Skip to content

AA Hodge on the revision of the sufficient-efficient formula

September 13, 2007

AA Hodge:

The question, then, (1) does not  relate to the SUFFICIENCY of the satisfaction rendered by Christ  to secure the salvation of all men. The Reformed Churches uniformly taught that no man has ever yet perished, or ever will perish. for want of an atonement. All Calvinists agree in maintaining earnestly that Christ’s obedience and sufferings were of infinite intrinsic value in the eye of law, and that there was no need for him to obey or to suffer an iota more nor a moment longer in order to secure, if God so willed, the salvation of every man, woman, and child that ever lived. No man can have a moment’s thought upon the subject who acknowledges the supreme divinity of the glorious Victim. It is insisted upon by Turretin, Witsius, and by John Owen,” as earnestly as it is by Jenkyn or Barnes. It is consequently utterly irrelevant to the question in hand, when Barnes closes his argument to prove that Christ died in order to make the salvation of all men  indiscriminately possible, with the plea that after eighteen hundred years the stream of Atonement is found unexhausted alike in its volume and its virtues. Surely this is even less than the glorious truth. It will be none the less true after eighteen millions of years. But this question as never heen debated by the Reformed Churches. We unite with all other Christians in glorying in the infinite sufficiency of the satisfaction of Christ to reach and to save all men who have been or who will be created or creatable. The Atonement, 328-329.

The Schoolmen mere accustomed to affirm that Christ died sufficienter pro omnibus, efficienter pro e1ectis; and this form of expression was adopted by Calvin [Commentaries, 1 John 2:2] and by the early Reformed theologians, previous to the thorough sifting of this subject occasioned  by the speculations of the French theologians Cameron, Amyraldus, Testardus, &c. This scholastic expression is inaccurate and inadequate rather than false. Christ did die sufficienter pro omnibus, but as an element of his design this otherwise inoperative and futile purpose must have been in thought, precisely as it is in execution, altogether subsidiary as a means to an end to his real–because actually accomplished–purpose of effecting the salvation of his elect. In other words, the actual ends effected are the exact measure of the real ends designed. 

AA Hodge, The Atonement, (London: T. Nelson and Sons, 1868), 333.

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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

%d bloggers like this: