Peter Lombard on the Self-Offering of Christ

The Birth of Scholasticism from a Series of Fortunate Mistakes | Church  Life Journal | University of Notre Dame

To start off Advent a fortnight early like an old Hispanic of the Mozarabic Rite, I give you Peter Lombard, 12c. mediaeval schoolman and Bishop of Paris, the Master of the Sentences (as Aquinas calls him), on the self-offering of Christ:

Christ is the priest, as he is also the victim and the price of our reconciliation. He offered himself on the altar of the cross not to the devil, but to the triune God, and he did so for all with regard to the sufficiency of the price, but only for the elect with regard to its efficacy, because he brought about salvation only for the predestined.

This teaching, under the formula ‘sufficient for all, efficient for the elect’, became the standard teaching of the Occidental churches, and was maintained by English Reformed divine John Davenant at the Synod of Dort. Today, we can remember that we are able to offer salvation to all, upon condition of faith, because Jesus himself did so in offering himself to God for all, and saw to it that his elect would actually believe and be saved. And what God has offered, we are permitted to offer: God died for you, and therefore you can be saved.


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