X Close Menu

John Owen on Limited Atonement

1

One of the more challenging books I have read in my life, a book, in the reading of which I found myself actually learning how to think, is John Owen’s (1616-83), The Death of Death in the Death of Christ. It has long been recognized as the most persuasive biblical and theological defense of definite atonement. The latter is the doctrine that it was only for the elect of God that Jesus suffered and died and exhausted the wrath that we deserved.

I seriously doubt if many of you will take the time and make the necessary effort to read Owen’s book, so here is a brief summation of its principal argument. Enjoy!

The Father imposed His wrath due unto, and the Son underwent punishment for, either:

1. All the sins of all men, or

2. All the sins of some men, or

3. Some of the sins of all men.

In which case it may be said:

1. That if the last be true, all men have some sins to answer for, and so, none are saved.

2. That if the second be true, then Christ, in their stead suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the whole world, and this is the truth.

3. But if the first be the case, why are not all men free from the punishment due unto their sins?

You answer,“Because of unbelief.”

I ask, Is this unbelief a sin, or is it not? If it be, then Christ suffered the punishment due unto it, or He did not. If He did, why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which He died? If He did not, He did not die for all their sins!

 

1 Comment

The question has a lot of hidden assumptions in it.
Let me pose a similar question to you holding to the same Assumptions -
Eph2: says about the elect - Indeed, all of us once behaved like them in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of our flesh and senses. By nature we were destined for wrath, just like everyone else. (ISV)

If Jesus has undergone punishment for the Sins of the elect, why does Paul teach that they are were under God's wrath until they believed?- Why is God still angry?

Either Paul is wrong.. or The benefits of Jesus' sacrifice become effective for a person only upon believing in Him. In that case, even if Jesus dies for everyone, those who did not believe in Him continue to remain under God's wrath.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do not change this field:

SPAM protection (do not modify):
Do not change this field: