments is a waste of time, because your arguments are proving the wrong thing. Hence I didn't give you the long rebuttal you thought you obviously deserved.

    I will engage primary sources when the relevant material is brought to the forum. To date Musculus is the only one which even hints at your hypothesis, and even he is too far left field to prove what you aim at, because he claims Christ died for all men pure and simple. Surely you don't believe that was the earlier reformed tradition!

    Concerning John Owen, if you carefully read the words you cite, it might prove to be something of an eye-opener for you. Quote: "it is denied that the blood of Christ was a sufficient price and ransom for all and everyone, not because it was not sufficient, but because it was not a ransom. Death of Death, p., 184." Also to be found in Works, 10:296.

    Now listen very carefully to what Owen is saying. There is in the death of Christ a sufficiency for all men, only not as a ransom. Why? "For its being a price for all or some doth not arise from its own sufficiency, worth, or dignity, but from the intention of God and Christ using it to that purpose." On this basis Owen "therefore" denies it is not a ransom for all. Which is exactly what Calvin before him denied also, and on the very same basis.

    If we examine the subject closely, how can we not arrive at the same conclusion. To be a ransom Christ has to substitute Himself in the place of particular individuals, and satisfy divine justice on their behalf. This cannot be done for all men, else all men would be saved.

    Now you say: "I cant make you read even Owen´s confession that some early Protestant divines held to this other construction, but they are wrong."

    This is a misquoting of Owen, if you are referring to his statement in the context of what you cited above. He only said "divers Protestant divines." Nothing about *earlier* divines. And it is clear from church history that Amyraldians were regarded as Protestant divines.

    You write: "You can think all that, but its still clear that the early Reformed thinkers held that Christ´s death is sufficient for all sinners."

    Of course, as has been shown from Cunningham, later Reformed thinkers held the same thing. Which leaves you without a feasible dichotomy whereby to prove your hypothesis. Hence you could quote, not 100, but 1000 citations, and they would all be saying the same thing, but they would not be proving David Ponter's hypothesis.

    Please note your quotation of the Heidelberg Catechism. What does it establish? Nothing more than Owen himself later acknowledged. Christ suffered the wrath of God due to sinners of mankind. Who doubts that? That is what Christ *suffered* intrinsically. Now, what does the Catechism say as to the purpose of this suffering, as indicated by the purpose clause beginning with "that so?" For whose benefit did He suffer? "That so ... he might redeem our body and soul." That is the extrinsic purpose, and it is limited in the persons for whom it is intended.

    Concerning Calvin, you concede the point: "Sure, who here is claiming that Calvin imagined that the saving virtue of the death of Christ, its _benefits_, _extend_ to the reprobate."

    When we say that Christ died *for* someone, we are claiming that He died so as to secure certain benefits in their place and for their good. And here you admit that Calvin never imagined any benefits in the death of Christ extending to the reprobate. There is nothing more to discuss. Any "unlimited" statement concerning the extent of the atonement cannot be twisted to teach that there is any benefit for all men in the death of Christ. This is everything Owen later contended for.

    But, as expected, Calvin will not be permitted to set the boundaries of his own thought, and you contend: "It does not do justice to Calvin´s many statements that Christ suffered and/or bore the sins of the whole world/whole human race."

    At which point, if Calvin is not permitted to say in what manner his words should be understood, it is a waste of time discussing it. Ditto for this so-called earlier reformed tradition.
     
  11. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    It is not good to depend on your imagination when studying theology, David. Simply deal with what Twisse says, and it will be clear that the lines of Owen thought were earlier drawn by "the very learned Twisse," as Owen calls him.

    The problem of course with your copy and paste method of doing theology is that it falls into the hands of post-modern decontextualisation, and fails to consider what a man has to say in the contours of his own thought. Now if Twisse's distinction, as already provided for you out of Riches of God's Love, were to be acknowledged, it will be clear that all he says about Christ's death being hypothetically for all is within the context of its gospel proclamation. Now you could choose to ignore this vital distinction, but you would only make yourself liable to the same neglect which Twisse charged on his contemporary interlocutor.

    Concerning the Doctrine of the Synod of Dort and Arles, pp. 15-17, what does he say? "So that we willingly professe, that Christ had both a full intention of his owne, and commandment of his Father to make a propitiation for the sinnes of the whole world, so farre as therby to procure both pardon of sinne and salvation of soule to all that doe believe, and to none other being of ripe yeares."

    Note the qualifier, "so farre as therby to procure..." This is orthodox reformed theology. In suffering what all men's sins deserved, Christ procured salvation to all those that do believe. This salvation is offered to all men on condition they will believe, but it is procured only to those who do believe. Moreover, he goes on to say that Christ procured this faith only for the elect. Hence Christ dies to procure salvation only for the elect.

    As for what follows, it is the language of polemics, David. As you read it in the context of what the opponent taught, you see that the polemicist is going out to meet his opponent's argument, and by degrees leads the reader back to the gates of orthodoxy.

    Concerning your quotation on pp. 143-144, what does Twisse qualify first? He uses the same argument as that whih was provided from Riches of God's Love:

    What he proceeds to state, by way of argument, must be understood from this clarifying position. And what does he state? It amounts to this. Christ died for all on condition they will believe; Christ's death procured the condition, namely, faith, and that only for the elect. Hence Christ died only for the elect. Now the conditional offer of Christ is that which is given in the gospel. The unconditional sacrifice of Christ is that which took place in Christ's death, as Twisse's own distinction has made clear.

