In a recent post on the Theological Meditations blog, Tony Byrne offered an extensive quotation from the esteemed English Puritan, William Lorimer (1640-1722), in which Lorimer traces the history of the debate over the extent of the atonement and concludes that there are not two but three main categories to consider. Two of them are Reformed, and one is Arminian. Here is a little excerpt from the conclusion:
". . . we maintain that Luther and Calvin by holding universal Redemption in the sense explained, did not corrupt the Christian Religion, nor preach a new Gospel. And if they did not, then those amongst us who hold universal Redemption as they held it, do no more corrupt Religion, nor preach a new Gospel than they did; and consequently it is a vile Calumny and Reproach cast upon us (and through us upon our First Reformers,) that by the middle-way aforesaid we corrupt Religion, and preach a new Gospel."
Responding to critics who viewed universal atonement as a distortion of the Gospel, Lorimer carefully distinguished between the Arminian view, the strict Limited Atonement view, and the "Middle Way" of Calvin, Luther, and other early reformers. This is very helpful for those who don't find a sufficient Biblical basis to affirm the strict Limited Atonement view, but also deny the Arminian extreme and wish to articulate a solidly Reformed position that is Biblical and does not distort the clear meaning of numerous Scripture texts.
Mark Driscoll has articulated a similar view, which he confusingly (but paradoxically) calls "unlimited limited atonement." A really cool and creative graphic and web designer named Satchell Drakes has extensively summarized (another paradox) Driscoll's teaching and created the nifty chart below (sorry if you have to squint to see it) . . .