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Redemption Redeemed: A Puritan Defense of Unlimited Atonement, Expanded Edition [Paperback]

By John Goodwin (Author) & John D. Wagner (Editor)
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Item description for Redemption Redeemed: A Puritan Defense of Unlimited Atonement, Expanded Edition by John Goodwin & John D. Wagner...

John Goodwin (1593-1665), the eminent Puritan Arminian divine, was a man ahead of his time who lived in a turbulent and eventful era in which many principals, both theological and governmental, were subjects of controversy.

In "Redemption Redeemed," completed in 1650, he provides a superb defense of the Biblical position of unlimited atonement. This work is an adversarial treatise in which he, step by step, examines the overwhelming scriptural and theological evidence that Christ died for all mankind. Goodwin also refutes the opposing Calvinistic arguments of his day and argues that God, through his grace, provides the opportunity for all people to be saved. Some of Goodwin's thoughts on God's foreknowledge, election and decrees are included as well.

The Methodist Quarterly Review noted: "Had 'Redemption Redeemed' been his only publication, it should have been enough in itself to perpetuate his (Goodwin's) fame. Its great learning, clear reasoning, sound judgment, and admirable spirit, render it worthy of the study of the lovers of this glorious doctrine, and the name of its author is one which all Arminians should delight to honor. A volume so ably written, and going to the bottom of the controversy, could not in that polemic age fail of creating a storm."

In the contemporary period, as Christians enter the 21st Century and Calvinisn with its disturbing implications is making a resurgence, Goodwin's master work is a welcome and much needed contribution to those seeking to understand the truths of God's word.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Pages   331
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.48" Width: 6" Height: 0.69"
Weight:   0.95 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2004
Publisher   Wipf & Stock Publishers
ISBN  1592447309  
ISBN13  9781592447305  

Availability  0 units.

More About John Goodwin & John D. Wagner

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! John Goodwin has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Leicester.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Christology
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Soteriology

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Reviews - What do customers think about Redemption Redeemed: A Puritan Defense of Unlimited Atonement, Expanded Edition?

Redemption Redeemed a Must!  Jun 25, 2008
This is an invaluable companion tool to possess alongside your Bible for defending the biblical doctrine of an Unlimited Atonement of Christ Jesus. John D. Wagner has done the body of Christ an immense service in editing this treasure of a book.

John Goodwin (1593-1665), a Calvinist-turned-Arminian Puritan, defends the biblical doctrine of Unlimited Atonement utilizing both Scripture, church history, and logic. He leaves no stone unturned, but covers the subject in an exhaustive style. He even quotes from the likes of Luther, Melancthon, Chemnitius, and Calvin himself, demonstrating from their own writings the presence of a Universal Atonement, highlighting the fact that though Christ's sacrifice is sufficient to cover each and every individual, even intending (p. 129) to cover all people, His redemption will only be applied to the believer.

In an age when the false assumptions of Calvinism is growing, this book stands as a beacon of hope, exhorting every believer to preach and teach the atoning sacrifice of the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (John 1.29). What John Owen's 'The Death of Death in the Death of Christ' is to the Calvinist, so is John Goodwin's 'Redemption Redeemed' to the Arminian. No other book I have read covers the doctrine with such thoroughness and clarity.
The Best Defense of Unlimited Atonement I've Ever Read  May 4, 2008
John Goodwin, in his classic work Redemption Redeemed, presents us with a thorough examination of the doctrine of Unlimited Atonement, and should be a staple in any Arminian's library. Redemption Redeemed could potentially have the same sort of impact on Christian thinkers as John Edwards' Freedom of the Will, and if not, it should (in my humble opinion, Goodwin blows Edwards out of the water). The work is detailed and covers a broad range of Bible passages and relevant subjects. The language bears some of the seventeenth century style and therefore will be difficult for the average modern reader, but take your time and it will pay off. There is a lot of content, so I'll note a few examples.

In chapter 2, Goodwin focused on passages which state that God desired to save or propitiated for all men. At the forefront is 1 Timothy 2:1-6, where for example we read that "he wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (verse 4). What is especially handy here is that he not only did he provide a solid interpretation of this passage, he addressed specifically the various arguments of Calvinists that "all men" doesn't mean "all men." He demolished the interpretation of "all men" as "some of all sorts of men" thoroughly, an argument which is still frequently used today by Internet Calvinists. An aside, one observation you will walk away with from this book is that there is nothing new in Calvinist arguments, and folks like Goodwin already dealt with and refuted many arguments centuries ago, which are still propagated today.