    That which you quote from page (?), which is page 152, as the head of the page clearly indicates, is to be understood in the same light. To understand it any other way is to propound what Twisse calls "this author's riddle," which was the positing of a contradiction between Christ dying for all and for some. So that when we come to the portion quoted from page 152, it is clear that Twisse is saying, that to die upon a condition of faith, and to procure the condition of faith for only a few, is to die only for those few for whom faith has been procured. In other words, "to die for all upon condition," is merely to die for them hypothetically, not actually. Hence there is no contradiction, or riddle.

    And all this is summarised so effectively in your last quotation, that I am at a loss to know why you quoted it, since it proves the exact opposite of what you intended. On page 165, he writes:

    And this proves that Twisse never held the doctrine that Christ died sufficiently for all; quite clearly he only held to a hypothetical death of Christ for all as proclaimed in the gospel, i.e., on condition that they believe.

    Now let us come to your summary, and see with what boldness you bury your Ponterifications.

    But then he qualified that this condition is propounded in the gospel, which qualification you ignored, and consequently only succeeded in hitting the spot of your own imagination.

    In which context he maintains that the condition was also procured by Christ for the elect. Hence Christ only died in actual fact for the elect.

    This is blatantly false. This is the point Twisse's interlocutor was making. Twisse makes a different point:

    Note that these are the exact same pages that you made your last quotation from. Hence your misrepresenting of Twisse is inexcusable.

    Which is what Twisse himself claims. Only upon believing in Christ can one be assured that Christ actually died for them: "But looke what evidence we have of a mans faith, in the judgment of charitie, the same evidence we have of his election in the judgment of charitie. For the Apostle doth clearly conclude the election of the Thessalonians, by his observation of their faith, &c. 1 Thes. 1.1, 3.4, and 2. Thes. 2.13."

    He calls his interlocutor a comedian (p. 159) for making the very point you believe you have derived from Twisse.

    Quite clearly Twisse was nothing of the sort; unless your imagination counts for something, David. When you are ready to discuss the *reality* of reformed theology, I am sure we could engage in more profitable discourse.
     
  12. Flynn

    Flynn Puritan Board Freshman

    G'day Matthew,

    David: Actually I was not getting defensive. I only see that in you. Nor was I offended as per Gerety's claim. But telling your dialogical partner that interacting with the evidence he cared enough to present is "œa waste of time" does not bode well. Try doing it with a serious face to someone in real life, and see what it communicates. Its far better to say, one does not have the and/or interest.

    David,

    Matthew:
    I did not say talking to you was a waste of time; although if you are going to become defensive I can see it will capitulate to that. There are no knives here. I said interacting with your arguments is a waste of time, because your arguments are proving the wrong thing. Hence I didn't give you the long rebuttal you thought you obviously deserved.

    David: Okay, if that makes much difference [doubtful] you neither interacted with any of the citations apart from an assertion regarding Musculus. The infant communion thing is irrelevant here (thats a REAL guilty by association argumentm btw).

    Matthew:
    I will engage primary sources when the relevant material is brought to the forum. To date Musculus is the only one which even hints at your hypothesis, and even he is too far left field to prove what you aim at, because he claims Christ died for all men pure and simple. Surely you don't believe that was the earlier reformed tradition!

    David: Wow. He invokes the sufficiency principle. And Bullinger? And Dabney? You didnt engage them at all. You have engaged a single Calvin quotation. And as for Ursinus... you offer a clearly false gloss on what was said.

    Matthew:
    Concerning John Owen, if you carefully read the words you cite, it might prove to be something of an eye-opener for you. Quote: "it is denied that the blood of Christ was a sufficient price and ransom for all and everyone, not because it was not sufficient, but because it was not a ransom. Death of Death, p., 184." Also to be found in Works, 10:296.

    Matthew: Now listen very carefully to what Owen is saying. There is in the death of Christ a sufficiency for all men, only not as a ransom. Why? "For its being a price for all or some doth not arise from its own sufficiency, worth, or dignity, but from the intention of God and Christ using it to that purpose." On this basis Owen "therefore" denies it is not a ransom for all. Which is exactly what Calvin before him denied also, and on the very same basis.

    David: Once again: Owen says as to its internal sufficiency it is sufficient for all. But not as it its external sufficiency. Externally, it could have been, had God so chosen. But as it stands, its not. Its not because its not a ransom for all. But remember that word price, where Owen says its not a price for all.

    Matthew:
    If we examine the subject closely, how can we not arrive at the same conclusion. To be a ransom Christ has to substitute Himself in the place of particular individuals, and satisfy divine justice on their behalf. This cannot be done for all men, else all men would be saved.

    David: Well clearly Calvin, Bullinger, Musculus, Vermigli and others didnt think that. You are using Owen´s trilemma, which clearly these earlier Reformers didnt buy into. And beside, that is a theological argument which is properly irrelevant to the question at hand, which is: Is the death of Christ sufficient for all the men of this world? Owen said no. Why he said no is beside the point. Others said yes. Why they said yes is also beside the point. The point is: the formula underwent a revision post Calvin. Its not sufficient for all the sins of this would for it was never a price paid for all the sins of this world.

