by David L. Allen
Dean, School of Theology
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
(Ed’s. note: A careful researcher and Southern Baptist statesman, Dr. Allen does not ascribe a singular view of Christ’s atonement to all Calvinists, universally; however, his sensitive use of qualifying terms provide both clarity and distinction regarding the topic at-hand.)
IV. John Owen’s Problematic Revision of the Lombardian Formula
When John Owen formulated his argument for limited atonement, he did so using the problematic categories of a commercialistic sense of the atonement where the sins of the elect only were imputed to Christ. This approach led Owen to modify the traditional sufficiency-efficiency model originally promulgated by Peter Lombard and accepted by all the Schoolmen and the early Reformers: “sufficient for all; efficient for the elect.” This modification prompted Richard Baxter, who himself held to an unlimited atonement, to call Owen’s sleight-of-hand “a new futile evasion.” For Owen, as for all who affirm limited atonement, the atonement can only be sufficient for those for whom it is efficient. Forget the fact, according to all Calvinists, that the non-elect will not be saved given God’s discriminating purpose of election; this particular problem involves the fact that there is no atonement made for them in the first place! Double jeopardy indeed! Continue reading
I had the privilege of leading a young man to Christ after the morning service this past Sunday! We will baptize him and another young man on August 5th! Not that this is a bragging point, but this is my first pastorate — and having been here only since March, will be my third baptism! I love seeing the Lord move in people! All glory, honor, and praise to Him!
Jon Carter, pastor
Mt. Zion Baptist Church
FBC Lawton, Okla., baptized 10 students on Sunday, July 21.