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disciple
10-02-04, 11:57 AM
wondering what all of you think of this:

Both points are distinctly stated to us: namely, that faith in Christ brings life to all, and that Christ brought life, because the Heavenly Father loves the human race, and wishes that they should not perish. And this order ought to be carefully observed; for such is the wicked ambition which belongs to our nature, that when the question relates to the origin of our salvation, we quickly form diabolical imaginations about our own merits...

And he has employed the universal term whosoever, both to invite all indiscriminately to partake of life, and to cut off every excuse from unbelievers. Such is also the import of the term World, which he formerly used; for though nothing will be found in the world that is worthy of the favor of God, yet he shows himself to be reconciled to the whole world, when he invites all men without exception to the faith of Christ, which is nothing else than an entrance into life. Let us remember, on the other hand, that while life is promised universally to all who believe in Christ, still faith is not common to all. For Christ is made known and held out to the view of all, but the elect alone are they whose eyes God opens, that they may seek him by faith.
[Calvin on John 3:16]

Brandan
10-02-04, 01:31 PM
If Calvin wrote that, I'm shocked... ICK!

disciple
10-02-04, 07:44 PM
If Calvin wrote that, I'm shocked... ICK!what do you mean if?

Brandan
10-02-04, 07:46 PM
what do you mean if?Well, I'm not sure he wrote it. That's what I mean. Do you have a source? Thanks...

wildboar
10-02-04, 10:58 PM
Calvin did write this. It is found in his commentary on John 3:16. I think there are a couple different ways of reading this passage that Calvin wrote however. Unfortunately I don't have the time to go into them right now. However, we should keep in mind that Calvin developed his doctrine over time. There is a gradual progression one can see if Calvin's writings are traced on issues such as a general love God has for all people which is denied in his later writings. The same is true of Luther and I would hope that all of us would develop in our theology.

harald
10-03-04, 03:39 AM
Brandan. Here take a look at some quotes by Calvin on Justification. I put together this quote collection some week ago. Like I say in the introduction if a man has some discernment and knowledge of Paul's Gospel then he will see where Calvin strayed from Paul. Some of the quotes are more clearly heretical than others, but on the whole I trust you will see Calvin was not as orthodox a man as is being touted by some.

http://uk.geocities.com/romans5_21/Calvin_Justification_quot.html



harald

doctr_of_grace
10-03-04, 07:31 AM
harald ...

I guess I am a real dummy but I fail to see how these quotes are complete heresy and that Calvin is therefore a heretic headed for hell. Is that your belief? Faith and righteousness are interwined and it is because we believe that we justified. We believe ONLY BECAUSE GOD HAS GRANTED TO US belief.

I guess I just don't get it. I also am not smart enough to distinguish from small snipets the theology that was set forth as "reformed" and held up to fight the real heresy of the RCC is now considered by you heretical. Oh well ....... one learns with time as WB so stated :) .

Thanks, Jan

GraceAmbassador
10-03-04, 09:52 AM
harald ...

I guess I am a real dummy but I fail to see how these quotes are complete heresy and that Calvin is therefore a heretic headed for hell. Is that your belief? Faith and righteousness are interwined and it is because we believe that we justified. We believe ONLY BECAUSE GOD HAS GRANTED TO US belief.

I guess I just don't get it. I also am not smart enough to distinguish from small snipets the theology that was set forth as "reformed" and held up to fight the real heresy of the RCC is now considered by you heretical. Oh well ....... one learns with time as WB so stated :) .

Thanks, Jan
Jan:

Perhaps as all of us Calvin had some issues with the "experiential" Gospel, (the one we experience) and the Eternal Plan God has designed for the elect.

Let me explain:

Calvin, after making this apology for "faith" as interwinded with rigtheousness (your words), states (in Disciple's quote):

"...still faith is not common to all. For Christ is made known and held out to the view of all, but the elect alone are they whose eyes God opens, that they may seek him by faith."

Thus, Calvin states that this can only happen to the Elect. This makes such a faith a "received" faith, meaning that someone else was its source and it had to be given in order to be received and it had to be given before it was received. This is still a whole lot different than the RCC and most current heresies about Salvation. If it would be a faith available to all, that somewhat was rejected by God, if the reprobate could receive this faith and then be rejected by God, or if the reprobate could receive such a faith and use it to "manipulate" God into changing His opinion and saving them, then it would be a great heresy what Calvin taught.

The struggle with the notions Eternal Justification, God granting faith to the elect in order for Him to receive knowledge of his justification, the contrast of being "justified by faith" but such justifying faith is a gift, a received faith, something that we did not possess and that was freely given to us, and the day in our current lives that all this happens to us, or we are made aware of something done eternally to be used by God to accomplish His eternal purpose, the struggle with these notions, I repeat, is something that is not new.

My 1 1/4 cents worth...

Milt

tomas1
10-03-04, 10:38 AM
I love the quote it shows that if you look hard enough at anyone’s writings you will find stuff you would think is heresy. It’s just the nature of imperfect humans. Only the Bible is infallible. And only God is perfect.

Besides that I actually admire what Calvin said here. As long as you take this quote together with his whole body of work you will see He is only trying to be faithful to the text itself no matter what his theology as a whole says.
We can disagree with his conclusions but we must admit that at first glance at least this is what John 3:16 seems to say. I like someone who will just read the Bible and let the chips fall where they may. Sola Scriptura !!

wildboar
10-03-04, 11:48 AM
Harald:

Scripture says that all the following things take place through the instrument of faith: God bestows righteousness upon us (Rom. 3:21-22, Phi. 3:9), Christ is a propitiation (Rom. 3:25), we are justified (Gal. 2:16), the uncircumcised are justified (Rom. 3:30), we receive the promise of the Spirit(Gal. 3:14), are the sons of God (Gal. 3:26), we are saved (Eph. 2:8), Christ dwells in our hearts (Eph. 3:17), we are made wise unto salvation (2 Tim. 3:15), we inherit the promises (Heb. 6:12), and are kept by the power of God unto salvation (1 Pet. 1:5).

Also, when reading Calvin it should be kept in mind that he wrote in Latin. The word translated as offer in the passage is the Latin word offere. Our word offer has a much broader meaning than offere did. Offere primarily means "to present, to bring towards, to thrust forward, to show, to exhibit." Calvin explicitly denies the modern notion of the well-meant offer in his writings.

Calvin writes:

His sole design in thus promising, is to offer His mercy to all who desire and seek it, which none do but those whom he has enlightened, and He enlightens all whom He has predestined to salvation (III,24,17).

disciple
10-03-04, 01:55 PM
Also, when reading Calvin it should be kept in mind that he wrote in Latin. The word translated as offer in the passage is the Latin word offere. Our word offer has a much broader meaning than offere did. Offere primarily means "to present, to bring towards, to thrust forward, to show, to exhibit." Calvin explicitly denies the modern notion of the well-meant offer in his writings.and didn't he also write in french?

also, is the word "invite" used here "offere"? because it does not seem like this meaning (to present, show, exhibit) would actually make sense in the context he's using the term (notice also the other things he says):

Christ brought life, because the Heavenly Father loves the human race, and wishes that they should not perish
And he has employed the universal term whosoever, both to invite (offer? how would that work here) all indiscriminately to partake of life,
yet he shows himself to be reconciled to the whole world, when he invites (offers?) all men without exception to the faith of Christ, which is nothing else than an entrance into life
also the implication is that the invitation is made with the expectation that it may be accepted or rejected. otherwise calvin would not have added the qualifiers:

both to invite all indiscriminately to partake of life, and to cut off every excuse from unbelievers.

Let us remember, on the other hand, that while life is promised universally to all who believe in Christ, still faith is not common to all. For Christ is made known and held out to the view of all, but the elect alone are they whose eyes God opens, that they may seek him by faith.

so it is a presentation of Christ, life, salvation, etc. for/to all, but with the understanding that only some will accept it, namely the elect. but this is left to the secret things of God.

wildboar
10-03-04, 03:12 PM
and didn't he also write in french?

also, is the word "invite" used here "offere"? because it does not seem like this meaning (to present, show, exhibit) would actually make sense in the context he's using the term (notice also the other things he says):
Yes, Calvin also would write in French. However, he normally wrote in Latin and then translated them into French so the Latin is considered by most to be the authoritative edition. I haven't heard mention of offere in Calvin's writings being translated as invite so I'm assuming for the moment that it's a different word. I don't own a copy of Calvin's writings in Latin. My comments about "offere" were made in regard to harald's link.

Calvin's commentary on certain passages are certainly in error. I'm not denying that.

harald
10-03-04, 04:39 PM
Jan. To say e.g. "we are justified because we believe" or something closely synonymous betrays a belief in justification conditioned on subjective Christ-ward faith. This is pure heresy. Essentially it does not differ from the RCC heresy of Justification by works, or, by faith + works. Romanists are quick to say the faith and works by which they are justified are the fruit of Christ's Spirit in them. Calvinists so-called are quick to say the "faith" by or through which they are justified is "a gift of God". Both make God's Spirit and themselves the determining factor in their claimed justification, just that Catholics add one more thing (works), whereas Reformed/Calvinist people in their subtle piety condition justification only on "faith" (God-inwrought such). Both the RCC and their seeming opponent, the Reformed/Calvinist, do away with Christ and His Righteousness as the only thing which can recommend a man to God and gain for him entrance into Heaven. They rob the Christ they claim to know of His preeminence in the matter of Justification before God and shift it to the Holy Spirit and subjective Christ-ward faith. This is "THE LIE", about the subtlest falsehood and heresy ever perpetrated in the name of Christianity.

Paul the apostle did not teach this lie, but Luther and Calvin apparently did. In that case Calvin is not "headed for hell", but IS in hell already, because no liars ever enter God's heaven. So says John in Revelation under Divine inspiration. If this ain't solemn then nothing is.

By a man's verbal statements about soteriological, christological etc. things his understanding in spiritual things is seen to a high degree. Calvin's soteriological statements about Justification do not match Paul's description about how God justifies the ungodly. The purported truths about justification which Calvin describes have no counterpart in the realm and operational sphere of the one true God. God has never conditioned justification before His countenance on Spirit-wrought faith in Christ, and His holy word, the Scripture, in fact nowhere teaches such satanic falsehood. Think about it.


harald

doctr_of_grace
10-03-04, 04:49 PM
Ok guys .... sorry but I did a knee jerk reaction this morning. Calvin is indeed a human being who would and does have error in his theology ... no question about that. The purpose of this forum is to learn, expand our thinking and to first and foremost delve into the Word. This is what it does for me. I certainly take everything stated in here with a "grain of salt" because it is mostly opinion. I have changed my mind on a few issues and held fast on a few others :) .

No one including Calvin has perfect theology or perfect knowledge. But at least we are able to look at the work he has done and it will hopefully cause us to question what is really meant in this or that passage.

I have seen the word "offer" even in the WCF. I personally believe the standards had in mind the term "offere", yet we have Presbyterian churches claiming that the WCF teaches "well meant offer" of the gospel. I fail to see that in the confessional if you take the entire document and what it says about election etc etc etc.

I must agree somewhat with tomas1 - "Besides that I actually admire what Calvin said here. As long as you take this quote together with his whole body of work you will see He is only trying to be faithful to the text itself no matter what his theology as a whole says."

I agree with what GA had to say to me and I appreciate that ;) .

I have heard and seen Calvin get so ripped apart. It is expected to happen when someone writes the amount that this man wrote... but sheesh ... to pull stuff out of context or without looking at what he consistently states throughout all of his writing is just not being fair to man.

Harald .... I appreciate that you put those quotes together but again I fail to see the heresy in them. If we want to continue this discussion I really need you to show me where Calvin went wrong on his teaching of righteousness, justification, faith and the like.

Thanks Jan

doctr_of_grace
10-03-04, 04:57 PM
Jan. To say e.g. "we are justified because we believe" or something closely synonymous betrays a belief in justification conditioned on subjective Christ-ward faith. This is pure heresy. Essentially it does not differ from the RCC heresy of Justification by works, or, by faith + works. Romanists are quick to say the faith and works by which they are justified are the fruit of Christ's Spirit in them. Calvinists so-called are quick to say the "faith" by or through which they are justified is "a gift of God". Both make God's Spirit and themselves the determining factor in their claimed justification, just that Catholics add one more thing (works), whereas Reformed/Calvinist people in their subtle piety condition justification only on "faith" (God-inwrought such). Both the RCC and their seeming opponent, the Reformed/Calvinist, do away with Christ and His Righteousness as the only thing which can recommend a man to God and gain for him entrance into Heaven. They rob the Christ they claim to know of His preeminence in the matter of Justification before God and shift it to the Holy Spirit and subjective Christ-ward faith. This is "THE LIE", about the subtlest falsehood and heresy ever perpetrated in the name of Christianity.

Paul the apostle did not teach this lie, but Luther and Calvin apparently did. In that case Calvin is not "headed for hell", but IS in hell already, because no liars ever enter God's heaven. So says John in Revelation under Divine inspiration. If this ain't solemn then nothing is.

By a man's verbal statements about soteriological, christological etc. things his understanding in spiritual things is seen to a high degree. Calvin's soteriological statements about Justification do not match Paul's description about how God justifies the ungodly. The purported truths about justification which Calvin describes have no counterpart in the realm and operational sphere of the one true God. God has never conditioned justification before His countenance on Spirit-wrought faith in Christ, and His holy word, the Scripture, in fact nowhere teaches such satanic falsehood. Think about it.


harald
Sorry harald but I just don't see what you are accusing Calvin of teaching is in fact what he is stating. He in NO WAY NO TIME HAS EVER made justfication a work of man. PLEASEEEEEEEEEEE GIVE ME A BREAK!!!! If you see it in his writing you sir are going at reading him with a presupposition. He stood up against the heresy of the RCC and to say he is just like them really causes me another knee jerk reaction hahahaha.

I am wondering if there is something I am missing if you guys want to show me please do so.:)

Harald I do have a couple of questions for you though ...

What is the object of our faith?

What is the instrument of justification?

Thanks, Jan

GraceAmbassador
10-03-04, 05:18 PM
Thanks Jan! Wise words!

The flipside of this "coin" would be totally to eliminate "faith" from soteriological teaching. One must be very cunning in explaining away all the instances where the Bible says "by faith" and "through faith", or words to that effect.
I am very comfortable in saying this because I believe that our Salvation, as a complete work, is not conditioned upon our faith. However, can we write any notions of "faith" as an "instrument" (using W.B. words) off of the Bible? I propose NOT!