    Matthew: Now you say: "I cant make you read even Owen´s confession that some early Protestant divines held to this other construction, but they are wrong."

    This is a misquoting of Owen, if you are referring to his statement in the context of what you cited above. He only said "divers Protestant divines." Nothing about *earlier* divines. And it is clear from church history that Amyraldians were regarded as Protestant divines.

    David: Oh dear. You will haggle over that? Well he couldnt have meant later. So thats ruled out. He could have meant present. Sure. But he clearly didnt mean to exclude earlier. He also cites the Schoolmen. :) And we do know that more earlier devines, rather than present, were stressing sufficient redemption.

    Matthew:
    You write: "You can think all that, but its still clear that the early Reformed thinkers held that Christ´s death is sufficient for all sinners."

    Of course, as has been shown from Cunningham, later Reformed thinkers held the same thing. Which leaves you without a feasible dichotomy whereby to prove your hypothesis. Hence you could quote, not 100, but 1000 citations, and they would all be saying the same thing, but they would not be proving David Ponter's hypothesis.

    David: this is getting surreal. The documentation is clear enough. The original formulation was that Christ died for all sufficiently, paid a sufficient price for all men, but died for the elect efficiently. He actually paid a price for all the men of this world. But that was later revised and denied. The sufficiency for all the men of this world is merely abstracted and hypothetical.

    Matthew:
    Please note your quotation of the Heidelberg Catechism. What does it establish? Nothing more than Owen himself later acknowledged. Christ suffered the wrath of God due to sinners of mankind. Who doubts that? That is what Christ *suffered* intrinsically. Now, what does the Catechism say as to the purpose of this suffering, as indicated by the purpose clause beginning with "that so?" For whose benefit did He suffer? "That so ... he might redeem our body and soul." That is the extrinsic purpose, and it is limited in the persons for whom it is intended.


    David: Oh wow Look at what you do to his wording. 'He died, he suffered the wrath "˜due to sinners´,' youve made it an abstraction. He suffered the kind wrath due to a sinner. But thats not what he says: he suffered the wrath due to all sinners. And in doing this, he MERITED life for all. He goes on to say Christ died for all in one sense, but for the elect in another. He says Christ died for all in a two-fold manner.

    Paraeus: Therefore, as he died for all, in respect to the sufficiency of his ransom; and for the faithful alone in respect to the efficacy of the same, so also he willed to die for all in general, as touching the sufficiency of his merit, that is, he willed to merit by his death, grace, righteousness, and life the most abundant; manner for all; because would not that any thing should be wanting as far as he and his merits are concerned, so that all the wicked who perish may be without excuse.

    David: Matthew, your reading of Paraeus and Ursinus is just not honest. They adopted the very version of the formula adopted by the scholastics. The man even cites Lombard and Aquinas. He adopts the very position Owen says was wrong. They assert that Christ suffered for the sins of all mankind, the whole human race, not merely that he suffered for sin in some abstracted way.

    Matthew: Concerning Calvin, you concede the point: "Sure, who here is claiming that Calvin imagined that the saving virtue of the death of Christ, its _benefits_, _extend_ to the reprobate."

    When we say that Christ died *for* someone, we are claiming that He died so as to secure certain benefits in their place and for their good. And here you admit that Calvin never imagined any benefits in the death of Christ extending to the reprobate. There is nothing more to discuss.

    David: Well once again you have misquoted me. I didnt say that. I said this:

    "œSure, who here is claiming that Calvin imagined that the saving virtue of the death of Christ, its _benefits_, _extend_ to the reprobate. And we know that he denied that the Lord ordained the salvation of all men. By will secret, the death of Christ is intended only for the elect."

    I said saving virtue. I said ordained. Right? And I located that in the secret will with regard to Calvin.

    In no way does that deny any other form of expression in Calvin.

    Matthew: Any "unlimited" statement concerning the extent of the atonement cannot be twisted to teach that there is any benefit for all men in the death of Christ. This is everything Owen later contended for.

    David: What does that mean? Is that how you treat Calvin? Calvin says the benefits are not ordained to be extended to the reprobate. We all agree. But he does say that the expiation was for all the sins of all mankind, that he suffered for all mankind. He even goes on to say that certain men for whom Christ paid the price and redeemed, are not finally saved, but you just assert all that means nothing.

    David: I know I could present 1000 quotations from Calvin and as youve admitted, it would not prove anything to do.

    Matthew:
    But, as expected, Calvin will not be permitted to set the boundaries of his own thought, and you contend: "It does not do justice to Calvin´s many statements that Christ suffered and/or bore the sins of the whole world/whole human race."
    At which point, if Calvin is not permitted to say in what manner his words should be understood, it is a waste of time discussing it. Ditto for this so-called earlier reformed tradition.

    David. Sure. I didnt expect you to just drop the your current understanding and just go "œoh yes, I was wrong... they did have a different formula, they did think that." Denial is the always the first response to the documentary evidence. Maybe later you will pick some of this up again and examine it a little more objectively.

    I know youve just admitted that a 1000 citations from these guys wouldnt be enough to change your mind, wont proving anything.

    But here is my method.

    I know that if I cited Calvin where he says Christ either

    1) Died for the sins of, or was appointed to redeem, or redeemed: the whole world/whole human race/all mankind.

