The Politics of Mainstream Calvinist DoubleTalk
This double talk teaches that Christ propitiated the wrath of God for all sinners but that Christ also died extra for the elect to give them the faith to get the benefit of Christ’s propitiation. In other words, it has no antithesis with the false gospel of Arminianism.
Since the Together for the Gospel folks still want to be thought of as evangelicals, and still want to have influence on evangelicals, they agree to the heresy that Christ died for everybody. Even if they don’ say that Christ’s death was to take away the wrath for every sinner, by their silence about the question, they go along with what everybody already understands, which is that faith alone makes the difference.
Of course “evangelicals who also happen to be Calvinists” try to put boundaries around their relativism, and say that the object of faith is important. They even say that Mormons and open theists are not evangelicals, and maybe not even justified.
But these compromising pragmatists are still agreeing, sermon after sermon, every time that they do not say “for the elect alone”, that it is faith alone which makes the difference. And when they do that, there is no Christ alone left. In the fine print, the glory may go to God’s predestination of the Spirit to give faith.
But they cannot and do not teach that it’s Christ’s death which saves, if Christ died for all sinners, and some of these sinners are lost. And though they talk of Scripture alone, we end up with a canon within a canon, where what the Scripture says about the elect in Christ and therefore being elect in His death becomes segregated out from the gospel and thus unspoken or denied.
Instead of saying that Christ died only for the elect and not for the non-elect, they leave out the e word and say that Christ died for believers (which means all of us if you don’t ask “believers in what?). This then means that faith alone makes the difference and not Christ.
If the double-talkers want to keep the “thoroughly reformed” happy, they might say sometimes that Christ died for his covenant people, but then later they will make it clear that the covenant is conditional and that the “his people” are believers, so that it will all come back to “faith alone”.