An rock-solid, knock-out argument, against Calvinism

Though I did not come up with this argument, I believe it is a definitive knock-out blow to Calvinism, particularly the Protestant notion of Limited Atonement and Penal Substitutionary Atonement. As many know, the letters in the word TULIP each stand for a particular aspect of Calvinism, all of which stand or fall together. The L, Limited Atonement (and thus Penal Substitution), can be proven false in just a few simple steps:

  1. The non-elect individual is commanded to believe in the Gospel or be damned.

  2. “The Gospel” = Jesus died for your sins.

  3. But according to Limited Atonement, Jesus didn’t really die for the non-elect.

  4. Thus, non-elect are told to believe Jesus died for them when He in fact did not.

  5. Thus, the non-elect is not legitimately given an option to accept, and thus cannot be damned because the offer wasn’t even genuine. He is being damned for not accepting God’s lie to him!

Conclusion: Limited Atonement is false, which in turn means Calvinism is false. :thumbsup:

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

This is excellent; I’ve never heard this argument put forth so plainly before.

Neither did I…until I saw someone else present it!

Can you provide the source of the argument?

I had to read it twice. Sound. Clever. :o

And of course there are multiple rock-solid ways to refute the errors in TULIP. :rolleyes:

Hmm… do Calvinists necessarily have a problem with the non-elect not legitimately being given an option to accept? I’m not very familiar with TULIP, but it seems like they would just say that the non-elect were predestined to be damned, whether or not they were given an option out. idk

Plus in #2, Calvinists might say the Gospel = Jesus died for some people’s sins, instead of specifying your.

Is Calvinism psychotic?

I understand what you’re saying, but this argument is one step above that.

Most often the argument is (which is what you’re talking about): Since in Calvinism man isn’t given the ability (e.g. the gift of faith) to accept the Gospel, then God cannot command the impossible of them, thus it’s unjust and false.

While there is truth to that argument, Calvinists don’t have a problem with it…however, the argument I’m presenting side-steps that above issue and gets even more advanced and inescapable: the individual is being commanded to accept Jesus died for him when in reality Jesus did not. That’s not just a matter of unfairness, it’s a flat out lie. The Calvinist cannot just “be fine” with this.

Plus in #2, Calvinists might say the Gospel = Jesus died for some people’s sins, instead of specifying your.

That doesn’t work because anyone accepting the Gospel is by definition accepting the work Christ did for them to save them. There is no such thing as accepting the Gospel but not being saved.

The term “limited atonement” addresses the question, “For whom did Christ die?” But behind the question of the extent of the atonement lies the equally important question about the nature of the atonement. What did Christ actually achieve on the cross for those for whom he died?

If you say that he died for every human being in the same way, then you have to define the nature of the atonement very differently than you would if you believed that Christ only died for those who actually believe.

In the first case you would believe that the death of Christ did not actually save anybody; it only made all men savable.

It did not actually remove God’s punitive wrath from anyone, but instead created a place where people could come and find mercy—IF they could accomplish their own new birth and bring themselves to faith without the irresistible grace of God.

For if Christ died for all men in the same way then he did not purchase regenerating grace for those who are saved. They must regenerate themselves and bring themselves to faith. Then and only then do they become partakers of the benefits of the cross.

In other words if you believe that Christ died for all men in the same way, then the benefits of the cross cannot include the mercy by which we are brought to faith, because then all men would be brought to faith, but they aren’t. But if the mercy by which we are brought to faith (irresistible grace) is not part of what Christ purchased on the cross, then we are left to save ourselves from the bondage of sin, the hardness of heart, the blindness of corruption, and the wrath of God.

Therefore it becomes evident that it is not the Calvinist who limits the atonement. It is the Arminian, because he denies that the atoning death of Christ accomplishes what we most desperately need—namely, salvation from the condition of deadness and hardness and blindness under the wrath of God. The Arminian limits the nature and value and effectiveness of the atonement so that he can say that it was accomplished even for those who die in unbelief and are condemned. In order to say that Christ died for all men in the same way, the Arminian must limit the atonement to a powerless opportunity for men to save themselves from their terrible plight of depravity.

-John Piper

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Nah!! It’s just plain cruel.