    You will just put a spin on it that he didnt mean really the whole human race, all mankind, etc. I know that as a given.

    So in response to that apriori denial, what I´ve tried to do is find particulars: individual examples where he says given people have been redeemed, or for whom Christ died and paid a redemptive price, but yet who fail to be saved. From these particulars. Moving inductively from these to his universal statements, demonstrating that in the light of these particular examples of voided redemption etc, when he said Christ died for all the sins of the world he meant it.

    The other strategy is to look for like statements in his contempories, and if these can be identified as NOT holding to an Owenic version, if they use the exact same phrases as found in Calvin, it´s a strong case that Calvin likewise held to the same thology. After all,where O where will you EVER find in Owen or Turretin the phrase that Christ
    died for ALL the sins of the world. :)

    So along with the other examples I´ve supplied, lets point out that Calvin clearly held that Christ paid a redemptive price for some men who fail to obtain final salvation.

    Calvin: Must we leave the poor church of God in the power of wolves and robbers? Must all the flock be scattered, the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ trampled under foot, and souls which he redeemed at so costly a price go to destruction, and all order be set aside, and must we still be silent and shut our eyes... Moreover let us mark that also that which is added, "œThat they subvert whole houses." If one man only were misled by them, it would be too much: for mens souls ought to be precious to us seeing that our Lord Jesus Christ has esteemed so high of them, as not to spare his own life, for our salvation and redemption." Calvin, Sermons on Titus, Sermon 7, 1:10-13, p., 1103.

    For the faithless have no profit at all by the death and passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, but rather are so much the more damnable, because they reject the mean that God had ordained: and their unthankfulness shall be so much the more grievously punished, because they have trodden under foot the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was the ransom for their souls. Calvin, Sermons on Galatians, Sermon 2, 1:3-5, p., 39/27

    And one good example from his Commentaries:

    Hence it ought to be observed, that whenever the Church is afflicted, the example of the Prophet ought to move us to be touched (sumpatheia) with compassion, if we are not harder than iron; for we are altogether unworthy of being reckoned in the number of the children of God, and added to the holy Church, if we do not dedicate ourselves, and all that we have, to the Church, in such a manner that we are not separate from it in any respect. Thus, when in the present day the Church is afflicted by so many and so various calamities, and innumerable souls are perishing, which Christ redeemed with his own blood, we must be barbarous and savage if we are not touched with any grief. And especially the ministers of the word ought to be moved by this feeling of grief, because, being appointed to keep watch and to look at a distance, they ought also to groan when they perceive the tokens of approaching ruin. Calvin, Isaiah 22:4.

    Now, I am fully convinced that its only dishonesty that motivates a man, upon reading these quotations, who then turns them on their heads, trying to assert he never meant what he said, he really meant this that and the other thing, but never what he actually said.

    Take care,
    David

    [Edited on 8-24-2006 by Flynn]
     
  13. Flynn

    Flynn Puritan Board Freshman

    Matthew:

    It is not good to depend on your imagination when studying theology, David. Simply deal with what Twisse says, and it will be clear that the lines of Owen thought were earlier drawn by "the very learned Twisse," as Owen calls him.

    David: Well I actually don´t care a brazz razoo for Twisse. All my point was that I was right: He did say Christ died for all in case they believe, contra Gerety and contra your "œlets set the record straight" post.

    Thats all I needed to do. That language "œChrist died for all in case they do believe" was clearly dropped later. And its clearly not language one finds in early Reformation thought. Thus I conclude, and rightly, that it reflects a transitional expresion and theology.

    Twisse:
    Concerning the Doctrine of the Synod of Dort and Arles, pp. 15-17, what does he say? "So that we willingly professe, that Christ had both a full intention of his owne, and commandment of his Father to make a propitiation for the sinnes of the whole world, so farre as therby to procure both pardon of sinne and salvation of soule to all that doe believe, and to none other being of ripe yeares."

    David: And I know that Twisse says world there means elect. Sure. But nonetheless, he did say Christ died for all in case they do believe. Thats all I need and needed.

    Matthew citing and working from Twisse:
    Note the qualifier, "so farre as therby to procure..." This is orthodox reformed theology. In suffering what all men's sins deserved, Christ procured salvation to all those that do believe. This salvation is offered to all men on condition they will believe, but it is procured only to those who do believe. Moreover, he goes on to say that Christ procured this faith only for the elect. Hence Christ dies to procure salvation only for the elect.

    David says: Fine. Like I said, I actually don´t care about Twisse overall. I don´t like reading him or his theology overall. But nonetheless he did say Christ died for all in case they do believe, and thats all I said in my opening comment about him: Christ died for all in case they do believe.

    Cut cut

    Matthew: Concerning your quotation on pp. 143-144, what does Twisse qualify first? He uses the same argument as that whih was provided from Riches of God's Love:

    David: Nonetheless he did say Christ died for all in case they do believe, and he clearly has a component of Christ dying for all conditionally.

    Cut
    Matthew:
    What he proceeds to state, by way of argument, must be understood from this clarifying position. And what does he state? It amounts to this. Christ died for all on condition they will believe; Christ's death procured the condition, namely, faith, and that only for the elect. Hence Christ died only for the elect. Now the conditional offer of Christ is that which is given in the gospel. The unconditional sacrifice of Christ is that which took place in Christ's death, as Twisse's own distinction has made clear.

