Have you ever started to make a point in a discussion, and soon you feel like you missed it. “It” being whatever you really wanted to say.
Yesterday I was discussing “Limited Atonement”.
Now, this is not a common topic! The general idea is that Jesus died to take away sin – and that taking away of sin is only for a limited few.
Of course, theologians for centuries have debated this idea. The alternative is “Universal Atonement” which says that Jesus takes away the sin of all people.
In this case, our discussion ended up centering on the effect of believing the doctrine of “Limited Atonement”. Prayer for sinners is negated and missions is futile. At least in the extreme form of the doctrine.
In reflecting, I think the discussion was supposed to be about the actual doctrine – the reference points in the Bible, the logic of the idea, the truthfulness of the concept.
Two men, a few centuries ago (Calvin and Arminius) took on that task. In the end neither of them agreed, even though they used the same Bible and worked with the same principles of logic. For the following centuries we have been trying to figure out what they said and to trying to figure out what we believe.
I’m convinced that the words to the answer bring us somewhere in the middle. That makes sense to me.
What do you think?