Jesse Morrell Responds to Matt Slick of CARM on the Atonement & Double Jeopardy

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Matt Slick said on Facebook:,

“The LEGAL SIN DEBT is cancelled! Who did he cancel it for? Everyone or just some? If everyone, then no one can go to hell because their entire sin debt is cancelled. Legally, this necessitates an atonement that cancels the sins of the elect… So, if Jesus cancelled the sin debt for EVERYONE (Col. 2:14), then why would any go to hell if their sin debt is cancelled, doesn’t exist, is gone, zilch, no more…? If you say it has to be “received” then you fail to accept the fact that it is cancelled. Cancellation does not depend on our receiving it.” 

I responded on Facebook: If Jesus paid the debt of the elect, then their debt is paid even before they believe, thus they would not be saved when they have faith but saved even before they had faith. The payment of a debt theory is therefore inconsistent with sola fida. If you say that they must believe to be saved then you fail to accept the theory “that it has been cancelled. Cancellation does not depend on our receiving it.”

The very reason why Calvinists want to limit the atonement is the very reason why they should reject their penal/payment view of the atonement.

Double jeopardy falls upon them as well. They are inconsistent when they say that even the elect are born under the wrath of God and are under God’s wrath until they have faith, and yet they say Jesus satisfied the wrath of God for the elect. Talk about a double jeopardy!

For great books on The Atonement Click Here

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5 Responses to Jesse Morrell Responds to Matt Slick of CARM on the Atonement & Double Jeopardy

  1. This is an internal critique using their own presuppositions. The principles of Calvinism refute Calvinism itself – using their own logic against them.

  2. On Facebook someone said, “Jesse Morrell you misrepresent, how long will you practice this sin? That Jesus paid the debt does not imply immediate application.”

    I responded: There is no misrepresentation. According to Matt Slick, if Jesus died for everyone than everyone would be saved unconditionally even if they don’t have faith. He said, “If you say it has to be “received” then you fail to accept the fact that it is cancelled. Cancellation does not depend on our receiving it.”” Matt Slick provided the rope that hung his own position.

  3. Truth Preacher says:

    Good points.

  4. Matt Slick’s argument that our debts have already been cancelled, therefore faith is not a prior condition of this cancellation, is based upon a faulty premise. He uses Eph. 2:15 and Col. 2:14. These verses are actually talking about the law of ordinances being done away with, not with our sin debt being already forgiven without any condition of faith.

    NIV said, “having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness”
    KJV said, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances”

    Textus Receptus, Byzentine, Alexandrian, etc, all say, “εξαλειψας το καθ ημων χειρογραφον τοις δογμασιν.” There are no variants to this rendering.

    The KJV did a very accurate translation of “εξαλειψας το καθ ημων χειρογραφον τοις δογμασιν.” I understand this as saying that through Christ the Old Covenant ordinances have been blotted out. This goes along with “For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law” (Heb 7:12). “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace” (Eph. 2:15).

    That this verse was talking about the ordinances of the law is how the major commentaries took the verse: Adam Clarke, Albert Barnes, John Gill, John Calvin, etc. It seems that these new translations have given birth to this new idea that this verse is saying that our debt was cancelled.

    In fact the same word “δογμασιν” is used in Eph. 2:15, ” τὸν νόμον τῶν ἐντολῶν ἐν δόγμασιν.” And this verse is very explicitly talking about the law – “τὸν νόμον” and the commandments – “τῶν ἐντολῶν.”

  5. Matt Slick’s argument that our debts have already been cancelled, therefore faith is not a prior condition of this cancellation, is based upon a faulty premise. He uses Eph. 2:15 and Col. 2:14. These verses are actually talking about the law of ordinances being done away with, not with our sin debt being already forgiven without any condition of faith.

    NIV said, “having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness”
    KJV said, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances”

    Textus Receptus, Byzentine, Alexandrian, etc, all say, “εξαλειψας το καθ ημων χειρογραφον τοις δογμασιν.” There are no variants to this rendering.

    The KJV did a very accurate translation of “εξαλειψας το καθ ημων χειρογραφον τοις δογμασιν.” I understand this as saying that through Christ the Old Covenant ordinances have been blotted out. This goes along with “For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law” (Heb 7:12). “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace” (Eph. 2:15).

    That this verse was talking about the ordinances of the law is how the major commentaries took the verse: Adam Clarke, Albert Barnes, John Gill, John Calvin, etc. It seems that these new translations have given birth to this new idea that this verse is saying that our debt was cancelled.

    In fact the same word “δογμασιν” is used in Eph. 2:15, ” τὸν νόμον τῶν ἐντολῶν ἐν δόγμασιν.” And this verse is very explicitly talking about the law – “τὸν νόμον” and the commandments – “τῶν ἐντολῶν.”

    If these verses were talking about our debts being cancelled at Calvary, there would be a problem. That would make these verses inconsistent with the rest of the New Testament that says sinners are justified by faith. If Jesus unconditionally cancelled our debt while He was on the cross, that debt would be canceled whether we believe it or not. To be consistent, Matt Slick would have to be like a universalist and believe that men are not actually justified at the moment of faith, but saved at Calvary, and therefore faith is not to “get saved” but rather “believing that you are already saved.” But as the ministry of reconciliation is still occurring after the atonement, the nature of the atonement is not such as would render salvation automatic or unconditional.

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