Saviour of All Fellowship
March 2002

Dear Friends in Faith,
    Continuing our investigation into “What’s Wrong with Universalism” by on the internet, they wrote: “Calvinists, possibly excepting Amyraldian Calvinists, teach that the first ‘all’ in Romans 5:18 has a different scope than the second ‘all’ in 5:18, and the first ‘many’ in Romans 5:19 has a different scope than the second ‘many’ in 5:19. Perhaps the core tenet of hard-core Calvinism is not definitive atonement, but rather a denial of universal atonement, that Christ did not die for everyone. Many were created with no option to escape the flames of the Second Death.”
    So the writer of the argument above thinks the Calvinists are wrong to limit the “atonement” since the Calvinist wrongly believe that “many were created with no option to escape the flames of the Second death.” Therefore the second “all” mankind of verse 18 and the second “many” of verse 19 must be less than the first in both cases. The Arminian, however believes that both “alls” and “manys” are equal but that all have an option as to whether or not what Christ did will be applied to them. The idea of this option, though, destroys the core idea Paul is driving at, namely that in verse 12 no one had the option to withstand being constituted a sinner. So why should anyone have an option to withstand what Christ did for them? All of humanity are neutral recipients of the outcome of what Adam and Christ did.
    There is another idea sometimes taught by Calvinists, claiming that both all’s in Romans 5:18 are to be understood as restricted to all those who obtain the superabundance of grace mentioned in verse 17. The idea is that Adam brought condemnation to all elect human beings, and Christ brings justification to all these people. This makes Paul’s use of the words “all humans” in verses 12 and 18 very puzzling indeed. It also indicates to us that only the view that this passage speaks of the ultimate justification of all human beings based on the obedience of Christ is coherent with his language.
    We have sets of a dozen study papers, one sheet each, prepared a number of years ago by the late Ray Van Dyke of Grand Rapids which we will send as a gift to those requesting them. These do not include every study he prepared in this series (some are out of stock), but each one is complete in itself, generally dealing with the truth that God is the Saviour of all.

Yours in His Grace,
Dean Hough and Tony Nungesser


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