The issue here is what Calvin taught and not what I think. What I think here could not be of a lesser importance. However, consider this analogy and perhaps we can be a little more understanding of the "role" of faith in Salvation:

The prodigal son returns home after eating pig's feed.
He returns dirty, disheveld and most likely odorific
The Father received him as a Son still on the way, before he arrived home. He was a son then, as he had been a son before he left and during his time out
However, the father takes him in the house, cleans him up, puts some new robes on him and a ring on his finger.

Neither the robes nor the family ring made that young man the son of the Father. The Father had already decided that he was a son unconditionally. Not his odor, nor his appearance, nor the terrible thing he did abandoning the home and eating with pigs, such a filthy and religiously foul animal could ever change the fact that he was a son of the father.
But after asking for forgiveness and receiving it and also receiving the family ring and the robes, this young man knew for a fact, beyond any shadow of doubt that he was indeed a son. Interestingly enough, even the older son knew then, by those "symbols", clothes and ring, that his brother had been a son all the way.

So is faith. God unconditionally loves His elect. He does not condition His paternity on the "faith" of His elect. He simply made Himself, rather, is a Father to them by His own decree. But when the elect comes to Him (the experiential Gospel) God give him faith, and faith, just as the robes, the family clothes and the ring, become to us, the elect, the wonderful mark of sonship.

Many here will read my analogy and find it simplistic and non-theological. That is okay. But I believe that the richness of the parable of the prodigal son is somewhat imporivished if we lose sight that the young man was a son before he left, during his leave and after he came back home unconditionally. Fellowship was broken but not relationship. The family ring, the cleaning, the clothes were the tangible proof of his sonship. So is faith!

Faith is the substance of things hoped for... the evidence of things not seen.

My 1 1/8 cents worth.

Milt

doctr_of_grace
10-03-04, 05:18 PM
Paul the apostle did not teach this lie, but Luther and Calvin apparently did. In that case Calvin is not "headed for hell", but IS in hell already, because no liars ever enter God's heaven. So says John in Revelation under Divine inspiration. If this ain't solemn then nothing is.harald
Hmmm I don't know you at all harald but if you really think that Luther and Calvin are in hell there isn't much hope for any of us. I guess this is the TRUE MEANING OF DOCTRINIAL REGENERATION!!!!

doctr_of_grace
10-03-04, 05:33 PM
Milt,

I definately give you a full two cents worth!!! You are selling yourself short :D .

I too believe that our faith is what gives us our assurance that we are in fact children of God. I appreciate what you wrote and I believe that is what Calvin taught.

Thanks again ... Jan

wildboar
10-03-04, 10:20 PM
harald:

Could you please give an explanation of the passages in Scripture which say that we are justifed by faith?

harald
10-04-04, 03:00 AM
No one including Calvin has perfect theology or perfect knowledge. (Jan)


This is not what the New Testament says. Paul has perfect theology, he was no teacher of error or heresy. So also John. And these are the men to imitate if one has been Divinely summoned into fellowship with God. Statements like the above are often made as an excuse for clinging to or entertaining error or heresy. Erroneous and heretical men have no call or authority from God to be "teachers". They run unsent. The Scripture warns about not too many seeking to be teachers, they shall have the greater judgment.

If you do not now understand where Calvin wandered from the truth then hopefully soon you will, God willing.

harald

harald
10-04-04, 03:17 AM
Jan, Calvin may not have in plain words said "justification is a work of man", but his statements overall betray his error. He may have said "God justifies" but he made the ground or determining factor of justification something within man - God-wrough faith in Christ.

Jan, you asked about "the object of our faith". Well, I cannot answer for us both, only for me myself. The object of my faith is not my faith, but someone and something greater than so.

Then you ask about "the instrument of justification". Well, the New Testament does not have the word "instrument" in connection with the noun "justification" or the verb "justified". So to make a definite dogma involving "instrument" or "instrumentality" like some have seemingly done is in some sense to go beyond "what is written". The closest one finds to "instrument" when it comes to justification is the preposition DIA in the Greek text. And why not the "instrumental dative" in the GNT.

I did a check on the KJV text, and in the NT found "justification" thrice (3x), only once was the preposition for instrumentality, DIA, used in connection with it, in Rom. 4:25. But here the construction was DIA plus accusative ("on account of") so it had nothing to do with instrumentality. The other two which were moot verses in this matter were Rom. 5:16 and 18.

Then I did a search on the form "justified", concentrating only on Paul. In KJV I found "justified" in connection with DIA in Rom. 3:24. KJV rightly here renders "through". But if rendered "through the instrumentality of" then the instrumentality is what follows - "the redemption that is in Christ Jesus". The next verse where I find "justified" in connection with DIA is Gal. 2:16. KJV renders it "by", but if rendered "through the instrumentality of" then what follows would be the instrumentality - "the faith of Jesus Christ". The noun for "faith" is here the form "pisteôs", and can be likewise rendered "faithfulness". Mark well it says not "faith IN Jesus Christ". These two were the only two occasions were the form "justified" and the instrumental preposition DIA meet, and not once is the "instrument" something within a sinner.

Then the same form, "justified", in connection with the simple dative form (not EN plus dative). In some contexts this form is referred to as "instrumental dative". The first occasion I found was Rom. 3:28. Versions, including KJV, usually have the wording "justified by faith", the "by" expressing the force of the dative case of "pistei". This is probably the favourite verse of those that believe and maintain "justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone". First, it does not say "justified by faith IN CHRIST", simply "justified by faith". They do not get the notion of "faith in Christ" from the immediate context, but must import it from some other place, whatever that may be, whether Luther or Calvin or Spurgeon etc. Secondly, those that maintain a man becomes justified before God by or through or because of faith in Christ usually maintain that this justification is a one time occurence. But, in their drawing support for this their doctrine from Rom. 3:28 ("justified by faith") they are not prudent or honest enough to state that the tense of the verb "justified" here is not aorist in the Greek text(s), but present tense. Aorist is the "tense of completed action", aka "point action tense", the tense used to picture or describe a one time action. But mark well that here that the present tense is used by Paul, therefore the "justified" he here talks about cannot be the same thing as the one time happening of "justified" the Solafideite would want this verse to talk about. The form of the verb in the original tongue is infinitive present passive. In an interlinear which seeks to distinguish between aorist and present it looks like this - "to be being justified" (NOT "to be justified"). This verse is thus seen to teach a progressive "justified"/"justification", and that "by faith". Now I would ask the Solafideite, what is your explanation? What does Paul mean?
The second occasion of the form "justified" in connection with simple dative case was Titus 3:7. KJV renders the dative with "by". If rendered "by the instrumentality of" then the instrument would be what follows next - "his grace". Mark well NOT "justified by the instrumentality of faith in Christ".

Then I found DIA in connection with the form "(shall) justify" in one verse, Rom. 3:30. Here also "faith" occurs. KJV says "shall justify...through faith". Not "through faith IN Christ". Mark well that the Greek has an article which KJV does not translate, i.e. lit. "shall justify...through THE faith". What is there in the preceding or surrounding context which makes a man think this means "shall justify through faith in Christ"? Any takers?

Then the form "justifieth". It is found twice in KJV, Rom. 4:5 and 8:33. In both of these it is God who "justifieth".

Now I would ask the Solafideite, on what or which verses do you base your doctrine that subjective God-given Christ-ward faith/trust is an "instrument" of justification before God the Judge of all men?


harald


P.S.

Another verse I come to think of where "justify" is the issue is Rom. 5:19, KJV says "shall many be made righteous". The "made" is more literally "constituted" (Gr. katastathęsontai). In this verse also DIA is used by Paul, KJV renders it "by". Or why not - "... and through the instrumentality of the obedience of the One shall the many be constituted righteous"

doctr_of_grace
10-04-04, 06:44 AM
Sorry harald but what a bunch of dribble. It is FAITH in something that justifies. The something has to be a something or you could claim that just having "faith" in anything at all including faith that the chair you are sitting on will hold you up etc etc etc is sufficent faith.

What is this about justification being an ongoing thing? You are either declared Justified or you are not. It isn't something that grows.

The object of MY FAITH is CHRIST. You couldn't answer that? So tell me what is the meaning of "something greater"? The sun, the universe or a force in the universe? May the force be with you.

Amazing that an unscholarly person such as myself can see through your silliness. Sorry to be so insulting but you have truly insulted me. By the way I do believe that the AUTHORS of the BIBLE are not the same as general mankind. Unless of course you don't believe that the Word is in fact Inspired or "GOD BREATHED". We are all INCLUDING YOU DEAR SIR subject to our fallen minds when reading God's Word and will BRING INTO IT OUR SINFULNESS!!!! Therefore no one is perfect INCLUDING YOU. Luther got some issues wrong, Calvin got some issues wrong, Sprugeon got more issues wrong hahaha and I for sure have some issues wrong. This why I hope to be somewhat "teachable" and willing to look at scripture for what it says and not what I want it to say. I firmly believe that Calvin approached scripture in such a manner and I also believe that he was an instrument used by God to help the church to move away from the Fallen Whore of Babylon called the RCC.

After reading the institutes I have actually grown in my understanding of God's Word. It certainly isn't what is being taught in mainstream evangelical christianity. For this my heart breaks because "the church" has again started creeping back to the man made religion of the RCC while still calling itself protestant. I see it in even the "nominal" calvinist camps. Oh well that is another topic ;) .

Hmmmm hopefully you can futher explain yourself to me.

Take care, Jan

wildboar
10-04-04, 08:02 AM
harald:


Then you ask about "the instrument of justification". Well, the New Testament does not have the word "instrument" in connection with the noun "justification" or the verb "justified". So to make a definite dogma involving "instrument" or "instrumentality" like some have seemingly done is in some sense to go beyond "what is written". The closest one finds to "instrument" when it comes to justification is the preposition DIA in the Greek text.
It is not going beyond what is written if that is the function of the construction in Greek. Translation and interpretation is not done merely by finding the closest one word equivalent.

Could you please provide an explanation of Romans 3:25?

Romans 3:25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,

Also, Gal. 3:6?

Galatians 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Eph. 3:17?

Ephesians 3:17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

disciple
10-04-04, 10:24 AM
harald:


It is not going beyond what is written if that is the function of the construction in Greek. Translation and interpretation is not done merely by finding the closest one word equivalent.

Could you please provide an explanation of Romans 3:25?

Romans 3:25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,...also continuing on in vv. 28-30:

Romans 3:28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith (dative with no preposition) apart from works of the Law...30 since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by (EK) faith and the uncircumcised through (DIA) faith is one.

and in 4:5:

Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,

and Gal 3:8, 24:

Gal 3:8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by (EK) faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU"...24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by (EK) faith.

doctr_of_grace
10-05-04, 06:40 AM
I went back to my Calvin Commentaries to see if what is being charged against Calvin is accurate. Guess what I found .... That the quote by Disciple is grossly taken out of context. SURPRISE SUPRISE ... Let's look at the entire section shall we then let's decide if Calvin in fact believed what is being asserted. Here is the first section that the sentence was lifted from:






That whosoever believeth on him may not perish. It is a remarkable commendation of faith, that it frees us from everlasting destruction. For he intended expressly to state that, though we appear to have been born to death, undoubted deliverance is offered to us by the faith of Christ; and, therefore, that we ought not to fear death, which otherwise hangs over us. And he has employed the universal term whosoever, both to invite all indiscriminately to partake of life, and to cut off every excuse from unbelievers. Such is also the import of the term World, which he formerly used; for though nothing will be found in the world that is worthy of the favor of God, yet he shows himself to be reconciled to the whole world, when he invites all men without exception to the faith of Christ, which is nothing else than an entrance into life.



Now lets see how Mr Calvin qualifies himself ....



Let us remember, on the other hand, that while life is promised universally to all who believe in Christ, still faith is not common to all. For Christ is made known and held out to the view of all, but the elect alone are they whose eyes God opens, that they may seek him by faith. Here, too, is displayed a wonderful effect of faith; for by it we receive Christ such as he is given to us by the Father — that is, as having freed us from the condemnation of eternal death, and made us heirs of eternal life, because, by the sacrifice of his death, he has atoned for our sins, that nothing may prevent God from acknowledging us as his sons. Since, therefore, faith embraces Christ, with the efficacy of his death and the fruit of his resurrection, we need not wonder if by it we obtain likewise the life of Christ.






As I would hope all of you can see that Calvin did NOT teach universal atonement nor did he teach that faith is something conditional from the man.

If you bother to read the section above this area you will clearly see that he believed our only hope is in Christ ...



16. For God so loved the world. Christ opens up the first cause, and, as it were, the source of our salvation, and he does so, that no doubt may remain; for our minds cannot find calm repose, until we arrive at the unmerited love of God. As the whole matter of our salvation must not be sought any where else than in Christ, so we must see whence Christ came to us, and why he was offered to be our Savior. Both points are distinctly stated to us: namely, that faith in Christ brings life to all, and that Christ brought life, because the Heavenly Father loves the human race, and wishes that they should not perish. And this order ought to be carefully observed; for such is the wicked ambition which belongs to our nature, that when the question relates to the origin of our salvation, we quickly form diabolical imaginations about our own merits.



Accordingly, we imagine that God is reconciled to us, because he has reckoned us worthy that he should look upon us. But Scripture everywhere extols his pure and unmingled mercy, which sets aside all merits. And the words of Christ mean nothing else, when he declares the cause to be in the love of God. For if we wish to ascend higher, the Spirit shuts the door by the mouth of Paul, when he informs us that this love was founded on the purpose of his will, (<490105>Ephesians 1:5.) And, indeed, it is very evident that Christ spoke in this manner, in order to draw away men from the contemplation of themselves to look at the mercy of God alone. Nor does he say that God was moved to deliver us, because he perceived in us something that was worthy of so excellent a blessing, but ascribes the glory of our deliverance entirely to his love. And this is still more clear 105 from what follows; for he adds, that God gave his Son to men, that they may not perish. Hence it follows that, until Christ bestow his aid in rescuing the lost, all are destined to eternal destruction. This is also demonstrated by Paul from a consideration of the time; for he loved us while we were still enemies by sin, (<450508>Romans 5:8, 10.) And, indeed, where sin reigns, we shall find nothing but the wrath of God, which draws death along with it. It is mercy, therefore, that reconciles us to God, that he may likewise restore us to life.



This mode of expression, however, may appear to be at variance with many passages of Scripture, which lay in Christ the first foundation of the love of God to us, and show that out of him we are hated by God. But we ought to remember — what I have already stated — that the secret love with which the Heavenly Father loved us in himself is higher than all other causes; but that the grace which he wishes to be made known to us, and by which we are excited to the hope of salvation, commences with the reconciliation which was procured through Christ. For since he necessarily hates sin, how shall we believe that we are loved by him, until atonement has been made for those sins on account of which he is justly offended at us? Thus, the love of Christ must intervene for the purpose of reconciling God to us, before we have any experience of his fatherly kindness. But as we are first informed that God, because he loved us, gave his Son to die for us, so it is immediately added, that it is Christ alone on whom, strictly speaking, faith ought to look.






