John Piper on Limited Atonement

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Barnpreacher

Puritan Board Junior
Here is the series that is being referred to.

TULIP, Part 4 - Limited Atonement :: Desiring God Christian Resource Library

John Piper does not say anything like this. The closest thing to it is the belief that Christ's death benefited everyone, sort of like common grace. Piper does belief that Christ died only for the ones the Father gave him and them only. He is not an Amyraldian. He often brags about being a 7-point Calvinist. Anyway, listen for yourself and decide.
Right. I was actually at that conference, but it's been a few years ago and I can't remember all he said. In my experience of studying Piper I just don't believe he fits the definition of an Amyraldian. I know he is certainly not headed on a slippery slope towards Arminianism. Granted, he alone would confess if not for the grace of God that could happen tomorrow. But it's that grace of our Lord Jesus whereupon he stands from day to day.

Piper does teach a "two will" doctrine when it comes to verses like II Peter 3:9, I Timothy 2:4, and Ezekiel 18:23. That's why I wanted to read Rev. Winzer's exegesis on II Peter 3:9, so I could compare it to Piper's. Piper seems to be following in the footsteps of Edwards in this teaching. That doesn't make it right, but you can decide.

Are There Two Wills in God? :: Desiring God Christian Resource Library

I wouldn't mind a discussion on this aspect of Piper's teaching ensuing, but it should probably be split off into a new thread.
 

Amazing Grace

Puritan Board Junior
Here is the series that is being referred to.

TULIP, Part 4 - Limited Atonement :: Desiring God Christian Resource Library

John Piper does not say anything like this. The closest thing to it is the belief that Christ's death benefited everyone, sort of like common grace. Piper does belief that Christ died only for the ones the Father gave him and them only. He is not an Amyraldian. He often brags about being a 7-point Calvinist. Anyway, listen for yourself and decide.
Right. I was actually at that conference, but it's been a few years ago and I can't remember all he said. In my experience of studying Piper I just don't believe he fits the definition of an Amyraldian. I know he is certainly not headed on a slippery slope towards Arminianism. Granted, he alone would confess if not for the grace of God that could happen tomorrow. But it's that grace of our Lord Jesus whereupon he stands from day to day.

Piper does teach a "two will" doctrine when it comes to verses like II Peter 3:9, I Timothy 2:4, and Ezekiel 18:23. That's why I wanted to read Rev. Winzer's exegesis on II Peter 3:9, so I could compare it to Piper's. Piper seems to be following in the footsteps of Edwards in this teaching. That doesn't make it right, but you can decide.

Are There Two Wills in God? :: Desiring God Christian Resource Library

I wouldn't mind a discussion on this aspect of Piper's teaching ensuing, but it should probably be split off into a new thread.
I forgot to say, "If he is teaching this......" he is on a slippery slope. For a Calminian is one step away... I still do not know if we can all agree on what an Amyralidinian is. I proposed some bullets, We have A A Hodge... What can we decide on? DOes anyone have Amyrauld, or Cameron in their own words?
 

Sonoftheday

Puritan Board Sophomore
When I started this thread I said I would summarize his teaching, since so many have said this is not what he teaches yesterday I listened to it again.

This is a quote from http://www.desiringgod.org/download...._l_lecture.mp3
At 27 Mins into it.
"He [God] really means to purchase, by the atonement, the conversion of a definite limited group of people from all the people who don't deserve salvation. Whereas the Arminian says the atonement simply holds out the oppurtunity to all. Which of course I believe too that it holds out the oppurtunity to all.I believe it is sufficient for all, and that all or any who believe will be forgiven and saved, but I believe it does more than that, it's more powerful and more effective than that in actually accomplishing the saving faith and repentance of those for whom he died, in that sense."
This is not a slip of the tongue or isolated statement, the second half of this message deals with the arminian understanding of the seemingly "universal" text he restates that the arminian understanding is not in contradiction to his understanding of LA, but he believes it does more.
 

Barnpreacher

Puritan Board Junior
When I started this thread I said I would summarize his teaching, since so many have said this is not what he teaches yesterday I listened to it again.

