Sunday, August 16, 2009
For Whom Did Christ Die? - Michael Jensen (Amyraldian View)
According to Michael Jensen (Moore Theological College):
Like the great evangelical Calvinist preacher Charles Simeon once said: "I refuse to be more consistent than the Bible!" Christ died for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). He died to reconcile all things in heaven and earth (Col 1:15-20). But, he lays down his life for his sheep (John 10:11). The most significant problem for the limited/definite atonement position is of course that the text of Scripture tells against it again and again. This is not in doubt! One only has to read John Owen's text-twisting in The Death of Death to realize that a system is driving exegesis. If all are not finally saved, it shall not be for any deficiency in Christ's sacrifice, but rather because of their unbelief (contra high Calvinsim). And if any are saved, it will be entirely on account of the work of the Son on the cross and the Holy Spirit effecting the regeneration of the believer (contra Arminianism). As Calvin himself writes: "Our Lord Jesus suffered for all and there is neither great nor small who is not inexcusable today, for we can obtain salvation in Him... It is incontestable that Christ came for the expiation of the sins of the whole world." This is not an affirmation of the Arminian view which elevates human free choice over election - though the dispute with Arminianism is not so much to do with the extent of the atonement, but more over the nature and significance of election. Anglican evangelical bishop J.C. Ryle wrote: "I have long come to the conclusion that men may be more systematic in their statements than the Bible, and may be led into grave error by idolatrous veneration of a system".