Anyways .... For what it is worth haha Calvin did not teach nor did he ever believe in Universal Atonement nor that man is merited in anyway to receive the "Love of God". Nor does he suggest that Christ's atonement is efficiently applied to all of mankind. Nor does he say that GOD LOVES all of mankind indiscriminatly.








Yet again my two cents worth :) .






I hope to hear what you all think of taking someone out of context. This is why I am suspect of what Harald put together. You can pull just about any sentence out of context and conclude just about anything about anyone!!!! Very dangereous and many of "cults" have done it to God's Word throughout time. I know because I was raised in one.





Thanks again .... Jan

wildboar
10-05-04, 08:48 AM
doctr of grace:

I'm not certain that this tells us that Calvin did not teach an unlimited atonement here. It seems that Calvin is teaching that Christ died for all men but that this atonement does not provide them any benefit unless God regenerates them. This is similar to the teachings of Lutheran theology. For an interesting article on Calvin's teaching on the atonement which argues that he did teach a limited atonement you might want to read John Calvin’s View of the Extent of the Atonement (http://www.apuritansmind.com/Arminianism/NicoleRogerCalvinsLimitedAtonement.htm) by Dr. Roger Nicole

disciple
10-05-04, 10:10 AM
I went back to my Calvin Commentaries to see if what is being charged against Calvin is accurate. Guess what I found .... That the quote by Disciple is grossly taken out of context. SURPRISE SUPRISE ...

Now lets see how Mr Calvin qualifies himself ....


Let us remember, on the other hand, that while life is promised universally to all who believe in Christ, still faith is not common to all. For Christ is made known and held out to the view of all, but the elect alone are they whose eyes God opens, that they may seek him by faith. Here, too, is displayed a wonderful effect of faith; for by it we receive Christ such as he is given to us by the Father — that is, as having freed us from the condemnation of eternal death, and made us heirs of eternal life, because, by the sacrifice of his death, he has atoned for our sins, that nothing may prevent God from acknowledging us as his sons. Since, therefore, faith embraces Christ, with the efficacy of his death and the fruit of his resurrection, we need not wonder if by it we obtain likewise the life of Christ.







As I would hope all of you can see that Calvin did NOT teach universal atonement nor did he teach that faith is something conditional from the man.

If you bother to read the section above this area you will clearly see that he believed our only hope is in Christ ...

i certainly hope you're not accusing me of deliberately taking the quote out of context to make calvin say something that he did not. number one, if you look back at the quote, i provided that which you underlined (i.e., calvin's qualification). number two, i provided the reference so that you could go look for yourself. number three, i believe that i provided enough of the reference to get a gist of what he was talking about (qualifiers and all) and be able to comment. therefore, if you are making an accusation, i think you need to kindly retract it, with all due respect.



Anyways .... For what it is worth haha Calvin did not teach nor did he ever believe in Universal Atonement nor that man is merited in anyway to receive the "Love of God". Nor does he suggest that Christ's atonement is efficiently applied to all of mankind. Nor does he say that GOD LOVES all of mankind indiscriminatly.

thanks for your thoughts. just to clarify, i did not assert anything in my post. i posted the quote for everyone to comment on (without any comment of my own). the words can speak for themselves. do not read anything into my motive or interpretation of what calvin wrote. out of curiosity, where did you get all of that you were railing against? in other words, who said any of what you are objecting to calvin saying above?

doctr_of_grace
10-05-04, 03:03 PM
Disciple ... I retract any form of accusing you of taking Calvin out of context. Sorry about the misunderstanding and I appreciate that you clarified your position and you are right of course you didnt make any claim what so ever. It was what was posted that got me going. Having been confronted with the John 3:16 commentary awhile back I remember reading on and seeing that Calvin did qualify his statement (at least somewhat).

Harald is the one I have the main issue with and the list of snipets he has put together. Unlike you his list has no references.

I have just seen time and time again people saying Calvin taught this or Calvin said that and more often then not they have misread his intent or injected there own bias or agenda into his words or even worse grossly taken his writing out of context. We can all be guilty of bringing presuppositions to the table with any reader whether positive or negative. I am certainly guilty of it myself.

Please accept my apology disciple. :)

Thanks, Jan

doctr_of_grace
10-05-04, 03:06 PM
doctr of grace:

I'm not certain that this tells us that Calvin did not teach an unlimited atonement here. It seems that Calvin is teaching that Christ died for all men but that this atonement does not provide them any benefit unless God regenerates them. This is similar to the teachings of Lutheran theology. For an interesting article on Calvin's teaching on the atonement which argues that he did teach a limited atonement you might want to read John Calvin’s View of the Extent of the Atonement (http://www.apuritansmind.com/Arminianism/NicoleRogerCalvinsLimitedAtonement.htm) by Dr. Roger Nicole
thanks for the article

disciple
10-05-04, 04:05 PM
Disciple ... I retract any form of accusing you of taking Calvin out of context...Please accept my apology disciple. :)thank you. of course i accept your apology. no harm, no foul.

disciple
10-06-04, 10:48 AM
However, we should keep in mind that Calvin developed his doctrine over time. There is a gradual progression one can see if Calvin's writings are traced on issues such as a general love God has for all people which is denied in his later writings.do you know when this was written? is this an early writing? do you know of any books that trace and catalogue this gradual progression in his theology? and is there explicit evidence that he retracted this particular interpretation of his? thanks!

wildboar
10-06-04, 04:29 PM
do you know when this was written? is this an early writing? do you know of any books that trace and catalogue this gradual progression in his theology? and is there explicit evidence that he retracted this particular interpretation of his? thanks!
I'll have to look into this more. I don't recall ever seeing Calvin issue a retraction of his interpretation of John 3:16. However, I know that this commentary was written sometime prior to his sermons on election and reprobation and those sermons contained in Calvin's Calvinism where he denies some of the things that he says this verse teaches though he does not refer to this verse itself.

doctr_of_grace
10-07-04, 06:53 AM
I have heard and this maybe is a case of Calvin being misquoted that sometime in his 40's Calvin said he hadn't changed his mind on any of his theology. I am not even sure where that comes from though so it maybe inaccurate.

Perhaps I am really slow here but what exactly is it that seems to be the problem? Is it that he (Calvin) states that all men are to be presented the gospel indiscriminatly? Or that he used the ever evil word "universally"? The more I read his passage on John 3:16 and even on the entire discourse of Jesus and Nicodemus I am not seeing a real major problem with Calvins explanation. 1 Tim 2:4 is much harder to take as well as the 1 John 2:2 verse as far as a "universal" effect of the cross on mankind. These two verses are much more wide open for a "universal" idea of atonement yet if you read Calvin's commentary on both these passages he defends predestination and election very vigorously. So I believe if Calvin really believed in unlimited atonement it would show up on these two passages in his commentary. Yet it doesn't.

Thanks for the discussion .... Jan

wildboar
10-07-04, 07:57 AM
doct of grace:

The question revolves around whether John Calvin in his commentary on John 3:16 taught something similar to Amyraut who taught hypothetical universalism in the 17th century, a system which came to be known as Amyraldianism. It teaches that Christ savingly died for all men but that only the elect receive the benefits through faith.

Many modern "Calvinists" fall into this same trap when they say that Christ's death was efficient for all but sufficient only for the elect. Many teach that the Canons actually say this. This is what they actually say:


CAN 2:3 The death of the Son of God is the only and most perfect sacrifice and satisfaction for sin; and is of infinite worth and value, abundantly sufficient to expiate the sins of the whole world.


What the fathers were speaking of was the death of Christ considered in itself apart from God's decree, apart from the intent of Christ, and apart from the fact that Christ actually represented in His death only the elect. They were saying that if it had been Christ's intent to save all men His death would have been sufficient to save everyone in the world and any other worlds a person could think up. There was nothing lacking in the sacrifice. The death was of infinite value. But Christ went to the cross with the sins of His people, not the sins of every person who ever lived.

disciple
10-07-04, 10:28 AM
Many modern "Calvinists" fall into this same trap when they say that Christ's death was efficient for all but sufficient only for the elect. Many teach that the Canons actually say this.i think you meant "sufficient for all but efficient only for the elect." this is a phrase that i've heard originates with the twelfth century scholastics, particularly in the writings of peter lombard. from what i understand, they meant by this that Christ actually expiated/made propitiation for the sins of all humanity (it is in reality sufficient and available for all humanity, though conditionally...read the link below by hodge), but that it is only applied to the elect (its effective only for the elect because only they meet the conditions, namely believing). the argument has been that this is what calvin believed as he affirmed this saying in 1 John 2:2 (he just didn't believe that this was what 1 John 2:2 was saying).

from what i understand, lower and moderate calvinists taught what hodge is explaining here:

http://www.dabar.org/Theology/Hodge/HodgeVIII/P3_C08.htm

from what i've read (though i have not read all of their works so this is second hand information), other advocates of this understanading are people like luther, dabney, shedd, baxter, boston, bunyan, bavink, kuiper, fuller, carey, robertson, strong, etc. (some important opposers to this were turretin, owen, gill, etc.). a guy named david ponter is creating no small storm in reformed circles as he is researching this very topic. you can find one of his papers here (he used to have a whole site dedicated to his works called "david ponter papers" but it is no longer available):

http://www.sounddoctrine.net/LIBRARY/Modern%20Day%20Reform%20Teaching/David%20Ponter/Offer_gospel.htm


What the fathers were speaking of was the death of Christ considered in itself apart from God's decree, apart from the intent of Christ, and apart from the fact that Christ actually represented in His death only the elect. They were saying that if it had been Christ's intent to save all men His death would have been sufficient to save everyone in the world and any other worlds a person could think up. There was nothing lacking in the sacrifice. The death was of infinite value. But Christ went to the cross with the sins of His people, not the sins of every person who ever lived.what canons/fathers are you talking about. i don't know what you are referencing here...do you mean the canons of dordt?

doctr_of_grace
10-07-04, 06:44 PM
hmmmm much to think on!!!!

I believe that is from the Canons of Dordt.

Thanks for the further references and I am just a silly girl trying to get it straight. If greater minds than mine can't sort it out I sometimes wonder why bother hahaha.

wildboar
10-07-04, 10:13 PM
i think you meant "sufficient for all but efficient only for the elect."Yes I reversed it....I guess in English word matter does order:p


from what i understand, they meant by this that Christ actually expiated/made propitiation for the sins of all humanity (it is in reality sufficient and available for all humanity, though conditionally...read the link below by hodge), but that it is only applied to the elect (its effective only for the elect because only they meet the conditions, namely believing). Hodge wrote many things contradicting himself in regards to both the "offer" and the "atonement". You may wish to read this article concerning the history of the "offer" in later Presbyterian thought: http://www.prca.org/current/Free%20Offer/chapter7.htm The Bible never speaks of faith as a condition by which we are saved. Even some more conservative Lutherans (WELS) have seen the folly in speaking of faith as a condition by which we are saved.


from what i've read (though i have not read all of their works so this is second hand information), other advocates of this understanading are people like luther, dabney, shedd, baxter, boston, bunyan, bavink, kuiper, fuller, carey, robertson, strong, etc. (some important opposers to this were turretin, owen, gill, etc.). a guy named david ponter is creating no small storm in reformed circles as he is researching this very topic. you can find one of his papers here (he used to have a whole site dedicated to his works called "david ponter papers" but it is no longer available):
The article you cited does not say that Kuiper was a low Calvinist, but that his views were closer to those of Amyraut, which I most certainly agree. I think this is the real problem. That which you are referring to as high Calvinism is really low Calvinism and that which you are referring to as low Calvinism is not Calvinism at all. Baxter was by no means a Calvinist. Robertson was a syncretist. Luther said different things during his life about the atonement. I don't think Bavinck is saying what you think he is saying. I don't have time right now to go through all of these.

What the Canons of Dort and the Westminster Confessions represent are low Calvinism. They are Calvinistic documents written from an infralapsarian perspective. They represent a minimum of what a person must believe in order to be considered a Calvinist. Double predestination and belief that Christ only intended to save His church are things which a person must believe in order to be considered a Calvinist.

disciple
10-07-04, 11:20 PM
The article you cited does not say that Kuiper was a low Calvinist, but that his views were closer to those of Amyraut, which I most certainly agree.i don't think i called any of them low calvinists but rather lower and moderate (as opposed to high).


I think this is the real problem. That which you are referring to as high Calvinism is really low Calvinism and that which you are referring to as low Calvinism is not Calvinism at all. Baxter was by no means a Calvinist. Robertson was a syncretist. Luther said different things during his life about the atonement. I don't think Bavinck is saying what you think he is saying. I don't have time right now to go through all of these.as i said, i was only passing on what i've read about these folks. i said that i hadn't read all the works of these people. so i'm not going to argue about any of this.


What the Canons of Dort and the Westminster Confessions represent are low Calvinism. They are Calvinistic documents written from an infralapsarian perspective. They represent a minimum of what a person must believe in order to be considered a Calvinist. Double predestination and belief that Christ only intended to save His church are things which a person must believe in order to be considered a Calvinist.perhaps you could tell me what your understanding is of low, moderate, and high (and perhaps hyper) calvinist. because i think we are working with different definitions at this time.

disciple
10-07-04, 11:28 PM
What the Canons of Dort and the Westminster Confessions represent are low Calvinism. They are Calvinistic documents written from an infralapsarian perspective. They represent a minimum of what a person must believe in order to be considered a Calvinist. Double predestination and belief that Christ only intended to save His church are things which a person must believe in order to be considered a Calvinist.according to whom? whose making the definition? and who can authoritatively define what exactly a calvinist is?

from what i understand, there is a tremendous amount of variation within the calvinist camp (of what can properly be called a calvinist, historically speaking). the problem i've seen in my experience and reading is that everyone thinks that their particular brand of calvinism is the only one that can properly be called calvinist. also, in my experience, it is fruitless to discuss and argue about this because everyone has already decided that they (and their camp) are the standard. so i really don't want to go there.

anyway, i've been listening to the following sermons (75 messages!) and they've been very instructional in this matter.

http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?speakerOnly=true&currSection=sermonsspeaker&keyword=Dr%2E%5ECurt%5ED%2E%5EDaniel

also, out of curiosity, why are you calling the framers of the canons of dordt fathers? i've always understood the fathers as a reference to the early church or apostolic fathers.

wildboar
10-08-04, 07:52 AM
according to whom? whose making the definition? and who can authoritatively define what exactly a calvinist is?

from what i understand, there is a tremendous amount of variation within the calvinist camp (of what can properly be called a calvinist, historically speaking). the problem i've seen in my experience and reading is that everyone thinks that their particular brand of calvinism is the only one that can properly be called calvinist.In order to be a Calvinist/Reformed you have to at least agree soteriologically with the Calvinist/Reformed churches as stated in the Calvinist/Reformed confessions. There is variation. You can accept or deny eternal justification. You can be an infraplapsarian or supralapsarian. You can't deny the particular atonement and still be reformed. Reformed theology and the Scriptures teach that when Christ went to the cross He intended to save the church. Amyraut taught that His intent was to save everyone but that the Holy Ghost only gives faith to some and faith is necessary to make the atonement efficient. That is not reformed.

