How the Reformers Help Us Understand Definite Atonement

Laying the Foundation for Doctrine

The Reformation brought clarity and crystallization of certain doctrines including sola scriptura and sola fide. I think the same occurred with the doctrine of the atonement.

The Reformers laid the foundation. . . [for] a mature doctrine of definite atonement.

The Reformation and the work of the reformers brought some clarity to what we mean by Christ's death. It was a once-for-all death, not requiring repetition every week in the mass. It was sufficient, it was enough to pay the penalty for sins, and did not require anything else to be done to receive forgiveness.

The Reformers laid the foundation, helping the next generation or two to present a mature doctrine of definite atonement—a doctrine that we see in the Synod of Dort, where they wrote the Canons of Dort in 1619.

From Heaven He Came and Sought Her

David Gibson, Jonathan Gibson

With contributions from a number of well-respected Reformed theologians and church leaders, this volume offers a comprehensive defense for the doctrine of limited atonement from historical, biblical, theological, and pastoral perspectives.

It was a beautiful full-orb doctrine of the death of Christ. You see it also in John Owen's work in 1647 that death of death in the death of Christ, where he presents all the beautiful aspects of Christ's atoning death for his people.

So one of the things the Reformation did for us to help to bring clarification and crystallization to key doctrines of the Christian faith.

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