This is a quote from http://www.desiringgod.org/download...._l_lecture.mp3
At 27 Mins into it.
"He [God] really means to purchase, by the atonement, the conversion of a definite limited group of people from all the people who don't deserve salvation. Whereas the Arminian says the atonement simply holds out the oppurtunity to all. Which of course I believe too that it holds out the oppurtunity to all.I believe it is sufficient for all, and that all or any who believe will be forgiven and saved, but I believe it does more than that, it's more powerful and more effective than that in actually accomplishing the saving faith and repentance of those for whom he died, in that sense."
This is not a slip of the tongue or isolated statement, the second half of this message deals with the arminian understanding of the seemingly "universal" text he restates that the arminian understanding is not in contradiction to his understanding of LA, but he believes it does more.
So what? Do we know who the elect are? No. So, when I preach, I preach THE Gospel of Jesus Christ that will save any and all for whom Christ died. I don't pretend to know who that is in my congregation, neither does Piper.
 
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k.seymore

Puritan Board Freshman
When I started this thread I said I would summarize his teaching, since so many have said this is not what he teaches yesterday I listened to it again.

This is a quote from http://www.desiringgod.org/download...._l_lecture.mp3
At 27 Mins into it.
"He [God] really means to purchase, by the atonement, the conversion of a definite limited group of people from all the people who don't deserve salvation. Whereas the Arminian says the atonement simply holds out the oppurtunity to all. Which of course I believe too that it holds out the oppurtunity to all.I believe it is sufficient for all, and that all or any who believe will be forgiven and saved, but I believe it does more than that, it's more powerful and more effective than that in actually accomplishing the saving faith and repentance of those for whom he died, in that sense."
This is not a slip of the tongue or isolated statement, the second half of this message deals with the arminian understanding of the seemingly "universal" text he restates that the arminian understanding is not in contradiction to his understanding of LA, but he believes it does more.
Maybe I'm missing something, but even after reading through this entire thread, I still don't see why anyone would have a problem with what he says in your quote above. I've heard it said many times that TULIP is a summary of Dort, and what Piper says above sounds like what the Synod of Dort says. And Charles Hodge says, etc.. I know that other reformed people take different views and understandings of limited atonement than Dort, but it seems that what Piper says in that quote is classic TULIP (that is, if TULIP really is a summary of Dort). I didn't see anyone interact with the quotes in my previous post which point out what Dort and 2 Hodges said:

http://www.puritanboard.com/f48/john-piper-limited-atonement-27430/index3.html#post334400
 

Sonoftheday

Puritan Board Sophomore
I never said I had a problem with it either, Im too ignorant of the subject to have a problem, I just pointed out that Piper taught in this message that the atonement made salvation Potential for all, but only effective for the Elect. People were saying that he does not teach that so I pointed out a quote where he does.
 

timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
This the very problem of the double reference theory. In addition to a definite atonement made for the elect, it introduces another aspect of the atonement which has reference to all men. You here grasp the nature of the problem; now you just need to call it what it really is.
Actually I could have been stronger. Piper specifically rejects "moral influence" as a theory of the atonement in The Pleasure of God in Bruising the Son in great detail and specifically advocates substitutionary atonement.

I was using "moral influence" only in the sense that "beholding the glory of the Lord" transforms us "into the same image", i.e.. as we behold the Lord's goodness we know, approve and love his goodness and want to go and do likewise, even though we will not rely on our attempts nor achieve full Christlikeness in this life. And I don't think Piper or any Christian will disagree with this.

And I have from the beginning grasped your point that you do not like to think that Christ's atonement has benefits for the non-elect. But it is a good and necessary consequence of Rom. 3:25 that it does. If Christ's propitiation was needed to demonstrate God's righteousness because God in forbearance had passed over sins previously committed, the atonement justifies not only God's permanent forgiveness of the elect (the greater result), but also his kindness to "ungrateful and evil men" in not immediately judging their sins with death (the lesser result).

And if Christ's propitiation justifies God's righteousness in passing over the sins of the elect permanently, it also justifies God's temporary passing over of the sins of the reprobate.

Romans 3:25 is specifically referencing the OT elect who look forward to the Cross of Christ for their atonement only. The reprobate were not in mind in the inspired Pauls' usage of this verse.
I fully agree that the reprobate were not in Paul's mind at this point. But the problem that God's forbearance in passing over sins present to God's righteousness is essetially the same problem (varying only in the duration of the forbearance whether those whose sins are forborne are reprobate (temporary forbearance) or elect (permanent forbearance). The same propitiation that demonstrates God's righteousness in forbearing the sins of the elect permanently will, by good and necessary consequence, also demonstrates God's righteousness in forbearing the sins of the reprobate temporarily.