Richard Baxter taught justification by faith and the new law. This may be accepted by the apostate reformed churches today, but in reality it's Roman Catholic Dogma.

also, out of curiosity, why are you calling the framers of the canons of dordt fathers? i've always understood the fathers as a reference to the early church or apostolic fathers. They are spiritual fathers of the reformed churches.

It should be noted that faith as a condition of salvation in the orthodox reformed theologians is not equivalent to much of how faith as a condition is being used today. Turretin writes:


Faith has the relation of a condition in this covenant … as it is the means and instrument of our union with Christ (Institutes, vol. 2, p. 187; emphasis added).
David Ponter himself starts from a neo-orthodox framework and so accepts common grace and the well-meant offer and then trys to read these doctrines into the older writers, however he does accomplish his task as he states:


To demonstrate that the modern Neo-Amyraldian theology of Grace, as espoused by such as R.B. Kuiper, and others of late, is not truly representative of older Reformed theology of Grace.

disciple
10-08-04, 08:49 AM
In order to be a Calvinist/Reformed you have to at least agree soteriologically with the Calvinist/Reformed churches as stated in the Calvinist/Reformed confessions. There is variation. You can accept or deny eternal justification. You can be an infraplapsarian or supralapsarian. You can't deny the particular atonement and still be reformed. Reformed theology and the Scriptures teach that when Christ went to the cross He intended to save the church. Amyraut taught that His intent was to save everyone but that the Holy Ghost only gives faith to some and faith is necessary to make the atonement efficient. That is not reformed.i've always understood that a calvinist, in the soteriological sense, is one who adheres to the five points of calvinism. the thing that i've come to learn recently is that the limited atonement issue is a bit more nuanced in the history of calvinism than many modern calvinists are willing to admit (perhaps for fear that they and their group are not the sole champions of the cut and dried, monolithic, existing-in-a-vacuum calvinism). from my reading, it's not as narrow as you are taking it. but again, i do not wish to go there since historical theological is a unwieldy wild animal very difficult to discuss and come to any consensus on (especially since none of us here are experts on it and even the so-called experts cannot fully agree on the details).

anyway, i must confess that i did not know there were such things as low, moderate, and high calvinism until the past 6 mos. this was because it was always presented as a monolithic system which seemingly had no variation and no varied history. this was always emphasized with the rhetoric that you weren't a calvinist unless blah...blah...blah and what this amounted to was that if you didn't agree with their particular brand of calvinism then you couldn't possibly be a calvinist. anyway, the definitions that i was using for low, moderate, and high calvinist were based on those given by curt daniel, who did his doctoral work on calvinism, i believe hyper-calvinism in particular (whom i'm sure you have an issue with as well, since it seems you take issue with anyone except those who are of your particular tradition...as i've learned with you everyone is biased and has it wrong except for you and your tradition; forgive me for the tone but i have been tiring of your narrowness and unwillingness to listen if what is given as evidence does not agree with what your tradition or you yourself deem acceptable). dr. daniel also has written a book on the subject he preached 75 messages on. you can find that here:

http://www.gbibooks.com/final.asp?id=37506

the issue, as i understand it, with the categories within calvinism refers to the relative emphasis on the divine and human perspectives, particularly with respect to the atonement (with specific reference to the intentionality). here's how i understood it:

High - Those who say that Christ only died for the elect, that it, as a single intentionality, to save the elect (sufficiency is collapsed into the efficiency; Christ only died to effectively save the elect, with no qualifications on its sufficiency an no allowance for dual intentionality).
Moderate - Those who say that Christ lived and died with a dual intentionality. This position says he died with the intention of making an atonement sufficient for all and with another intentionality to die effectually for the elect.
Low - Those who say that Christ lived and died with a single intentional, merely to provide an atonement sufficient for all (efficiency is collapsed into the sufficiency). These would be the Amyraldians. For them, all particularism is located in the application of salvation by the Spirit.
more info here (http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/SC03-1027.htm) which i'm also anticipating that you'll have issue with (i guess i need a list of the sources you'll accept info from; again forgive me for my sarcasm but i am awefully frustrated in my interactions with you...perhaps one day you'll consider the possibility that, at times, it may be your perspective that is misinformed, incomplete, or incorrect). here's the relevant quote:


But second, don’t imagine that there is just one view for the Limited Atonement position and another view for the Unlimited Atonement position. As if there are two polar opposites here and they compete against each other. This is not really an either/or position even among Calvinists. And in fact, historically, the most intense debates about Limited Atonement have come over the past 400 years, they’ve all been intramural debates between Calvinists, among Calvinists. There are at least three major divisions of Calvinists. There are the high Calvinists. They have one opinion about how the atonement is limited; they tend to try to say it’s limited in its sufficiency. You’ve got the moderate Calvinists and you’ve got the low Calvinists and they all have different views and there are many shades and degrees in between. In fact, I doubt if you could find any two Calvinists who agree completely with one another on every text and every nuance related to this verse. You may if you scoured the world find two somewhere but I bet if you could poll every Calvinist in this room you’d find that no two of us agree on every point and every particular related to this issue. There is not just one Calvinist position on limited atonement. There are many. And when you get into individual verses like Second Peter 2, verse 1, there is no such thing as THE Calvinist interpretation of that verse. There are at least six possible Calvinists’ interpretations of it and if we have time at the end I’m going to give you three of them.

This whole issue of the extent of the atonement caused a huge debate between two separate Calvinist factions during the Marrow Controversy in Scotland in the 1700’s. This was also one of the major issues Andrew Fuller contended with other Calvinistic Baptists about in the late 18th Century in England. It’s been continual fodder for debate among Welsh Calvinists since the beginning of the 1700’s. In fact, The Banner of Truth has recently republished an important book on this issue. I say republished I think that they’re publishing the first English edition of this book, which is an older book called The Atonement Controversy and Welsh Theological Literature and Debate: 1707-1841. Buy that one and keep it by your bed and you won’t have any sleepless nights. Actually though it’s quite a good book by Owen Thomas. It’s a superb study of the various ways Calvinists understand limited atonement. And I recommend it heartily. It’s really quite a good book. I hope they have some in the Book Shack here if they do you should get it.
Now, how to explain limited atonement continues to be a point of contention among Calvinists of various opinions. Some of you are Calvinists and I warn you now that you may not like everything I have to say about this issue today. But I would advise all of you, Calvinists and Arminians alike, to gain some of your understanding of these complex issues by reading the historical literature on this subject, rather than by simply tuning into Internet debates on this issue. I’m a little weary of those overzealous Calvinists on the Internet who treat everything as simplistically as possible. Always trying to outdo everyone to see who can adopt the highest form of High Calvinism. And as a result, and you can actually see this trend if you watch Calvinist discussions on the Internet.

Modern Calvinist circles seem to be filled with guys who insist that Christ’s death had no benefit whatsoever for anyone other than the elect and God’s only desire with regard to the reprobate is to damn them period. Too many Calvinists embrace the doctrine of limited atonement, they finally see the truth of it but then they think, “Oh that’s that.” Christ died for the elect and in no sense are their any universal benefits in the atonement, so the atonement is limited to the elect in every sense and it has no relevance whatsoever to the non-elect. I think that’s an extreme position and it’s not supported by many of the classic Calvinist theologians and writers if you read carefully what Calvinists have said throughout history. I want to encourage you read Andrew Fuller and Thomas Boston. Read what people like Robert L. Dabney and William G. T. Shedd and B. B. Warfield and Charles Hodge wrote on the subject of the atonement. Read John Owen too, but don’t imagine that John Owens’s book The Death of Death in the Death of Christ represents the only strain of Calvinist thought on the issue. It doesn’t. In fact, far from it.

If you begin to study this issue in depth you will quickly discover that the classic Calvinist view on the extent of the atonement is a lot less narrow and a lot less cut and dried than the typical seminary student Calvinist on the Internet wants to admit. Historic Calvinism, as a movement has usually acknowledged that there are universal aspects of the atonement. Calvin himself had a view of the extent of the atonement that was far more broad and, and far more extensive than the average Calvinist today would care to recognize. And I’ll show you some of that if time allows.

And, while I’m making concessions to the other side let me also admit, that this is one issue where historical theology is not overwhelmingly on the side of the Calvinists. And until really some of the later Catholic scholastics raised this question and began to debate it some time in the Middle Ages, most of the church fathers and most of the leading theological writers in the church, both orthodox and heretical, most of them assumed that Christ died for all of humanity and that was the end of that.

Now there are some exceptions. Theodorette of Cyrus, who lived in 393 to 466. He wrote this about Hebrews 9:27-28. He said quote: “It should be noted, of course, that Christ bore the sins of many, not all, and not all came to faith. So He removed the sins of the believers only.” Ambrose, the great writer, who lived 339-397, said this: “Although Christ suffered for all, yet He suffered for us particularly, because He suffered for the Church.” And Jerome, 347-420, a contemporary of Augustine, he wrote this about Matthew 20:28, Jerome said: “He does not say that He gave His life for all but for many, that is, for all those who would believe.”

Those are classic Calvinist statements coming from some of the church fathers and you can find little remarks like that here and there among the church fathers. I could actually cite more. But for the most part the church fathers, when they wrote about the atonement, they treated it as universal. We’ll acknowledge that up front.

Now my friend Curt Daniel who is here this afternoon, and who is far more qualified than I am to teach on the history of Calvinism has written an excellent resource that I want to recommend to you. It’s a large, hardbound syllabus called The History and Theology of Calvinism. It is the best single resource on Calvinism I know. It’s filled with copious quotations and wonderful insight. He covers in it, in a kind of extensive outline format every major doctrine related to Calvinism. And in the process he gives a thorough overview of Calvinist history. I love historical theology and in fact this syllabus was practically my first introduction to the subject more than a decade ago. And it remains a favorite resource of mine. I think there are some copies in the bookstore. I asked them to order it, and for those of you who might be interested in obtaining one I don’t think there are many left. But I recommend it enthusiastically. Curt earned his Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh. With a massive doctoral dissertation on John Gill and Hyper-Calvinism. So he probably knows more about the doctrine and history of Calvinism than the rest of us put together. And in his syllabus on Calvinist history he has at least three chapters on the extent of the atonement. His view of the atonement is probably, if anything, a little broader than mine. That’s ok. My favorite theological writer of all time is Robert L. Dabney. And Dabney takes a broader view than I do too. We’re all committed Calvinists. As I said, we as Calvinists don’t necessarily agree on the particulars of how to interpret this or that verse, or how to define this or that benefit of the atonement. In fact, one of the things Curt Daniel’s syllabus shows definitively is that among various strains of Calvinists, there are scores of differing opinions on how to explain the universal and particular aspects of the atonement. So I want to underscore that for you again. I want to emphasize for those of you who think there is only one narrow Calvinistic way to understand how the atonement is limited, this is a considerably more complex issue than most Calvinists realize.

wildboar
10-08-04, 03:51 PM
(whom i'm sure you have an issue with as well, since it seems you take issue with anyone except those who are of your particular tradition...as i've learned with you everyone is biased and has it wrong except for you and your tradition; forgive me for the tone but i have been tiring of your narrowness and unwillingness to listen if what is given as evidence does not agree with what your tradition or you yourself deem acceptable). I'm sorry that this is the way you are taking my statements. Since I'm quoting and responding to those outside of my exact particular tradition and saying what they got right as well as what they got wrong and giving quotes to back it up there's nothing I can do at this point to convince you that that is not my motive.

more info here (http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/SC03-1027.htm) which i'm also anticipating that you'll have issue with (i guess i need a list of the sources you'll accept info from; again forgive me for my sarcasm but i am awefully frustrated in my interactions with you...perhaps one day you'll consider the possibility that, at times, it may be your perspective that is misinformed, incomplete, or incorrect). I will accept quotes from actual Calvininists taken in context without the use of equivocation. When we read terms like "offer" or "condition" we can't read everything into them that we might if the terms were used today.

The most important thing of course is whether or not a teaching is Biblical and whether or not it is logically coherent. The paradox theology of John Murray in regards to the offer of the Gospel just doesn't hold up and it truly amazes me that so many act like it is such a great writing. The only thing I can think is that because he did write so many great things people swallow the poison along with the meat.

Do you really believe Richard Baxter was a Calvinist? This isn't just me or the PRCA. The White Horse Inn noted that there was nothing reformed about Baxter.

The truth is that it is not the case that hyper-Calvinism over-emphasizes the sovereignty of God. True hyper-Calvinism denies man's responsibility, that's what makes it hyper-Calvisism just as Arminianism denies God's sovereignty (and in so doing sets up a new law which denies man's responsibility as well.)

wildboar
10-08-04, 11:47 PM
disciple:

Perhaps we could start with a simple Socratic definition of what a Calvinist is. Would you be willing to provide that?


more info here (http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/SC03-1027.htm) which i'm also anticipating that you'll have issue with (i guess i need a list of the sources you'll accept info from; again forgive me for my sarcasm but i am awefully frustrated in my interactions with you...perhaps one day you'll consider the possibility that, at times, it may be your perspective that is misinformed, incomplete, or incorrect).
I didn't actually get a chance to look at this link until now. Phil Johnson is a truly bizarre phenomenon. His articles are full of shoddy scholarship and he tends to set Spurgeon up as the standard of Reformed orthodoxy. This is not just my opinion or the opinion of the PRC. I would venture to guess this is the opinion of Darth Gill, BT, and others on this board as well and know from chats with Carla that she feels the same way.

Phil Johnson is not the standard of who or what hyper-Calvinism is. Unfortunately many on the internet think he is for whatever bizarre reason.

