General vs. Particular

Upon discovering that I believe in God’s absolute sovereignty in salvation (you know, election) many of my brothers and sisters in Christ have engaged me in discussion on the topic.

“How can you believe in a God that picks and chooses who is saved?” They will ask with the typically over-simplistic view of the Doctrines of Grace.

shieldboxingsm.jpgI assure them that my sinful nature recoiled at the notion when I first considered it. I did not like the idea, any more than they, that I could contribute nothing to my salvation. In the end, I tell them, I conformed my beliefs to Scripture and believe in election because it is contained therein.

It’s at this point they typically uncork John 3:16 with extreme emphasis on the words “world” and “whosoever.” I agree that the gospel message is to be proclaimed to the whole world and that “whosoever believes in Him shall not perish” but John 3:16 says nothing of man’s ability to believe. It is absolutely true that whosoever believes will be saved but Scripture also indicates that apart from God’s intervention on behalf of the sinner nobody will believe because it is contrary to our sinful nature.

Thus the debate over general vs. particular atonement rages. But wouldn’t you know it — a real theological heavyweight (respected by Christians of both theological persuasions) has weighed in on the subject. And so I direct your attention to the Pyromaniacs blog and defer to the text of a sermon preached by none other than Charles Haddon Spurgeon.


About Chip
Chip is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN. He served more than five years on the staff of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana as Director of Communications and Public Relations, editor of the Indiana Baptist newsjournal, and regular contributor to the Baptist Press, the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention. He currently earns his living as a writer. He serves his local church as a teacher and deacon and his local Baptist Association as a Seminary Extension instructor and supply preacher.

2 Responses to General vs. Particular

  1. Scott says:

    A hearty AMEN!

    (Your blog is a delight. Hope you don’t mind I added it to my blogroll.)

  2. Chip says:

    Scott — I’m pleased you enjoy reading Thideology, and even more pleased you think enough of it to include it on your blogroll. Thanks for reading.

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