    David. Nonetheless he did say Christ died for all in case they do believe. That was only what I said and intended to say.

    Matthew: That which you quote from page (?), which is page 152, as the head of the page clearly indicates, is to be understood in the same light. To understand it any other way is to propound what Twisse calls "this author's riddle," which was the positing of a contradiction between Christ dying for all and for some. So that when we come to the portion quoted from page 152, it is clear that Twisse is saying, that to die upon a condition of faith, and to procure the condition of faith for only a few, is to die only for those few for whom faith has been procured. In other words, "to die for all upon condition," is merely to die for them hypothetically, not actually. Hence there is no contradiction, or riddle.

    David: Fine. I have no problem with any of that. But still I was right, he said Christ died for all in case they do believe.

    Matthew: And all this is summarised so effectively in your last quotation, that I am at a loss to know why you quoted it, since it proves the exact opposite of what you intended.

    I only intended to prove that he did say in fact:

    We say, that pardon of sinne and salvation of soules are benefites purchased by the deathe of Christ, to be enjoyed by men, but how? not absolutely, but conditionally, to witt, in case they believe, and only in case they believe. I find he says that at least 5 times in the citations I provided.

    Matthew:

    Now let us come to your summary, and see with what boldness you bury your Ponterifications.

    David: oh thats sooo funny.

    Rest cut.

    Matthew, I wish you could have put as much effort into reading Bullinger, Calvin, Dabney and Ursinus.

    So one last time. I said, something to this effect: Twisse has his own twist on this, when he says Christ died for all in case they do believe.

    Weve set the record straight. I reproduced accurately what he said.

    Take care,
    David

    [Edited on 8-24-2006 by Flynn]
     
  14. Flynn

    Flynn Puritan Board Freshman

    I am sure though that the implication of Twisse's claim that Christ did die for all conditionally and hypothetically would suddenly be objectionable when one realises that this presupposes an eternal decree to have Christ die for all men conditionally.

    Now where have we heard that before?

    And I am sure Turretin would rightly roll over and deny that God could decree that Christ died for all upon conditions which he has determined that the reprobate cant meet, etc etc etc etc.

    Having fun,
    David :)
     
  15. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Hello again David,

    I see you have not advanced the discussion one inch, but still carry on with the same business about a sufficiency for all men, which has been the reformed position all along.

    You claim that my statement about Musculus holding to infant communion is a guilt by association argument. This is a disussion about historical theology. You are claiming Musculus is representative of an earlier reformed tradition. I doubt it. Hence I quote his aberrant view about the atonement and infant communion. The only purpose of the statement was to show that he is not representative of the tradition, however formative he may have been in the development of scholastic Protestant theology.

    What is next? We have this claim as to why I should waste more time on your primary sources: "Wow. He invokes the sufficiency principle. And Bullinger? And Dabney? You didnt engage them at all. You have engaged a single Calvin quotation. And as for Ursinus... you offer a clearly false gloss on what was said."

    "The sufficiency principle?" Read the earlier posts in this thread. Read the multiple statements that have been pointed out to you. All reformed theologians hold "the sufficiency principle." So, in effect, you want me to waste my time interacting with primary sources that prove a point the reformed world already accepts. You are the one arguing a dichotomy, David. The burden is on you to show that this earlier tradition held a DIFFERENT sufficiency principle than the later tradition. Something your primary sources do not do. As for the Calvin quotation, I have already shown the contours of his thought, within which his pre-Dordt statements should be understood.

    Then we have some more complaints about Owen holding to internal sufficiency but not external sufficiency. And what is the problem? It is the word "price." You write: "But remember that word price, where Owen says its not a price for all." Exactly. How could it be a price for all? If it were a price for all, then all would be saved.

    But poor Owen, within a paragraph you have him denying the very point you just conceded that he made. You write: "Is the death of Christ sufficient for all the men of this world? Owen said no." But above you claimed he said yes.

    Concerning Owen's quotation pertaining to divers Protestant divines, you are not interested in quibbling over the word "earlier," but the fact is you are trying to make Owen speak to your hypothesis that there was an "earlier" reformed tradition from which later reformed theologians departed. The fact that he does not say "earlier," means he could have in mind "contemporary" Protestant theologians, one of which he was writing his famous book against. This effectively shows that your quotation of Owen does not support this "earlier" reformed tradition which Owen is supposed have recognised and which "later" theology is supposed to have deviated from.

    Now, as you reflect on the Cunningham quotation, it becomes apparent that you do not understand the sufficient/efficient language of reformed orthodoxy, earlier or later. Please tell me how something that is "actually paid" as a "price for all the men of this world" is not efficient, but merely sufficient? How doesn't it save all men, but merely make them savable?

    Hastening to the Heidelberg Catechism -- you claim I twist the wording to make it say "He suffered the kind [of] wrath due to a sinner." No, I said "to sinners of mankind." To which you respond: "But thats not what he says: he suffered the wrath due to all sinners." And the difference between "sinners of mankind" and "all sinners" is what exactly? Your comprehension skills aren't working very well, David.

