Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Did Jesus Die for Your Sins? Definitely Maybe

I didn't know until today that limited atonement has been re-branded as "definite atonement". I learned this through the title of a new book that attempts to justify and expound that most monstrous of doctrines that, in effect, tells people that the god they should love definitely does not love some people as much as he loves others, and this for no other reason than the sheer arbitrariness of this god's free will. Such a god immediately fails the Anselmian test by failing to be "a being than which nothing greater can be conceived". Why are all these scholars/pastors/historians/theologians/philosophers so desperate for this god to be God?

Perhaps I am too quick to speak of competing gods here, but this does raise an important question: At what point do descriptions of god differ such that they can no longer be said to be describing the same Being?


  1. Hi Declan

    I just wanted to say that reading your response to this book brought me a moment of real comfort this morning. I read about the book and watched the promo video and just felt a great sense of heaviness and weariness - not least because the book is edited by two young Northern Irish brothers who grew up in similar church circles to myself. I find it utterly, utterly depressing.

    Anyway, sometimes it's just good to know you're not the only one!

    Also, I check in on your blog regularly and constantly find it stimulating and refreshing. Thanks!


  2. I didn't see the video until now, but Jonny Gibson is right - the book is "primarily offensive."

    I am curious to actually, you know, read the book, though I am worried about how depressed and angry it might make me. We'll see.

    Thanks for the comment, and just to show that we're not alone, David Bentley Hart calls the doctrine of definite atonement "heresy"! (reference to follow)