John Piper on Limited Atonement

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by Sonoftheday, Dec 13, 2007.

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  1. Sonoftheday

    Sonoftheday Puritan Board Sophomore

    I recently listened to John Pipers messages over the TULIP. He presented the L in a way I had never heard it and I was wondering how it aligned with the reformers position on the doctrine.

    He basically said that Christ died potentially for every human being, they must only exercise faith to recieve it. However, Christ only purchased irresistible Grace for the elect, therefore they are the only ones who can exercise faith.
     
  2. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Basic Amyraldism, along with his teaching that there are two wills in God for the futurition of events. Those two usually go hand in hand. Owen's Death of Death is a sure antidote to this poison.
     
  3. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist Staff Member

    I'd have to hear the message, but if you've presented it accurately I fail to see how it's consistent with the confessions, which present the death of Christ in rather different terms. I don't see any justification for Christ "purchasing" irresistible grace. Christ's death is the atoning sacrifice for the elect, and only for the elect - the irresistible grace of God is something that is applied by God in order to bring forth faith in His elect, for whom Christ died. To say that Christ died "potentially" for each and every individual seems to me to be a kowtowing to those who really don't accept L.
     
  4. Barnpreacher

    Barnpreacher Puritan Board Junior

    What John Piper believes about the L in Tulip:

    What We Believe About the Five Points of Calvinism :: Desiring God Christian Resource Library

    This is poison?
     
  5. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist Staff Member

    What you noted was his teaching on Irresistible grace (at least, some of it, since
    he apparently has taught that irresistible grace is something Christ purchases for the
    elect). What about L? His doctrine on L appears to be Amyraldian, as Rev. Winzer has noted
    already... and that is poisonous.
     
  6. Barnpreacher

    Barnpreacher Puritan Board Junior


    Oh boy, it's been a long day. I posted the wrong thing.
     
  7. Barnpreacher

    Barnpreacher Puritan Board Junior

    Here is Piper on Limited Atonement.
     
  8. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I don't see anything about universal potentiality in that statement. :scratch:
     
  9. cih1355

    cih1355 Puritan Board Junior

    I read the article. He is saying that Christ did not die for all people in the same sense. It sounds like he is saying that Christ's death accomplished one thing for the elect and something else for the non-elect.
     
  10. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritan Board Doctor

    Sounds like a pretty classic John Owen to me. What am I missing?
     
  11. natewood3

    natewood3 Puritan Board Freshman

    Piper does say that Christ purchased all graces that are applied to the believer, including irresistible grace...
     
  12. JohnOwen007

    JohnOwen007 Puritan Board Sophomore

    How so? Piper's no idiot, and is a very humble godly man. How is it that his views can be labelled "poisonous"? Isn't this a little extreme?
     
  13. reformedman

    reformedman Puritan Board Freshman

    To say that Christ died for those who are in hell is to say that his death had no power to save them. Further, it is to also infer that something else was the saving factor; something aside from the death of Christ saves: man's will or anything else as an example.

    It becomes an heretical position if Christ's death does not garauntee a saving result.

    With Piper, it is more like poison than heresy since although he affirms general redemption as his confession, he does not apply it in practice (by his right understanding and position of other soteriological points.)
     
  14. Barnpreacher

    Barnpreacher Puritan Board Junior

    I agree. I think sometimes there are comments that are thrown around on this board about brothers in Christ that are unacceptable. At times there is a superior attitude that shows no humility. Like everything Dr. John Piper does and says or not, one cannot argue with the way God has used his life and his ministry.
     
  15. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Piper: "Christ's death so clearly demonstrates God's just abhorrence of sin that he is free to treat the world with mercy without compromising his righteousness. In this sense Christ is the savior of all men."

    Hugh Martin (The Atonement):

     
  16. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    John Kennedy (Man’s Relation to God):

     
  17. JohnOwen007

    JohnOwen007 Puritan Board Sophomore

    If the above rendition of Piper in the thread is correct he is saying that Christ died "for" people in two different senses. You are only assuming one sense here, and so your reasoning fails. It's critical we don't accuse someone until we've understood them.

    The above critique also applies. Piper is not saying that Christ died for the non-elect in that sense.

    Moreover, (as Richard Muller and Carl Trueman have recently affirmed) the reformed tradition has never seen Amyraldianism as a heresy. It may be on the outskirts of the reformed tradition (although there is much more historical work needed to make this judgment), but it is securely ensconced in the reformed tradition itself.

    And it would appear that Piper doesn't affirm this.

    Do you really believe the above (Arminianism) to be a heresy? I submit that Socinianism is. But I suspect I'll be seeing many Arminians in heaven depsite what I believe to be their errors.

    Piper is a towering example of godliness and piety who is to be respected In my humble opinion. I don't want to pick up stones to throw at him. There are plenty of logs in my eyes that need to be examined first.

    God bless you.
     
  18. Barnpreacher

    Barnpreacher Puritan Board Junior

    So whence does this mercy flow? How is God just to withhold judgment from sinners who deserve to be immediately cast into hell?
     