    All acknowledge the fact that Christ suffered the wrath of God due to all men. That is where the language of the sufficiency of the death of Christ emerges from. Hence it follows that if God had have chosen to save the whole world, Christ would not have needed to suffer any more. Read Owen; read Cunningham. They all accept this point. So you have only succeeded in wasting precious time by requiring me to deal with a primary source which states nothing more than the later reformed tradition acknowledges.

    Where the reformed tradition distinguishes itself is in the fact that it makes the atonement of Christ "definite," thereby necessitating that it be regarded as "limited" in the persons for whom it is intended. Christ did not merely suffer the wrath of God due to sinners of mankind, but He substituted Himself in the place of a certain number of people, and satisfied divine justice on their behalf, thus procuring for them forgiveness of sin and eternal salvation. This he did not do on behalf of all men, which both the earlier and later reformed theologians testify of.

    I think I have given you more than enough opportunity to prove your hypothesis from the primary sources you have quoted. The only quote I can find which shows another tradition is the following:

    I think this is what you are trying to prove, David. But the fact is that this is the second article of the five Arminian articles of 1610.
     
  16. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    On the poor fate of Mr. Twisse in the hands of David Ponter.

    But to do something on condition does not imply that the person does it. Yet you would have Twisse teaching that Christ died for all conditionally, not paying proper respect to the wording he employs in response to the comedian he was answering. Hence you misrepresented Twisse, as you have done with the reformed tradition in general.

    The reason why I paid more attention to Twisse is due to the fact that I have typed this book out and proofed it, and hence know it inside out. By showing your faulty scholarship on Twisse, it becomes clear with what dubiety your treatment of other reformed divines should be received.

    As for your statement that Twisse affirmed an Amyraldian conditional decree, click your heels three times.
     
  17. polemic_turtle

    polemic_turtle Puritan Board Freshman

    if( $calvin['0'] == "died for world" && $calvin['1'] == "some for whom Christ died perish" ) {
    $calvin_believed = "Christ died for each and every man."
    }

    If (Calvin said Christ died for the world) & (Calvin said that we ought to be grieved that some for whom Christ died are even now perishing),
    Then, didn't Calvin actually mean (Christ died for each individually, actually)? Why grieve if they're merely hypothetically blood-bought? They didn't actually mean enough to Christ to die for, so why feel anything extra for them on account of Christ?

    Calvin said: Thus, when in the present day the Church is afflicted by so many and so various calamities, and innumerable souls are perishing, which Christ redeemed with his own blood, we must be barbarous and savage if we are not touched with any grief.

    Unless it can be shown that he here intends a temporal perishing, then isn't the point proven? That is, that some of those for whom Christ suffered perish, which means they're not elect, which means Christ died for the reprobate? To take one step further, I believe a key word is provisionally. It seems to come up in such discussions.

    If you can get my drift, I think that's an important part you haven't covered yet, brother. Matthew. I've seen this point brought up and I'd be interested in seeing how you interpret it.
     
  18. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    This has already been dealt with above. If Calvin is permitted to set the boundaries of his own thought, within which his statements are to be interpreted, he says quite clearly in "the eternal predestination of God," 94, 95:

    "Hereupon follows also a third important fact, that the virtue and benefits of Christ are extended unto, and belong to, none but the children of God." "That the Gospel is, in its nature, able to save all I by no means deny. But the great question lies here: Did the Lord by His eternal counsel ordain salvation for all men?"

    Hence, what Christ actually accomplished on the cross does not belong to any but the children of God, in virtue of the eternal counsel of the Lord. Where he speaks unlimited language, he is clearly referring to the death of Christ as conditionally held out in the gospel and/or what men profess to believe as a result of the gospel.

    It IS that simple. We cannot impute Arminian categories to Calvin's language because the debate had not emerged as yet. Calvin held to an inscrutable decree that ordained all things. There is no post-Calvin Amyraldian conditional decree in Calvin's writings, albeit David Ponter will do his utmost to find one there.

    I hope that clarifies.
     
  19. puritan reformed

    puritan reformed Puritan Board Freshman

    :deadhorse:
     
  20. puritan reformed

    puritan reformed Puritan Board Freshman

    :bigsmile:
     
  21. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Mr. Winzer;

    Your explanations on this thread have been generally convincing to me. I have also enjoyed the fact that you demonstrate a considerable command of brevity and lucidity in your use of language. There is one Calvin quote Mr. Ponter supplied though, which seems like it might stretch the categories you mentioned above.
    How does this fit in the paradigm?
     
  22. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Mr Zartman,

    The problem with this cut and paste methodology which Mr. Ponter employs is the disadvantage his reader is placed in, not having the proper context of his authority's statement. Now, from what is quoted above, we might be ready to conclude that the "mean" that God had ordained is the death of Christ, yes? But the sentence prior to the beginning of the quotation reads: "Now the mean whereby we be made partakers of our Lord Jesus Christ, is our embracing of the promises of the Gospel by true faith."

    I think Calvin's statement is properly understood when it is perceived that the gospel proclaims the death of Christ as the means whereby sinners are saved; and those who do not believe are damned, not because there is any lack in the death of Christ, but because they do not believe to the saving of their souls, and thus tread under foot the blood of Christ which is offered in the gospel as the means of their salvation.
     
  23. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Mr. Winzer (by the way, I am still juvenile enough that Mr. Zartman seems directed at someone else), thanks for the explanation. I believe I see your point.
     
