August 20, 2005

Tony Lane Quote on Calvin's Position on the Atonement

The advocates of limited atonement love to pose the dilemma: does the work of Christ merely make salvation "possible", without making certain the "salvation" of anyone, or does it effectually "guarantee" the salvation of the elect, for whom alone Christ died? Calvin's position is well summarized by the retort of Professor James Torrence: our salvation is made certain, not merely possible, by the combined work of Father, Son "and" Holy Spirit (i.e, not by the cross alone, taken in isolation).
Tony Lane, "The Quest for the Historical Calvin," Evangelical Quarterly 55.2 (April 1983): 100.

David Ponter comments:
In the 17th C, in the zeal to refute non-strict Limited atonement folk, the Reformed located a sort of certainty in the expiation itself. There is no scriptural warrant for it, but its now such a solid tradition that shaking it is very hard. The only reason that new idea was created was to refute others. The only reason it was created was to present a sort of modus tollens argument. Its a plain false-dilemma fallacy that needs to be discarded as a whole. Its not a simple either/or like that.
Comments taken from the Calvin and Calvinism list.

I also entered this quote at the bottom of my The Design of The Atonement: Dealing with a Popular False Dilemma post.

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