Some time back, several of the men in the church agreed to get together to work our way through a book about what is more often called "limited atonement".
The book is a collection of essays from a variety of authors who believe the doctrine that Christ died for a specific group of people only, referred to in the Bible as his "sheep", his "elect" and so on.
Although this was already the position of the church anyway, we felt it only right that we should make sure our belief is grounded in the word of God, so we made the decision to go wherever the Bible took us, no matter how uncomfortable that could be.
Pretty soon, it was realised that central to our considerations was the question of whether Jesus' suffering could be quantified in any way. If it could, this would mean that he suffered to a degree no more and no less than what was required to secure the salvation of his elect. The book rejects this idea, instead proposing that Christ's death was of infinite worth. This leads some to erroneously talk of the "sufficiency" of his death to save everyone.
The authors, like Robert Letham, suggest that we should talk of intent rather than extent. As he puts it, "the spatial and mathematical" yields to the teleological. In other words, instead of talking of a finite degree of suffering, we should consider what God intended in the atonement. If this understanding is correct, we are happy to agree with the authors, as it maintains the work at Calvary as an effective act for the same group of people that Christ elected, justified and intercedes for.