Some Points to Consider When Examining Limited Atonement

I think I prefer the term Particular Redemption over Limited Atonement but the concept is the same.  In this article, Robertson lists several points in favor of limited atonement Roger Nicole made from chapter 5 of his book Our Sovereign Savior.  One of the best points is

The real issue is the design or intent of the Father when he sent his Son to die on the cross and purchase redemption for sinners.  Since all sinners do not get saved then there is either a limit in the effectiveness of the atonement or a limit in its intent.  Was God doing something to save all sinners and failed?  Or was God purchasing the salvation of the elect and succeeded?

I have heard this before.  I have used this myself.  I have yet to hear a reasonable response to this.  That does not mean that one does not exist but I have yet to encounter it.  Please read the list and leave a comment with your response to any one or all of them.


8 Responses to Some Points to Consider When Examining Limited Atonement

  1. theologigal says:

    Love the quote. I’d have to agree with you – I’ve yet to hear a strong enough argument to the contrary when it comes to matters such as limited atonement. Thanks for sharing!


  2. llondy says:

    There is no rebuttal for this from the perspective of the Trinity. However most of the objections I get from this are from the view of man. It will be most likelyfrom an Arminian saying something like “Christ dies for everyone some just don’t accept. Since people like this are probably going to reject Irresistable grace as well it allows them to make the Gospel more “man focused” so they can use this argument.

    This is the primary reason I lean to the reformed view. It is “God centered” like I believe the Bible intended it to be. The covenantal theology really brings the atonement more meaning to me then the Jesus I was taught in my younger years that stands at the door hoping you will answer it.


    • Tom Shelton says:


      I think you are exactly right but I would go a step further. I think that not only does it make the Gospel man centered but it also robs God of His sovereignty. Arminians reject this but it is the logical conclusion of the “we have to accept God’s free gift of salvation argument”. It makes man sovereign and opens up a multitude of complications to the saving work of Christ on the Cross.


  3. llondy says:

    I think you are right in this sense. Many Arminians claim that God is sovereign but then it seems that their definition of “the gift” is that Christ died to give us the “ability” for us to accept salvation. If this is true then the work was not finished on the cross, it isn’t finished until we accept. They reject this and say that His work is complete because we don’t have to do anything to earn it, yet we do have to do something in this case to seal us in God’s righteousness. I can hand you a gift that you can reject, or I can pay off your debts and the deal is done.

    As you say, this leads to further complications with regeneration where Arminians seem to agree that they can’t accept without the Spirit moving to avoid Pelagianism, but then they can somehow resist this movement on their own power. An good friend of mine and a fellow brother in Christ is an Arminian and he tells me that this initial movement of the Spirit is not the start of regeneration but just a “prick” of the heart to “wake us up”. This i show he gets around God brining every good work to completion. I simply see no Biblical evidence for it


  4. llondy says:

    Sorry for typos, my wireless keyboard seems to be running low on power…:)


  5. thebiblestop says:

    I believe both Calvinism and Armenianism fall short in explaining the work of Christ on the cross. Calvinism falls short by passages such as found in Hebrews, which say that today is the day of salvation, and if anyone hears him and does not harden their heart… It is clear that God has given us the choice whether to believe in and receive Him. As John 3:16 says, WHOEVER believes in Him shall be saved. However, God is sovereign in salvation. A person cannot choose just any time they feel like it, but only when God is calling. The truth lies somewhere in the middle of the two traditional views.


  6. llondy says:

    There is nothing in Calvinism that says you don’t make a choice, and whoever believes in Christ will be saved is not an Arminian view alone. God being sovereign and omnisicent is not something that most Arminians I talk to deny either in principle. Understanding the two views is important before rejecting one for the other or dismissing both.


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