Another Thought Regarding Limited Atonement

vesselI recently added a post to the effect that for many, limited atonement is the lynchpin of Calvinistic doctrine. That seems to make sense from a logical perspective. However, for me, the overriding issue is unconditional election if only because of how I perceive the character and nature of God through the lens of God choosing some while intentionally not choosing others. In any event, it seemed worthwhile to look up some limited atonement verses I often see used. Interesting because as often as not, there’s not a reference to the individual per se but for a group i.e. “but also for the sins of the whole world” – or something equivalent. To me, this is indicative of God’s desire for everyone without exception or exclusion.


(1 John 2:2) He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

My $0.02 worth: Jesus paid the price for the sins of the whole world without exception or exclusion.

(2 Cor 5:15) And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

My $0.02 worth: He died for all without exception or exclusion.

(1 Tim 1:15) This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am chief.

My $0.02 worth: Note that sinners is plural and there’s no indication of exception or exclusion.

(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.

My $0.02 worth: Is this not a clear indication that it is possible for “all” to come to repentance? Furthermore, is this not a clear indication that God want no one to perish? If Calvinism is correct, then how does one reconcile God’s desire for all to repent if only certain individuals are predestined to salvation? Furthermore, I’m not aware of one instance where God forces anyone to get saved. As is, I see no indication of exception or exclusion.

(Titus 2:11) For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.

My $0.02 worth: God’s grace of salvation appears to all humanity without exception or exclusion.

(John 5:40) Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

My $0.02 worth: If a person does not come, then that, to me, signifies an ability that they had (have) the option to come. Jesus said, “You will not”. Jesus didn’t say, “You cannot”! Surely, then, God-is giving his creation the option to choose or not to choose. God entrusts us with free will. We have the opportunity to choose. And we are without excuse. I’m sure I can find a verse to that effect. Somewhere.

In conclusion, then, the simple reading of scripture is that God has opened the door of salvation to everyone. There’s no exception or exclusion with regard to “elect” vs “non-elect” persons”.


Author: Bob

I’m an upper Midwestern guy who has recently entered the "Buick stage" of life and decided to migrate to Florida. This blog is an attempt to rectify discordant aspects within my Christian faith ... or what often feels like my lack of Christian faith. Things which make life more enjoyable include strong black coffee, charcoal grilling anytime of the year, putz'ing at a table saw, playing chess, a good orthopedic surgeon and an occasional IPA. Please feel free to poke around and comment as you wish. I welcome discussion and the insights of others.

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