Hugh Martin on federal theology and Amyraldian views of the atonement

Discussion in 'Covenant Theology' started by Reformed Covenanter, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    A correct and comprehensive scheme of federal theology, in fact, commends itself very powerfully to every logical mind by the readiness with which it may be brought to bear on the exposure of the various aberrations that have manifested themselves on the doctrine of the Atonement. Take, for instance, Dr [Ralph] Wardlaw’s erroneous views, and place them in the light of the federal theology: they are immediately robbed of all their plausibility. ...

    For more, see Hugh Martin on federal theology and Amyraldian views of the atonement.
     
  2. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    Have you, by chance, read John C. A. Ferguson's doctoral thesis on Martin's federal theology, The Atonement in Its Relations: The Doctrine of Salvation in the Federal Theology of Hugh Martin?
     
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  3. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    I have not done so, nor did I even know about it but thank you for bringing it to my attention, brother. I was thinking to myself recently that we could do with more work on Hugh Martin.
     
  4. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    Here is a link to the thesis that @Reformed Bookworm mentioned. I notice that it has a portrait of Hugh Martin, which I have never seen before now.
     
  5. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    That view would be so called 4 point calvinism, correct?
     
  6. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    In it, he gives a comprehensive bibliography of Martin's works. I first heard about it from a footnote in Christ Victorious.
    In God's providence, Martin received the highest honors as a mathematician and then brought him into the ministry. His previous training shines forth with how brilliantly calculated his works are. I appreciate what Sinclair Ferguson wrote about him here:
    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/martin-on-atonement-commendation-by/
     
  7. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    Yes, though the propriety of that term is debatable. Not all who believed that the atonement had a universal reference were necessarily out of accord with the Canons of Dort on the death of Christ. Thus, I believe that the label "4 point Calvinist" is often applied too liberally. Besides, if someone is outside the bounds of the Canons of Dort on Christ's death securing the redemption of the elect, it is doubtful if they may be called a Calvinist at all. For these reasons, Amyraldian is probably the better term.
     
  8. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Those holding to it say that God has Jesus death for all sinners intended, but that only the elect actually will get saved, correct?
     
  9. RPEphesian

    RPEphesian Puritan Board Junior

    At one church membership interview where the church held to the Canons of Dort, they asked me my thoughts on the Standards. I said I thought the Canons were Amyraldian because of the universal reference.
     
  10. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    More importantly, scriptures teach limited atonement view.
     
  11. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    I presume that you are referring to the sufficiency-efficiency distinction as taught in the Canons of Dort? Otherwise, I am scratching my head. :scratch:
     
  12. RPEphesian

    RPEphesian Puritan Board Junior

    That was it. I had a view that all the sufferings of Christ were exactly proportionate to all the sins of all the elect--not a drop of blood more or less. So by the time the last elect was brought in, there was no more atonement available. After all, it is limited.

    Not my view now.
     
  13. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    It was limited in the sense just intended for sake of the Elect, correct?
     
  14. RPEphesian

    RPEphesian Puritan Board Junior

    Right. Imfinitely valuable even for ten million worlds of people, but was procured and intended to be made effectual only to the elect, and even then only at the time of the Spirit applying the benefits.
     
  15. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    "The Reformed position is that Christ died for the purpose of actually and certainly saving the elect, and the elect only. This is equivalent to saying that He died for the purpose of saving only those to whom He actually applies the benefits of His redemptive work." - L. Berkhof
     
  16. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    "When we speak of the atonement as “limited” we do not mean that any limit can be set to its value or power. Its value is determined by the dignity of the person making it; and since Christ suffered as a Divine-human person the value of His atonement is infinite. It is sufficient for the salvation of the entire race, and might have saved every member of the race if that had been God’s plan; but it is efficient only for those to whom it is applied by the Holy Spirit. It is limited only in the sense that it was intended for, and is applied to, particular persons, namely, for and to those who actually are saved. It is indifferently as well adapted to the salvation of one man as to that of another, thus making objectively possible the salvation of all men. But because of subjective difficulties arising out of the inability of fallen men either to see or appreciate the things of God, only those who are regenerated by the Holy Spirit respond to it and are saved. God could change all human hearts by His mighty regenerating and convincing power if He chose to do so. He wrought mightily in the heart of Saul of Tarsus and made him into a new man, as He has wrought mightily in the heart of every other member of this fallen race who has been translated from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. But for reasons which have not been fully revealed He does not apply this grace to all." - Loraine Boettner. Studies in Theology.
     
  17. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Amen! Limited as to how God intended tosecure a sure salvation for just sake of His elect, but unlimited in its value, as could have saved all if God meant that to be so...
     

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