Monday, September 28, 2015

Trashing Luther? Ex-Lutheran Instructs "Hyper-Catholics" to Settle Down

This warmed my heart: a "former Lutheran pastor, transitioning to the Roman Catholic Church" has written a blog article entitled, Trashing Luther. The first paragraph states,

Theological hobbyists of a hyper-Catholic sort continue to misconstrue Luther’s “errors.” Oh, I hardly think he was error-free, but (having recently been one) I know Lutherans who pretty much think he was essentially infallible. But I also know Catholics (me having recently become one) who are of the opinion he was devilish at best and, at his worst, out to destroy the Church.

This sort of sentiment won't go over well with Rome's typical on-line self-proclaimed defenders, because most of them are "theological hobbyists of a hyper-Catholic sort." For instance, I found this blog post over on the Catholic Answers forums. In a comment from the thread in which it was posted comes the following:

I have been pretty good at reading about Luther honestly he was extemely anti-Semitic, had a bad anger problem, was self rightous, I have actually wondered if he was mentally ill. He carved scripture into his kitchen table in anger in front of his wife and kids. He also was obsessed with going to the bathroom. I think he was a mad man who was a pawn of northern German Lords, Kings, and Barrons.

That's your typical hyper-Catholic theological hobbyist quote. This person is "pretty good at reading about Luther honestly" and from this lofty tower of kindness and fairness concludes Luther was a mad-man.

You can read about this transitioning Lutheran pastor here and here. This is the sort of ex-Lutheran who thinks:

After a couple decades or more of formal dialogue discussing the doctrine of justification by faith in Christ, Lutherans and Catholics officially declared the issue was no longer church dividing.


Catholics admitted that whatever was condemned in the doctrine "faith alone" was not itself the doctrine Lutherans argued. What Trent condemned is condemned, only nobody then actually espoused it. And what Lutherans challenged on works vs. grace, well, it too wasn't what Catholics in fact were saying. This wasn't a clever dodge papering differences. Through years of dialogue on this and other subjects, back to 1965, they came to understand maybe they didn't hear each other so well the first time.

Note the phrase above, "Lutherans and Catholics." Which Lutherans? All Lutherans? The author doesn't say. Indeed, there are other Lutherans that don't think Rome and Lutherans have come to any sort of agreement on justification and they've put together documents like this to explain why.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Roman Catholic commercial video during Papal visit

I noticed this Roman Catholic commercial video being played a lot recently on Fox News.  Seems the timing was to go with the visit of Pope Francis.  (Jorge Bergoglio)

This is a very well done video for the time that it takes.

1.  It assumes "catholic" is the same as "Roman Catholic". (without even mentioning the phrase, "Roman Catholic")
2.  It subtly claims the Roman Catholic Church compiled the Bible.  This is false.  The early church testified, affirmed, discerned, discovered, and put under one "book cover" which texts were "God-breathed"/ inspired.  (2 Timothy 3:16)  They called themselves "catholic" in the sense of "universal" / "according to the whole" / able to grow in all nations and cultures (Revelation 5:9), but it was not the same church doctrinally that today claims the Papacy, Transubstantiation, Purgatory, Indulgences, Marian dogmas, Marian piety, praying to Mary, praying to statues and icons, denial of Justification by Faith Alone at Trent, etc.
3.  It claims Peter was the first Pope.
Many problems with that.  See below in Dr. White's lecture on the Dividing Line.
4.  The mention of "sacred tradition", in addition to the written Scriptures.
5.  claimed 2000 years of an unbroken line of shepherds.

There may be other problems, but those are the 5 that stuck out to me.

Dr. White did an excellent DL yesterday, on Sept. 23, about the current Pope and Papacy:

Take note of the 5 things that Roman Catholics have to prove as true all at the same time in the last half of his lecture.

The closing Scripture verses Dr. White pointed to were from Acts 20:17-32.  Acts 20:32 - "And now I commend to God and the word of His grace, which is about to build you up and to give the inheritance among those who are being sanctified."

