To Save Sinners: A Critical Evaluation of the Multiple Intentions View of the Atonement

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Article number: 9781666746105, N29
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To Save Sinners

Author: Michael Riccardi


The atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross stands as the very epicenter of Christianity, the very heart of the gospel. Because of this, one does not stray far from the heart of the Christian faith when he asks, "For whom has Christ accomplished so great a salvation?" Answers to that question have historically fallen in two broad categories. Either Jesus died for all people without exception, or he died only for those whom the Father has chosen to save. Recently, a mediating view has arisen, arguing that we should not choose between these options, but that Jesus died with multiple intentions for all without exception and for the elect alone.

In this book, Michael Riccardi offers a critical evaluation of the multiple intentions view from the perspective of classic particularism. The book demonstrates that while the third way proposed is attractive at first blush, beneath the surface it faces insurmountable biblical and theological problems--including the redefinition of the nature of the atonement itself. Riccardi demonstrates that particular redemption is the teaching of the text of Scripture against the objections of one of its strongest opponents.


“The best defense against false doctrine requires both the refutation of error and the exposition of the true doctrine of God’s Word. Michael Riccardi’s antidote to the multiple intentions view of the atonement is a rich exposition of the truth that Christ laid down his life for his sheep. Riccardi’s treatment is characterized by irenic fairness to his theological opponents, insightful analysis, and most importantly, fidelity to the inerrant Scriptures.”              —Joel R. Beeke, president, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary

“Michael Riccardi is an astute theologian who has a profound grasp of Scripture exegetically, doctrinally, historically, and thematically. To Save Sinners provides a brilliant analysis of what lies at the very heart of the gospel, namely Christ and him crucified. More specifically, Riccardi tackles the complex, yet crucial issue of ‘For whom did Christ die?’ You will want to read this important book carefully and completely in order to better understand the redemption that the Savior accomplished in his saving death.” —Steven J. Lawson, president, OnePassion Ministries

“In To Save Sinners, Michael Riccardi robustly defends definite atonement with careful and coherent exegesis and theology. In particular, he explains and refutes the multiple intentions view that some Calvinists have recently argued for.” —Andy Naselli, associate professor of systematic theology and New Testament, Bethlehem College and Seminary

To Save Sinners is a magisterial study not only of the divine intention of the atonement but also the very nature of the atonement itself. Michael Riccardi’s analysis is careful, and his exegetical and theological discussions are equally impressive in their patience and scrupulous fairness. This work is a multiple layered model of exegesis and biblical theology, of systematic clarity and gracious polemics. It is a major and very welcome contribution to a topic that lies at the very heart of the gospel.” —Sinclair Ferguson, professor of systematic theology, Reformed Theological Seminary

About the Author:

Michael Riccardi serves as assistant professor of Theology at the Master’s Seminary in Los Angeles, where he also serves on the pastoral staff of Grace Community Church alongside John MacArthur. He is the author of Sanctification: The Christian’s Pursuit of God-Given Holiness (2015) and The Forest and the Trees: The Story of Scripture and Biblical Interpretation (2016).


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