  24. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Consider also this thought of Calvin, immediately after the quoted portion:

     
  25. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    We should consider also what Calvin has stated a few pages preceding the quotation:

     
  26. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Great posts Rev. Winzer. I agree with Ruben. Your position is most convincing and very well articulated in the context of the quotations cited.
     
  27. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Just FYI and even though Rev. Winzer's reply and refutation of David needs no addition, I thought it might be helpful to look again at the wider context from where that citation was pulled (even in isolation I failed to see how this made David´s case). Calvin is not commenting on the plight of the perishing reprobate at all, but rather the church for whom Christ actually died. While the vast majority of us have never, and probably will never, experience any real persecution on account of our faith "“ at least no one I know has ever been put to death for professing the Gospel or even reading the Scriptures "“ such was obviously not the case in Calvin´s day or in some parts of the world today. Which, at least in my mind, renders David´s abuse of Calvin on this point even more perverse and unconscionable:

    [Edited on 8-25-2006 by Magma2]
     
  28. Flynn

    Flynn Puritan Board Freshman

    G´day Matthew,

    This is going to be long. Ill break it down into 4 sections.

    A few posts to catch up on. Ill skip the theology as thats not the question, but the history and the interpretation of Calvin. Ill skip the Arminian side-bar too.

    First Matthew Post:

    Matthew:
    You claim that my statement about Musculus holding to infant communion is a guilt by association argument. This is a disussion about historical theology. You are claiming Musculus is representative of an earlier reformed tradition. I doubt it. Hence I quote his aberrant view about the atonement and infant communion. The only purpose of the statement was to show that he is not representative of the tradition, however formative he may have been in the development of scholastic Protestant theology.

    David: Well one should tell Richard Muller that his position was aberrant. I am sure he would be pleased with that. Given that his views line up with Both Bullinger and Zwingli it´s a strong claim to say his ideas on this were a aberrant. In the end, just to dismiss him, and others as the case may or may not be, is does not do anything. He was still a Reformer of great respect. He invoked the sufficient-efficient principle and operated from it. I am just not prepared to write him off, either for that or for his infant-communion (which has nothing to do with this).


    Cut cut:

    Matthew:
    "The sufficiency principle?" Read the earlier posts in this thread. Read the multiple statements that have been pointed out to you. All reformed theologians hold "the sufficiency principle." So, in effect, you want me to waste my time interacting with primary sources that prove a point the reformed world already accepts. You are the one arguing a dichotomy, David. The burden is on you to show that this earlier tradition held a DIFFERENT sufficiency principle than the later tradition. Something your primary sources do not do. As for the Calvin quotation, I have already shown the contours of his thought, within which his pre-Dordt statements should be understood.

    David: Matthew, thats been done. Calvin said Christ suffered for all sufficiently for the elect efficiently. We have the Ursinus and Paraeus affirmation and explication of the Lombard formula. You just want to assert that Calvin used the formula with the same theological intent as Owen et al, but he himself expresses assent to the Schoolmen formula. I´ve shown how Calvin asserts that Christ suffered for all mankind. To then 'say well he didnt mean it the way they did,' is question begging. Folk like AA Hodge have no trouble reconising that Calvin used their form of the expression (The Atonement, pp 333).

    Matthew:
    Then we have some more complaints about Owen holding to internal sufficiency but not external sufficiency. And what is the problem? It is the word "price." You write: "But remember that word price, where Owen says its not a price for all." Exactly. How could it be a price for all? If it were a price for all, then all would be saved.

    But poor Owen, within a paragraph you have him denying the very point you just conceded that he made. You write: "Is the death of Christ sufficient for all the men of this world? Owen said no." But above you claimed he said yes.

    David: I said he says its innately infinitely sufficient. Here Paul Manata´s point is spot on. But as to its external sufficiency, it is not sufficient for all men of this world. I am just repeating myself, and Owen.

    [Edited on 8-25-2006 by Flynn]
     
  29. Flynn

    Flynn Puritan Board Freshman

    Cut cut

    Matthew:
    Now, as you reflect on the Cunningham quotation, it becomes apparent that you do not understand the sufficient/efficient language of reformed orthodoxy, earlier or later. Please tell me how something that is "actually paid" as a "price for all the men of this world" is not efficient, but merely sufficient? How doesn't it save all men, but merely make them savable?

    David: I don´t have to. All I have to show is that for the early Reformed, they did think Christ made an expiation of a sufficient price for all the sin of this world, as a payment.

    All I need to do is point out that they did believe this. Eg. we have Paraeus saying it Christ merited life for them, made a ransom for them, sufficiently. But he goes on to explain that by their unbelief they receive not the benefit of this ransom.

    Matthew: Hastening to the Heidelberg Catechism -- you claim I twist the wording to make it say "He suffered the kind [of] wrath due to a sinner." No, I said "to sinners of mankind." To which you respond: "But thats not what he says: he suffered the wrath due to all sinners." And the difference between "sinners of mankind" and "all sinners" is what exactly? Your comprehension skills aren't working very well, David.

    David: insults now? You had said this:

    "œPlease note your quotation of the Heidelberg Catechism. What does it establish? Nothing more than Owen himself later acknowledged. Christ suffered the wrath of God due to sinners of mankind."

    David: The actual question says sins of all mankind. And the answer repeats the sins of all mankind.