Some other things about the Papal visit of Pope Francis.  It seems, from what I have read, that President Obama and/ or the White House staff deliberately invited a bunch of homosexuals, trans-gender activists, and Roman Catholics for abortion, in order to cause this Pope some discomfort, or embarrass him, or give him a message, or protest his views on same sex marriage and abortion.  That is shameful, IMO.  His statement's on homosexuality have been weak and unclear, but as conservative RC's have pointed out, he has not changed church doctrine on that issue.  I can appreciate and respect the Roman Catholic Church's stand against abortion and stand for marriage as one man and one woman, etc.

The current Pope's opposition to the death penalty ( I have never understood that, even for first degree murder, since I started hearing about that from the time of John Paul 2) and leftist views of the borders, illegal immigration, global warming, and capitalism are revealing.

Addendum:  The Debate on the Papacy that Dr. White had with Mitch Pacwa in 1998:

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

"Faith," wrote Luther, “is a living, restless thing. It cannot be inoperative. We are not saved by works; but if there be no works, there must be something amiss with faith."

I get various questions of tedium throughout the week. Here's a recent one:

Hi James, Do you know where Luther said, "if there be no works, there must be something amiss with faith"? It's quoted in Bainton's Here I Stand, but in the references section it just says, "VIII, 361." Do you have any idea what that refers to?

I also came across this same snippet from Bainton here:

According to Roland Bainton's biography of Luther, Here I Stand, Luther wrote at one time: Faith is a living, restless thing. It cannot be inoperative. We are not saved by works; but if there be no works, there must be something amiss with faith. Bainton's citation for this purported Luther quote is simply VIII, 361. I do not know what this refers to, so if anyone could comment below and let me know where it comes from, it would be much appreciated.

I actually went through Bainton's use of Luther on this some time back: Did Luther Believe in Saving Faith? I originally cited the quote from Bainton many years ago in my review of Luther's famous "sin boldly" statement. As I recall, only one defender of Rome ever challenged me for not quoting Luther directly (kudos to him for catching this).

Bainton cited WA 8:361. The comment from Luther is found translated into English in a 1521 sermon on Luke 17:11-19. In that context, Luther states the following:
See, this is what James means when he says, 2, 26: "Faith apart from works is dead." For as the body without the soul is dead, so is faith without works. Not that faith is in man and does not work, which is impossible. For faith is a living, active thing. But in order that men may not deceive themselves and think they have faith when they have not, they are to examine their works, whether they also love their neighbors and do good to them. If they do this, it is a sign that they have the true faith. If they do not do this, they only have the sound of faith, and it is with them as the one who sees himself in the glass and when he leaves it and sees himself no more, but sees other things, forgets the face in the glass, as James says in his first chapter, verses 23-24.
[This passage in James deceivers and blind masters have spun out so far, that they have demolished faith and established only works, as though righteousness and salvation did not rest on faith, but on our works. To this great darkness they afterwards added still more, and taught only good works which are no benefit to your neighbor, as fasting, repeating many prayers, observing festival days; not to eat meat, butter, eggs and milk; to build churches, cloisters, chapels, altars; to institute masses, vigils, hours; to wear gray, white and black clothes; to be spiritual; and innumerable things of the same kind, from which no man has any benefit or enjoyment; all which God condemns, and that justly. But St. James means that a Christian life is nothing but faith and love. Love is only being kind and useful to all men, to friends and enemies. And where faith is right, it also certainly loves, and does to another in love as Christ did to him in faith. Thus everyone should beware lest he has in his heart a dream and fancy instead of faith, and thus deceives himself. This he will not learn anywhere as well as in doing the works of love. As Christ also gives the same sign and says: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13, 35. Therefore St. James means to say: Beware, if your life is not in the service of others, and you live for yourself, and care nothing for your neighbor, then your faith is certainly nothing; for it does not do what Christ has done for him. Yea, he does not believe that Christ has done good to him, or he would not omit to do good to his neighbor. [The Complete Sermons of Martin Luther Vol. 3:1 (Michigan: Baker Books, 2000), pp. 71-72].
Elsewhere in The Sermons of Martin Luther, Luther states:
This is what St. James means when his says in his Epistle, 2:26: ‘"Faith without works is dead." That is, as the works do not follow, it is a sure sign that there is no faith there; but only an empty thought and dream, which they falsely call faith. Now we understand the word of Christ: "Make to yourselves friends by means of the mammon of unrighteousness." That is, prove your faith publically by your outward gifts, by which you win friends, that the poor may be witnesses of your public work, that your faith is genuine. For mere external giving in itself can never make friends, unless it proceed from faith, as Christ rejects the alms of the Pharisees in Mat. 6:2, that they thereby make no friends because their heart is false. Thus no heart can ever be right without faith, so that even nature forces the confession that no work makes one good, but that the heart must first be good and upright.  [The Complete Sermons of Martin Luther Vol. 2:2 (Michigan: Baker Books, 2000), p. 308].

