Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Understanding the Atonement

"It has become traditional in evangelical Protestantism to preach the cross as follows:
God so loved the world that He gave His Son to die upon the cross for every single individual in all the world. By exercising faith in Christ, you can receive the benefits of Christ's death on the cross. If you do not believe, Christ's death, even though offered in your place, will do you no good. You will still suffer for your sins. Christ truly wants to save you, if you will but believe.

Is this the message preached by the Apostles? Is this the preaching of the cross of Christ? Calvinists say 'no,' and they do so because of the biblical doctrine of atonement. In its simplest terms the Reformed belief is this: Christ's death saves sinners. It does not make the salvation of sinners a mere possibility. It does not provide a theoretical atonement. It requires no additions, whether they be the meritorious works of men or the autonomous act of faith flowing from a 'free will.' Christ's death saves every single person that it was intended to save."
-James White, The Potter's Freedom pgs 229-230

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