    The propositions "œsinners of mankind" and "œthe sins of all mankind" are very different. It´s a false gloss to try and convert the latter into the former. Its just not honest, Matthew.

    All the clues are right there in the explication: two fold sense of Christ death, the hypothetical objectors question, the concluding comments that Christ willed to die for all men in one sense, and willed to die for the elect in another sense. Thats a two-fold intentionality to accomplish something.


    Matthew: All acknowledge the fact that Christ suffered the wrath of God due to all men. That is where the language of the sufficiency of the death of Christ emerges from. Hence it follows that if God had have chosen to save the whole world, Christ would not have needed to suffer any more. Read Owen; read Cunningham. They all accept this point. So you have only succeeded in wasting precious time by requiring me to deal with a primary source which states nothing more than the later reformed tradition acknowledges.

    David: Another gloss. Look at what Ursinus said (not Paraeus this time):

    The reason why all are not saved through Christ, is not because of any insufficiency of merit and grace in him--forthe atonement of Christ is for the sins of the whole world, as it respects the dignity and sufficiency of the satisfaction which he made--but it arises from unbelief; because men reject the benefits of Christ offered in the gospel, and so perish by their own fault, and not because of any insufficiency in the merits of Christ. P 106.

    And Paraeus says: some prefer (and not without reason according to my judgment) to interpret those declarations, which in appearance seem to be contradictory, partly of the sufficiency, and partly of the application and efficacy of the death of Christ. They affirm, therefore, that Christ died for all, and that he did not die for all; but in different respects. He _died_ _for_ _all_, as touching the _sufficiency_ of the _ransom_ which he _paid_; and not for all; but only for the elect, or those that believe, as touching the application and efficacy thereof.

    David: The atonement IS for the sins of the whole world, as to its sufficiency. And we know that this sufficiency was for all man, as opposed to the efficiency of it for the elect, says Ursinus. Paraeus says died for all by paying a sufficient ransom for all. We know that they both then affirm a sufficient satisfaction for all.

    [Edited on 8-25-2006 by Flynn]

    [Edited on 8-25-2006 by Flynn]
     
  30. Flynn

    Flynn Puritan Board Freshman

    Next Matthew Post:
    Matthew: This has already been dealt with above. If Calvin is permitted to set the boundaries of his own thought, within which his statements are to be interpreted, he says quite clearly in "the eternal predestination of God," 94, 95:

    "Hereupon follows also a third important fact, that the virtue and benefits of Christ are extended unto, and belong to, none but the children of God." "That the Gospel is, in its nature, able to save all I by no means deny. But the great question lies here: Did the Lord by His eternal counsel ordain salvation for all men?"

    David: And again the qualifications are there: extended and ordained. We all agree. The words extended, benefits etc are used a lot by Calvin. They serve him, in the same way "œapplication" serves us.

    David: Calvin held to the original Lombardian formula. And in so doing, he held that Christ suffered the wrath of God for the whole world, sufficiently. And as I´ve shown, Calvin held that the sins of the whole world were charged or imputed to Christ:

    That would not have been consistent, if Christ had simply feared death; for the dread he was not delivered from it. Hence it follows, that what led him to pray to be delivered from death was of a greater evil. When he saw the wrath of God exhibited to him, as he stood at the tribunal of God charged with the sins of the whole world. Calvin, Matt 26:39.

    Next post:
    Matthew: The problem with this cut and paste methodology which Mr. Ponter employs is the disadvantage his reader is placed in, not having the proper context of his authority's statement.

    David: We can get silly about this cos I guess your cutting and pasting of Calvin from his Eternal Predestination tract is okay? But mine not?

    Matthew continues: Now, from what is quoted above, we might be ready to conclude that the "mean" that God had ordained is the death of Christ, yes? But the sentence prior to the beginning of the quotation reads: "Now the mean whereby we be made partakers of our Lord Jesus Christ, is our embracing of the promises of the Gospel by true faith."

    Matthew continues: I think Calvin's statement is properly understood when it is perceived that the gospel proclaims the death of Christ as the means whereby sinners are saved; and those who do not believe are damned, not because there is any lack in the death of Christ, but because they do not believe to the saving of their souls, and thus tread under foot the blood of Christ which is offered in the gospel as the means of their salvation.

    David: But he says they trod underfoot, the blood, which was the ransom for their souls? Youve just asserted another gloss, Matthew. The blood of Christ was the ransom for their souls: not could have been, not should have been, but which _was_ the ransom for their souls.

    The tense and wording here points to what was accomplished. They reject the blood which was a ransom [price] for their souls. Like I said, I cant make a person change his mind.

    Next post from Matthew:

    Matthew:

    Therefore it standeth us on hand to receive the promises of the Gospel by faith, if we desire that Jesus Christ should communicate himself unto us, and that he should bring us to the possession and enjoyment of the benefits which he hath purchased for us: so as they belong not to any other than such as are members of his body, and are grafted into him, and receive him by faith, according as it is said in the first Chapter of Saint John, (John 1:12) that God accepteth and avoucheth those for his children, which believe in his only son.

    David: Sure, Riches don´t "œbelong" to any but the faithful. We all know that.


    [Edited on 8-25-2006 by Flynn]

    [Edited on 8-25-2006 by Flynn]
     
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