There is no scripural reason to conclude that sin begets immediate death. There is not one example of this. I hope you believe in imputed/original sin, therefore acording to your opinion, God could have reason to have every reprobate be still born. Yet becasue of the blood of Christ, he does not do this. ANd you call this some sort of grace given to the reprobate. Sustained life this side of the grave for the reprobate does not impugn God's righteousness.
and

Romans 6:23 "The wages of sin is death." Yet this cannot nor ever has meant immediate phisical death, for we learned that through Adam. Yet, the prolonged life on earth has nothing whatsoever to do with the cross of Christ.
I notice you don't mention Piper's justification for this position. Sin deserves immediate death, and were it not for Christ's propitiation, sustained life for ANY SINNER WHATSOEVER would impugn God's righteousness for when sin is not immediately punished it creates the appearance of injustice in God. Given Christ's propitiation, however, God remains just even though he lets that appearance of injustice appear by not immediately punishing sin of the reprobate or of the elect.

I have asked this question before, and pergemum, a member here has been the only one to offer scriptural evidence of any benefit to the reprobate, that is a bodily resurrection to be thrown into the second death. I disagree that it is a benefit, but it is a result,possibly. Other than that, I hear this thought of being able to live on this earth, fully condemned as another benefit procured. Yet nothing explicit nor implicit scripturally to prove this.
I wouln't call it a benefit myself. Remember God has his purposes for the wicked on earth. All Christ's propitiation does for them is to allow God to allow them to live until his purposes for them are achived without losing his righteousness by temporarily passing over their sins.

I have also asked, and been unanswered, that if this is true for the reprobate, then why not immediately take His elect to Glory with him instead of living in this rotten world? Paul expresses this thought in Phillipians 1.
Easy answer: God has purposes for his elect on earth one of which is to make known to the principalities and powers the manifold wisdom of God through the church.


Could anyone please tell me how Christ who does not even pray for the reprobate, can shed His blood for them in any way?
He doesn't. He is shedding his blood so that God's forbearance in passing over sins (whether permanently in the case of the elect or temporarily in the case of the reprobate) will not call God's righteousness into question.
 

cih1355

Puritan Board Junior
Does Amyraldianism teach that Christ died for all men in the same sense, but Piper teaches that Christ did not die for all men in the same sense?
 

JohnOwen007

Puritan Board Sophomore
Especially is a bad translation. It should be "Namely" Paul is just emphasizing the intent of Christ towards His sheep.
Why? Malista can be translated either way. It is the immediate context that should determine how we translate malista. It's actually very difficult to determine which way to go.
 

Amazing Grace

Puritan Board Junior
Especially is a bad translation. It should be "Namely" Paul is just emphasizing the intent of Christ towards His sheep.
Why? Malista can be translated either way. It is the immediate context that should determine how we translate malista. It's actually very difficult to determine which way to go.
Brother Marty: I have been waiting for you to pipe in. You do have a sympathetic nerve towards amyrauldism. Can you give us a definition for it? What is agonizing for me at times, is when I hear one speak as what everyone thinks amyrauldism is, I call them on it, I am told that is not amyrauldism. Can you understand the frustration this presents? I am going to just start calling it unbiblical. As I look back at my dialogue with you and "tim" here, and others on this subject, I have realized that calling it Amyrauldism actually gives it some credence. As if anything that is unbiblical deserves a label. Amyrauldism is very easy to define. Anyone who proposes a universal "anything" in the death of Christ is unbiblical. Call it hypothetical universalism. 4 point calvie, calminian, sufficient for all efficient for the elect, 2 willed schizophrenic God theory, if one puts a universal decree of salvation in Christ prior to election, offer of salvation conditioned on faith, playing sophist games and saying Christ is dead for you instead of died for you..etc etc etc.. or any other "flavor is unbiblical.

I am finding myself wondering now if giving the reprobate life on earth is actually a blessing derived from the cross. If somehow letting them live without a benefit of the cross impugns God;s righteousness as "timcast" quips. Can he be right? Then thank God I am relieved from even entertaining this error once I realize there is only a self conceived "necessary consequence" in their own minds.. And brought to realize it has nothing to do with God's losing His righteousness to let them live... Becasue there is no scriptural teaching that sin is followed by immediate death, and if God does not destroy the sinner on the spot He is unrighteouss. How dare we to even question God.

TO answer your question why, we MUST use the analogy of scripture in this case. I know you know this, so I am probably preaching to the choir. If we take the 3 "troubling verses" in all 66 books, and draw a theology out of them, we wil only end up in error.
 
