The term 'limited atonement' has been used, and I wonder how the Reformed is differing by definition from the Evangelical view of atonement. Further, what Scriptures do the Reformed base this view upon?

(I have attempted to answer some questions Biblically, having been brought up mainly in the Evangelical tradition, to find that my answers are dissatisfying for someone seeking the particular view of the Reformed or Calvinist. I am interested in learning what some specific differences are between the two traditions, having only a general understanding at present. This question is in that vein.)

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    Could you provide us with a (link to) a summary of your understanding of the Evangelical position? I am not sure there is a uniform evangelical position. This will make it easier to contrast it with the Reformed position.
    – bradimus
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 21:43
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    I suppose that part of the conundrum lies in the fact that I have been part of several denominations which would fall under Baptist/Evangelical Free/Berean and Independent Bible Church. There has been little, if anything, to contradict doctrine from one church to another, despite the fact that not all members hold the same eschatological views within each church. I will search for a "position" statement to help, but will have to do so tomorrow. Thank you for your patience...
    – MutluAnne
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 22:22
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    The last part of your question is addressed at: What is the Biblical basis for Limited Atonement? Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 13:28
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    Evangelicalism includes both Arminian and Reformed branches. Are you using "Evangelical" to refer to Arminian, or General Baptist perhaps?
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 13:55
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    @NigelJ No that's nonsense. Are you ashamed to align with the Apostle's creed, with the Nicene creed? Are you ashamed to call yourself a Trinitarian? Do you hide from the label of Protestant? There's nothing wrong with identifying yourself with a historical body of Christians who you believe have been faithful servants of God, and doing so does not mean your identity is found more in that group than in Christ.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 14:06

1 Answer 1


This is not my personal answer, as to what I believe, but rather what I am coming to understand about the difference in views with regard to the extent of the atonement.

I found two excellent summaries.

The first is in favor of the term 'limited atonement' and the concepts behind it. It is written from a "modern reformation" perspective which I suspect holds to 5-point Calvinism.

The second is from a 4-point Calvinist position which rejects the language and concept of 'limited atonement." As these views are the closest I have found, with this one difference, I thought it would be worth posting the links for these articles here.

From the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals: "Limited vs. Unlimited Atonement" Rev. Richard Phillips (chair of the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology and senior pastor at Second Presbyterian Church in Greenville, S.C.)


From Reasong from the Scriptures Ministries "The Extent of the Atonement: Limited Atonement Versus Unlimited Atonement" Ron Rhodes http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/Atonement.html

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