Reformed theologians of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were led by their doctrine of predestination to consider whether Christ had died only for "the elect." This work traces the way they tackled the extent of the atonement. Giving close attention to the Reformers, the debates of the Synod of Dort (1618-1619), and the Amyraldian controversy, it
demonstrates that, up to and including the Swiss "Consensus" of 1675, the Reformed Churches were never able to achieve solid and lasting agreement on this point, and aims to explain why.
As it follows these debates, this work provides insights into the process of the construction of Reformed theology. It ends by suggesting that the long-lasting difficulties experienced by the Reformed over predestination and the extent of the atonement point to a need for a new departure by those who stand in the Reformed tradition today.