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Amazing Grace

Puritan Board Junior
God is the Saviour of all men. That is, there is no other Saviour of men but God.
The second sentence is not necessarily the same as the first. To say that God is the only saviour, is different from saying his the saviour of all men.
Marty, it is the same in the end. Just as saying so and so is the King of England, yet not all recognize him as their King. So we can easily draw the same conclusion with Paul. God is the savior of all men.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
Amyrauldism is very easy to define. Anyone who proposes a universal "anything" in the death of Christ is unbiblical. Call it hypothetical universalism. 4 point calvie, calminian, sufficient for all efficient for the elect, 2 willed schizophrenic God theory, if one puts a universal decree of salvation in Christ prior to election, offer of salvation conditioned on faith, playing sophist games and saying Christ is dead for you instead of died for you..etc etc etc.. or any other "flavor is unbiblical.
If we are going to insist upon precision in language, then your defintion of Amyrauldianism and description will not quite do. Sufficientur pro omnibus, efficaciter pro electis is not some strange invention of Arminian-infected divines. It was affirmed by many of the our most significant theologians including Calvin, Owen, and Hodge. And, as to the idea that one can hold to a literal, actual, strictly LIMITED ATONEMENT which meets the standard of Owen's famous triple choice (Christ died for ALL of the sins of SOME people) and be dismissed as "unbiblical," a purveyor of "poisoned" principles, etc. is difficult to accept. Everyone on this board may not agree with the writings of Packer, Piper, Grudem, or Carson. Some may even find them insufficiently Reformed. Many will probably consider themselves "reformeder" than Piper. But, for someone like Piper who continually defends the L in TULIP, some of the rhetoric in this thread seems excessive. If you want to take on Amyrauldians, wouldn't it make more sense to go after Amyraut, Saumer, and Davenant first?

Among the many things separating the 4 pt Calvinist, Calminian, etc. from someone like Piper has to do with the reason for finding a universal aspect (in some sense) in the atonement. I get the impression that some are offended by the scandalous "narrowness" and specificity of the doctrine of election. Softening the edges to make the doctrine more acceptable to Arminians and secularists seems to motivate the Calminian. However, Piper boldly declares the full specificity, God-centeredness, and sovereignty in the work of redemption. He does not speak of a universal aspect out of embarrassed self-consciousness. Rather, he was trained as a biblical theologian (PhD in NT) and seeks to do justice to the full panoply of the biblical witness. Instead of trying to fit every verse into a pre-cut dogmatic wardrobe, no matter how awkwardly, he attempts to accommodate the entire corpus of verses relating to redemption and the atonement, even those that would seem to elevate universal implications and themes. This does not weaken his Calvinism, but shows that Dortian Calvinism is compatible with the whole counsel of God. Indeed, one could argue that it strengthens the case for a limited atonement.

As an Edwardsian Calvinist with strong John Owen leanings, Piper would not be my number one example of wishy-washy compromise.
 
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BlackCalvinist

Puritan Board Senior
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.
His position is NOT Amyraldianism. It's the same position that the Synod of Dordt held - Christ's sacrifice is of infinite value - enough to purchase the whole world if it were so intended to do, without Christ having to spend one additional second on the cross.

*shaking my head*

When will the Piper-bashing stop ?
First, there is no bashing here. Nothing has been said to attack his character. As noted earlier, this pertains to teaching. The teaching of ministers is a matter of public record, and there ought to be public accountability for it. In the early church a prophet was to deliver his message and the others were to judge. The idea that a man's teaching cannot be scrutinised is a denial of ministerial accountability.
No issue there. But even with public critique, we have a responsibility to address what someone teaches truthfully or in full and not simply jump to conclusions (unwarranted ones) based off of one or two sentences. I think you make an error in your address of Piper's teachings in the quoted section below:

Secondly, Dort's doctrine of sufficiency doesn't accomplish anything for all men with relation to the justice of God. It is only intrinsic with regard to its own value. Piper claims the death of Christ has made it possible for God to be just in giving all men the opportunity to be saved. Hence it is not mere sufficiency, but is also effective in some way, producing actual results for all men.
No, you're reading more into it than Piper means by it. All he's saying is:

Article 3: The Infinite Value of Christ's Death

This death of God's Son is the only and entirely complete sacrifice and satisfaction for sins; it is of infinite value and worth, more than sufficient to atone for the sins of the whole world.

