2007April11, Wednesday

Who Said This About the Atonement?

Posted in Quotables at 18:47 by Trey Austin

Alright, i know that everyone on the email list where this came from will know (so if you’re on that list, you can’t answer!), but for the rest of you (like half-dozen) folks who actually read my blog, i want you to guess whose quote this is. If someone gives the correct answer, i’ll affirm it soon as i see it, but otherwise, i’ll leave you guessing for a couple of days.

The expiatory work of Christ is (a) exactly adapted indifferently to each and every man; (b) is sufficient for all; (c) is offered in good faith to each man to whom the gospel comes; (d) it removes all legal obstacles out of God’s way to the salvation of any one indifferently whom he pleases; (e) it makes salvation in an objective sense possible to every one to whom it is offered, if he has, or as soon as he obtains, the necessary subjective condition, faith


  1. Tim Prussic said,

    Alright, dudes, here’s how I see it breakin’ down. If this were Chuck Finney, this quote would be no fun. It has to be iconoclastic to be fun. It seems like a long shot, but I’m gunna say Calvin.

    I remember reading letter B word for word in his _Institutes_, and I was impressed by that. Calvin seems unlikely, but I’m gunna take the shot.

    Let me have it, Trey!

  2. Trey Austin said,

    Yes, Tim, Calvin was big on the univsersal sufficiency of Christ’s work, and i love what he says about how Christ is available to all men, but this is not Calvin.

    Keep guessing. 🙂

  3. al said,

    Ummm… John Murray… Redemption Accomplished and Applied

    al sends

  4. Trey Austin said,

    Not John Murray either.

    Actually, it is the respected Dr. Archibald Alexander Hodge, son of Charles Hodge, and sometime professor and principal of Princeton Seminary. It is from his book entitled “The Atonement.”

    Here’s my question: what Calvinist professors do you know today who would affirm what he affirms about the nature of the Atonement? Who would read those statements and see them as contradicting the doctrine of “limited atonement”?

  5. Tim Prussic said,

    Once again, the closing of the Calvinistic mind. Like Jordan says, we used to write big thick books AND read them.

    I wouldn’t have guesssed A.A. Hodge, as I have not read too much of him.

  6. Trey Austin said,

    I think of W.G.T. Shedd’s “Calvinism Pure and Mixed,” where he objected to the revision of the Westminster Confession that later followed in the early 20th century on the grounds that the WCF already affirmed the things that those who wanted to revise the Confession wanted to include. However, if you talked to alot of people, nothing in the Confession says what the revision says about the Gospel and God’s love for all men. In fact, having been a member of the ARP Church (which revised the Confession to include those chapters that the PCUS and PCUSA added years earlier), i know several people who think that the revision’s statement about the work of Christ is “Arminian.”

    Here’s what it says. See if there’s anything in it different than the heart of what Dr. Hodge, the younger wrote as i quoted above.

    WCF (ARP Version), chapter 35:1-3:

    GOD in infinite and perfect love, having provided in the covenant of grace, through the mediation and sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, as way of life and salvation, sufficient for and adapted to the whole lost race of man, doth freely offer this salvation to all men in the gospel.

    In the gospel God declares his love for the world and his desire that all men should be saved; reveals fully and clearly the only way of salvation; promises eternal life to all who truly repent and believe in Christ; invites and commands all to embrace the offered mercy; and by his Spirit accompanying the word pleads with men to accept his gracious invitation.

    It is the duty and privilege of everyone who hears the gospel immediately to accept its merciful provisions; and they who continue in impenitence and unbelief incur aggravated guilt and perish by their own fault.

  7. Tim Prussic said,

    Yeah… I’m pretty uncomfortable with, well, all of that. The Bible Pres Church (of which I’m a licentiate member) has a delcaratory statement that reads very much like the first paragraph above.
    My issue is that I don’t know what being gained by being sounding so Arminian. What does “adapted to all” really mean? The second paragraph sounds just like an Arminaian revival message. I think we can distance ourselves from such phraseology and still get the point across that the Gospel is to be preached to all and calls all to Christ.
    The third paragraph seem problematic starting with the word “privilege.” What in the heck is that supposed to mean? Further, we’re certainly condemned for not receiving the gospel, but also for other things including Adam’s sin. However, it’s rightly said that sinners perish by their own fault.

    Anyway, I guess I’m a bit unhappy with such language.

  8. tempe said,


    Check out the Piper post on my blog (www.gairneybridge.reformedblogs.com) and let me know what you think.

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