Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Limited Atonement and 2 Peter 2:1

As I explained in episode 44 of my podcast, in some recent email and phone interaction with Jim Wallace of the Please Convince Me podcast, we came to agree that John 6:37 made a compelling case for the Calvinist doctrine of Irresistible Grace, which teaches that everyone whom the Father chooses for salvation will inevitably come to faith in Jesus Christ. (I understand many of you reading may disagree; please wait to comment on that passage until I get to the "I" in my "TULIP" podcast series.) But shortly thereafter, someone who commented on the PCM Facebook page linked to a debate betweeen Dr. James White and Michael Brown (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3), and in part 3 of that debate, Brown challenged Dr. White with 2 Peter 2:1 which reads,

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.

I had not realized the challenge this verse seems to present to the doctrines of Limited Atonement and/or Perseverance of the Saints, but Brown explained it well. Notice that here Peter seems to explicitly say that the "false teachers" were "bought" by "the Master," bringing destruction upon themselves. Limited Atonement and Perseverance of the Saints together assert that Jesus died only for the elect (and not every human being) and that the elect will forever remain in Christ through faith, but this verse seems to suggest that Jesus died even for those false teachers who once were among the believers but later denied Christ.

This seemed to me to be a pretty formidable challenge, and so I waited anxiously to hear Dr. White's response, and thereafter did some additional research. I no longer think this particular challenge is very persuasive, and here's why.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Episode 44: Mail Call Time

Episode 44 of the Theopologetics Podcast is now available! In this episode, I read some recent feedback from listeners and my responses, discussing Oneness Pentecostalism, Israelology and the Calvinist doctrines of Total Depravity and Irresistible Grace.