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Piper's Intro to new book on Sola Fide by Tom Schreiner

A Prayer for Justice against the evil in this world - Psalm 94

From the Australian group, "Sons of Korah".   I just discovered this group recently and I am impressed with their musical skill and that they have done many of the Psalms, and they are all very wedded to the text of Scripture.  The song covers Psalm 94:1-11.  I don't know what their church background or specific theology is, but so far, of the songs I have listened to, they seem very good.

Psalm 33:1-3 - "play skillfully" (verse 3) to the Lord with a shout of joy !

Psalm 94

"O LORD, God of vengeance

God of vengeance, shine forth!
Rise up, O Judge of the earth,
Render recompense to the proud.
How long shall the wicked, O Lord,
How long shall the wicked exult?
They pour forth words, they speak arrogantly;
All who do wickedness vaunt themselves.
They crush Your people, O Lord,
And afflict Your heritage.
They slay the widow and the stranger
And murder the orphans.
They have said, “The Lord does not see,
Nor does the God of Jacob pay heed.”
Pay heed, you senseless among the people;
And when will you understand, stupid ones?
He who planted the ear, does He not hear?
He who formed the eye, does He not see?
10 He who chastens the nations, will He not rebuke,
Even He who teaches man knowledge?
11 The Lord knows the thoughts of man,
That they are a mere breath.
12 Blessed is the man whom You chasten, O [j]Lord,
And whom You teach out of Your law;
13 That You may grant him relief from the days of adversity,
Until a pit is dug for the wicked.
14 For the Lord will not abandon His people,
Nor will He forsake His inheritance.
15 For judgment will again be righteous,
And all the upright in heart will follow it.
16 Who will stand up for me against evildoers?
Who will take his stand for me against those who do wickedness?
17 If the Lord had not been my help,
My soul would soon have dwelt in the abode of silence.
18 If I should say, “My foot has slipped,”
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, will hold me up.
19 When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,
Your consolations delight my soul.
20 Can a throne of destruction be allied with You,
One which devises mischief by decree?
21 They band themselves together against the life of the righteous
And condemn the innocent to death.
22 But the Lord has been my stronghold,
And my God the rock of my refuge.
23 He has brought back their wickedness upon them
And will destroy them in their evil;
The Lord our God will destroy them.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Calvin's Surprise: There is No Salvation Outside the Church

I recently came across one of Rome's defenders presenting the following quote from John Calvin's Institutes: "...beyond the pale of the Church no forgiveness of sins, no salvation, can be hoped for, . . ." (IV, 1:4) and conclude that Calvin surprisingly believed just like Rome does: there is no salvation outside the Church.  Did Calvin retain an alleged "Roman Catholic" belief? Is this a surprising belief of John Calvin's?

There is no Surprise
The notion of extra ecclesiam nulla salus (outside the Church there is no ‎salvation) may sound Roman Catholic, but properly speaking the phrase is not their sole property. Contrary to what they assume, Rome does not own church history. What is their property is how they currently understand the phrase as expressed in their authoritative documents (see below).

To say Calvin retained the "Catholic" belief of of extra ecclesiam nulla salus would be akin to saying something like Calvin retained the "Catholic" belief in the communion of saints. Some of the main Reformed confessions comment on extra ecclesiam nulla salus. It wasn't that they were retaining a Roman Catholic belief, they were commenting on an expression used throughout the history of the church.

