Interview with Dr. Curt Daniel (part 3 of 4)
Questions 4-8: (SW – Sam Waldron, CD – Curt Daniel)
SW: “I have talked with people who believe that in your dissertation you assume Amyraldianism or Four Point Calvinism as your own position. In reading your dissertation I could easily conclude the same. Is this assessment of your position true? If not, why not?”
CD: “I am neither 4 point Calvinist nor Amyraldian. At the time of my dissertation I bordered on those views but did not actually hold them.”
SW: “Have your views of the atonement developed since you wrote your dissertation? To be specific, are you now more comfortable with identifying yourself with limited atonement or particular redemption? Please explain why?”
CD: “Since then I have continued to research the subject. I hold to particular redemption (also called definite atonement or limited atonement). As I have been researching a book I am writing on the extent of the atonement, I am amazed at how many biblical proofs there are in favor of particular redemption—more than one may realize.”
SW: “With the increasing support for and commitment to the 1689 Baptist Confession, it has become an important touchstone in terms of Reformed Baptist orthodoxy. Do you hold the Confessional view on the subjects related to the atonement and the free offer of the gospel?”
CD: “I agree with the 1689 Confession in upholding particular redemption and the free offer of the Gospel.”
SW: “In your view does the Confession teach limited atonement or particular redemption?”
CD: “The 1689, like the Westminster Confession, teaches particular redemption, though not as explicitly as the 1644 Baptist Confession. Particular redemption may be found in the 1689 in 3:6 and 8:5 and 8:8.”
1689:3:6 As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so he hath, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means thereunto; wherefore they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ, by his Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by his power through faith unto salvation; neither are any other redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only
1689:8:5 The Lord Jesus, by his perfect obedience and sacrifice of himself, which he through the eternal Spirit once offered up unto God, hath fully satisfied the justice of God, procured reconciliation, and purchased an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for all those whom the Father hath given unto Him.
1689:8:8 To all those for whom Christ hath obtained eternal redemption, he doth certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same, making intercession for them; uniting them to himself by his Spirit, revealing unto them, in and by his Word, the mystery of salvation, persuading them to believe and obey, governing their hearts by his Word and Spirit, and overcoming all their enemies by his almighty power and wisdom, in such manner and ways as are most consonant to his wonderful and unsearchable dispensation; and all of free and absolute grace, without any condition foreseen in them to procure it.
SW: “What does the Confession mean when it affirms particular redemption in 3:6 and 8:5 and 8? Is there any way in which you would like to supplement or qualify the confessional statements of particular redemption?”
CD: “As I hope to show in a book I am writing on the extent of the atonement, I would agree with the old formula that Christ died sufficiently for all but efficiently only for the elect. I have discovered many leading Reformed scholars who taught that there is a universal dimension as well as a particular dimension to the atonement (Hodge, Shedd, Edwards, Iain Murray, many others). This is not Amyraldianism, for Amyraut taught that Christ died “equally” for all men. He does not seem to have placed any limitation in the atonement. I do. We need to delineate just what the universal dimension is without denying particular redemption.”