Sunday, April 07, 2013

Renowned Commentator Albert Barnes on the Extent of the Atonement

From the SEA website.

Albert Barnes (1798-1870), who was a graduate of Princeton Seminary and a long-time Presbyterian pastor (in New Jersey and then Philadelphia), is well known for his Notes: Explanatory and Practical, which covers the entire New Testament and portions of the Old Testament. Despite being from a Calvinist denomination, he was a proponent of unlimited atonement, which only underscores how obviously scriptural the doctrine is–even many Calvinists affirm it.
Here are some comments from Barnes in favor of unlimited atonement:
On 2 Corinthians 5:14-15: “For the love of Christ constraineth us
because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead; and
that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto
themselves but unto him which died for them and rose again.”–
“The phrase ‘for all’ (huper panton) obviously means for all
mankind; for every man. This is an exceedingly important expression in
regard to the extent of the atonement which the Lord Jesus made; and while
it proves that his death was vicarious, that is, in the place of others,
and for their sakes, it demonstrates also that the atonement was general,
and had, in itself considered, no limitation, and no particular reference
to any class or condition of men, and no particular applicability to one
class more than to another. There was nothing in the nature of the
atonement that limited it to any one class or condition; there was nothing
in the design that made it, in itself, any more applicable to one portion
of mankind than to another. And whatever be true in regard to the fact as
to its actual applicability, or in regard to the purpose of God to apply
it, it is demonstrated by this passage that his death had an original
applicability to all, and that the merits of that death were sufficient to
save all.

Read the rest here.