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Curt Daniel on The Work of the Trinity in the Work of Christ

July 28, 2008

“Then there is the argument from the Trinity. It is argued that if Christ died for all men equally, then there would be conflict within the Trinity. The Father chose only some and the Spirit regenerates only some, so how could the Son die for all men in general? Actually, this argument needs refinement. There are general and particular aspects about the work of each member of the Trinity. The Father loves all men as creatures, but gives special love only to the elect. The Spirit calls all men, but efficaciously calls only the elect. Similarly, the Son died for all men, but died in a special manner for the elect. We must keep the balance with each of these. If, on the one hand, we believe only in a strictly Limited Atonement, then we can easily back into a strictly particular work of the Father and the Spirit. The result is Hyper-Calvinism, rejecting both Common Grace and the universal Free Offer of the Gospel. On the other hand, if the atonement is strictly universal, then there would be disparity. The tendency would be towards Arminianism–the result would be to reject election and the special calling of the Spirit.”

Curt Daniel, The History and Theology of Calvinism (Good Books, 2003), 371.

Credit to Tony

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 28, 2008 10:13 pm

    I absolutely love this quote…it really hit me over the head the first time it was used to refute my ideas of the Trinity by some red head that I know


  2. CalvinandCalvinism permalink*
    July 29, 2008 9:07 am

    Hey Seth,

    I didn’t know Tony had red hair. I think he was the one who first found that quotation. The argument is really odd when you think it through. Indeed, a lot of arguments tabled by high Calvinists suffer from this sort of myopia, of reading their opponent through some sort of caricatured grid.

    For example, in the argument above, why should the high Calvinist imagine that a classic Calvinist should think that the Son’s desire should be at odds with the Father’s? at all?

    What is more, the high should know better, for the form of this argument is the same which is often used by hypercalvinists do claim that the Son could not have loved or desired to save those whom the Father has not loved, or desired to save, or elected, etc. We all refute that by positing the biblical distinctions in the love and will of God. But when it comes to the expiation, something else kicks in and folk forget the basics.

    I’ll slip in my reply to Josh here: thanks man, I owe it all to you (well an God too;).


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