ANYBODY FOR CALVINISM?
There are five principal points of Calvinism, of which two are, to me, inconsequential.
The first of those two is Limited Atonement. That doctrine says that Jesus atoned for the sins of (only) the Elect, by His death. That He did not atone for the “sins of the world”, or the “sins of everyone”. There are several ways of explaining why that is: one holds that, if He died to atone for the sins of someone who dies unsaved, then He failed with respect to that person. But I think the major arguments over this point stem from misinterpretation of “atonement”, and not from the principle.
What it does not mean is limited payment, price, sacrifice, or number of salvations. Atonement is something else, according to Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary:
ATONEMENT: The reconciliation of God and man through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ; or: reparation for an offense or injury
If someone dies lost, they were not reconciled to God … that is, the separation of them from God, caused by their sin, was never remedied. The debt for their sin was never paid; it was never satisfied. Oh, it could have been, had they done what the Bible sets forth as to how we must be saved.
I think of a parable to illustrate the thought: think of a bus driver who goes to the owner of a restaurant and sets a Rolex Watch before him. The driver then says “I have a busload of hungry people .. will you take this as payment for dinner for them?” The owner looks at it, and thinks “I’d feed everyone in town for THIS..” and says to bring the people in and let them eat.
40 folks do, but 8 stay on the bus. They’re not hungry, they don’t like the look of it, it’s too cold outside to walk in, it’s too long a walk, or whatever. They just don’t want to eat.
An hour later, when the bus leaves, 40 meals have been consumed. The Rolex paid for but 40 meals, despite the fact that 48 could have eaten. The price paid was enough for all, and even more.
If you choose to die lost, then your sins were not atoned for. And, since we cannot ever know whether someone else is saved, truly, it doesn’t matter. We can only know about ourselves, with any certainty.
So much for "L". I'll get to T U I & P in later posts.