rick warren

I was watching this video (HT challies) and thinking about universal v. limited atonement. the questioner takes Rick’s universal atonement position and just wraps it around his neck like a bunch of stinky garlic. Rick tries to wiggle and squirm, but I don’t think he quite succeeds in escaping the logic of universal salvation following naturally from universal atonement. Very interesting stuff.

here is the video.


5 Responses

  1. If Jesus is the way the truth and the life, no one can get to the Father except through Him—-then lack of belief in Him would keep you out of the presence of God. “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name,he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of MAN, but of GOD.
    Another thought, and I may be off, but in Matthew it says to lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be. Getting in heaven without Jesus, wouldn’t that be a thief breaking in and stealing?
    “But whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” Mt. 10:33
    “Whoever is not with me is against me……therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” Matt. 12:30-32….. more to ponder.

    I thought Rick was doing pretty well, but I didn’t think he ended well…he got distracted from the question. Maybe I did too??

  2. I think Rick did as well as an arminian who believes in universal atonement could with that question. I don’t think that his answer was biblically coherent or satisfying.

    He starts by making the correct statement that we can’t earn salvation, and that going to hell comes from our rejection of God’s grace. That is true, but in Rick’s arminian world, we do have to actively choose God. It is up to us to accept the gift. our will alone is the thing that gets us “over the hump” into the family of God.

    He cannot escape the logical conclusion that this acceptance is a “good choice” or a “wise decision” and therefore “a work” about which we could then boast when we get to heaven. Contrarily, a person who rejects Christ has made a “bad choice” an “unwise decision”. In a free will world universal atonement world, this rejection is just another sin for which Jesus died. Why then are not all men saved in spite of their bad choice to reject God?

    The questioner does a good job of pinning Rick on this inconsistency even though the questioner is probably coming at it from a universalist point of view.

  3. Thus the verse about blasphemy against the Spirit. The Spirit is who draws you.
    This got me digging in my Bible….thanks! As a believer who has heard everything from the arminian perspective my whole life…….it is difficult not to trail off into that and intertwine the two, just out of habit.
    Mac Arthur did a masterful job on that video!

  4. How you come to have the ability to believe is the missing link with Warren

  5. That is indeed the missing link. Arminians believe that John 6:44 means what it says and that the drawing of the Holy Spirit is necessary for salvation. However, they believe this drawing (we always called it “being under conviction”) just gets you to the point where you have to make your own act of will to cross over into salvation. Only heretic pelagians or semi-pelagians believe we have the ability to choose God without the drawing of the Spirit.

    However, John 6:65 makes it clear that we aren’t just drawn partway to God by the Spirit, but that salvation itself is granted by the Father. In addition, John 1:13 that you quoted above says that we are born of God and not of the will of man. Ephesians 2 says that we were dead in our trespasses and sins until God made us alive. Paul then emphasizes in verses 8 and 9 that the faith we use to accept Jesus is a gift from God and that therefore we have nothing whatsoever about which to boast.

    thus, our joyful acceptance of God’s plan of salvation is definitely an act of our will, but it is an act of our will that is the gift of God given to us in his sovereign plan to the praise of his glorious grace. Ephesians 1:3-14 and Revelation 13:8

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