Issues, Etc. has a post on Lutheranism vs. Calvinism. I'm more or less in total agreement with the pastor on the first two of the five Calvinistic points. However, he loses me when talking about limited atonement.
At 29:37 in the audio, he begins to tell a story about a friend from seminary who was a Calvinist, and this Calvinist's need for assurance of absolution following a grievous sin. The pastor goes on to explain from 31:40 - 32:46 that because Christ has taken the form of man, that he represents all men. Every sin has been paid for, for every man. Obviously a Calvinist would disagree with taking the atonement to this extent.
In the scriptures, Christ was spoken of as the last Adam, a title which confers universality (in the same way that the first Adam did). They also say that Christ is the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). How is it that if Christ is the last Adam and is the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world that we still speak in terms of particular redemption and also limits as to who the atonement covers?
Edit: As an example of what I'm asking, please consider John Owen's argument for Limited Atonement that if Christ has paid for the sins of all people and some still end up paying for their sins in Hell, then we have two realities that appear unthinkable:
Christ's precious, perfect blood was shed in vain for some people.
God's justice was satisfied in Christ, and now he's also executing his justice on those in hell. How can this be justice, then?
These points make the case for Limited Atonement in the Calvinistic sense, but it seems to stand in opposition to the scriptures I cited above. It makes the 2nd Adam less effectual than the first and it means that Christ is not the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:2 leaves no room for a "potential" propitiation. So how does Limited Atonement harmonize with scriptures such as these?
Note: At this point in time, I would call myself a Calvinist. I've done so for about 10 years. I'm not new to this, but I'm not as willing to accept the "L" in "TULIP" any longer on ground of logical proceedings that seem to contradict scripture. Thus, I'm seeking to learn what I may be missing.