There are many other relevant passages that Goodwin drew from, including many which I never thought of as supporting Unlimited Atonement until now. Chapter 5 started with the Parable of the Wedding Banquet, Matthew 22:1-10. As you may recall, the parable outlines a situation where a king's invitation to a banquet gets rejected by his friends. As a result the king instead invites average people off the street. The original invitees were symbolic of the Jews who rejected Christ and the gospel. Goodwin noted from this that as the king intended the banquet for his friends, God intended His grace to be for Jews first. Entailing from this, Christ died for Jewish people who would go on to reject Him. If this is the case then Christ died for people who wouldn't be saved, and therefore He died for all men. Now initially, it doesn't seem to logically follow, but think about it for a moment. If Christ died for one person who would ultimately be condemned, why would he not die for all others? Since God is not partial, one has to conclude that either Christ died only for the elect, or for all people. Since Christ died for some who were not elect, we are left with the only alternative, that He died for all people.

Goodwin was careful in his definition of Unlimited Atonement, neither providing a definition agreeable to Calvinists nor sliding down the slippery slope into Universalism. He spent a good portion of Chapter 6 explaining why the Arminian doctrine doesn't lead to Universalism and then refuted Universalism itself.

Redemption Redeemed is clearly an excellent work. There is much more that I haven't covered here, but I hope this review has whetted your appetite for a good, solid defense of the Arminian doctrine of Unlimited Atonement.
A Puritan Defense of God's Love & Grace  Apr 20, 2008
It should be obvious to any objective student of the Word that the Calvinist doctrine commonly known as Limited Atonement did not come about through an inductive exegesis of the Scriptures, but instead through a rigid system of deductive logic imposed upon it. Although I have read and reviewed other books on this vitally important subject, I appreciated the fact that Puritan John Goodwin treats some passages not usually considered in some of the more modern works, and that he comes at it as a contemporary of the scholastic John Owen. Overall, it becomes blatantly and wonderfully obvious that God has indeed woven the doctrine of General Redemption throughout all of His Word!

In spite of the sometimes-heavy Puritan style of writing, I have to give this work a high rating for the following reasons:

As with all points of the Calvinist T.U.L.I.P., we find, and Goodwin reveals, that their "horrible decree" of Reprobation is always lurking in the shadows. Since, in their logic, God has in eternity past "decreed" that the vast majority of the human race were to be created by Him as already damned, and that that even "pleased" Him, why should Christ pay the ransom for their sins? This scholastic presupposition inexorably drags them to this end in spite of any normative interpretation of the many verses of Scripture involved. This error has forced Calvinism to become more philosophic and systematic than the Bible allows. In fact, Owen's notorious work "The Death of Death" is shown to be based on a faulty premise of "double payment".

Evangelism 101
Most importantly, and thus the importance of works like Goodwin's, is the sad and practical result of this doctrine: Limited Atonement deadens hearts to the fact of God's love manifest throughout the Scriptures to all sinners without exception. As Goodwin so aptly points out, "In all these Scriptures, with their fellows, evident it is that salvation is held forth and promised by God unto all, without exception, that shall believe; yea, that it is offered and promised unto all men, upon the condition of believing, whether they believe or no. So that, upon such declarations of the gracious and good pleasure of God toward the universality of men as these, the minister of the gospel, or any other men, may with truth, and ought of duty upon occasion, say to every particular soul of man under heaven, "If thou believest thou shalt be saved," even as Paul saith that he preached Christ, "warning EVERY man, and teaching EVERY man in all wisdom, that we might present EVERY man perfect in Christ Jesus" Colos. i.28. Yea, this apostle, saith, that God "now commandeth all men every where to repent, " Acts xvii. 30".

