Friday, December 25, 2009

William Cunningham: Arminians err fatally on the doctrine of the atonement

William Cunningham pinpoints the Arminian deviations from the biblical doctrine of Christ's atonement in substituting Himself to satisfy the requirements of the Law for His chosen people to reconcile them to God:

The Arminians, holding the universality of the atonement, and rejecting the doctrine of election, regard the death of Christ as equally fitted, and equally intended, to promote the spiritual welfare and eternal salvation of all men. ... Arminians teach that Christ, by his sufferings and death, impetrated or procured pardon and reconciliation for all men ... in substance, he removed legal obstacles, and opened a door for God to bestow pardon and reconciliation upon all who would accept. The reason why they do not receive is because they refuse the offer made to them. Contrast: WCOF -- “To all those for whom Christ hath purchased redemption, he doth certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same.” An impetration which may possibly not be followed by application ... which will leave many for whom it was undertaken and effected, to perish forever, unpardoned and unreconciled, -- does not correspond with, or come up to, the doctrines of substitution and satisfaction taught us in Scripture ... Reconciliation was purchased by Christ’s sacrifice of himself, and purchased for certain men. Remember: the nature of the atonement determines its extent. Those who hold to universal atonement, in a greater and lesser degree, have defective and erroneous views with respect to the substitution and satisfaction of Christ. (William Cunningham, Historical Theology)

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