This is the seventh of a series of articles by Dr. Cox, with a Biblical critique of Calvinism drawn in part from his book Not One Little Child.
Calvinism does not seem to account for the fact that God has promised to reveal Himself in one way or another to everyone. Many Scriptures bear clear testimony to this fact. Isaiah said that people will see what they had not been told, and will understand what they had not heard (Isa. 52:15). The Apostle John announced that the true light enlightens every man, suggesting that God’s redemptive scope is inclusive (John 1:9). The Apostle Paul proclaimed in Rom. 1:19 that what is known about God is evident within man. This means that knowledge of God is innate. God makes Himself known in them (en autois), that is in the human consciousness.1 The present tense verb “it is” (estin) denotes the permanency of this knowledge of the personal God. Moreover, God has stamped knowledge of Himself once for all time upon human consciousness, which is denoted by the past (aorist) tense verb for “manifested.”2 No human being has ever been without this knowledge. This implies that one has the ability to know, thus eliminating infants and the mentally challenged. All people have received at least general revelation within and, with the exception of infants and the mentally challenged, are accountable for it.
This is the sixth of a series of articles by Dr. Cox, with a Biblical critique of Calvinism drawn in part from his book Not One Little Child.
Doctrines referencing a “limited” atonement simply do not harmonize with the overall teaching of Scripture. Man is ordered to love God with all his heart, soul, and mind (Deut. 6:5; Matt. 22:37). This is a statement no one would deny. Therefore, since all are commanded to do so, it is necessary that all be capable of doing so. One does not issue commands to unconscious entities, nor does one hold them responsible.1 Man is conscious, and those who reach the stage of accountability are held responsible. Jesus said that God loves the entire world (John 3:16). Our Lord also declared that God desires for all of mankind to be saved, and this is recorded in the writings of several Apostles. Matthew recorded the words of Jesus when He disclosed that it is not the will of the Father that even one little child perish (Matt. 18:14), and every person begins as a little child. Likewise, John recorded the Gethsemane prayer of Jesus, which plainly published His desire that the whole world would believe in Him (John 17:21). Paul said the same thing when he wrote to Timothy and said that God desires that all people be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:4).
Matthew Barrett and Thomas Nettles, eds. Whomever He Wills: a Surprising Display of Sovereign Mercy (Cape Coral, FL: Founders Press, 2012), 401 pgs.
This post and the subsequent four which will follow are a continuation of Dr. Allen’s review and critique of David Schrock’s chapter on the extent of the atonement entitled “Jesus Saves, No Asterisk Needed” in Whomever He Wills (hereafter WHW).
Dr. Allen considers Schrock’s section addressing the typological symbolism of Christ’s high priestly activity as evidence for definite atonement (90-99). As a reminder for clarification, with respect to definitions, the phrases “limited atonement,” “particular redemption,” and “definite atonement” as used in Schrock’s chapter and by Dr. Allen in this review should be defined to mean “Christ died only for the sins of the elect.” The “limited” in “limited atonement” refers to the limited sin-bearing nature of Christ’s death; he only satisfied for the sins of the elect.
Commenting on today’s interview with Pastor Ralph Green has been closed for the day. Tomorrow’s post -
The Gospel Project:
A Birdseye View from the Blue Ridge Mountains
By Emir Caner
Will post at 7:00 a.m. and commenting will resume at that time. Please review the commenting guidelines. Discussion is encouraged; however, personal attacks are not permitted from either side of the debate.
SBCToday has updated commenting guidelines. Please review them here.