Talk:Limited atonement

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Flex: Why'd you remove the Biblical passages cited in refuting limited atonement? KHM03 13:18, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

I think he is in the process of editing and rearranging some sections. I'd give him a little time to see what he comes up with. Regards, Jim Ellis 13:23, July 13, 2005 (UTC)
Correct. I should have edited the whole article in order to relocate that section, but I had already edited that portion and was just being lazy. Sorry. Let me know if you object to the revisions. --Flex 14:23, July 13, 2005 (UTC)

Well, I think that the problematic passages ought to be restored to the "Objections" section. The primary objections to the doctrine are Biblical, not just theological; Wesleyans (et al) interpret "all" to mean, quite simply, "all", and don't prefer to qualify the word (which is what we feel Calvinists do...and must do to maintain the doctrine). Without the passages under "Objections", it reads as if Christendom accepted the idea of limited atonement, and a few groups don't like it, when, in fact, a relatively small group affirms it (Calvinists) and most reject it (Catholics, Orthodox, Wesleyans, et al). So I think restoring those passages would be less POV and result in a more accurate article. KHM03 15:08, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

Better? --Flex 15:38, July 13, 2005 (UTC)

Much better. Good work. KHM03 15:47, 13 July 2005 (UTC

High priestly prayer[edit]

The sentence beginning with "Additionally..." cherry picks only part of John (17:9) to seemingly justify the "priestly layer". Jesus continues to pray for the rest of the world in John 17:20. I suggest removing the entire sentence. HarwoodRH 22:22, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

I don't quite follow you. Verse 20 reads (NAS): "I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word." So the first part of the prayer is for current believers (especially the apostles), and the second part is for future believers. Jesus is not asking in the second part that the world itself be united; he's praying that future believers would be united. Have I misunderstood you (or the text)? --Flex 18:26, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Universal vs. Unlimited[edit]

By the way...there is a difference between universal atonement & unlimited atonement. Unlimited atonement is the idea that while Christ potentially atoned for the sin of all humankind, not all will be saved (this is the Wesleyan model). Universal atonement is the idea that Christ did atone for the sin of all humankind, and therefore, all people, ultimately, are saved. Just so you know. KHM03 19:24, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

Right. The term universal is also used in the sense of unlimited in your circles, right? It has been used that way in the 1911, for instance, when discussing Amyraldianism. I added a qualifier about which meaning is intended. --Flex 20:10, July 13, 2005 (UTC)

That looks fine to me. KHM03 20:21, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

Disputed Content[edit]

I have reverted 2 edits by (talkcontribscount) and have added {{disputed}} to the article because of these edits.


TheJC TalkContributions 10:16, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Why does the article lead need to call this doctrine a "controversial" doctrine? Just about every doctrine in the Christian church has been - and still is - controversial somewhere, depending on the definition of "Christian". Adding "controversial" sounds POV, so I'm removing the word. Petemyers (talk) 12:22, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Agreed JonoPSA (talk) 18:27, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Deleted quote[edit]

I deleted this sentence added by

Reknowned Biblical scholar Dr. Norman F. Douty responds to this doctrine: “Who that reads the Bible can believe that G-d ever created people in order to damn them?” [Norman Franklin Douty, Did Christ Die Only for the Elect? A Treatise on the Extent of Christ’s Atonement (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1998), 128].

First, did Dr. Douty really use "G-d" rather than "God", or was that an undocumented alteration of his words? Second, the sentence adds no substance to the article since everyone who opposes the doctrine asks the same question. His reasons why may be of interest if they add something significant to the existing text. --Flex 17:04, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. (talk) 17:02, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

Men and angels[edit]

Even those who object to the Calvinist doctrine on limited atonement have to explain why God's redemption of sinful fallen creatures is limited to human beings and does not extend to the "angels which kept not their first estate" (Jude 6). Whether this article is the right place to discuss this, I am not so sure. DFH 20:22, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Particular redemption[edit]

I added the sentence about particular redemption because of its historical significance for the English Calvinistic Baptists. Although mentioned in the opening definition, the phrase is not yet explained in the main article. Particular in this sense is used as the antithesis to general, hence the historic division between the Particular Baptists and the General Baptists, who held to unlimited atonement. DFH 20:54, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

For this reason, in the External links | Pro section, I have just added a link to Spurgeon's sermon with this title. DFH 09:42, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Andrew Fuller[edit]

This article got me thinking about the significance of Andrew Fuller's teachings about the extent and purpose of Christ's atonement. The article on Fuller first requires expansion before he would be worth mentioning here in this article. I have tagged it for such. DFH 16:15, 28 August 2006 (UTC)


I deleted the paragraph added by

As with all Calvinist doctrines, limited atonement reflects the Calvinist concept that God is sovereign and exercises complete control over the affairs of men. It follows logically from the doctrine of Total Depravity which describes the heart of man as totally corrupted such that no man desires God and all reject God's gracious offer of salvation from sin. As sovereign, God is able to save whom He will. Under Total Depravity, no person could be saved if God did not exercise his sovereign power and choose from among all people, some number that He would save.

