Book: Currently Reading – Sovereign Grace: An Examination of the Five Points of Calvinism, by Brian Schwertley

We continue with this post the book, ‘Sovereign Grace: An Examination of the Five Points of Calvinism,’ by Brian Schwertley. This week we look at chapter 3, ‘Limited Atonement.’

Please read the book – it really is a great read which I heartily recommend.


Chapter 3: Limited Atonement


See also:

Particular Baptist Reading Group:

The Sovereign Grace: An Examination of the Five Points of Calvinism Discussion Page:

The Full Book in PDF format:


One response to “Book: Currently Reading – Sovereign Grace: An Examination of the Five Points of Calvinism, by Brian Schwertley

  1. Hey there,

    If I may, here is a selection the sort of replies one can make against that author’s claims.

    1) Matt 1:21. Is the people there the 1) Jews 2) believers, or 3) the elect per se?

    If it is 1 or 2, then there is no case here for limited satisfaction. Further, it does not specify exclusivity with regard to the nature of the satisfaction, only, at most, to the extent, that is, the designed end of the satisfaction, the salvation of the people. In classical Calvinism, many distinguished between the extent and intent (to apply), as the former was for all the sins of all men, and the latter was the effectual intention to apply the benefits of Christ death to the elect alone. More can be said on this, but that should do for now. For at least, Schwertly begs the question.

    2) John 10. The stress here is not on Jesus allegedly dying ONLY for the sheep, but that he lays down his life for the sheep. One cannot infer a universal or category negation from a simple positive. Dabney for example, rightly says, “In proof of the general correctness of this theory of the extent of the Atonement, we should attach but partial force to some of the arguments advanced by Symington and others, or even by Turrettin, e.g., That Christ says, He died “for His sheep,” for “His Church,” for “His friends,” is not of itself conclusive. The proof of a proposition does not disprove its converse. All the force which we could properly attach to this class of passages is the probability arising from the frequent and emphatic repetition of this affirmative statement as to a definite object.” Dabney, Lectures, p., 521.

    3) The Many. Calvin, for example, rightly notes that the phrase “the many,” in Hebrew sometimes stands for all, as in Romans 5. All and Many are used interchangeably. And given that 1 Tim 2:4 is most likely a paraphrase and of Mk 10:45, it is interesting that Paul switches to “all.”

    4) Other passages. Acts 20:28 speaks to the visible church, of which the elders had oversight. It is not the invisible church, but the church made up of elect and non-elect. Rev 5:9-10 speaks to redemption applied, to believers, cf the remention of this group in Rev 14. There is no hint here that Christ only died for the 144 000. And its clearly inappropriate to build such a doctrine on complex symbolic statements. These men have been redeemed, as they actually follow the lamb and actually have their robes washed, etc. Even and Arminian could assent to that.

    5) The actuality of redemption. It is clear enough that no one was saved at the time of the cross (the penitent thief is another category). There are a few sundry arguments that are invalid. No verse or verses entails that all for whom Christ dies, he effectually prays for. Rather, Hebrews is clear that he prays for all who come to him, for all who have been sanctified/perfected by the sacrifice, ie believers.

    I will stop there for now. If you want to, I am more than willing to continue a conversation.

    Thanks for your time,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s