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#38059 Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:53 AM
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Heidelberg Catechism Question 37 says:

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Question 37. What dost thou understand by the words, "He suffered"?

Answer: That he, all the time that he lived on earth, but especially at the end of his life, sustained in body and soul, the wrath of God against the sins of all mankind: that so by his passion, as the only propitiatory sacrifice, he might redeem our body and soul from everlasting damnation, and obtain for us the favour of God, righteousness and eternal life.

Does the Heidelberg not teach particular and definite atonement? There is nothing in the context to tell me it means every race, or Jews and Gentiles alike.


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
MarieP #38060 Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:05 AM
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I'm curious, do you take "the sins of all mankind" to mean that Heidleberg does not teach particular and definite atonement? I've not read the HC, so I can't speak to what it does or doesn't teach, but I hold an alternitive view of particular atonement, that of particular redemption. I believe that Christ died to atone for the sins of the world, but that atonement is only effective for those He redeemed. From the quoted Question, I don't see that HC is teaching against particular atonement, rather I see that it teaches the fullness of what Christ suffered on the cross.

In Christ,
Matthew


"Those who go down to the Sea in Ships
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Matthew said:
. . . but I hold an alternitive view of particular atonement, that of particular redemption. I believe that Christ died to atone for the sins of the world, but that atonement is only effective for those He redeemed.
I apologize up front and confess I am going [Linked Image] with my question. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" />

The question is simple enough: Is the term "particular redemption" as you define it, actually represent Amyraldianism?

My reason for asking is that historically, particular redemption has been used as a synonym for Definite Atonement or Limited Atonement which holds that Christ suffered the penalty for only the elect, albeit IF He had intended to do so, His sacrifice would have been sufficient for the entire human race. This is decidedly different than saying that He "atoned for the sins of the world", w/o qualification.

In His grace,


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Marie,

Long time no see!

Even though we are Congregationalists, we use the the Heidelberg for adult catechesis. Here are several factors that I find helpful.

First, the historical context. Jacobius Arminius was only 3 years old at the time the HC was written (1563). While he could have been starting to think about the extent of the efficacy of the atonement, it is certain that the particular twist he gave to the Gospel would not be widely circulated until several decades later. In 1563 "all mankind" would not have been the hot-button phrase it would become later when misused as a supposed prop for Arminianism.

Second, the context within the HC. Extent and efficacy are addressed in part prior to Q.37:
Quote
Q.20 Will all men, then, be saved through Christ as they became lost through Adam?
No. Only those who, by true faith, are incorporated into him and accept all his benefits

Q.30 Do those who seek their salvation and well-being from saints, by their own efforts, or by other means really believe in the only Savior Jesus?

No. Rather, by such actions they deny Jesus, the only Savior and Redeemer, even though they boast of belonging to him. It therefore follows that either Jesus is not a perfect Savior, or those who receive this Savior with true faith must possess in him all that is necessary for their salvation.

Third, the Heidelberg is neither primarily a systematic theology nor an evangelistic tool. Its primary audience is the believier; its language is pastoral; its first goal is to strengthen, comfort and disciple the new--and even old--Christian.


In Christ,
Paul S
Pilgrim #38063 Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:06 PM
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Pilgrim said:
I apologize up front and confess I am going [Linked Image] with my question. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" />

The question is simple enough: Is the term "particular redemption" as you define it, actually represent Amyraldianism?

My reason for asking is that historically, particular redemption has been used as a synonym for Definite Atonement or Limited Atonement which holds that Christ suffered the penalty for only the elect, albeit IF He had intended to do so, His sacrifice would have been sufficient for the entire human race. This is decidedly different than saying that He "atoned for the sins of the world", w/o qualification.

In His grace,

I'm going to confess now, I had no idea what Amyraldianism is, so I had to do a little research. The little that I read from Wikipedia seems to state in a very basic sense what I hold to; that is, "God has provided Christ's atonement for all alike, but seeing that none would believe on their own, he then elected those whom he will bring to faith in Christ, thereby preserving the Calvinist doctrine of unconditional election." (posted from Wikipedia: Amyraldism)

I hold to the belief that Christ death was to atone for the 'sin of the world' (Jn. 1.29) That Christ died not just for our sins (the elect) but also for that of the world and that His sacrifice was not just a propitiation for the sins of the elect, but also for thos of the world (1 Jn. 2.2)

I do not beleive, however, that because Christ died for the sins of the world, or that He is the propitiation for the sins of the world that He necessarily redeemed everyone. While death 'takes a way the sins of the world' and made 'propitiation for sin', He only redeemed the elect. That is, His death made possible the redemption of the elect while it was a satisfaction for the sins of the world. By my understand of limited atonement, Christ death was not a satisfaction for the sins of the world, but only and necessarily for the elect. Since I do not believe this, I cannot accept the term 'limited atonement', thus I choose 'limited redemption'.

Many have said that this is just semantics, but words are powerful and hold significant meaning. Words are chosen specifically for a reason, and these words define what we say and what we believe. Perhaps my definition is not the normal one for limited redeption, and perhaps what I call limited redeption is what others call limited atonement after a fashion, but I doubt it. My fellow elders in my church don't quite see this the same way, but we all agree and hold to the basic belief that Christ died especially for the elect, and that only the elect are saved, redeemed, justified, sanctified, preserved and ultimately glorified.

I hope this helped.

Blessings in Christ,
Matthew


"Those who go down to the Sea in Ships
Who do Business on great Waters;
They have seen the Works of the LORD,
And His Wonders in the Deep."
-Ps. 107:23-24
Matthew #38064 Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:22 PM
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Matthew,

Thanks for taking the time to respond and confirm my suspicions re: terms used. Although I cannot find biblical support for Amyraldianism due to the inherent nature of Christ's atonement; i.e., it actually accomplished that which was purposed, according to the eternal predestination of God, I do understand why some hold to that position.

And, just in case you haven't read Jim Elliot's article on this subject, you can find it here: Sufficient for All.

Now.. I'll retreat from my off-topic question and gladly go [Linked Image]


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Matthew #38065 Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:45 AM
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MarieP Offline OP
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I hold to the belief that Christ death was to atone for the 'sin of the world' (Jn. 1.29) That Christ died not just for our sins (the elect) but also for that of the world and that His sacrifice was not just a propitiation for the sins of the elect, but also for those of the world (1 Jn. 2.2)

Matthew, thinking on these questions helped me alot:

1. What do the words "atonement" and "propitiation" mean?

2. Was this really done for everyone (including those in Hell, most of whom never had the "chance" of hearing the Gospel, btw)? If so, why are they there? Why would Jesus die for them?

3. Can you separate atonement/propitiation from Christ's intercession (hint: see Isaiah 53)?


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin

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