Article 4: Reasons for This Infinite Value

This death is of such great value and worth for the reason that the person who suffered it is--as was necessary to be our Savior--not only a true and perfectly holy man, but also the only begotten Son of God, of the same eternal and infinite essence with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Another reason is that this death was accompanied by the experience of God's anger and curse, which we by our sins had fully deserved.

Article 5: The Mandate to Proclaim the Gospel to All

Moreover, it is the promise of the gospel that whoever believes in Christ crucified shall not perish but have eternal life. This promise, together with the command to repent and believe, ought to be announced and declared without differentiation or discrimination to all nations and people, to whom God in his good pleasure sends the gospel.

===========

Infinite value, more than enough to redeem the whole world if so intended, makes it indeed possible for all of the world to be saved - if God had so intended.

You will never hear him say Christ died redemptively for the non-elect. He *will* preach to all men and tell them that today is the day of salvation and TODAY they can enter the kingdom of God if they repent and believe.... preaching the gospel indiscriminantly to the elect and non-elect.

Same as the synod.....
 

JohnOwen007

Puritan Board Sophomore
Brother Marty: I have been waiting for you to pipe in. You do have a sympathetic nerve towards amyrauldism. Can you give us a definition for it?
Dear Nicholas, the difficulty lies in the word "Amyraldian", which is naturally linked to Amyraut himself. Yes, he believed in a universal aspect to the atonement, but he believed a whole host of other things as well (particular a certain ordering of the decrees). Hence, how much of this do we include in a definition of "Amyraldianism"? The order of the decrees and the universal aspect to the atonement, or just the universal aspect of the atonement?

Perhaps it's better to dump "Amyraldianism" and speak of "hypothetical universalism". However, the problem with this designation is that HU's affirm the unconditional predestination of the elect, and the phrase doesn't do justice to this.

Maybe we should simply speak of a "double-end atonement"? One end for the elect, and another for all.

What is agonizing for me at times, is when I hear one speak as what everyone thinks amyrauldism is, I call them on it, I am told that is not amyrauldism. Can you understand the frustration this presents?
Yes and no. Yes, because it's likely something close to Amyraldianism that you're identifying. No, because Amyraldianism is a legitimate position in the reformed tradition. It may be out on the edge, but nonetheless it is reformed.


I am going to just start calling it unbiblical.
The "double-enders" would claim that the Owenian position is not biblical enough in that it doesn't take into account certain tensions in Scripture.

Both sides will throw texts back and forth at each other, but it seems to me that the real issue at stake is this:

Owenians see the double-enders as irrational: the 2 ends appear to be incompatible.

Double-enders see the Owenians as over-rational, not allowing for a legitimate Scriptural tension, and hence the Owenians are accused of explaining away (rather than explaining) the so-called "universal" texts.

Perhaps this difference may reflect the sorts of personalities we have: some can't bear rational tensions, others see the former as unecessarily pedantic.

Personally, I think we need to have the discussion, but believe both Owenians and double-enders need to join forces and fight other battles that are of greater significance for us at the moment. Our energies need to be directed not against each other, but against issues of greater weight, such as post modernism, secularism, a-doctrinalism, individualism and consumerism that all impact the modern church.

Piper is doing wonderful things, and I don't want to put the finger at him.

God bless you dear brother.
 

Amazing Grace

Puritan Board Junior
If we are going to insist upon precision in language, then your defintion of Amyrauldianism and description will not quite do. Sufficientur pro omnibus, efficaciter pro electis is not some strange invention of Arminian-infected divines. It was affirmed by many of the our most significant theologians including Calvin, Owen, and Hodge. And, as to the idea that one can hold to a literal, actual, strictly LIMITED ATONEMENT which meets the standard of Owen's famous triple choice (Christ died for ALL of the sins of SOME people) and be dismissed as "unbiblical," a purveyor of "poisoned" principles, etc. is difficult to accept. Everyone on this board may not agree with the writings of Packer, Piper, Grudem, or Carson. Some may even find them insufficiently Reformed. Many will probably consider themselves "reformeder" than Piper. But, for someone like Piper who continually defends the L in TULIP, some of the rhetoric in this thread seems excessive. If you want to take on Amyrauldians, wouldn't it make more sense to go after Amyraut, Saumer, and Davenant first?
When the cliche' is used ONLY to mean its INTRINSIC value. He would not have had to been beaten or bleed anymore, I agree with that. If ANYONE, including those greats you mentioned, which I dont believe they did, go beyond this strict understanding, they err. If ANY amount of thought, that connects the intrinsic value with universal benefits, it becomes unscriptural Dennis. I do not believe OWen did this, but Calvin did tread the line. I am not sure about Hodge. ANd I whole heartedly agree that the root is Cameron, Amyrault, Saumer and Davenant. I only wish the confessions spoke clear about their position.



