With reference to 2nd Head Art 3. of CoD, would you agree with this statement?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by John Yap, Jun 10, 2019.

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  1. John Yap

    John Yap Puritan Board Freshman

    Christ bore the wrath of God against the sins of the whole world—the whole human race. Our sin is indivisible. It is impossible to separate the sins of the elect and the sins of the reprobate. Since the human race is one, every member is exposed to the wrath of God. Therefore, for Christ to rescue His elect, He had to suffer the wrath of God against the sin of the whole world. As far as the sufficiency of the work of Christ is concerned, it would not have made any difference whether all would have been saved or few. Even if Christ had been sent to rescue only one sinner, He still would have had to suffer the agonies of Gethsemane and Calvary.

    Pronk, Cornelis. Expository Sermons on the Canons of Dort . Free Reformed Publications. Kindle Edition.
  2. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Dort seems to say that Christ's death was sufficient to atone for the sins of the whole world; not that Christ actually did atone for the whole world. I think the quoted pastor errs.
  3. John Yap

    John Yap Puritan Board Freshman

    @JOwen perhaps you could chime in on this..

    @Pergamum , there would definitely be a distinction in the author's mind between suffering for and effectually atoning for.
  4. JOwen

    JOwen Puritan Board Junior

    I would have put it differently than my friend and colleague. It has been a long time since I read his book (25 years). I will certainly ask him about it as I can't locate it right now to see if any qualifiers exist before or after the quote.

    What sort of punishment might be "enough" for one who sins against eternal God? We would have to conclude that it must be not only physical death, but eternal death. So the amount of punishment is the same whether we sin once or a billion times, or whether it is one sinner or a billion. If we sin today, it does not mean Christ’s punishment ended up being any harsher than it would have been if we did not sin today (which is impossible). It's a "full-as-can-be" punishment either way. This speaks to the Canon's "sufficiency" in Head 2, Article 3"

    The death of the Son of God is the only and most perfect sacrifice and satisfaction for sin, and is of infinite worth and value, abundantly sufficient to expiate the sins of the whole world.

    So how many deaths would be enough to save the elect? Even if God were willing to punish one ordinary sinless man (assuming such a person existed) for the sins of another, justice would demand one man punished for every one man who sinned. How then can Christ, who is just one man, save all who believe in Him? It is because Jesus is not an ordinary man. He is not worth one man, or five men, or even a ten-million men. Jesus is worth infinite men, because he is infinite God.

    So it turns out that punishing Jesus could be enough to save all, not because the punishment was steeper than it needed to be, but because it's impossible to put a limit on the value of Jesus Christ. In the Counsel of Peace, it was covenanted that Christ would die only for the elect. This speaks to the so-called "efficiency" of the death of Christ. Notice however that our Dort fathers did not use the word efficient, but rather uses the word surety in Article 2. The sufficiency, efficiency terminology would later become the great vanguard of Baxterianism, or Amyraldism, which is an error.

  5. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    Is Cornelis Pronk a Hypothetical Universalist? I would agree that the HU position is accommodated by the Canons of Dort, but that they do not demand one believes in HU.
  6. JOwen

    JOwen Puritan Board Junior

    That is a good question, Daniel. In all the years I have known Rev. Pronk, I assumed he was not an HU, but I will ask him when I see him next.
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  7. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Agreed, as the qquotes seems to be stating to nus that per the scriptures Jesus death was effectually enough to have the sins of all who come to Him for salvation to be cleansed, but just Hos own purchased well come to Him.
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