The Belgic Confession states:
We believe, since this holy congregation is an assembly of those who are saved, and that out of it there is no salvation, that no person of whatsoever state or condition he may be, ought to withdraw himself, to live in a separate state from it; but that all men are in duty bound to join and unite themselves with it; maintaining the unity of the Church; submitting themselves to the doctrine and discipline thereof; bowing their necks under the yoke of Jesus Christ; and as mutual members of the same body, serving to the edification of the brethren, according to the talents God has given them. And that this may be the more effectually observed, it is the duty of all believers, according to the word of God, to separate themselves from all those who do not belong to the Church, and to join themselves to this congregation, wheresoever God hath established it, even though the magistrates and edicts of princes were against it, yea, though they should suffer death or any other corporal punishment. Therefore all those, who separate themselves from the same, or do not join themselves to it, act contrary to the ordinance of God. (Belgic Confession, Article 28)
The Westminster Confession of Faith states:
The visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the Gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion; and of their children: and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.
So, if extra ecclesiam nulla salus  is a surprising belief of Calvin's, it certainly shouldn't be surprising to someone with a basic grasp of Reformed theology. It appears it's Rome's defenders and those who seriously read their materials who qualify as the surprised.

John Calvin: There is No Salvation Outside the Church
The above alone serves well enough to demonstrate the folly of presenting Calvin's statement as surprising. On the other hand, exploring Calvin's view is interesting as well. Calvin did indeed say there is no salvation outside the visible church in book IV of the Institutes:
The Visible Church as Mother of Believers
But because it is now our intention to discuss the visible church, let us learn even from the simple title “mother” how useful, indeed how necessary, it is that we should know her. For there is no other way to enter into life unless this mother conceive us in her womb, give us birth, nourish us at her breast, and lastly, unless she keep us under her care and guidance until, putting off mortal flesh, we become like the angels [Matthew 22:30]. Our weakness does not allow us to be dismissed from her school until we have been pupils all our lives. Furthermore, away from her bosom one cannot hope for any forgiveness of sins or any salvation, as Isaiah [Isaiah 37:32] and Joel [Joel 2:32] testify. Ezekiel agrees with them when he declares that those whom God rejects from heavenly life will not be enrolled among God’s people [Ezekiel 13:9]. On the other hand, those who turn to the cultivation of true godliness are said to inscribe their names among the citizens of Jerusalem [cf. Isaiah 56:5; Psalm 87:6]. For this reason, it is said in another psalm: “Remember me, O Jehovah, with favor toward thy people; visit me with salvation: that I may see the well-doing of thy chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the joy of thy nation, that I may be glad with thine inheritance” [Psalm 106:4-5 p.; cf. Psalm 105:4, Vg., etc.]. By these words God’s fatherly favor and the especial witness of spiritual life are limited to his flock, so that it is always disastrous to leave the church. 
Taken at face value,  John Calvin is saying that in order to have salvation, one must be in the visible church in order to have salvation. My comments below are primarily based on two studies:

David N. Wiley, "The Church as the Elect in the Theology of Calvin, " [Timothy George, ed. John Calvin and the Church (Louisville: John Knox Press, 1990, 96-117]

Dennis W. Jowers, "In What Sense Does Calvin Affirm 'Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus'?" [Eddy Van der Borght, Garard Mannion, ed. John Calvin Ecclesiology (New York: T and T Clark, 2011)  50-68].