Common grace as we know it today is not an historic reformed doctrine. Kuyper practically invented it and admitted it was an inovation. The CRC synod of 1924 dogmatically declared that it was an historic reformed doctrine but provided no evidence. Berkhof claimed it was a doctrine which went back to Calvin but provided no real evidence. The CRC is the only denomination I know of that has an official document which its ministers must subscribe to(though some I've talked to are unaware of it) that explicitly states what the doctrines of common grace are. Richard A. Muller who is professor of historical theology at Calvin Theological Seminary(CRC) and is probably the foremost authority on the history of dogma in the post-reformation era has written a four-volume set called Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics. On page 572 of the third volume he deals with common grace and admits that the modern conception of common grace does not belong to the time of Calvin. Maresius, Wendelin, and Leigh are the only voices he can cite which seem to speak of anything representing the modern notion of common grace. Dr. Mouw admits that the PRC is not hyper-Calvinistic in its denial of common grace and recent articles in the Calvin Theological Journal have called attention to the injustice the ministers who were deposed from the CRC and started the PRC received and say that Hoeksema and the PRC fit well within the bounds of reformed orthodoxy and have called to question some of the decisions on doctrine made in 1924.

disciple
10-08-04, 11:59 PM
Perhaps we could start with a simple Socratic definition of what a Calvinist is. Would you be willing to provide that?i presume someone who affirms the five points. but as i said, from what i've been learning, the point about limited atonement is a bit more nuanced. in addition, you have not let me know what you mean by low, moderate, and high calvinist nor do i know from where your basis is for your definitions. as i said, i'm going based on dr. daniel who did doctoral work in this area.


Phil Johnson is not the standard of who or what hyper-Calvinism is. Unfortunately many on the internet think he is for whatever bizarre reason.i never said that he was, nor did i mean to give the impression that he is the standard on anything. i was giving people an additional link that i could find, besides dr. daniel, who discusses the issue of the calvinist degradations of low, moderate, or high. my sincerest apologies for once again providing a link/resource that you have a problem with.

honestly, i don't wish to discuss this anymore as i'm getting tired. i've provided links to dr. daniel's material and you can take it for what it's worth. this is the only thing that i could find on the internet that addresses the issue of the history and theology of calvinism in depth. perhaps you have more resources. anyway, as i said before, this issue of historical theology is an unwieldy beast that i do not wish to attempt to tame. thanks for your time.

Christ_†_Alone
10-09-04, 08:44 AM
a guy named david ponter is creating no small storm in reformed circles as he is researching this very topic. you can find one of his papers here (he used to have a whole site dedicated to his works called "david ponter papers" but it is no longer available):

http://www.sounddoctrine.net/LIBRARY/Modern%20Day%20Reform%20Teaching/David%20Ponter/Offer_gospel.htm (http://www.sounddoctrine.net/LIBRARY/Modern%20Day%20Reform%20Teaching/David%20Ponter/Offer_gospel.htm)

David also chats in 5 Solas Bible Fellowship (and other sov. grace chats) from time to time - if anyone would be interested in talking with him on this topic. It's a good one, and alot to take into consideration.

His nick on PT is "Flynn" (something or other, sorry I can't recall offhand - one of you PalTalkians :rolleyes: here might know the full nick).

wildboar
10-09-04, 02:59 PM
i presume someone who affirms the five points. but as i said, from what i've been learning, the point about limited atonement is a bit more nuanced.I agree that someone who really affirms the five points can rightly be considered a Calvinist. But the Five Points are a summary of the Cannons of Dort and so the Five Points cannot really be subscribed to unless someone also subscribes to the Canons. Lip service can perhaps be paid to the Five Points but they cannot actually be subscribed to if someone denies the Canons. Ponter certainly seems to agree that Kuiper denies the Canons.

This is what Baxter taught as summarized by the New Schaff-Herzog encyclopedia about the atonement (and my own reading of Baxter concurs with it):


(1) The atonement of Christ did not consist in his suffering the identical but the equivalent punishment (i.e., one which would have the same effect in moral government) as that deserved by mankind because of offended law. Christ died for sins, not persons... (2) The elect were a certain fixed number determined by the decree without any reference to their faith as the ground of their election, which decree contemplates no reprobation but rather the redemption of all who will accept Christ as their Saviour. (3) What is imputed to the sinner in the work of justification is not the righteousness of Christ but the faith of the sinner himself in the righteousness of Christ. (4) Every sinner has a distinct agency of his own to exert in the process of his conversion.
So you see, Baxter can't really be considered a Calvinist. I'm really not certain what the point is of calling certain people low, moderate, or high Calvinists based on these categories other than to fit people within the Calvinist camp who had no intention of being there. These are hypo-Calvinists. Historically low Calvinism has been used to refer to infralapsarians who affirmed double predestination. High Calvinists taught supralapsarianism.

I have a dial-up connection so listening to anything from sermon audio.com can be a horrendous experience which keeps me from listening to sermons I would like to listen to from various pastors otherwise. I also am living below the poverty line and receiving financial assistance so I do not think it wise to invest the money in the book. Perhaps sometime when I get a chance I will see if it is available at a local library.

In modern Calvinis theology the term low-Calvinist has been used to describe those who believe that the atonement soteriologically is only beneficial for the elect but has positive benefits for others as well. I don't believe this can be sustained biblically but it is a popular idea. Nevertheless, even some of those listed by this definition would not fall under the umbrella of low Calvinism.

disciple
10-09-04, 10:50 PM
I agree that someone who really affirms the five points can rightly be considered a Calvinist. But the Five Points are a summary of the Cannons of Dort and so the Five Points cannot really be subscribed to unless someone also subscribes to the Canons. Lip service can perhaps be paid to the Five Points but they cannot actually be subscribed to if someone denies the Canons. Ponter certainly seems to agree that Kuiper denies the Canons.as i understand it, calvinism is much bigger/broader than just affirming the canons of dort. that was just dutch calvinism. there was also scottish, british, german, swiss, etc. calvinism which all took on different hues. obviously, there was much intermingling but the movement/theology was much more nuanced than many will admit (from what i'm learning). anyway, enough of that. as i said, historical theology is a very wild and untamed beast. i do not think we'll tame it here (though perhaps you think you have already done so).


I'm really not certain what the point is of calling certain people low, moderate, or high Calvinists based on these categories other than to fit people within the Calvinist camp who had no intention of being there. These are hypo-Calvinists. Historically low Calvinism has been used to refer to infralapsarians who affirmed double predestination. High Calvinists taught supralapsarianism.from what i understand though, this is not what low, moderate and high refer to. they are related, and highs tend to be supras while lows tend to be infra but as i understand this speaks to a different aspect. if you listen to dr. daniel's tapes or get his book, he deals with this (the relation of the lapsarian element to the low, moderate, high element). david ponter also talks about this.


I have a dial-up connection so listening to anything from sermon audio.com can be a horrendous experience which keeps me from listening to sermons I would like to listen to from various pastors otherwise. I also am living below the poverty line and receiving financial assistance so I do not think it wise to invest the money in the book. Perhaps sometime when I get a chance I will see if it is available at a local library.perhaps you could download the sermons one at a time (rather than listen to them streaming). if you'd like, email me your home address and i'll burn them to a CD and send them your way. i honestly would be glad to do this. just say the word and i'll get er done.

wildboar
10-10-04, 11:40 AM
as i understand it, calvinism is much bigger/broader than just affirming the canons of dort. that was just dutch calvinism. This is a very common misconception. I even had a professor at Calvin College who said that he didn't know of anyone who taught a limited atonement except for a group of dutch people who met in the 17th century. Homer Hoeksema writes in Voice of Our Fathers (19,20):

One of the most interesting features of the Synod is the presence of the foreign theologians. Of these there were twenty-five, representing the Reformed Churches in Great Britain, the Palatinate, Hessia, Switzerland, Wetteravia, Geneva, Bremen, and Emden. Delegates from France were invited, but were unable to attend because of interference by the French government. Two delegates from Brandenburg were appointed, but because of a storm of Lutheran opposition they did not attend the Synod. In addition, the Synod also received the written opinions of the aged Dr. David Paraeus, from the University of Heidelberg, who by reason of age and infirmity was unable to attend, as well as the written opinion of Petrus Molinaeus, minister at Paris, concerning the Five Articles of the Arminians. Here again one is immediately struck by the fact that at this Synod the very flower of the Reformation was represented....
In the meantime, we must not imagine that the Synod was really a sort of ecumenical council of the Reformed churches at that time. On the one hand, it cannot be gainsaid that the delegates from the foreign churches had more than an advisory vote, at least in the sense that we speak of an advisory vote today. In consulting Acts of the Synod of Dordtrecht, as well as a detailed history of the Synod such as that of Dr. Wagenaar, it becomes plain that the foreign theologians played a very active part in the Synod and weilded much influence. During the first stages of the Synod they spoke and argued about the attitude and treatment of the Arminians right along with the national delegates. In fact, throughout the sessions of Synod it appears that their influence was large, and that the national delegates were very loath, to say the least, to act without the approval of the foreign delegates. Besides, when it came to the matter of treating the Arminian heresies, all the foreign delegations handed in their opinions concerning the Five Articles along with the national delegations; and these were treated on equal footing. In fact, there are places in the Canons where the particular formulations adopted were so formulated largely through the influence of the foreign delegates. Especially the English theologians, some of whom were very weak, seemed to have much influence, due undoubtedly to the fact that there was close political intercourse between England and the Netherlands at that time. And when finally the Canons themselves had to be formulated, all the doctrinal opinions of the various delegations having been heard, the foreign delegates were very active again. For three of them, Carleton (the English bishop), Scultetus (from the Palatinate), and Diodati (from Geneva), took their places in the committee of nine, which was to serve this Synod with concept Canons. Besides, the Canons as finally adopted were signed not only by the national but also by the foreign delgates, even though the Swiss theologians had been expressly forbidden to do so.
This is in contrast to the Westminster Assembly which was purely English and Scottish. However, I don't believe the Westminster Confession takes a different position on the atonement either.


The direct references in the Westminster Confession to the extent of the atonement are found in III, 6, VIII, 5, 6, 8. Chapter VIII is, of course, the crucial chapter, because it deals with Christ the Mediator. The pertinent articles read as follows. VIII, 5: "The Lord Jesus, by his perfect obedience and sacrifice of himself, which he through the eternal Spirit once offered up unto God, hath fully satisfied the justice of His Father, and purchased not only reconciliation, but an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for all those whom the Father hath given unto him." VIII, 6: "Although the work of redemption was not actually wrought by Christ till after his incarnation, yet the virtue, efficacy, and benefits thereof were communicated unto the elect'" VIII, 8: "To all those for whom Christ hath purchased redemption he doth certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same'" But the reference in III, 6 is also important because it limits the extent of the atonement to the elect emphatically as being the only ones for whom Christ died: "As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath he, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means thereunto. Wherefore they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ by his Spirit working in due season; are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by his power through faith unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only."


As was true of the doctrine of God's eternal decrees, so it was also true of this doctrine that much debate swirled around it in the discussions on the floor of the Assembly. All agreed that the atonement of Christ was sufficient for all -- as the Canons also express it (II, 3 (http://www.prca.org/cd_text2.html#a3)). But the question was, whether the divine intention was determined in its extent by the sufficiency of the atonement or by its efficacy. The latter was the view that prevailed in the Assembly, while the former was defended strongly by those who supported Amyrauldianism. That is, the view that prevailed was that the extent of the atonement, in God's intention, was limited to the elect alone for whom the suffering of Christ was efficacious. The Amyrauldians argued that the atonement was universal in God's intention, because its extent was determined by its sufficiency and it was sufficient for all men everywhere. Not only did such Amyrauldians as Seaman, Vines, Marshall and Calamy defend this proposition, but Richard Baxter did the same. Shaw [16] (http://www.prca.org/articles/article_8.html#16) speaks of this in quoting from Baxter.


The celebrated Richard Baxter, who favoured general redemption, makes the following remark upon this and another section of our Confession: "Chap. III, sec. 6, and chap. VIII, sec. 8, which speak against universal redemption, I understand not of all redemption, and particularly not of the mere bearing the punishment of man's sins, and satisfying God's justice, but of that special redemption proper to the elect, which was accompanied with an intention of actual application of the saving benefits in time. If I may not be allowed this interpretation, I must herein dissent." Universalists, following Baxter, have since the time of the writing of this creed insisted that the creed left room for their position. [17] (http://www.prca.org/articles/article_8.html#17) Subsequent to the adoption of the creed, a great deal of argumentation has appeared in support of this idea (that the Westminster does not specifically exclude universalism) because of the mention of the "offer" in the Westminster Confession. Schaff claims [18] (http://www.prca.org/articles/article_8.html#18) that the idea of the offer contradicts, or at least leaves open, the question of the extent of the atonement as limited to the elect as this is taught in III, 6 and VIII, 8. Mitchell and Struthers claim [19] (http://www.prca.org/articles/article_8.html#19) that the Davenant men accepted the strict statement of the atonement because the articles on the offer left room for their view. And so the argument has continued until the present.


That the question of the offer is inseparably related to the question of the extent of the atonement is proved by the fact that Calamy argued at the Assembly that universal redemption was necessary to maintain the offer. [20] (http://www.prca.org/articles/article_8.html#20) While we cannot answer this question without considering what the Confession teaches on the subject of the offer, we can point out here that whatever else may be true, the Westminster divines did intend to limit extent of the atonement in its efficacy to the elect only. This is clear from III, 6, quoted above. The question is: What is the extent of the atonement as far as the intention of God is concerned?

The 'Offer'

The term itself is used in VII, 3: "Man by his fall having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second, commonly called the covenant of grace: wherein he freely offered (Latin: offert) unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in him that they may be saved, and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto life his Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe." The term appears again in X, 2, although the Latin uses a different word: "The effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from any thing at all foreseen in man; who is altogether passive therein, until, being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit, he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered (Latin: exhibitam) and conveyed in it." In Q & A 86 of the Shorter Catechism the word "offer" also appears: "What is faith in Jesus Christ? Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered (Latin: offertur) to us in the gospel."


There is no question about it that these uses of the term"offer" have often been appealed to in support of the idea that the Westminster divines held not only to an intention of God's part to save all men, but that the idea of a general atonement was not specifically condemned so as to make the offer sincere. Whether this is a correct and honest interpretation of the creed is another question. [21] (http://www.prca.org/articles/article_8.html#21)

There are several considerations in this connection which would seem to militate against this.

In the first place, the word "offer" as used in X, 2 is clearly not at issue here. The Latin exhibitam shows that the framers of the Westminster had something quite different in mind than any idea of God's intention to save all men.

In the second place, the word "offer" need not have the connotation it was given by the men of the Davenant School and is given today by the defenders of the free and well-meant offer of the gospel. This is evident, in the first place, by the fact that the term itself in the Latin means "to present". In the second place, it is used in this sense in the Canons in III & IV, 9 (http://www.prca.org/cd_text3.html#a9).