Among the many things separating the 4 pt Calvinist, Calminian, etc. from someone like Piper has to do with the reason for finding a universal aspect (in some sense) in the atonement. I get the impression that some are offended by the scandalous "narrowness" and specificity of the doctrine of election. Softening the edges to make the doctrine more acceptable to Arminians and secularists seems to motivate the Calminian. However, Piper boldly declares the full specificity, God-centeredness, and sovereignty in the work of redemption. He does not speak of a universal aspect out of embarrassed self-consciousness. Rather, he was trained as a biblical theologian (PhD in NT) and seeks to do justice to the full panoply of the biblical witness. Instead of trying to fit every verse into a pre-cut dogmatic wardrobe, no matter how awkwardly, he attempts to accommodate the entire corpus of verses relating to redemption and the atonement, even those that would seem to elevate universal implications and themes. This does not weaken his Calvinism, but shows that Dortian Calvinism is compatible with the whole counsel of God. Indeed, one could argue that it strengthens the case for a limited atonement.

As an Edwardsian Calvinist with strong John Owen leanings, Piper would not be my number one example of wishy-washy compromise.
My only problem with this approach is at times, is people explain too much. If they would just stay narrow minded and not worry about softening their edges, all would be fine. Dort did not do this. I agree that Piper has not gone as far to compramise the atonement as others, yet their is a vein of going beyond the narrow intrinsic value into a hypothetical atonement that is not needed. Becasue there are no hypothetical's with God. Only certainties of purpose.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
My only problem with this approach is at times, is people explain too much. If they would just stay narrow minded and not worry about softening their edges, all would be fine. Dort did not do this. I agree that Piper has not gone as far to compramise the atonement as others, yet their is a vein of going beyond the narrow intrinsic value into a hypothetical atonement that is not needed. Becasue there are no hypothetical's with God. Only certainties of purpose.
I sympathize, Nicholas, with your concerns. American Christianity is littered with formerly faithful denominations, seminaries, colleges, and congregations that slid an inch at a time into error and heresy. The seminary I graduated from 30 years ago this past week has continued its seismic shift leftward even though it is headed by a self-confessing "Calvinist."

I do think, however, that the approach by systematics folks and biblical studies folks sometimes differ for reasons of craft, not craftiness. People like Piper try mightily to do justice to all the verses, handled fairly and exegetically, and then move on to do their systematics. Sometimes systematics folks begin with their system and attempt to fit the verses into it. Can one "innocently" compromise in ways that lead future generations to make further concessions? Absolutely! ( e.g., my seminary). However, I want to be fair to both the confessions and to the phenomena of the text. In the final analysis, my conviction is that there is no conflict between the two. That is why moving to embrace the "L" in TULIP was an important part of my own pilgrimage.

Perhaps I am being defensive. People like Packer and Piper were the instruments a sovereign God used to convince me to move off the fence and embrace 5 pt Calvinism rather than my formerly wussie 4 pt compromise. And, it is more than a little ironic that Packer and Piper keep getting critiqued for softening the L by finding universal apects to the atonement, yet it was Packer who wrote the nearly definitive summary of Calvinism as a preface to Owen's Death of Death. Did he change his view since penning the preface?
 
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Amazing Grace

Puritan Board Junior
My only problem with this approach is at times, is people explain too much. If they would just stay narrow minded and not worry about softening their edges, all would be fine. Dort did not do this. I agree that Piper has not gone as far to compramise the atonement as others, yet their is a vein of going beyond the narrow intrinsic value into a hypothetical atonement that is not needed. Becasue there are no hypothetical's with God. Only certainties of purpose.
I sympathize, Nicholas, with your concerns. American Christianity is littered with formerly faithful denominations, seminaries, colleges, and congregations that slid an inch at a time into error and heresy. The seminary I graduated from 30 years ago this past week has continued its seismic shift leftward even though it is headed by a self-confessing "Calvinist."

