The assertion that all died-for are all prayed-for relies upon the conflation of some fallacious and unsound arguments. Such as:

1) All prayed-for1 are died-for.
Therefore, all died-for are prayed-for.

The conclusion commits the fallacy of affirming the consequent.2


2) All in-covenant are died-for.
Therefore all died-for are(/will be) in covenant

Same fallacy of affirming the consequent.


3) All died-for will be prayed-for.
Therefore, if a man is not prayed-for, he was not died-for.

A Modus Tollens argument, formally valid but not sound. There is no evidence that all died-for will infallibly be prayed-for. This just begs the question at this point.3


4) All died-for will be in-covenant
Therefore, if a man will not be in-covenant, he was not died-for.

Another Modus Tollens argument, formally valid but not sound. There is no evidence that all died-for will infallibly be brought into the covenant. This just once again begs the question at this point.

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My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.
But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2: 1-2

The aim of this essay is to draw out the implicit forms of the argument which are normally assumed in arguments for limited satisfaction based on 1 John 2:2. My goal is to make these implicit arguments or assumptions explicit.1 As with many of the arguments for limited satisfaction, the basic form runs along the lines of a modus tollens axis.2 A premise is alleged, and then a modus tollens argument is enlisted. More formally the argument looks something like this: If Christ died for a person, that person cannot fail be saved.3 This is then simply generalized or converted into a universal statement:

If Christ died for the whole world, then the whole world will necessarily be saved4
It is not the case that the whole world is saved
Therefore, it is not the case that Christ died for the whole world

I argue that this sort of argument lies at the back of the arguments for limited satisfaction based on 1 John 2:2.

The overarching goal of this essay is to remove the alleged logical impediments enlisted to restrict or limit the meaning of “whole world” in 1 John 2:2.

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Limited Atonement and the Falsification of the Sincere Offer of the Gospel1

Table of Contents

I. The original argument
II. The counter-arguments
III. Assumptions
IV. The Issue and the Problem
V. What it means to make an offer
VI. The falsity of the conditional
VII. The “conditional” considered as a proposal of means
VIII. What is Harry to believe?
IX. The Objections
X. The truth of the conditional proves unlimited satisfaction
XI. Conclusion

I. The Original Argument2


a) Let forgivable mean something like “able to have forgiveness conferred,” which I think is basic and sound.
b) Without a legal basis, no sin can be forgiven.

The following syllogism can be constructed:

1) Only those sins imputed to Christ are forgivable.
2) Only the sins of the elect are imputed to Christ.
3) Therefore only the sins of the elect are forgivable.

1) has to follow unless one wants to deny substitutionary atonement and claim that God can forgive sins for which Christ did not bear and suffer.

2) has to follow for the limited expiation/imputation of sin proponent.3 And so 3) is undeniable.

However, God offers forgiveness of sins to all mankind, or at least, to all whom the Gospel comes.4


c) To offer forgiveness of sins, necessarily implies or presupposes that sins of the offeree are forgivable.
d) For a sincere offer to be sincere,5 one must be able to confer and have available what one offers.

The following basic syllogism can be constructed:

4) All sincere divine offers of forgiveness of sins, entails that sins of the offerees are forgivable.
5) God sincerely offers forgiveness of sins to all.6
6) Therefore the sins of all are forgivable.

4) has to be true because, one must have the ability to confer what one sincerely offers. God cannot make a pretense of sincerely offering what one does not have the ability to confer.

5) has to be true for any free-offer Calvinist.

6) therefore has to follow as High and Moderate Calvinists rightly maintain.


1) Therefore only the sins of the elect are forgivable.

directly contradicts,

6) Therefore the sins of all are forgivable,

in the same sense and meaning.

II. The Counter-Arguments

I have proposed an argument that God cannot sincerely offer to forgive the non-died-for (NDF) because he is not able to confer forgiveness upon them, therefore, limited expiation and imputation of sin falsifies the sincere and free offer of forgiveness to all men.7 My argument is that given the proper and true definition of ‘offer,’8 God cannot sincerely, well-meaningly, genuinely, and legitimately offer to forgive a person for whom there is no basis of forgiveness available for that person. Thus, if God should offer forgiveness to someone for whom no forgiveness has been obtained or made possible by the death of Christ, such a divine offer would be insincere, disingenuous, illegitimate and ill-meant.9

The first serious response to our argument is that if the particularism of limited expiation and sin-bearing falsifies the free and sincere offer of the Gospel to all men, then so does the particularism of election and preterition. And so the argument unfolds: If the classic-moderate Calvinist can affirm that the particularism entailed in election (and preterition) does not falsify the free and sincere offer of the gospel to all men, then, likewise, he should not object that the particularism entailed in a limited satisfaction for sin falsifies the free and sincere offer of the gospel to all men. Our response to this is that the particularism in both election and limited satisfaction for sin do not bear a univocal relationship to the gospel offer. I argue that the particularism in election and preterition entails a divine willingness to save some and not to save others, and this particularism is located in the secret will. On the other hand, the particularism of limited satisfaction entails an inability to impart salvation, an inability to impart the very thing offered with regard to the NDF.10 The problem should be clear when one realizes that the legitimacy and genuineness the divine offer is directly indexed to the availability of the thing offered.11 God cannot sincerely and genuinely offer what he knows he is not able to impart or which is not available for him to impart. Under the terms of limited satisfaction, forgiveness of sins with respect to the NDF is impossible, and so for God to make a pretense of sincerely offering forgiveness of sins to the NDF is insincere and a mockery.

