While reading Dave Hunt’s book, What Love is This?, I came across an interesting comment by Dave Hunt regarding a quote from Calvinist, John Piper, concerning the universal benefit of Calvary.
John Piper: “We do not deny that all men are the intended beneficiaries of the cross ***IN SOME SENSE***. 1 Timothy 4:10 says that Christ is ‘the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.’ What we deny is that all men are intended as the beneficiaries of the death of Christ ***IN THE SAME WAY***. All of God’s mercy toward unbelievers—from the rising sun (Matthew 5:45) to the worldwide preaching of the gospel (John 3:16)—is made possible because of the cross.” (What We Believe About the Five Points of Calvinism)
Before I get to Dave Hunt’s quote, I find it absolutely astonishing how “all men” means one thing at 1st Timohty 2:4, and then something altogether different at 1st Timothy 4:10. That just blows me away, but anyway, on to Dave Hunt’s comment.
Dave Hunt: “Trying to reason with those who espouse such obviously contradictory statements leaves one with a sense of complete frustration. Proclaiming the gospel to those He has predestined to damnation is an act of God’s mercy, by which He is giving ‘opportunity for salvation’ to those who can’t be saved?! And the gospel being preached to the doomed non-elect stems from God’s ‘mercy toward unbelievers’ flowing from the Cross?” (What Love is This?, p.192)
Hunt does a fairly solid job. It’s user-friendly and engaging. The history is on par with the quality of Lawrence Vance’s book The Other Side of Calvinism, but it’s the exegesis that puts this volume ahead of Vance. Very enjoyable and highly recommended.