In the course of the past couple years, focusing my mind more on the pastoral implications of theology, I’ve found myself more humble in my theology, re-examining various theological positions I have held. And one of these areas which I have become less adamant at being overtly dogmatic about is the extent of Christ’s atonement. I.e. Limited atonement vs. Unlimited atonement vs. Unlimited Limited atonement (a.k.a. Multiple Intentions).
Consider this classic hymn by John Wesley, titled “Father, Whose Everlasting Love“:
Father, whose everlasting love
Thy only Son for sinners gave,
Whose grace to all did freely move,
And sent Him down the world to save;
Help us Thy mercy to extol,
Immense, unfathomed, unconfined;
To praise the Lamb who died for all,
The general Savior of mankind.
Thy undistinguishing regard
Was cast on Adam’s fallen race;
For all Thou hast in Christ prepared
Sufficient, sovereign, saving grace.
The world He suffered to redeem;
For all He hath the atonement made;
For those that will not come to Him
The ransom of His life was paid.
Why then, Thou universal Love,
Should any of Thy grace despair?
To all, to all, Thy bowels move,
But straitened in our own we are.
Arise, O God, maintain Thy cause!
The fullness of the Gentiles call;
Lift up the standard of Thy cross,
And all shall own Thou diedst for all.
How much of this hymn do you disagree with, and why?