The reason why is that, while all of the five points (and heck, all other doctrines) are interrelated, the connection here is not sufficiently direct for my taste. Besides, Arminius and Wesley both held to total depravity but sought to solve the problem it creates by other means (viz., prevenient grace). It also doesn't seem to flow particularly well into the existing paragraphs IMO. --Flex 17:57, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree. Jim Ellis 13:29, 11 October 2006 (UTC)


User: deleted this sentence:

On a practical level, this doctrine [of limited atonement] is not emphasized in Calvinist churches except in comparison to other salvific schemes, and when it is taught, the primary use of this and the other doctrines of predestination is the assurance of believers.

I think this deletion is unjustified, though I admit I don't have a reliable source to back up the statement (it's primarily from anecdotal evidence). On the other hand, if the statement is true but doesn't appear here, I think it gives the mistaken impression that Calvinists go around talking about LA all the time, which in my experience they don't. I propose we restore the statement and add a {{citation needed}} tag. Thoughts? --Flex (talk|contribs) 16:33, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Further question[edit]

Besides the above question, User: posted the following on my talk page. I moved it here so others can provide input, too. --Flex (talk|contribs) 16:43, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

But two of the bigger problems I have with the Limited Atonement page are:
1. Concerning the practicality of Limited Atonement. As far as I've experienced, churches that hold limited atonement have taught me that its practicality in very important and real ways! The way you worded it makes it sound like Limited Atonement isn't really all that practicle.
2. The opposition is brought up against Limited Atonement, but the main problem of the disagreement isn't brought up: What did Jesus Christ actually do on the Cross? Did He actually die for sin, or not? If so, then who's sin? The entire world's sin? Then why do people go to hell if He died for their sin?
And also it would be fair to bring up that Calvinists (which I am) holds strongly that Unlimited Atonement limits the atonement in a different form. Calvinism limits it in quantity, but Unlimited Atonement limits it in quality. I do not believe it would be unbiased to put that, since it's historical fact.
Anyway, I'll respect your judgment, please respond how you think about it. —

First, I am also a Calvinist, and I don't think your edits were biased. Rather, I thought some of them were misplaced.

I've addressed #1 above. Please share your thoughts there. As for number 2, I'd suggest that the we need to distinguish between the extent of the atonement (i.e., does it apply to some, all, or none) and the nature or effect of the atonement (i.e., what did it do?). The present article deals only with the extent, and the first paragraph under section titled "The doctrine" tries to make this point. As far as its nature, Calvinists generally accept the satisfaction view, and I'd suggest your comments in that regard might apply better there.

As for quantity vs. quality, I think we could certainly add a sentence about that. It seems it would fit best somewhere in the third paragraph under "The doctrine" where the meaning of the term "limited" is discussed.

What do you think? --Flex (talk|contribs) 16:55, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

I suppose that's fine. I'm from the Reformed Presybetrian church, and Limited Atonement is a common topic (in the sense that it's probably brought up once ever 1 or 2 months, certainly not every week though). But in my limited persepective, I can't argue against your statmenet. That's fine - my major concern is #2. (Anyway, I have to go and can't make the changes back myself). I'll be back probably Monday! Thanks for your words. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 04:07, 10 December 2006 (UTC).
That sounds good. It would be nice to talk about, the whole reason this debate of limited and unlimited happens is due to question of Jesus Christ's atonement (none, some, all?). And to talk about Quality vs. Quantity.
If we add this, would you want to put it under Doctrine, or would you want to create a new section like: The Question with the Atonement somewhere?
Maybe it could say,
The main question of the atonement is did Jesus Christ die for no man, some men, or all men? The Calvinists’ desire to hold to Limited Atonement is to protect the belief that Jesus Christ's atonement accomplished God's full plan of salvation for the men He died for on the cross (satisfaction view). The offense of the other positions happens because Calvinists view them to belittle the atonement of the blood of Christ. Though the position of limited atonement clearly limits the quantity of the atonement, Unlimited Atonement limits the quality (in comparison).
See what you think. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

I'd like to suggest on closer re-reading of the current article that the material you want to add is already present. For instance, the doctrine section contains this text:

The Calvinist atonement is thus called definite because it certainly secures the salvation of those for whom Christ died, and it is called limited in its extent because it effects salvation for the elect only. Calvinists do not believe the power of the atonement is limited in any way, which is to say that no sin is too great to be expiated by Christ's sacrifice, in their view.

and the objections section contains this text on the nature and extent:

Though Lutherans and Catholics share a similar doctrine of the nature of the atonement with Calvinists, they differ on its extent, whereas Arminians and Methodists generally accept an alternate theory of the nature of the atonement such as the moral government theory. The elect in such models are the people who choose to avail themselves of God's gracious offer of salvation through Christ, not a pre-determined group. Thus, these systems place a limit on the efficacy of the atonement rather than on its extent, like Calvinists.

I think your suggested paragraph phrases the issue non-neutrally (cf. the neutrality policy). We can certainly tweak or modify the existing text somehow, but currently the need to do so is not clear to me. Please continue to explain if you feel I've missed the point. (Also, consider creating an account.) --Flex (talk|contribs) 19:17, 12 December 2006 (UTC)