This then leads to the second counter to our original argument. This second reply has two steps. The second objection first challenges the standard definition of the word "offer" by asserting that a simple statement of fact expressed in conditional form properly and rightly constitutes a legitimate and sincere offer.12 Thus, the argument goes, even on the supposition that a specific hearer is NDF, the conditional statement, "if you believe, you will be saved" made to that hearer, itself, constitutes a legitimate offer of salvation.13

Then the argument further attempts to validate the sincerity of that statement to that specific hearer on the basis of the following counter-factual supposition that, ‘An offer that is made to a given NDF person is sincere in that had that person believed, he would have obtained the offered salvation, because it would have turned out that he was died-for14 all along.’

The background assumptions in this line of rebuttal is that an offer is only insincere in that were a person to embrace the thing offered only to find that the thing being offered does not exist or is not available to be imparted: then, and only then, would the offer be insincere. To further shore up this line of thought, with regard to the offer and the NDF, possible worlds logic is tacitly invoked, such that, upon embracing the thing offered, it would turn out that the offeree was died-for all along.15

The following is a response primarily to these counter-arguments.

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Short Essays

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism   in

Informal Essays, Notes, and Comments

  1. Richard Baxter on 2 Peter 2:1
  2. Richard Baxter on the Death of Christ and the Purchase of Faith
  3. John Cameron (1579-1625) and Moses Amyraut (1596-1664) on the Order of the Decrees
  4. Joseph Bellamy (1719-1790): A Limited Provision for Sin Precludes an Unlimited Free Offer of the Gospel
  5. The Offer of the Gospel and Limited Imputation of Sin: An Argument for Unlimited Expiation
  6. Limited Atonement and the Falsification of the Sincere Offer of the Gospel
  7. Forensic Crispianism and TULIP Calvinism’s Doctrine of Imputation in Relation to the Double-Payment Dilemma
  8. Revisiting the phrases: “All without distinction,” and “All without exception.”
  9. Plato Versus Aristotle in The Exegesis of John’s “World” and Paul’s “All Men”
  10. Universal Ineffectual Atonement vs Limited Effectual Atonement: An Argument for Limited Atonement
  11. John 11:51-52 and 1 John 2:2: And the Argument for Limited Atonement
  12. Christ Lays His Life Down for His Sheep (John 10:15): An Argument for Limited Atonement
  13. Revisiting John 17 and Jesus’ Prayer for the World
  14. The Atonement and Intercession of Christ: An Argument for Limited Atonement
  15. The Exclusivity of the Intercession of Christ and the Argument for Limited Atonement
  16. Some Invalid and Unsound Arguments for the Assertion that all Died-For are all Prayed-For
  17. Joseph Bellamy (1719-1790): Limited Atonement and the Argument from Romans 8:32
  18. Romans 8:32 and the Argument for Limited Atonement
  19. Romans 8:32 and the Argument for Limited Atonement (Revisited)
  20. 1 John 2:2 and the Argument for Limited Atonement
  21. A Brief Reply to Roger Nicole’s Article: “John Calvin’s View on the Extent of the Atonement”
  22. A. C. De Jong On What Constitutes a True Offer, by way of Herman Hoeksema
  23. My Hope is Built on Nothing Less Than Owen’s Reason and Death of Death
  24. No Atonement for the House of Eli (1 Sam 3:14) and the Argument for Limited Atonement


11. Mediate Imputation.

The fourth solution attempted for the great objection, brings us to the nth question: the scheme of mediate imputation. The author and history of this are succinctly stated by Turrettin. Placaeus said that the imputation of Adam’s sin was only mediate, and consequent upon our participation in total native depravity, which we derive by the great law, that like begets like. We, being thus depraved by nature, and, so to speak, endorsing his sin, by exhibiting the same spirit and committing similar acts, it is just in God to implicate us in the same punishments. Let it be remarked, first, that the charge made in the National Synod of Charenton, was, that Placaeus had denied all imputation of Adam’s guilt, and had made original sin consist exclusively in subjective depravity. This is precisely what the Synod condemned. It was to evade this censure, that he invented the distinction between an " antecedent and immediate imputation " of Adam’s guilt, which he denied, and a " mediate and subsequent imputation," which he professed to hold. It appears then, that this invention was no part of the theology, of the Reformed churches, and had never been heard of before. So thought Dr. A. Alexander, (Princeton Review, Oct. 1839.) The distinction seems to have been a ruse designed to shelter himself from censure, and to lay a snare for his accusers. It was unfortunate that they, like his chief opponent, Andrew Rivet, fell into it, by advocating the “antecedent and immediate imputation,” as the only true view. It docs not appear to me that those who, with Rivet, have labored to show that this is the doctrine of the Reformed Symbols, have at all proved their point. The distinction is, like that of the Supralapsarian and Infralapsarian, an attempted over-refinement, which should never have been made, which explained nothing, and whose corollaries increased the difficulties of the subject.

Turrettin, and those who assert the “antecedent immediate imputation,” charge that the scheme of Placaeus is only Arminianism in disguise, and that it really leaves no imputation of Adam’s guilt at all; inasmuch as they say it leaves the personal guilt of the child’s own subjective corruption, as the real ground of all the penal infliction incurred by original sin. While these objections seem just in part, I would add two others: First. Placaeus, like the lower Arminian, seems to offer the fact that God should have extended the law “like begets like,” to man’s moral nature, as an explanation of original sin. This, as I urged before, is only obtruding the fact itself as an explanation of the fact. To extend this law of nature to responsible persons, is an ordination of God. The question is: on what judicial basis does this ordination rest? Second: Placaeus’ scheme is false to the facts of the case, in that it represents Adam’s posterity as having, in God’s view, an actual, antecedent, depraved existence, at least for a moment, before they passed therefor under condemnation; whereas the Scriptures represent them as beginning their existence condemned, as well as depraved. See Eph. 2:3.

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