Reviews - What do customers think about Did Christ Die Only for the Elect? A Treatise on the Extent of Christ's Atonement?
Douty's Fine Work Feb 12, 2008
Formerly titled 'The Death of Christ,' Norman Douty's fine work is essential reading for any who want to sort out the 'Limited Atonement/Unlimited Atonement' arguments once and for all. In this book the writer goes through the relevant Scriptures with great care so that, by the times the book is concluded, there really should be no confusion left on this vital point. Douty is also able to freely quote main protagonists from both sides of the fence as only a man of considerable study and learning can do; in fact, Douty was a past president of Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary. There is no doubt, of course, that it is Unlimited Atonement which is the true biblical teaching as even Calvin was prepared to admit towards the end of his life and before the dark curtain of Hyper-Calvinism closed in. This quite small but outstanding book really should be better known and at UK Apologetics ([...]) we strongly recommend it.
Truly A Seminal Work. Dec 19, 2006
This is a reprint of Norman Douty's most excellent "The Death of Christ," a treatise addressing the question, "Did Christ Die Only for the Elect?"
This small book is a priceless gem in the library of any preacher. The value of the book can perhaps best be measured by all of those in your library you can throw away after reading it.
I would say this is an especially nice gift to present to enthusiastic, bookish young men who are cluttering their shelves with John Owen's works, and other hyper-Calvinistic literature which, except for the grace of God, will keep them from understanding and the enjoyment of the Scriptures.
As a young man, I had the privilege and pleasure to have been introduced personally to Brother Douty by an old Southern Baptist preacher, and Douty sent me his book. I have been greatly helped by it, and keep it handy.
Douty demonstrates his thorough hold on the issues at stake in "limited atonement," and then tackles them head-on with three chapters of Scripture exposition.
Calvinism and Calvin have huge issues that lead to a system of thought closer to Romanism than Bible Christianity. Somehow those who follow this system populate their bookshelves like no others!
Jesus Christ paid an unfathomable price for the redemption of mankind. The doctrine of "Limited Atonement" cheapens that work by denominating it.
Douty has it right, and expounds it well, so the reader goes away realizing the inestimable value of the sacrificial, and substitutionary death of Jesus Christ.
The Truth of Unlimited Atonement Aug 19, 2006
This is an excellent book. It maintains a good spirit toward those with whom the author disagrees and deals with the real issues. John Owens' book, The Death of Death in Christ, is a focal point in this book. Whether you agree with the author or disagree, if you are studying the issue of limited atonement, this book is a must read.
He does not shy away from the difficulties of either side of the issue of limited atonement. He is a Moderate Calvinist who makes his case concisely, yet without dodging some major obstacle. His appeal is to scripture for all answers. To those who will try to paint him with an Arminian brush, they will find his reasoning solidly biblical and his positions unassailable.
Sola Scriptura or Sola Systema? Jan 18, 2006
Shall we interpret Scripture in light of a system of theology, or theology in light of Scripture? That seems to be the crux of the matter regarding what is called Limited Atonement or Definite Redemption. Rev. Douty has done an excellent job of stating the case for the Biblical view of the atonement. Along with Dr. Lightner's book Death Christ Died, The, the case should now be considered closed.
As anyone who has objectively studied this issue knows, Limited atonement is by far the weakest link in the strict Calvinist's all important T.U.L.I.P. Few of the limited redemptionists try to refute Douty & Lightner's works, because of the overwhelming evidence of Scripture that supports the Unlimited view they present. Not that all will be saved, but that a provision of salvation was made for all in the death of Christ. Calvinists who are truly seeking answers to this issue will likely appreciate Rev. Douty's respectful treatment of his opponents like Owen, the strength of his arguments based on Scripture, and their common ground of Covenant Theology.
I am also grateful to Rev. Douty's work for introducing me to J.C. Ryle. His quotes on the extent of the Atonement in the writings of John helped me immensely. Ryle seems to be a man who sincerely sought God's truth in light of Scripture alone, like Davenant and even Spurgeon. Calvinists and non-Calvinists alike should take a look at Ryle's tracts and sermons. His tract "Prove All Things" is a sobering look at how believers should "Prove all things by the Word of God" and not just accept all teaching and systems of theology blindly.
EVANGELISM: Most importantly-as history has shown, and as Douty & Lightner's works point out-the importance of this issue as to the extent of the atonement is critical to fulfilling Jesus' last command to believers, i.e. The Great Commission. It is not merely a theological debate, but highly practical issue as well. How will we present the Gospel, and whom will we present it to? Since the Scriptures clearly teach that we have Good News for lost men everywhere, is this Good News only for the elect? How can we sincerely offer to all men, as the Bible demands, what has not even been provided for them?
