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Perichoresis

The Theological Journal of Emanuel University

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2284-7308
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ATONEMENT THEORY REVISITED: CALVIN, BEZA, AND AMYRAUT ON THE EXTENT OF THE ATONEMENT

Matthew S. Harding
Published Online: 2014-02-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/perc-2013-0003

ABSTRACT

Throughout the bulk of the Reformed Tradition’s history within both Europe and the United States, most scholars have dismissed pastor and theologian Moïse Amyraut as a seventeenth century French heretic whose actions and theology led to the demise of the Huguenots in France. However, upon further introspection into Amyraut’s claims as being closer to Calvin (soteriologically) than his Genevan successors, one finds uncanny parallels in the scriptural commentaries and biblical insight into the expiation of Christ between Calvin and Amyraut. By comparing key scriptural passages concerning the atonement, this article demonstrates that Reformed theologian Moïse Amyraut in fact propagated a universal atonement theory which parallels Calvin’s, both men ascribing to biblical faithfulness, a (humanistic) theological method, and similar hermeneutic. As such, both Calvin and Amyraut scripturally contend that God desires and provided the means for the salvation of the whole world. Further, the article demonstrates that Calvin’s successor, Theodore de Beza, could not in fact make the same claims as Amyraut, this article demonstrating that Beza went beyond Calvin’s scriptural approach to Christ’s expiation. Therefore, this article supports a more centrist approach from within and outside the Reformed tradition by demonstrating that Calvin and Amyraut concentrically held to God’s gracious provision in Christ for the saving of the whole world, for those who would believe in Christ for salvation.

KEYWORDS: Amyraut; Calvin; Atonement Theory; Expiation; Beza

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About the article

Matthew S. Harding

Teacher and pastor, MATTHEW S. HARDING is pursuing his PhD in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, TX, and holds a DMin in Church Leadersh


Published Online: 2014-02-13

Published in Print: 2013-06-01


Citation Information: Perichoresis, ISSN (Online) 2284-7308, ISSN (Print) 1224-984X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/perc-2013-0003.

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