Consider this:

Just for the sake of the argument: let’s assume Tester will go to heaven.
Jesus on the cross bore the punishment for the sins Tester committed.

God is PERFECTLY just, and Tester’s debt has been paid.

Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Agreed?

Just for the sake of the argument: let’s assume Hitler is/will be in Hell suffering the wrath of God for his sins.

Did Christ bear the punishment for the sins of Hitler?

If you say yes: then God punished Christ for Hitler’s sins AND punished Hitler for Hitler’s sin.
Is that justice?

If you say no, that’s LIMITED atonement.

That is only a problem if you believe in Irresistible Grace (I in TULIP). Since Catholics believe that people can resist God’s Grace through their own free will, it is not a problem for us.

Even though the OP only addressed L, specifically, the whole of TULIP is the target of refutation.

Therefore it becomes evident that it is not the Calvinist who limits the atonement. It is the Arminian, because he denies that the atoning death of Christ accomplishes what we most desperately need—namely, salvation from the condition of deadness and hardness and blindness under the wrath of God. The Arminian limits the nature and value and effectiveness of the atonement so that he can say that it was accomplished even for those who die in unbelief and are condemned. In order to say that Christ died for all men in the same way, the Arminian must limit the atonement to a powerless opportunity for men to save themselves from their terrible plight of depravity.

-John Piper

:

I don’t know why you try to deflect the argument to Arminianism. It seems inappropriate to point to some third tradition that is not represented in the conversation. I think the discussion was Calvinist vs Catholic, correct?

Grace is a FREE GIFT, not a conditional one. Christ had to bear Hitler’s sins for Hitler to have the opportunity to accept salvation. It was “finished”, as Jesus said.

Having been offered the gift of grace, Hitler had the opportunity to accept or decline it. If he is in Hell, if is because he declined.

also: Justice for God is not retribution but mercy.

off topic

Even though the OP only addressed L, specifically, the whole of TULIP is the target of refutation.

lets stay with L (the OP’s premise is “Limited Atonement is false, which in turn means Calvinism is false”)

For whom did Christ die?"
What did Christ actually achieve on the cross for those for whom he died?

I don’t know why you try to deflect the argument to Arminianism. It seems inappropriate to point to some third tradition that is not represented in the conversation. I think the discussion was Calvinist vs Catholic, correct?

I thought forum rules were to quote completely,

The CONTEXT is that Arminianism is against limit atonement and so are Catholics.

so is your view that Christ’s death did NOT actually save anybody: but just provided an oppurtuntiy to be saved IF men would know they are sinners and come to God?

re Justice vs mercy:

The difference between Justice , Mercy and Grace

Justice: you get what you deserve.
You were caught speeding: you get a speeding ticket.
God is perfectly just: and you have been caught every time.

Mercy : you don’t get what you deserve;
You were caught speeding: you don’t get a speeding ticket.
God is full of mercy: he doesn’t sentence you on your first sin.

Grace: you get what you don’t deserve (a gift)
You get the ticket, but the cop pays it for you: your debt has been paid.
God paid the debt you could never pay on our own.

Gods’ perfect justice demands everty debt to be paid.

thank you Jesus!!

If Hitler is in hell it is because it is the punishment for the sins he committed,
If Tester goes to heaven it is because Christ bore the punishment for the sins I committed.

As we will not resolve the this debate, it is my hope that the OPer will see that it is not as rock solid as he had hoped.

For whom did Christ die?"
What did Christ actually achieve on the cross for those for whom he died?
“IT IS FINISHED” How sufficient was Christ’s work on the cross ( does he need our help?)

these are very important questions

-test al things

False. The whole of TULIP is on topic for the entire thread.

You yourself used Irresistible Grace as a defense for Limited Atonement. It is, therefore, on topic.

lets stay with L (the OP’s premise is “Limited Atonement is false, which in turn means Calvinism is false”)

For whom did Christ die?"
What did Christ actually achieve on the cross for those for whom he died?

I thought forum rules were to quote completely,

The CONTEXT is that Arminianism is against limit atonement and so are Catholics.

Then discuss Catholicism, since the other participants in the conversation are Catholics. Your discussion of Arminianism only serves to hijack the thread into an Arminianism one (I’m sure there is no shortage of people here to discuss their errors).

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