Wiley provides an interesting analysis of the developments of Calvin's view of the church in the different editions of the Institutes and other writings. He identifies election as basic to Calvin's understanding of the church with "an increasing tendency" to "stress the visible church" (p. 96). He notes Calvin's preface to the King of France that the church need not be visible to exist:
Our controversy turns on these hinges: first, they contend that the form of the church is always apparent and observable. Secondly, they set this form in the see of the Roman Church and its hierarchy. We, on the contrary, affirm that the church can exist without any visible appearance, and that its appearance is not contained within that outward magnificence which they foolishly admire. [Battles translations 74].
Wiley notes that this sense of invisibility was later downplayed in later editions of the Institutes (p. 103). The author then demonstrates that Calvin came more and more to speak of the importance of the visible church, still with election as the foundation of the church. Wiley (p. 106) cites Calvin's Catechism of the Church of Geneva (1542) [Calvini Opera, 6:39-41 (pdf)]:
93 M. What is the Church?
S. The body and society of believers whom God hath predestined to eternal life.
96 M. In what sense do you call the Church holy?
S. All whom God has chosen he justifies, and forms to holiness and innocence of life, [Romans 8:29-30] that his glory may be displayed in them. And this is what Paul means when he says that Christ sanctified the Church which he redeemed, that it might be a glorious Church, free from all blemish. [Ephesians 5:25.]
Q100 M. Can this Church be known in any other way than when she is believed by faith?
S. There is indeed also a visible Church of God, which he has described to us by certain signs and marks, but here we are properly speaking of the assemblage of those whom he has adopted to salvation, by his secret election. This is neither at all times visible to the eye nor discernible by signs.
In regard to the visible church, the 1543 version of the Institutes is cited as stating we are "commanded to hold this visible church in honor and to keep ourselves in communion with it" (p. 108).  Of the 1559 Institutes, Wiley views Calvin as saying in essence that the church is the ordinary means of bringing "the elect to their salvation" (p. 110). When Calvin appealed to extra ecclesiam nulla salus Wiley states, "properly speaking he means not outside the visible church but outside the church of the elect" (p. 110). Wiley makes such a statement (that appears to contradict what Calvin explicitly stated) because he argues the ultimate foundation of the church is election.  Overall, Wiley presents an interesting overview of the development of Calvin's view of the visible church, noting that Calvin knew that the church existed beyond the visible Genevan church as God's invisible elect scattered throughout the world.

Dennis Jowers tackles Calvin and extra ecclesiam nulla salus head on. His basic argument is that "Calvin does teach that faith in Christ and membership of the visible church are prerequisites of salvation" but "he does so with considerable nuance and disowns some of the most harshly exclusivistic conceptions of the impossibility of salvation outside the church" (p. 50). Jowers presents an argument alluded to by Wiley, that the visible church is the normal means of bringing the elect to salvation. On the other hand, there are exceptional cases: "unbaptized infants, children who die in their infancy and adults on the margins of the visible church" (p. 54). These may not use the normal means. There are those though who are not included as obtaining salvation outside the church: "Calvin, then, is no advocate of the 'wider hope' as to the salvation of the unevangelized, which became fashionable in the nineteenth century" (p. 64).
Calvin articulates a version of the classic Christian conviction, extra ecclesiam nulla salus, then, that neither closes the kingdom of God to those who lack access to the church's sacraments nor expands the sense of ecclesia so radically as to render persons who have never heard the gospel, intra ecclasiam for the purpose of salvation. Calvin charts something of a via media: allowing for the salvation of persons relatively isolated from the visible church without blunting the radicality of Reformation Christianity's exclusive claims. (p. 65)

Rome: There is No Salvation Outside the Church
It is true that Rome adheres to a version of "there is no salvation outside the church" (extra ecclesiam nulla salus), and by that, they mean... the Roman Catholic Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.
But this statement has further qualifiers, so that being "outside the church" really isn't what one would think it plainly means. It ventures into the radicality mentioned by Jowers:
The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."
And also:
Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.
Some years back we documented how the American infallible Magisterium (Catholic Answers), held out the hope that atheists could be saved:
It’s also possible for a person to die in God’s friendship even if the person didn’t consciously know God during life. Someone could, through no fault of their own, be unaware of God or not have ever been given sufficient evidence that they concluded God is true, through no fault of their own, and if they otherwise cooperated with his grace, then God won’t hold their ignorance of him against them. So, it’s possible for an atheist to be saved, it’s still through Jesus Christ and through God’s grace, but they can still die not knowing God and still be on their way to heaven as long as they otherwise cooperated with his grace.
But was this the same Roman Catholic Church that Calvin knew? Calvin was probably more familiar with the Roman Catholic Church that said things like this:
It firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart "into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels" [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church. (The Council of Florence,
Denzinger 714).