Goodwin's quote of Melanchthon puts it this way, "It is necessary to know that the gospel is a universal promise, i.e. that reconciliation" with God "is offered and promised to all men." And " it is necessary to hold fast against" any "dangerous conceits about predestination, lest we fall to reason thus, that this promise belongeth to some few others, but doth not belong unto us. But let us be resolved of this, that the promise of the gospel is universal. For as the preaching of repentance is universal, so the preaching of remission of sins is universal also. But that all men do not obtain the promises of the gospel," i.e. the things here promised, "it ariseth from hence, that all men do not believe."

This explains why, historically, Calvinists in general have always been so detached from missions and evangelism. Any objective study of men like Carey and Spurgeon reveals that they were at best "non-conformist" Calvinists and consequently persecuted by many of their own "brethren".

In addition, in chapter 8, Goodwin lists 32 noteworthy fathers of the early church, including St. Augustine, along with various synods and councils, which all held to General Redemption. Although this is not in itself authoritative, as their writings were not inspired, it is nonetheless interesting to note that this was without a doubt the view held by the vast majority in the church from the Apostles to even past Calvin's day. However inconsistent Calvin's teaching may have been in the conception of Limited Atonement, it was in fact, as Goodwin states, Calvin's disciple Beza who gave birth to it, and the Synod of Dort who fostered it. For those who call themselves "Augustinians" it should be rather ironic to note that part of St. Augustine's attack against the Pelagian error of his day was "to hold that Christ died not for all men" (p. 285). According to St. Augustine Limited Atonement is Pelgianism!

One last note, non-Arminian readers should be aware that Goodwin repeatedly states that a believer, although once saved, can lose his salvation. Statements like "...salvation is never conferred upon any man but upon his believing and continuance in believing unto the end", and believers must "believe perseveringly" bear this out (e.g. pg. 191).

For those who are looking for further biblical studies on General Redemption, please be sure to reference THE DEATH CHRIST DIED a Case for Unlimited Atonement by Robert Lightner, Did Christ Die Only for the Elect? A Treatise on the Extent of Christ's Atonement by Norman Douty, and the mediate position advocated in Getting the Gospel Right: A Balanced View of Calvinism and Arminianism by C. Gordon Olson (esp. Chap. 16).
Comprehensive Treatment of Atonement Coverage  Mar 17, 2008
This excellent work is the most comprehensive treatment of Atonement Coverage I have seen. Not only does it encompass the broadest scope of Biblical texts in an exegetically accurate, responsible way, but it cites commentaries and works of theologians from Calvin and Melanchthon to authors contemporary to Puritan John Goodwin. These citations show that the L of TULIP is unfounded, both in careful Bible scholarship and by the observations of these noted scholars themselves.

I heartily recommend this work not only to those sympathetic toward "God so loved the (literal population of the entire) World"; "Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the World (literal earth's population)" viewpoint. But also those disposed to "God so loved the (representative segments in the world) 'elect'"; "Look the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the (savable, atonable sectors of humanity) 'elect'."
Goodwin - Redemption Redeemed  Mar 2, 2008
Goodwin, a rare Arminian Puritan, admirably defends unlimited atonement. Goodwin primarily argues from scripture, but he also provides some arguments from reason and church history. Goodwin's primary scriptural arguments are based on passages saying Christ died for the world, passages saying Christ died for all, the universal offer the gospel, passages saying Christ died for those that ultimately perish, and passages saying God wants none to perish. Goodwin then clearly explains what "unlimited atonement" does and does not mean. Goodwin finishes up with giving solid reasons why Christ died for all and reviewing the historical position of the Church on the issue.

Goodwin provides a unique level of depth on the issues. For example, he goes over the word "world" in great detail, and then reduces multiple Calvinist interpretations of passages like John 3:16 to absurdities. Goodwin covers multiple Calvinist counterarguments to all of his arguments. Through detailed explanations of his position, and contrasts with Calvinists views from multiple angles, Goodwin crystallizes the Arminian viewpoint on the extent of the atonement.

Along the way of accomplishing his mission of defending unlimited atonement, Goodwin gives the reader some real gems. Among my favorites were Goodwin's explanation of the will of God as well as his explanation on conditional election.

Goodwin's style is similar to most Puritans and as such Redemption Redeemed is a tough read. One could use Redemption Redeemed as a reference tool. There's a comprehensive index of scripture references in the back. But my advice would be to put the work in and reap the full reward! It's well worth it.

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