An Exegetical Defense of Definite Atonement: Introduction
Imagine if you will a situation in which a headlight on your new car blew and you found that the design of the headlight fixture was so unusual that you needed to consult the owner’s manual of the car in order to know how to fix it. Flipping through the owner’s manual, you find that the headlights are mentioned in several different sections– sections devoted to topics like “Driving Safety” and “Your Car’s Electrical System.” Now, reading through these sections might tell you many things about your car’s headlights. But if there was a section specifically devoted to the topic “Headlights,” then it would make the most sense to turn to this section first to find out the answer to the question, “How do I change my headlights?” Relying on other parts of the owner’s manual alone, rather than examining the most relevant section, may actually lead you to wrong conclusions about how to change your headlights and cause great frustration to you and to others. In a similar way, when looking to examine a particular doctrine found in Scripture, one should begin by exploring the section of God’s Word that is most relevant to the discussion of the teaching in question and not by trying to draw conclusions from various other Bible passages.
So, when asking a specific question regarding the atonement made by Christ on the cross, we must diligently search the Scriptures for sections that explore this doctrine in depth and form our understanding of Christ’s work based on these sections and not on isolated verses. In my next few posts, it is my intention to briefly examine one passage dealing specifically with the atonement, to explore how this passage teaches the perfection of the atonement, and to explain how the teaching of the perfection of the atonement found in this passage is only consistent with the doctrine commonly referred to as the “particular,” “definite,” or “limited” view of the extent of the atonement.