I do think, however, that the approach by systematics folks and biblical studies folks sometimes differ for reasons of craft, not craftiness. People like Piper try mightily to do justice to all the verses, handled fairly and exegetically, and then move on to do their systematics. Sometimes systematics folks begin with their system and attempt to fit the verses into it. Can one "innocently" compromise in ways that lead future generations to make further concessions? Absolutely! ( e.g., my seminary). However, I want to be fair to both the confessions and to the phenomena of the text. In the final analysis, my conviction is that there is no conflict between the two. That is why moving to embrace the "L" in TULIP was an important part of my own pilgrimage.

Perhaps I am being defensive. People like Packer and Piper were the instruments a sovereign God used to convince me to move off the fence and embrace 5 pt Calvinism rather than my formerly wussie 4 pt compromise. And, it is more than a little ironic that Packer and Piper keep getting critiqued for softening the L by finding universal apects to the atonement, yet it was Packer who wrote the nearly definitive summary of Calvinism as a preface to Owen's Death of Death. Did he change his view since penning the preface?
:handshake: I agree Brother Dennis. Very well said.

When I spoke of a 'narrowness' I did not mean to imply that one must look at the whole of the inspired writ with a grid that they force on troubling texts. That is as much a problem, if not more than compramising the truth. By narrowness, i mean one must never avoid troubling texts. But instead face them head on by using the analogy of Scripture. Wrestle with it until the Spirit gives more light and understanding. IF this cannot be done, i would rather say, and I have, "I don't know" how this reconciles, yet I pray God shows me, and if not, all the more Glory to Him for its shows my frailness and weakness compared to him. But I know the weight of scripture concludes the following... I just would not take the road of Amyrault et al and compramise. Calling 2 opposites truth. And universal aspects within the greatest event in the eternal mind of God, and the time of mankind, the Cross, is one area that must not be compramised. The Salvation of His chosen is beyond measure, the grandest truth, if one were to "rate" them, in all of the Written account of all the books.

As for Packer, I do not know much if anything about him if he has changed or not....
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
God is the Saviour of all men. That is, there is no other Saviour of men but God.
The second sentence is not necessarily the same as the first. To say that God is the only saviour, is different from saying his the saviour of all men.
Marty, it is the same in the end. Just as saying so and so is the King of England, yet not all recognize him as their King. So we can easily draw the same conclusion with Paul. God is the savior of all men.

Surely all men in that context refers to all types of men, i.e. men from different races and social classes. If the text can be used to justify universal atonement, then why can it not also be used to justify universal salvation?

Indeed, if one believes in universal atonement, one must also believe in universal salvation, as the Lord makes it clear that he died for His sheep (John 10); therefore, if He died for all men, then all men are his sheep, and so all men will be saved. Since such a theory is clearly unbiblical, then Christ must only have died for the elect, and in no sense died for the reprobate. :owen:
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Actually I could have been stronger. Piper specifically rejects "moral influence" as a theory of the atonement in The Pleasure of God in Bruising the Son in great detail and specifically advocates substitutionary atonement.
The word "double" means twofold. No one has suggested that he denies a definite atonement for the elect alone. That would be Arminianism. If the double reference theory denied a definite atonement for the elect I could understand why you would go to the trouble of showing that Piper doesn't deny it. But the double reference theory accepts this point, so the fact that Piper holds it is irrelevant. The "double reference" theory holds there is a second reference besides that which was made for the elect. It introduces into the atonement a universal bearing. This universal reference Piper quite clearly describes as a moral influence which justifies God in showing mercy to all men. His words are very straightforward and plain.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
So when you go out field preaching you are not giving an opportunity of salvation to unbelievers?
Of course I desire to give every sinner an opportunity of salvation: "My heart's desire for Israel," etc. But the objective of gospel preaching is one thing, and the objective of God in using gospel preaching is another thing. I am not the one who gives salvation -- God is. God has His elect people whom He is saving by means of the foolishness of preaching. It is for those elect people that Christ purchased the blessing of salvation.
 

Amazing Grace

Puritan Board Junior
Actually I could have been stronger. Piper specifically rejects "moral influence" as a theory of the atonement in The Pleasure of God in Bruising the Son in great detail and specifically advocates substitutionary atonement.
The word "double" means twofold. No one has suggested that he denies a definite atonement for the elect alone. That would be Arminianism. If the double reference theory denied a definite atonement for the elect I could understand why you would go to the trouble of showing that Piper doesn't deny it. But the double reference theory accepts this point, so the fact that Piper holds it is irrelevant. The "double reference" theory holds there is a second reference besides that which was made for the elect. It introduces into the atonement a universal bearing. This universal reference Piper quite clearly describes as a moral influence which justifies God in showing mercy to all men. His words are very straightforward and plain.