In the third place, there is evidence that the meaning given to "offer" by the Davenant men was not the meaning of many on the Assembly. According to Warfield, [22] (http://www.prca.org/articles/article_8.html#22) Rutherford, a prominent member of the Assembly, seems to have used the term only in the sense of the preaching of the gospel. Warfield also claims [23] (http://www.prca.org/articles/article_8.html#23) that Gillespie, another gifted divine, spoke of "offer" in the sense of preaching or in the sense of command when he claimed, during the debate, that command does not always imply intention. I.e., when God commands all men to repent of sin and believe in Christ, this does not necessarily imply that it is God's intention to save those whom he commands. Shaw argues the same point and claims that the Assembly used the term "offer" only in the sense of "present". [24] (http://www.prca.org/articles/article_8.html#24)

In the fourth place, Schaff may claim that the Westminster divines may have contradicted themselves by limiting the atonement on the one hand to the elect, and introducing on the other hand the idea of an offer, something which requires a universal atonement. But there is a prima facie case against this. The Westminster divines knew their theology too well to commit such a blunder. And, if conceivably this were possible, the very fact that the point was argued on the floor would preclude any such conclusion. If then the Westminster divines were intent on limiting the atonement only to the elect, and if they knew that an offer in the sense of God's intention to save all required a universal redemption, they would certainly not have included any such idea in the creed.

Finally, the language of the article itself all but requires a favorable meaning to the word. The phrase, "requiring of them faith in him that they might be saved" certainly is intended to explain the phrase, "wherein he freely offered unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ."

From these consideration we may conclude that the use of this term in the Westminster Confessions has the same meaning as its use in the Canons.

There is, however, one other matter in this connection. X, 4 speaks of common operations by the Spirit: "Others, not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word, and may have some common operations of the Spirit, yet they never truly come unto Christ, and therefore can not be saved'." It is quite clear from the remainder of this article that the divines had in mind good influences. It is also clear that later Puritan thinking, especially the Marrow men, connected this with the well-meant offer of the gospel. In fact Cunningham [25] (http://www.prca.org/articles/article_8.html#25) is so bold as to say that all Calvinists maintain that certain benefits of the atonement accrue to all men. The Westminster divines do not give any further explanation for this statement, and we are left to speculate what they may have meant by it. It is possible that they referred to the fact, common in later Puritan teaching, that the preaching of the law can and usually does have some kind of influence upon the unregenerate hearer so that he is able to see his sin, even sorrow to some extent for it, show an interest in Christ as the One through Whom he can escape from sin, and even have a certain longing for the blessedness of which the gospel speaks. In its reaction to the cold dead orthodoxy of the Church of England and the terrible worldliness which characterized so many of her members, and because the Puritans possessed a defective view of the covenant, religious experience was to them a crucial aspect of salvation. And their view of the effect of the gospel, especially the preaching of the law, was influenced by this. If this is indeed true, this idea is condemned by the Canons in III & IV, B, 4 (http://www.prca.org/cd_text3.html#r4). But we can only speculate.



i do not think we'll tame it here (though perhaps you think you have already done so).
I have much to learn in regard to historical theology. There is a vast amount that I have not studied, far more than that which I have studied.

My knowledge is limited to some very select areas that became important to me at various times including common grace, the well-meant offer, and faith as a condition of salvation and so red flags come up when I see equivocation taking place or just plain false statements being made about them. I'm also not afraid to say Calvin was wrong in his interpretation of certain passages. I believe he was wrong in his interpretation of John 3:16. I'm not going to declare him unregenerate because of that. While at Calvin College I read various papers put out by various people with doctorates, all trying to pretend that Calvin's sole duty in life was to promote whatever cause they liked. I have no desire to do that and I'm glad that I read Calvin's Institutes prior to going to Calvin College. I think the churchworld would be a better place if people stopped reading books about Calvin and what he supposedly taught and started to actually read Calvin since he was far more Biblical than his modern supporters are.

In the Unaccomodated Calvin, Richard Muller argues that none of the various camps should look to Calvin in support of their view of the atonement since Calvin was not involved in this controversy or adressing the issues the various camps are interested in. I think Muller might be right on this. One of the ways the church grows is through heresy. When a heretic pops up, the church grows by more definitely defining its position on a specific issue. In the third appendix of his pamphlet Grace Uncommon, Rev. Barry Gritters compares and contrasts the differences between common grace as adopted by the CRC in 1924 and what Calvin taught on these issues. I have yet to see him refuted.


Calvin On Common Grace



Since Calvin carries considerable weight with those in the Reformed camp, it is worthwhile to hear what Calvin says about the subject. The following is two sections of the author's paper entitled, "Calvin and Common Grace," a paper analyzing Herman Kuiper's Calvin on Common Grace and presented at a Student Club meeting at the Protestant Reformed seminary in 1980:
On page 29, Kuiper says that Calvin (II-2-11,12) implies, though not expressly, that those who possess miraculous faith are recipients of divine grace, of a non-saving character. This does seem to be the case, and Calvin uses language that sounds like common grace. He speaks of "present mercy...a present perception of His grace which afterwards vanishes away... God enlightens the reprobate with some beams of His grace which afterwards vanishes away.... God so far enlightens the mind that they discover His grace." To understand these statements, we must read farther, as this proponent of common grace does not do.

Calvin explains it in this way: To some reprobate, God gives a seed of faith, (in this case, miraculous faith) but he "infuses no life into that seed which he drops into their hearts" (Institutes, III,2,12). "Not that they truly perceive the energy of spiritual grace and clear light of faith, but because the Lord, to render their guilt more manifest and inexcusable, insinuates Himself into their minds" (III,2,11). The reprobate are similar to the elect, "only in their opinion" but not in the eyes of God.

Strikingly, Calvin says that any grace or faith attributed to the reprobate is only "by catechresis, a tropical or improper form of expression; only because they...exhibit some appearance of obedience to it" (III,2,9). He says that this faith and grace are only a shadow or image of faith and grace, and are of no importance, unworthy even of the name. He calls it common only "because there is a great similitude and affinity between temporary faith and that which is living and perpetual." He calls their grace common only "because they appear, under the disguise of hypocrisy, to have the principle of faith in common with them" (III,2,11). to the elect, true faith and, therefore, true grace is given.

Had this controversy over common grace been an issue in his day, we can be sure that Calvin would have emphasized more often that, when he spoke of common grace, it was only by catechresis: an improper form of expression."

Those who appeal to Calvin for support of common grace look to the three points of 1924 as the basis for their definition of common grace. But Calvin's common grace has nothing to do with that of the present day. Concerning the first point, that God has a favorable attitude toward all mankind, especially in the offer of the gospel, Calvin has much to say. In connection with the good gifts of God as a "favorable attitude," Calvin says:

How comes it then that God not only makes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, but as far as the advantages of this present life are concerned, His inestimable liberality is constantly flowing forth in rich abundance? Hence we certainly perceive that the things which really belong to Christ and His members, abound to the wicked also...in order that they may be rendered more inexcusable (III,25,9).

Concerning the "offer of the gospel" Calvin has something to say. But first, it must be noted that Calvin wrote his Institutes in the Latin language. The word translated "offer" in English is, not surprisingly, offere in the Latin. But this word did not necessarily have the same connotations than as it does in English today. The word offere primarily means "to present, to bring towards, to thrust forward, to show, to exhibit." Our word offer has broader connotations and implies the ability to accept or reject, as well as a desire on God's part that the offer be accepted. Calvin says this (which is omitted by Dr. Kuiper):
His sole design in thus promising, is to offer His mercy to all who desire and seek it, which none do but those whom he has enlightened, and He enlightens all whom He has predestined to salvation (III,24,17). That is, God's mercy is offered in the preaching only to those whom He has predestined to salvation!

What purpose then is served by exhortations? It is this: As the wicked, with obstinate heart, despise them, they will be a testimony against them when they stand at the judgment seat of God; may they (the exhortations of the word: BG) even now strike and lash their consciences (II,5,10).

When the mercy of God is offered by the gospel (remember, "offered" is "offere," to present, to set forth; BG), it is faith, that is, the illumination of God, which distinguishes between the pious and the impious; so that the former experience the efficacy of the gospel, but the latter derive no benefit from it (III,24,17).

God wills the salvation only of His elect, and never does Calvin teach that any favor goes out to the wicked in the preaching.

Calvin writes very little concerning the second point. He writes only that God restrains the outward deeds of the wicked, but never says that God does this in His favor towards them, nor that He restricts the corruption of the heart so that the good in natural man can come out.

The third point, that by the work of the Spirit the unregenerate is able to do civil good, is in violent contrast to what Calvin says. First, Calvin claims that we have nothing of the spirit except by regeneration (III,3,1). This stands in contradiction to what the third point states.

Second, Calvin says that we may as well try to draw oil from a stone than expect good works from a sinner (III,15,7).

Concerning the works of wicked men which are apparently good, Calvin also has something to say. Commenting on a passage by Augustine, Calvin writes: "Here he avows, without any obscurity, that for which we so strenuously content --that the righteousness of good works depends on their acceptance by the Divine mercy" (III,18,5).

Finally, Calvin says:
This being admitted will place it beyond all doubt, that man is not possessed of free will for good works, unless he be assisted by grace, and that special grace which is bestowed upon the elect alone in regeneration. For I stop not to notice those fanatics, who pretend that grace is offered equally and promiscuously to all (II,2,6; see also II,2:13 & 18; and III,15,7).

wildboar
10-10-04, 11:42 AM
The quote about the Westminster Confession was from an article comparing the Westminster and Reformed Confessions which can be read here: http://www.prca.org/articles/article_8.html#Atonement

wildboar
10-10-04, 12:40 PM
The (Swiss) Helvetic Concensus (1675) also stands in agreement with the Canons and the Westminster standards and and against Amyraut when it says:




Canon XIII: As Christ was elected from eternity the Head, the Leader and Lord of all who, in time, are saved by his grace, so also, in time, he was made Guarantor of the New Covenant only for those who, by the eternal election, were given to him as his own people, his seed and inheritance. For according to the determinate counsel of the Father and his own intention, he encountered dreadful death instead of the elect alone, and restored only these into the bosom of the Father's grace, and these only he reconciled to God, the offended Father, and delivered from the curse of the law. For our Jesus saves his people from their sins (Matt 1:21), who gave his life a ransom for many sheep (Matt 20:24, 28; John 10:15), his own, who hear his voice (John 10:27-28), and he intercedes for these only, as a divinely appointed Priest, arid not for the world (John 17:9). Accordingly in expiatory sacrifice, they are regarded as having died with him and as being justified from sin (2 Cor 5:12): and thus, with the counsel of the Father who gave to Christ none but the elect to be redeemed, and also with the working of the Holy Spirit, who sanctifies and seals unto a living hope of eternal life none but the elect. The will of Christ who died so agrees and amicably conspires in perfect harmony, that the sphere of the Father's election, the Son's redemption. And the Spirit's sanctification are one and the same.

Canon XIV: This very thing further appears in this also, that Christ provided the means of salvation for those in whose place he died, especially the regenerating Spirit and the heavenly gift o faith, as well as salvation itself, and actually confers these upon, them. For the Scriptures testify that Christ, the Lord, came to say, the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt 15:24), and sends the, same Holy Spirit, the source of regeneration, as his own (John 16:7 8): that among the better promises of the New Covenant of which he was made Mediator and Guarantor this one is pre-eminent, the he will inscribe his law, the law of faith, in the hearts of his people (Heb 8:10); that whatsoever the Father has given to Chris will come to him, by faith, surely; and finally, that we are chose' in Christ to be his children, holy and blameless (Eph. 1:4-5); but our being God's holy children proceeds only from faith and the Spirit of regeneration.

Canon XV: But by the obedience of his death Christ, in place o the elect, so satisfied God the Father, that in the estimate of his vicarious righteousness and of that obedience, all of that which he rendered to the law, as its just servant, during his entire life whether by doing or by suffering, ought to be called obedience. For Christ's life, according to the Apostle's testimony (Phil 1:8), was nothing but submission, humiliation and a continuous emptying of self, descending step by step to the lowest extreme even to the point of death on the Cross; and the Spirit of God plainly declares that Christ in our stead satisfied the law and divine justice by His most, holy life, and makes that ransom with which God has redeemed us to consist not in His sufferings only, but in his whole life conformed to the law. The Spirit, however, ascribes our redemption to the death, or the blood, of Christ, in no other sense than that it was consummated by sufferings; and from that last definitive and no blest act derives a name indeed, but not in such a way as to separate the life preceding from his death.

Canon XVI: Since all these things are entirely so, we can hardly approve the opposite doctrine of those who affirm that of his own intention and counsel and that of the Father who sent him, Christ died for each and every one upon the condition, that they believe. [We also cannot affirm the teaching! that he obtained for all a salvation, which, nevertheless, is not applied to all, and by his death merited a salvation and faith for no one individually but only removed the obstacle of divine justice, and acquired for the Father the liberty of entering into a new covenant of grace with all men. Finally, they so separate the active and passive righteousness of Christ, as to assert that he claims his active righteousness as his own, but gives and imputes only his passive righteousness to the elect. All these opinions, and all that are like these, are contrary to the plain Scriptures and the glory of Christ, who is Author and Finisher of our faith and salvation; they make his cross of none effect, and under the appearance of exalting his merit, they, in reality diminish it.

wildboar
10-10-04, 01:29 PM
disciple

Sorry to keep going on and on about this but I find this subject fascinating and hope to continue to research it. Please don't take anything I have said as a personal attack against you. You can just ignore me if you like. For a review of The Atonement Controversy in Welsh Theological Literature click here: http://www.prca.org/current/Journal/Journal%20_Nov_2003.htm#The%20Atonement%20Controve rsy

Also, could you provide a Biblical example where it is said that the reprobate receive some benefit from the atonement?

wildboar
10-10-04, 02:21 PM
Also, just for some examples to show that I am not just complaining about Phil Johnson for no good reason. On his website, Phil Johnson has a review done by Matthew McMahon of a book by Prof. Engelsma called Hyper-Calvinism and the Call of the Gospel. You can read the review here.
A review of David J. Engelsma's Hyper-Calvinism and the Call of the Gospel, (http://www.apuritansmind.com/BookReviews/Sourpuss/EngelsmaDavidHypercalvinismSourpuss.htm)
The following quotes are from the review:

Englesma's book relies on half quotes, bad exegetical work, and does not convince at all.This is slander. McMahon provides no examples of Engelsma providing half quotes in order to twist what people are saying. A reviewer in the Calvin Theological Journal found the book very convincing and said that it did provide a solid defense against the charges of hyper-Calvinism. Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly said that it showed that the PRC is a defender of pure Calvinism.