  19. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist Staff Member

    Whether God has used his life and ministry, and the extent of his humility (neither of which I disagree with in the slightest) have nothing to do with whether the Amyraldian view of the atonement is poisonous or not. Note that I didn't call PIPER poisonous. Rather, I made the statement that IF he teaches Amyraldianism, then he is teaching a poisonous doctrine. Perhaps you think that position is extreme... and if so, so be it - but please don't paint me with such a broad brush as to accuse me of judging a Brother in Christ. I never said a thing about Piper himself.
     
  20. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Let it be clearly noted that I have not made any statement about any brother. I called the doctrine poison, and Owen's great work as the remedy for it.
     
  21. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist Staff Member

    God may exercise judgment whenever he so chooses. When he actually undertakes to pronounce judgment isn't a question of justice at all. Furthermore, whether it is a demonstration of mercy and/or grace, in fact, to allow sinners to wallow in their sin for a lifetime, and dig deeper and deeper and deeper into entrenched sin throughout their lives rather than snuff them out early on is a question well worth thinking about.
     
  22. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    God has His purpose of grace to fulfil to the elect. He bears with longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction. I'm not sure why you would call the holding cell, whereby the criminal is held over until punishment is executed, a "mercy."
     
  23. Barnpreacher

    Barnpreacher Puritan Board Junior

    Piper was lumped in with Amyraldianism, poison as it was called. Were all the facts known about this? Did anyone bother to check his doctrinal statement on limited atonement?
     
  24. Barnpreacher

    Barnpreacher Puritan Board Junior

    Did a lost man hear the gospel today? I would call that God being merciful in common grace. Did God shine the sun down upon a lost man today? I would call that God being merciful in common grace. Did God allow a lost man's little child to hug his neck and kiss him on the cheek tonight? I would call that God being merciful in common grace.
     
  25. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritan Board Doctor

    Again with my question: Piper concludes his piece using the famous Owen work and the argument Owen makes about the reason for a limited atonement approvingly.

    If I understand Piper correctly, he is arguing for a universal aspect to the atonement in some sense but fully accepts Owen's argument for the limited atonement as doctrinally necessary. As I read the Reformed tradition, there are legitimate differences between Calvinists over how the admittedly limited atonement applies in ways that do not cross the line into Amyraldianism. Can one even be a four pointer and say . . .

    1. Christ died for some of the sins of all men.
    2. Christ died for all the sins of some men.
    3. Christ died for all the sins of all men.

    No one says that the first is true, for then all would be lost because of the sins that Christ did not die for. The only way to be saved from sin is for Christ to cover it with his blood.

    The third statement is what the Arminians would say. Christ died for all the sins of all men. But then why are not all saved? They answer, Because some do not believe. But is this unbelief not one of the sins for which Christ died? If they say yes, then why is it not covered by the blood of Jesus and all unbelievers saved? If they say no (unbelief is not a sin that Christ has died for) then they must say that men can be saved without having all their sins atoned for by Jesus, or they must join us in affirming statement number two: Christ died for all the sins of some men. That is, he died for the unbelief of the elect so that God's punitive wrath is appeased toward them and his grace is free to draw them irresistibly out of darkness into his marvelous light.


    What am I missing????
     
  26. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist Staff Member

    The comments concerning poisonous doctrine were made not about Piper, but about what he was said to preach about the atonement. Note the caveat in my first response to the OP... "IF you have correctly represented what Piper preaches" (and what was represented as Piper's teaching was quite poisonous). There are, in the quoted statements, VERY problematic things that Rev. Winzer has already pointed out. So... I'm not sure why you ask "Did anyone bother..." etc. Again, it is doctrine that is being tested, and found wanting ; NOT Piper himself, in his person.
     
  27. Barnpreacher

    Barnpreacher Puritan Board Junior

    I think you're missing the fact that comments were made without checking all the facts first.
     
  28. JohnOwen007

    JohnOwen007 Puritan Board Sophomore

    I'm not so sure we can separate a godly person and poisonous doctrine so easily (although at some level they can be separated). If we believe (with the Puritan tradition following Scotus) that theology entails practice (i.e. theology = head, heart, and hands), it naturally follows that ungodliness and "poisonous" doctrine must have some connection.

    I would think that because Piper has so much that is right doctrinally, and so much that is laudible in practice, these are indicators he's unlikely to be serving "poison"--a strong word that conjours up the idea of great damage.

    Every blessing.
     
  29. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist Staff Member

    How is it mercy when those very words of the gospel will condemn that lost man's soul if he is not of the elect? How is a prolonged life of sin, piling up debt upon debt for sins committed in one's lifetime that will be paid for through eternal torment of that man's soul MERCY? I think we have to be careful when speaking of things as "mercy" and "grace" when in reality (as I read the Scriptures and as I think about the truth of those situations) they are not.
     
  30. Barnpreacher

    Barnpreacher Puritan Board Junior

    And do you still hold to this after reading his doctrinal statement on limited atonement?
     
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