Is the 'double ref theory' the same as what Marty called ;"double-end atonement"

Can one lead me to a cliff note version of this? Is this also known as the 'Moral influence Atonement" It sounds more liek the Governmental theory hersy
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Maybe I'm missing something, but even after reading through this entire thread, I still don't see why anyone would have a problem with what he says in your quote above. I've heard it said many times that TULIP is a summary of Dort, and what Piper says above sounds like what the Synod of Dort says. And Charles Hodge says, etc.. I know that other reformed people take different views and understandings of limited atonement than Dort, but it seems that what Piper says in that quote is classic TULIP (that is, if TULIP really is a summary of Dort). I didn't see anyone interact with the quotes in my previous post which point out what Dort and 2 Hodges said:

http://www.puritanboard.com/f48/john-piper-limited-atonement-27430/index3.html#post334400
The point you are missing is that the traditional reformed concept of sufficiency is entirely intrinsic. This is the value of Christ's death in and of itself, so that if God had have intended Christ's death to save all men, Christ would not have needed to have suffered anything more. Piper's idea is not that Christ's death is intrinsically sufficient, but that Christ's death actually accomplished something so far as the justice of God is concerned to make it possible for God to show mercy to all men.
 

JohnOwen007

Puritan Board Sophomore
Indeed, if one believes in universal atonement, one must also believe in universal salvation,
That's precisely what double-enders deny. They believe that Christ died for the elect and for all in different ways.

Daniel, your comment is a classic manifestation of what I described in my previous post. The issue concerns methodology. Double-enders would accuse you of not letting the text speak for itself but squashing a pre-determed dogmatic conclusion into the text--i.e. being over-rationalistic.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
Indeed, if one believes in universal atonement, one must also believe in universal salvation,
That's precisely what double-enders deny. They believe that Christ died for the elect and for all in different ways.

Daniel, your comment is a classic manifestation of what I described in my previous post. The issue concerns methodology. Double-enders would accuse you of not letting the text speak for itself but squashing a pre-determed dogmatic conclusion into the text--i.e. being over-rationalistic.

:think:Yes I had a Federal Visionist tell me this on my blog a while back. However, Romans 6 is clear that those who died with Christ shall live with Christ - i.e. those for whom Christ died shall have eternal life - so it is not imposing a pre-determined dogmatic conclusion on the text, but simply comparing Scripture with Scripture to properly interpret it.
 

Amazing Grace

Puritan Board Junior
Indeed, if one believes in universal atonement, one must also believe in universal salvation,
That's precisely what double-enders deny. They believe that Christ died for the elect and for all in different ways.

Daniel, your comment is a classic manifestation of what I described in my previous post. The issue concerns methodology. Double-enders would accuse you of not letting the text speak for itself but squashing a pre-determed dogmatic conclusion into the text--i.e. being over-rationalistic.
Brother Marty:

I see we have a new label here, of which I am not aware of. I'll ask again, What is a double ender? IS that liek a 'double header" in baseball?;)
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
:think:Yes I had a Federal Visionist tell me this on my blog a while back. However, Romans 6 is clear that those who died with Christ shall live with Christ - i.e. those for whom Christ died shall have eternal life - so it is not imposing a pre-determined dogmatic conclusion on the text, but simply comparing Scripture with Scripture to properly interpret it.
Very well noted.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
:think:Yes I had a Federal Visionist tell me this on my blog a while back. However, Romans 6 is clear that those who died with Christ shall live with Christ - i.e. those for whom Christ died shall have eternal life - so it is not imposing a pre-determined dogmatic conclusion on the text, but simply comparing Scripture with Scripture to properly interpret it.
Very well noted.
Thanks. :cheers:
 

JohnOwen007

Puritan Board Sophomore
Brother Marty:

I see we have a new label here, of which I am not aware of. I'll ask again, What is a double ender? IS that liek a 'double header" in baseball?;)
Dear Nicholas, being an Australian I know nothing about baseball ... only cricket, so please excuse my ignorance. But I'm always willing to have a double slice of vegemite on toast. :)

What I mean by the "double-end" position is that which has a dual purpose: one for the elect, and another for all. Christ's death makes salvation actual for the elect, and possible for the non-elect. This is what most people want to call "Amyraldianism" or "hypothetical universalism", but as I explained in my penultmate post I think both designations are best left alone.
 
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