One of my favorite novels is Barabbas by Par Lagerkvist, winner of the Nobel prize for literature. The novel imagines what happened to Barabbas after he was released: “He was about thirty, powerfully built, with a sallow complexion, a reddish beard and black hair. His eyebrows also were black, his eyes too deep-set, as though they wanted to hide. Under
Calvinists and Arminians debate whether the atonement is limited or unlimited. My question is—what if that’s a false dichotomy? The big assumption made by both Calvinists and Arminians is that the atonement comes as a package of benefits. They claim that if one benefit applies to you, they all do because those benefits come as a package. But what if that’s a false assumption? What if,
In trying to rethink the debate between Calvinists and Arminians over the limited or unlimited nature of the atonement, I suggested we should rethink the assumption that the benefits of the cross come as a package deal. Maybe, just maybe, the cross has different benefits for different people, under different conditions. But is there any Biblical reason to think that?
Evangelical views of the atonement are broadly divided between two camps. Calvinists believe that Jesus died only for the elect. Hence, their view is popularly known as limited atonement, because the benefits of the atonement are limited to whomever God has predestined to be saved. Arminians believe that Jesus died for the world. Their view is
I was talking to a friend about the different views of the atonement in Free Grace circles. We came around to the issue of potentiality versus actuality. What did the cross actually accomplish? What did it potentially accomplish? I came up with an illustration for the differences of opinion that exist in Evangelical circles. Imagine if poisonous snakes escaped from a pet store and bit everyone at the mall.