As someone who has come from a Reformed church and is coming home to the Catholic Church, I still have some questions about Reformed theology. For a long time I listened to Matt Slick’s radio show (kind of like a Protestant version of Catholic Answers Live’s Open Forum) and heard him defend Calvinist theology many times.
Slick (and other Calvinists) believe that Jesus only died for the elect (those predestined to salvation). He quotes Colossians 2:13-14 in defence of his position.
“When you were dead [k]in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross”
He points out that the Greek word translated “certificate of debt” is χειρόγραφον (cheirographon) which he says means “a document of legal indebtedness”. Christ therefore canceled out the believer’s sin debt when He nailed it to the Cross. Slick goes on to say “Who did He cancel it for?”, the implications being that if He canceled it for everyone, then that would mean that no-one could go to hell because their sin debt would have been paid for by Christ. Therefore, Christ only paid the sin debt of those who have been predestined to go to heaven, i.e. the elect.
How would a Catholic answer this claim?
Interestingly, when I’ve listened to James White defend limited atonement, he’s never brought up this verse.