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The Death Christ Died: A Biblical Case for Unlimited Atonement

, 1998
ISBN: 9780825431555

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In this revised and updated edition of his masterful book, Dr. Lightner, following the plain meaning of numerous Scriptures rather than a preconceived theological structure, calls the church back to its historic belief that Christ "is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world" (1 John 2:2). As Lightner astutely observes, what one believes on this matter also has serious implications for evangelism and missions. Without a belief that Christ is "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29), the gospel cannot be personalized for the sinner. Limiting the atonement to the elect blunts the invitation of the gospel to all sinners and hinders evangelism.

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“The divine purpose in the Arminian view was to obtain redemption and the forgiveness of sins for all men by supplying sufficient grace to all men to believe if they will. The Calvinistic answer to the question, ‘Why did Christ die?’ has been very much to the contrary. Calvinists who accept limited atonement believe the Savior died for the elect only and that by His death He not only provided salvation for that limited number but also infallibly secured their salvation—saved them.” (Page 45)

“They have been cited, though, to demonstrate that the unlimited view is not new; nor did it originate with Arminianism. The fact is, the limited view was not popularly held until the formulation of the canons of the Synod of Dort (1619) and the Westminster Confession of Faith (1647).” (Page 14)

“Third, not one sinner, though commanded of God to believe in Christ as Savior for salvation or suffer the consequences, will be saved unless and until the Holy Spirit brings him to the conviction of his sin and the realization of his need of Christ.” (Page 53)

“Second, Scripture makes personal faith the sole condition for the appropriation of Calvary’s benefits to the individual.” (Page 52)

“First, the Bible views all men as spiritually lost and sinners unable to do anything to please God” (Page 51)

Praise for the Print Edition

This book is priority reading for all, no matter what view of the extent of the atonement is held.… We commend this volume for prayerful study to every lover of the Word of God.

—Joseph M. Stowell, President, Moody Bible Institute

This book is a long overdue update of one of the best books written in our generation on the topic of the extent of Christ's death. In recent years there has been a revival of Reformed theology. This is largely due, I think, to reading too much of the Puritans and too little of Paul—and Peter and John.

—Paul R. Jackson, National Representative, General Association of Regular Baptist Churches

Product Details

  • Title: The Death Christ Died: A Biblical Case for Unlimited Atonement
  • Author: Robert P. Lightner
  • Publisher: Kregel
  • Publication Date: 1998
  • Pages: 176

Dr. Robert Lightner joined the Dallas Seminary faculty in 1968 after teaching for seven years at Baptist Bible College/Seminary in Johnson City, New York, and also teaches at the Seminary’s extension sites. A professor of all the doctrines of Systematic Theology, Dr. Lightner has authored twenty-three books, most of which are about these doctrines. Since the 1950s he has helped struggling churches and/or ones seeking a pastor by serving as interim pastor thirty-three times at twenty-four churches in Pennsylvania, New York, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas. His overseas ministries include work in Venezuela, Peru, Paraguay, and London (Spurgeon’s Tabernacle).


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Print list price: $13.99
Save $1.00 (7%)