Rev. Douty's sections on God's love, the universal offer of the Gospel, and Doctrinal Themes such as imputation, atonement, and intercession will be helpful to all. In the course of three chapters, he goes on to list and defend 38 portions of Scripture that refer to the Unlimited extent of the atonement. There is also an interesting section that lists some 70 advocates of General Redemption from the Early Church fathers to the 20th century. Overall, this is a great study of an important subject that any objective student of the Bible will benefit from!
A good defense of biblical dualism with respect to the design of the atonement Jul 18, 2005
In this book, Norman Douty seeks to establish a two-fold aspect in the design of Christ's death. Contrary to the strictly limited atonement view of Owen, Pink and others, Douty returns to the older understanding, which argues that Christ suffered sufficiently for all, but efficiently for the elect. He points out how certain theologians of the past have taught this formula, but also that they have not agreed as to it's meaning and significance.
Douty is more like John Calvin than John Owen. He treats the scriptures fairly. He is not encumbered by Owenic categories and filters so as to make passages fit a decretal reading. Douty properly understands volitional complexity in God (distinctions between the "secret" and "revealed" will of God), and thus he builds a double aspect theory of the atonement (like John Calvin, Wolfgang Musculus, Augustine Marlorate, Zacharias Ursinus, David Pareus, Jacob Kimedoncius, Robert Rollock, James Ussher, John Davenant [and the other English and Bremen delegates at Dort], Amyraut, Richard Baxter, John Preston, Stephen Charnock, Edward Polhill, Henry Scudder, Ezekiel Culverwell, Edmund Calamy, John Arrowsmith, Robert Harris, Stephen Marshall, Lazarus Seaman, William Twisse, William Strong, William Bates, Richard Vines, John Howe, John Bunyan, R. L. Dabney, Charles Hodge, J. C. Ryle, W. G. T. Shedd and others who are similar). There is a sense in which Christ died for all men, and another sense in which he especially died for the elect. The particularity and limitation is in the efficacious decree to apply Christ's satisfaction via the Holy Spirit to the elect alone, but there is no intrinsic limitation to the death itself, or in the imputation of sin to Christ. In fact, there is a sense in which Christ intended to die for the salvation all men as John 3:16 says. There is nothing inconsistent about this. It's just an acknowledgement of the valid biblical distinction between God's secret (or decretal) will and his revealed (or preceptive) will. This distinction, which is found in Douty's theology, is very old. The church has taught the distinction since the early church fathers (see Ambrose and particularly St. Prosper).
Douty's concern is to read the scriptures fairly and accurately. He points out some of the logical and eisegetical fallacies of the limited (he means the "strictly" limited) view. Since the label "limited atonement" is vague, some may misunderstand what Douty is saying. Douty is really a dualist. He is neither Arminian (Christ died for all with the same intent or design), nor a High Calvinist (Christ intended to die ONLY for the elect). Douty's position is that Christ died for all men, but especially for the elect.
The burden of this book is to refute the strict view that attempts to make passages conform to God's decretal will. This strict view is the High Calvinist view (not even Calvin's own view) that is so prevalent in Calvinistic literature today. Douty's book offers a good corrective to this overly decretal theology, especially with the dangers of hyper-Calvinism gaining ground through the internet.
The arguments in Douty's book should not be neglected. Some Arminians may like the book, but that may be due to a lack of understanding Douty's dualism. Douty does not deny the depravity of man (moral inability) or God's sovereign election. He is only arguing for a bigger picture of God's love in Christ's death that includes his desire that all men repent and be saved, contrary to the strict view. Thus there is a sense in which Arminians and High Calvinists are both right, and a sense in which they are both wrong. They represent partial truths, and not the whole truth. However, most of Douty's arrows are aimed at High Calvinist half-truths. He is refuting their position in this book so that the church may return to a healthy understanding of the well-meant offer of the gospel as presented in scripture.
The arguments in this book must be wrestled with. He provides useful exegetical and historical arguments. I highly recommend this book for those who want to discover a view that is largely unknown and/or misunderstood. It's a good defense of biblical dualism with respect to the design of the Christ's death.
"That reprobate and deplorably wicked men do not receive it, is not through any defect in the grace of God, nor is it just, that, on account of of the children of perdition, it should lose the glory and title of universal redemption, since it is prepared for all, and all are called to it." Wolfgang Musculus Common Places, p. 151.