There is not a great deal of technical or exegetical work documented at all, which is always a very bad sign if one is going to defend a position, and his conclusions seem to be more parroted than hermeneutical. He must have read a different book than I did.


Oftentimes, any writer from the PRC seems to write with a chip on their shoulder instead of simply exegeting the Bible (this is particularly true of "The Standard Bearer" - their quarterly journal for their denomination). In many of the books and papers I have read on this subject, it is often that they are simply writing to add additional comments on their split with CRC, and I believe that it is not only unnecessary to do this, but more condemning of their own lack of compassion and further aggravation of the subject. It is one thing to stand for the truth, but to continually harp on the split and bring up the same ideas over and over to defend their Hypercalvinism is tedious at best. Englesma's book is a reflection of that attitude. The apostles condemned false teaching as well as promoting true teaching. Also, since Engelsma took over editorship of the Standard Bearer in 1988 there were far fewer articles directed against the CRC. When specific issues came up or when the CRC was involved in some new controversy the issues were mentioned but the allegations by McMahon are unfounded.

He quotes sections of Turretin (http://www.apuritansmind.com/FrancisTurretin/francisturretin.htm), which is always refreshing to read, but does not quote everything Turretin said or stated on the views he is attempting to propagate. I would have enjoyed seeing him quote Turretin's use of the love of God for all men.
I would rather like to see these quotes by Turretin produced by McMahon which deny what Engelsma is saying.


They do not believe god hates the elect, or ever has (although I have not seen anything well done on Ephesians 2 - were we not "children of wrath" like the others?)
Engelsma does in fact deal with this passage and makes the distinction between hatred and wrath.


The denial of common bounty to all men, and the forcefulness of the assertion that God only hates the reprobate are Hypercalvinist ideologies stemming back from the time of John Gill and his mentor John Hussey. The PRC may be better termed the "Husseites", not akin to Jan Huss. Engelsma, in trying to protect his view and his denomination from Hypercalvinism, simply admits to it by their position and this book.Engelsma spends a good amount of time in his book refuting the severe error of Joseph Hussey.

disciple
10-11-04, 09:55 AM
This is a very common misconception. I even had a professor at Calvin College who said that he didn't know of anyone who taught a limited atonement except for a group of dutch people who met in the 17th century.i didn't mean to communicate what i did (or to make it sound the way it did to you). i shouldn't have said that was just dutch cavlinism because i understand that the synod of dort was an international synod of sorts and that its impact went further than just holland. what i actually wanted to emphasize was that we must not define all of calvinism simply by looking at one document. that will truncate and limit our/your understanding of calvinism in my opinion. it does not do justice to its variety and its true history (it gives too much emphasis to one document in one region during one time period). in my mind, the two wrong extremes would be to define calvinism by one document on the one hand and to not allow any unity of the different expressions of calvinism on the other.

disciple
10-11-04, 10:59 AM
Sorry to keep going on and on about this but I find this subject fascinating and hope to continue to research it. Please don't take anything I have said as a personal attack against you. You can just ignore me if you like.i find it fascinating as well. but as i've expressed, historical theology is like a slippery fish or a wild animal. people do all that they can to color history in their particular camps favor. this in addition to the fact that history is written by those who won. it seems very akin to the arguing about what the church fathers said by the roman catholics and reformers. we end up arguing about the middle men and what so and so meant by what he said rather than spending our time discussing the Scriptures themselves. i'd rather spend the majority of my time in the Scriptures because time is precious.

also, i don't take it personal, i just think that sometimes you seem unwilling to admit the possibility that you have false or biased information (that it may not represent what truly happened). and i don't wish to just ignore you. interacting with you just sometimes gets frustrating because i don't think i've ever seen you yield any ground or admit any weakness in your position.


Also, could you provide a Biblical example where it is said that the reprobate receive some benefit from the atonement?please note that i'm not really arguing for the correctness of any particular position, but am simply trying to point out that this point is more nuanced historically than many will admit. what i'm learning is that many calvinists (particularly the earlier ones) have historically allowed a duality of the atonement (truly and really, not hypothetically sufficient for all, but efficient only for the elect).

what i've read (again, i have not found the time to do the source work and research myself) is that it was during the period of protestant creedalism or protestant scholasticism in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that a lot of the definitions and details of the atonement were hammered out. some historians are saying that calvinism developed and changed during this period. key influential figures in this change that i've heard about were turretin and owen.

this period, from what i understand (from my church history class), was a very dry period as to the spiritual life of the church. out of this dryness and deadness came reactions such as pietism in germany, quakers, and other groups who had a tinge of mysticism. i'm sure you have your own opinions on this, but my point is that from what i understand, calvinism as a system developed over the years and later calvinism wasn't necessarily identical with early calvinism, calvinism in one region was not necessarily identifcal with that in other regions--in other words, it is not historically accurate to say that there is one calvinism (i.e., it is not completely monolithic).

as to the atonement, i know that some (calvin is a case in point but i also have quotes from hodge, shedd, and dabney) have said that he died for the unbeliever to remove any legal obstacles (so that none could claim that no provision was made for them being with any excuse) and that the effect of the atonement for them is merely delayed judgment and blessings via the elects'/church's impact on the world. but from reading the quotes from shedd, hodge, and dabney it does not seem so much to be that they receive any benefits from it, but that it was provision made without no specific application/effect to them (so it would speak to the efficient aspect of the atonement, not the sufficient). therefore this question would have perhaps made little sense to them. the reprobate does not receive any benefit from it, because it was not efficient for them (though it was sufficient). please remember that i'm not arguing the correctness of any particular position, but am merely trying to explain the variety.

anyway, i know that some of the verses they discuss are such verses as john 1:29, 3:16-17, 4:42, 6:33, 51; 2 co 5:14-15, 19; 1 tim 2:4-6, 4:10; heb 10:26-31; 2 pe 2:1; 1 John 2:2, 4:14 (again, as a reminder, my intention here not to argue the correctness of any particular position but simply allow for the variety).

wildboar
10-11-04, 05:38 PM
disciple:

I think perhaps we are misunderstanding one another. I think what you are talking about is what has been considered Calvinism by the churchworld at various times and as far as that goes I agree with you. What I am speaking of or trying to speak of is what Calvinism actually is at least as it is presented in a logical system. I'm not denying that Dabney, Hodge, or Shedd taught these things or declaring them unregenerate for doing so. I think they were wrong on these issues and I'm more interested in the rightness or wrongness of the doctrine. However, to throw people such as Baxter in there as being any kind of Calvinist just doesn't seem right.

I agree that this variety existed, but I don't believe the variety was good. Someone has to be right on this issue and a whole lot of people have to be wrong.

There are a variety of causes but I think the major influence for a good deal of the deadness during the era were the state churches. People were recognized as citizens of the kingdom who were merely citizens of a given country and who were by no means strangers and pilgrims on this earth and so worldliness came into the church both through these people who had no business in the church and through the state's involvement. Then those who sought to cure the deadness used the wrong means and methodism and pietism and other movements erupted as if the introduction of false theology could make the churchworld better.

I know it is popular to criticize people like Voetius or Beza or Turretin, saying that they corrupted Calvin's theology, but I disagree. I believe they further developed it and weeded out the error as each generation in the church ought to do. Concern for theology is never a bad thing. It only becomes a bad thing if we look at it abstractly, if we look at it as an end in itself without using it as a means to know God better.

doctr_of_grace
10-12-04, 06:38 AM
Wow this thread has taken an interesting twist. Let's define what Calvinism really is .... Now isn't that a broad subject.

Wildboar and Disicple thanks and carry on haha ... I am enjoying your exchange of ideas and information.

I believe we can all see that the word calvinist can have a variety of meanings and because of this I feel it can cloud rather than clarify the theological stance of an individual.

wildboar
10-12-04, 08:19 AM
The following is from an article written by Raymond Blacketer that appeared in the April 2000 issue of the Calvin Theological Journal. The article speaks of both the well-meant offer and the atonement, so I thought I would supply some quotes from it, analyzing Calvin and Turretin's position and critiquing popular modern interpretations. The full article can be read here http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html





Continuing his answer to this objection, Berkhof reminds his readers that the promise of the gospel is conditional, and that "the righteousness of Christ, though not intended for all, is yet sufficient for all."25 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note25) Does Berkhof really want to base the well-meant offer on the sufficiency of Christ's atonement? The sufficiency of the atonement only refers to the value or merit of Christ's death, and thus it is theoretical in nature. Had God decreed to save all sinners, the death of Christ would have been more than sufficient to atone for their sins. Berkhof's argument, apparently, is that because Christ's death could have covered the sins of all, therefore salvation can actually be offered to all, including the reprobate. The coherence of this argument is quite questionable: How can that which is not actually acquired or intended for the reprobate be offered to them with the desire that they accept it? In other words, how can Christ be offered to the reprobate, when in fact he has not been offered for them?
This argument based on the sufficiency of Christ's death, moreover, dates back to the sixteenth century, but it was not the Reformed who employed it. John Calvin rightly calls it "a great absurdity" that "has no weight for me." The question, he says, "is not what the power or virtue of Christ is, nor what efficacy it has in itself, but who those are to whom he gives himself to be enjoyed.' The answer to this question is not all humanity in general, but only those whom God designs to be a partaker in Christ.26 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note26) Calvin accepts the distinction between the sufficiency and efficacy of Christ's death,27 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note27) but he does not believe that this distinction can be employed to teach that God desires or intends salvation, or makes salvation available, for all persons indiscriminately......



Hoekema begins his analysis of the issue by reminding his readers that "Hoeksema's theology is dominated by the overruling causality of the double decree of election and reprobation."47 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note47) This characterization is based on the conclusions of two critics of Hoeksema's views: AC. DeJong and, indirectly, GC. Berkouwer. 48 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note48) Having thus discredited Hoeksema's theological method from the outset, Hoekema defends the well-meant offer by citing numerous texts,49 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note49) along with excerpts from John Calvin's comments on two of these texts: Ezekiel 18:23 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Ezekiel+18:23) and 2 Peter 3:9 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=2+Peter+3:9). We will examine Calvin's interpretation of Ezekiel 18 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Ezekiel+18) in detail below. Calvin's comments on 2 Peter 3:9 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=2+Peter+3:9) ("not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance") explain that this passage does not refer to God's secret purpose, "according to which the reprobate are doomed to their own ruin, but only of his will as made known to us in the gospel." In the gospel, God "stretches forth his hand without a difference to all, but lays hold only of those, to lead them to himself, whom he has chosen before the foundation of the world."50 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note50) Calvin does not say that God desires the salvation of the reprobate. In fact, when he cites this passage in the Institutes, he says that when God "promises that he will give a certain few a heart of stone [ Ezek. 36:26 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Ezek+36:26)], let him be asked whether he wants to convert all."51 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note51)


Hoekema argues that the phrase "ma boulomenos tinas apolesthai" precludes the possibility of limiting this passage to the elect. But he fails to nuance the meaning of the divine will. Calvin obviously relates this passage to God's will of the precept, or revealed will, which does not relate God's will regarding the fate of specific individuals. The Leiden Synopsis makes the following distinction, which could equally be applied to this passage:

Thus they delude themselves, who extend the grace of God's calling to all, and to every individual. For they not only confuse that love of God for humanity (filanqrwpiva) bywhich he embraces all persons as creatures, with that [love] bywhich he has decreed to receive in grace certain persons from among the common mass of sinful humanity, who were lost in their sin, and that they should follow his beloved Son Jesus Christ; they also rob God--who is bound by none--of any freedom to single out those whom he will from among the rest of his enemies, all equally unworthy of his mercy, in order that he might convey them from a state of guilt to a state of sin.52 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note52)


Hoekema does recognize that the passages he cites in defense of the well-meant offer refer to God's revealed will, but he does not appear to properly discern what that revealed will entails.53 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note53) What it in fact does entail will become quite clear when we come to Turretin's discussion of the calling of the reprobate. Hoekema also repeats Berkhof's argument that the Synod of Dort agreed with the Remonstrants' contention that God offers salvation to all, but that the synod nonetheless asserted that this offer was compatible with election and limited atonement.54 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note54) Like Berkhof, he fails to make a distinction between call and offer.


The solution that Hoekema ultimately proposes is that We avoid "a rationalistic solution." He mentions the phenomenon of English hyper-Calvinism, which, "like that of Herman Hoeksema and the Protestant Reformed Churches, denied the well-meant gospel call."55 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note55) This statement is regrettable for several reasons. First, Hoeksema and the Protestant Reformed Churches do not deny the serious call of the gospel; they simply deny that this call should be characterized as an offer of salvation or represented as God's intention to impart salvation. Second, the charge of hyper-Calvinism is an unjustified and uncharitable instance of guilt by association.56 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note56) Finally, Hoekema charges that the doctrine of the well-meant offer "has tremendous significance for missions," implying, regrettably, that the denial of that doctrine entails a diminishment of missionary motivation.57 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note57)
Hoekema asserts that there are two rationalistic solutions that must be avoided: the Arminian proposal of universal, sufficient grace, and the ostensibly hyper-Calvinist contention that the call does not imply God's desire to save the reprobate. We must continue to hold to both election and the well-meant offer, "even though we cannot reconcile these two teachings with our finite minds." We cannot "lock God up in the prison of human logic."58 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note58) Hoekema appeals to what he calls the "Scriptural paradox," by which he means that we must believe that apparently incompatible theological statements are in fact somehow resolved in the mind of God.59 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note59) .....


Calvin on Calling and Reprobation


Berkhof, in his defense of the three points, cites John Calvin in defense of the doctrine of the well-meant offer. He refers to Calvin's commentary on Ezekiel 18:23 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Ezekiel+18:23) and 18:32--but only cites a select portion of Calvin's comments on these texts.63 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note63) Calvin affirms that God "calls all equally to repentance, and promises himself prepared to receive them if they only seriously repent."64 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note64) Calvin even says that there is a sense in which God wills that all persons should be saved--but only on the condition that they repent. But how can this be reconciled with God's election, since God wills to give saving grace only to the elect?


