Why I am not a Calvinist one the issue of Atonement

by koot van wyk  Seoul   South Korea 15 November 2008

Calvinism is the name given to the orthodoxy that followed the teachings and writings of John Calvin (1540) and Lutherism is the name given to orthodoxy of the teachings and writings of Martin Luther (1520).

Adventism started in the 1840's and Seventh-day Adventism started after 1844 when they misunderstood the exegesis of Daniel 8:14 in that year.

However, what came from the misunderstanding is actually a developed view of the Atonement, a view that is absent in any other denomination including the Catholic church.

The Sanctuary doctrine of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination is an explanation as to the work of Christ from the Cross to the extinction of evil (in the Hell) in the distant future.

Let us list the differences between SDA concepts of Atonement and Calvinist/Luteran views of Atonement:


a. Calvinists operates with a minimalist view of Atonement.

b. SDA's operates with a maximalist view of Atonement.


a. For Calvinists atonement is only one time, at the cross of Calvary in 31 CE when Christ died.

b. For SDA's atonement is an ongoing process until the extinction of evil in the eschaton.


a. For Calvinists the sacrifice of Christ in 31 CE and atonement is identical.

b. For SDA's the sacrifice of Christ is not identical to atonement but is part of the process of atonement.


a. For Calvinists the sacrifice of Christ is the only necessary action.

b. For SDA's the sacrifice of Christ is the most important part of the Atonement but does not comprise all that is involved in Christ's ministry on our behalf. There are other actions of Christ also necessary in the Atonement.

Maximalist verses in the book of Hebrews

a. Hebrews 6:10

"having ministered to the holy ones and still ministering" (two participles of which one is showing a deed done but the last one with the -ing indicating a deed still ongoing).

b. Hebrews 6:19-20

"having become a high priest forever"

c. Hebrews 7:24-25

"but He on the other hand because He abides forever, holds His priesthood permanently, thus, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him since He always lives to make intercession for them"

(always lives to make intercession)

Once and for all actions

a. Hebrews 7:27

"who do not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself".

(What was once and for all? Atonement? No. Sacrifice. However, the sacrifice is the most important event in the Atonement process and gives impetus, importance and value to the Atonement process).

b. Hebrews 9:12

"and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place (the holy places ta hagia) once for all, having obtained eternal redemption (lutrosin bailout)".

(What was once and for all? Atonement? No. Sacrifice as we can see in the context of Hebrews 9:14 "He offered Himself...").

The sacrifice was taking care of the debt against us and served as a lutrosin or buying out action, a bailout.

van wyk notes:

1. It is here that Calvin and Luther went wrong.

2. They did not read Hebrews 9:14 in the context of Hebrews 7:27.

3. They did not fully understood the real reason for the sanctuary service of the Old Testament.

4. Adventist scholars on the book of Leviticus in the Old Testament, like R. Gane and Rodriquez indicate clearly that the Old Testament sanctuary service was not based on a covenant of works or legalism or saving yourself dispensation.

5. They indicate that the believer of the Old Testament was saved with the same principles of the New Testament and that there is no difference in salvation under the Old or New Testaments.

6. The only difference is that Christ came as fulfilling the type that was represented in the sacrificial lambs of the Old Testament.

7. The book of Hebrews is one of the most neglected books in the New Testament by conventional scholarship.

8. The third Elijah (real, John, and the SDA movement in 1844) message is one that correctly understands the six phases of the Atonement process, Justification, Sanctification, Honorification (after 1844 until the door of Mercy closes), Glorification, Verification during the 1000 years in the New Jerusalem in Heaven and Eradication when Satan and evil will be destroyed in the Hell.

9. Until evil is eradicated the atonement work of Christ is not complete according to the Bible.

10. The SDA concept of Atonement is the best understanding of the Old and New Testament consistently explaining in a balanced and harmonizing way God's eternal plan.

End item