While Rome's defender mentioned no overt intended purpose other than the surprise value of Calvin's comment, such similarities between Rome and Calvin may be an intended polemic beyond surprise.  Calvin may be being presented to suggest that he agrees with distinctive Roman beliefs that modern Protestants do not. As demonstrated above, the Protestant tradition to which Calvin belongs doesn't find extra ecclesiam nulla salus surprising at all. Along with Calvin, I seriously question the Christian pedigree of those people who see no need to be a member of a visible church. Like the later Reformed confessions, the church is the normal means God uses to nurture his elect. Louis Berkhof points out,
It is very important to bear in mind that, though both the invisible and the visible Church can be considered as universal, the two are not in every respect commensurate. It is possible that some who belong to the invisible Church never become members of the visible organization, as missionary subjects who are converted on their deathbeds, and that others are temporarily excluded from it, as erring believers who are for a time shut out from the communion of the visible Church. On the other hand there may be unregenerated children and adults who, while professing Christ, have no true faith in Him, in the Church as an external institution; and these, as long as they are in that condition, do not belong to the invisible Church. Good definitions of the visible and invisible Church may be found in the Westminster Confession. (Systematic Theology, 627)
The extra ecclesiam nulla salus of Calvin and Rome are in essence quite different. If the analysis of Jowers is correct, Calvin's view has a narrow scope of people saved outside the church, whereas Rome ventures into a severe radicality. The surprising belief is not that John Calvin held to extra ecclesiam nulla salus, but rather that Rome has qualified the statement in such a way as to make it say it's opposite: outside the church there is salvation for just about everyone.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Luther vs. Reformed Theology: On Losing Salvation and the Sin of Unbelief

Some years back I did a blog entry entitled, Did Luther Believe Salvation Can Be Lost? In that entry, I noted the following Luther quote:
Even if he would, he could not lose his salvation, however much he sinned, unless he refused to believe. For no sin can condemn him save unbelief alone. All other sins, so long as the faith in God’s promise made in baptism returns or remains, are immediately blotted out through that same faith, or rather through the truth of God, because he cannot deny himself if you confess him and faithfully cling to him in his promise. But as for contrition, confession of sins, and satisfaction, along with all those carefully devised exercises of men: if you rely on them and neglect this truth of God, they will suddenly fail you and leave you more wretched than before. For whatever is clone without faith in God’s truth is vanity of vanities and vexation of spirit [Eccles. 1:2, 14]" [LW 36: 60].
An interesting historical analysis of this quote can be found here. A Lutheran recently left a portion of this quote in the comment section under the same entry stating,
Having graduated from a Lutheran seminary, this is the position of the Lutheran Church. It is different than Wesleyism in the sense that it does not teach that one loses their salvation because of sin, but that sin may have such an effect on a person that one may lose their faith, thus, coming to a place of unbelief!
I'm bringing this up simply to point out a significant difference between Luther and Reformed theology that is often overlooked from the Reformed side.  Note the following difference between Luther's quote, the Lutheran comment, and the following from R.C. Sproul. Note how Sproul connects the sin of unbelief to limited atonement:
However, the overwhelming majority of Christians who reject limited atonement also reject universal salvation. They are particularists, not universalists. They insist on the doctrine of justification by faith alone. That is, only believers are saved by the atonement of Christ. If that is so, then the atonement, in some sense, must be limited, or restricted, to a definite group, namely believers. If Christ died for all of the sins of all people, that must include the sin of unbelief. If God’s justice is totally satisfied by Christ’s work on the cross, then it would follow that God would be unjust in punishing the unrepentant sinner for his unbelief and impenitence because those sins were already paid for by Christ.
See also, this comment from Dr. Sproul. This is popular Reformed argumentation.  Note A.W. Pink's construction of it:
If ALL the sins of ALL men were laid upon Christ, then the sin of unbelief was too. That unbelief is a sin is clear from the fact that in 1 John 3:23 we read, "And this is His commandment, That we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ." Refusal to believe in Christ is, therefore, an act of flagrant disobedience, rebellion against the Most High. But if all the sins of all men were laid upon Christ (as it is now asserted), then He also endured the penalty for the Christ-rejector's unbelief. If this be so, then Universalism is true. But it is not so. The very advocates of the view we are now refuting would not affirm it. And therein may be seen the inconsistency and untenableness of their teaching. For if unbelief is a sin and Christ did not suffer the penalty of it, then all sin was not laid upon Christ. Thus there are only two alternatives: a strictly limited Atonement, availing only for believers; or an unlimited Atonement which effectually secures the salvation of the entire human race.
See also John Owen's construction of the argument.

So, the moral of this story is that Calvinists should careful with Luther, and also be prepared for a long and tedious discussions with Lutherans on the extent of the atonement, and the meaning of the atonement.