Calvin answers: "God always wishes the same thing, though by different ways, and in a manner inscrutable to us. Although, therefore, God's will is simple, yet great variety is involved in it, as far as our senses are concerned."65 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note65)Here Calvin shows us his Scholastic side: He is operating with a time-honored distinction in the will of God, a distinction that for centuries had allowed exegetes to make sense of God's command to Abraham to sacrifice Isaac without really intending it to occur, his command to Pharaoh to release his people while simultaneously hardening his heart so that he would not do so, and his repentance at Nineveh. This is the distinction between God's will of the precept and his will of the decree. The command to repent and the promise of salvation following upon such repentance belong to the preceptive will of God. This human duty and conditional promise is proclaimed indiscriminately to all. The condition can only be fulfilled, however, when God has decreed to give a person regenerating grace. This is what Calvin means when he says, "God puts on a twofold character."66 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note66) Ezekiel's intention in this verse is not to say anything about election and reprobation but only to show that "when we have been converted we need not doubt that God immediately meets us and shows himself gracious."67 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note67)


Later, in his comments on Ezekiel 18:32 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Ezekiel+18:32), Calvin again takes up the preceptive will of God:

when God teaches what is right, he does not think of what we are able to do, but only shows us what we ought to do. When, therefore, the power of our free will is estimated by the precepts of God, we make a great mistake, because God exacts from us the strict discharge of our duty, just as if our power of obedience was not defective. We are not absolved from our obligation because we cannot pay it; for God holds us bound to himself, although we are in every way deficient.68 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note68)


Thus God can demand faith and repentance from sinners, even though they have rendered themselves incapable of the required response. Berkhof cites Calvin's comments on this verse, that God "invites all to repentance and rejects no one,"69 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note69) but he does not place it in the context of God's preceptive or revealed will, which Calvin contrasts with God's will of the decree or good pleasure. Berkhof, then, presents only one side of Calvin's argument.


Calvin's treatment of Matthew 23:37 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Matthew+23:37) ("O Jerusalem...how often I have longed to gather your children together.., but you were not willing") employs the decretive-preceptive distinction even more explicitly. Hoekema adduces this passage as further support of the well-meant offer. On this text, however, he does not claim Calvin's support, and for good reason. Calvin warns that ''we must define the will of God now under discussion." The opponents of predestination contend that "nothing agrees less with God's nature than that he should be of a double will." But not only do they fail to see that Christ, speaking on behalf of the Godhead, condescends to the human level by employing an anthropopathic figure of speech, they also fail to recognize that, although God's will is one and simple in himself, our perception of it is manifold. Thus God "strikes dumb our senses until it is given us to recognize how wonderfully he wills what at the moment seems to be against his will."70 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note70)


Calvin's lectures on Ezekiel extend only through chapter 20; but in his Institutes he does comment significantly on Ezekiel 33:11 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Ezekiel+33:11), in the context of election and reprobation. Opponents of these doctrines object that if God really takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, then he would make it possible for all to repent. Calvin responds that "this passage is violently twisted if the will of God, mentioned by the prophet, is opposed to his eternal plan, by which he has distinguished the elect from the reprobate."71 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note71) Here again we see the contrast between the will of the precept and the will of the decree. The prophet's truemeaning, Calvin continues, "is that he would bring the hope of pardon to the penitent only. The gist of it is that God is without doubt ready to forgive, as soon as the sinner is converted. Therefore, insofar as God wills the sinner's repentance, he does not will his death."72 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note72) The proposition that God wills the salvation of all must be qualified. According to his preceptive will, God reveals what is required of persons if they are to receive forgiveness. But God in his eternal counsel wills only to bestow the grace required for repentance on the elect.


Calvin then anticipates the charge that would later be brought by the Remonstrants: If God does not really will the salvation of all, then his universal call is not sincere. Calvin admits that God wills the repentance of those whom he calls to himself "in such a way that he does not touch the hearts of all." But this does not mean that God acts deceitfully, "for even though only his outward call renders inexcusable those who hear it and do not obey, still it is truly considered evidence of God's grace by which he reconciles persons to himself."73 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note73) The universal call is a testimony of God's grace but not his common grace. It is a testimony of his saving grace that is only operative in the elect. It is not grace for the reprobate. Calvin teaches that God hates the reprobate--not as his creatures, but as those who are bereft of his Spirit and worthy of condemnation.74 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note74) The opponents of predestination claim that God extends his grace to all indiscriminately; but Calvin replies that this is only true in the sense that God extends his grace to whomever he wills in his good pleasure, without regard to any merit.75 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note75)


For the reprobate, moreover, the external call is a testimony of God's judgment. "That the Lord sends his Word to many whose blindness he intends to increase cannot indeed be called into question. For what purpose does he cause so many demands to be made upon Pharaoh?"As far as the reprobate are concerned, God "directs his voice to them but in order that they may become even more deaf; he kindles a light but that they may be made even more blind; he sets forth doctrine but that they may grow even more stupid; he employs a remedy but so that they may not be healed."76 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note76) It is clear that Calvin sees the intention of the external call vis a vis the reprobate not as an offer of actual salvation but as a sign of his judgment upon human unbelief. This is even more clear from his discussion of calling: "There is an universal call, by which God, through the external preaching of the word, invites all men alike, even those for whom he designs the call to be a savor of death, and the ground of a severer condemnation."77 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note77)


Surprisingly, neither the synod of 1924, nor Berkhof, nor Hoekema cite the most relevant of Calvin's works in connection with the issue of the ostensible well-meant offer: his writings on election and reprobation. In his 1552 treatise On the Eternal Predestination of God, directed against the views of Albert Pighius and Georgius Siculus, Calvin responds to Pighius' claim, based on 1 Timothy 2:4 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=1+Timothy+2:4) and Ezekiel 33:11 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Ezekiel+33:11), that God desires the salvation of all persons:

Now we reply, that as the language of the prophet here is an exhortation to repentance, it is not at all marvelous in him to declare that God wills all men to be saved. For the mutual relation between these threats and promises shows that such forms of speaking are conditional. In this same manner God declared to the Ninevites, and to the kings of Gerar and Egypt, that he would do that which, in reality, he did not intend to do, for their repentance averted the punishment which he had threatened to inflict upon them ....Just so it is with respect to the conditional promises of God, which invite all men to salvation. They do not positively prove that which God has decreed in his secret counsel, but declare only what God is ready to do to all those who are brought to faith and repentance.78 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note78)


If the distinction between God's preceptive and decretive will is not clear enough, Calvin adds that "as a Lawgiver, he enlightens all men with the external doctrine of conditional life. In this manner he calls, or invites, all men unto eternal life."79 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note79) This is an indiscriminate declaration of what is required for a person to receive eternal life, but it is not an offer of salvation to those whom God has decreed to leave in their sin.


Regarding the promise of the gift of conversion in Jeremiah 31:33 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Jeremiah+31:33), Calvin remarks that "a man must be utterly beside himself to assert that this promise is made to all men generally and indiscriminately."80 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note80)Actual salvation, then, is not offered to all; but the way of salvation is proclaimed to all. The proposition that God desires the salvation of every individual cannot be maintained, Calvin argues, because not even the external preaching of the word comes to everyone, let alone the illumination of the Spirit: "Now let Pighius boast, if he can, that God wills all men to be saved!"81 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note81) If God does not intend salvation for all, how can he "offer" it to all? "No one but a man deprived of his common sense and common judgment can believe that salvation was ordained by the secret counsel of God equally and indiscriminately for all men."82 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note82)


Returning to Pighius' use of 1 Timothy 2:4 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=1+Timothy+2:4), where Paul says that God "wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth," Calvin argues that this passage does not mean that God wants each and every individual to be saved. "Who does not see that the apostle is here speaking of orders of men rather than of individuals? Indeed, that distinction which commentators here make is not without great reason and point; that classes of individuals, not individuals of classes, are here intended by Paul."83 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note83)


When Calvin turns to the arguments of the monk Georgius Siculus, he makes a comment that could be construed to support the 1924 synod's well-meant offer. His opponent claimed that God had made salvation available to all, since, as 1John 2:2 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=1+John+2:2) declares, Christ became a propitiation for the sins of the whole world. Calvin responds that "although reconciliation is offered unto all men through him [Christ], yet, that the great benefit belongs particularly to the elect."84 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note84)But clearly Calvin does not mean that reconciliation is offered, in the modern sense of the term, to all without distinction. Given what Calvin has already said about God's not intending the salvation of all who are called, it is doubtful that he here reverses his course and affirms that God in fact offers reconciliation to the reprobate, that is, that he holds it out for them to take. Fortunately, we have Calvin's French version of this treatise, where he himself translates the phrase in question "la reconciliation faicte pare luy se presente ŕ tous"--the reconciliation accomplished by him is presented to all. 85 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note85)


The reason why Calvin does not think that God intends or offers salvation to all becomes clear, in an accidental fashion, from his commentary on that same passage. Calvin mentions the common dictum that "Christ suffered sufficiently for the whole world, but efficiently only for the elect." He admits that this is true, but he denies that this really applies to 1John 2:2 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=1+John+2:2), since John only has the elect in mind. Calvin adds, however, that "under the word all or whole, he does not include the reprobate, but designates those who should believe as well as those who were then scattered through various parts of the world."86 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note86)


There is another passage, moreover, in which Calvin makes it quite clear that he rejects the concept of a universal atonement. Combating Tilemann Heshusius' doctrine of the physical presence of Christ in the Lord's Supper, Calvin poses the following rhetorical question: "I should like to know how the wicked can eat the flesh of Christ which was not crucified for them, and how they can drink the blood which was not shed to expiate their sins?"87 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note87) We might also ask, how can redemption be offered to those for whom it was neither intended nor actually obtained? Again, how can Christ be offered to the reprobate, when in fact he has not been offered for them?


Calvin touches on this matter again in his short piece, Response to Certain Calumnies and Blasphemies, a rejection of Sebastian Castellio's objections to Calvin's doctrine of predestination. Castellio contends that God created the whole world to be saved, and that he works to draw to himself all who have gone astray. Calvin admits that this may be true in one sense, with regard to the doctrine of faith and repentance. This doctrine is published or declared (proposé) to all in general, but with a twofold purpose: to draw his elect to faith, and to render the rest inexcusable.88 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note88) God summons and exhorts all to come to him, but he does not draw all of them to himself; the promise to do so is only given to a "certain number," the elect.89 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note89)


Castellio thinks that God desires the salvation of every individual because all are called. But Calvin responds that Castellio does not understand that most basic truth about God's calling (Calvin calls it the ABCs of the Christian faith): the distinction between the external and the internal call. The external call comes "from the mouths of men," while the internal call is the secret work of God. Moreover, Calvin adds, 1 Timothy 2:4 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=1+Timothy+2:4) means that God desires the salvation of all who will come to a knowledge of the truth, that is, the elect.90 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note90) Castellio would do well to profit from "the little book written by our brother, Mr. Beza." This little book is Beza's Summa totius Christianismi, which includes his famous table of predestination. Far from characterizing the external call as an offer of salvation, Beza writes that God justly hates the reprobate because they are corrupt.91 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note91) As for the reprobate who hear the external call, Beza explains that

their downfall is much more severe, since he in fact grants them the external preaching, but who, despite being called, are neither willing nor even able to respond, because, they are content in their blindness, and think that they see, and because it is not given to them to embrace and believe the Spirit of truth. Consequently, although their obstinacy is necessary, it is nevertheless voluntary. This is why they refuse to come to the banquet when they are invited; for the word of life is foolishness and an offense to them, and ultimately a lethal odor that leads to death.92 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note92)


Turning back to Calvin's trouncing of Castellio, he concludes his brief treatise by once more employing the distinction between God's preceptive and decretive will. It is true, he says, that God often uses a form of speech such as "Return to me, and I will come to you." But the purpose of such language is to show us what we ought to do, not what we are able to do.93 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note93)


Calvin later expanded his refutation of Castellio's antipredestinarian views in a treatise on the Secret Providence of God (1558). Here again, Calvin makes it clear that the proposition in 1 Timothy 2:4 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=1+Timothy+2:4), that God desires the salvation of all persons, must be qualified. "Since no one but he who is drawn by the secret influence of the Spirit can approach unto God, how is it that God does not draw all men indiscriminately to himself, if he really 'wills all men to be saved'?"94 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note94) For Calvin, this passage can mean that God wants all kinds, races, and classes of people to be saved; or it can mean that God wills that if anyone is to be saved, that person must repent and believe, and that this preceptive will of God is to be preached indiscriminately to all. But it does not mean that God earnestly desires the salvation of all who hear the preaching of the gospel.


Francis Turretin and the Calling of the Reprobate


Francis Turretin (1623-87), who held the chair of theology at the Genevan Academy from 1653 until his death, was a great synthesizer and defender of Reformed orthodoxy.95 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note95) He frequently defends and exposits the declarations of the Synod of Dort in his Institutes ofElenctic Theology His interpretation of the Canons and his exposition of the Reformed doctrine of the calling of the reprobate shed a great deal of light on this subject and demonstrate the coherence of this doctrine. At the same time, he leaves no room for the well-meant offer of salvation as it is presented by the 1924 synod and its defenders.


In his discussion of the calling of the reprobate, Turretin repudiates two assertions: First, that the reprobate are "called with the design and intention on God's part that they should become partakers of salvation;" and second, that it follows from this that "God does not deal seriously with them, but hypocritically and falsely; or that he can be accused of some injustice." Turretin states the Reformed position as follows:

we do not deny that the reprobate.., are called by God through the gospel; still we do deny that they are called with the intention that they should be made actual partakers of salvation (which God knew would never be the case because in his decree he had ordained otherwise concerning them). Nor ought we on this account to think that God can be charged with hypocrisy or dissimulation, but that he always acts most seriously and sincerely.96 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note96)


God has both a common and special end in his call. The common end, that is common to all who receive it, is "the demonstration of the mode and way of salvation and the promise of salvation to those who profess the prescribed condition.."97 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note97) The special end for the elect is "the actual bestowal of salvation upon those whom on that account he calls not only imperatively but also operatively; not only by prescribing duty, but by performing that very duty, working within us by his Spirit what he externally commands by his Word."98 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note98) For the reprobate, God's end "is their conviction and inexcusability."99 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note99)


The question, according to Turretin, is not whether "God wills to bestow any grace upon reprobates over and above those who are destitute of this blessing (such as the heathen and other infidels) but whether he intends to give saving grace or salvation to them and calls them with this purpose, that they may really become partakers of it .... "which Turretin denies. Here Turretin may acknowledge the possibility of some other kind of grace besides saving grace; the call itself may even be a (temporary) blessing.100 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note100)


Turretin proceeds to demonstrate, in six arguments, how God can deal seriously with the reprobate, even when he does not intend their salvation.


1. "God cannot in calling intend the salvation of those whom he reprobated from eternity and from whom he decreed to withhold faith and other means leading to salvation. Otherwise he would intend what is contrary to his own will and what he knew in eternity would never take place, and that it would not take place because he, who alone can, does not wish to do it. This everyone sees to be repugnant to the wisdom, goodness, and power of God."101 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note101)


2. "God does not intend faith in the reprobate; therefore neither does he intend salvation, which cannot be attained without faith."102 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note102)


3. "Christ, in calling the reprobate Jews, testifies that his proposed end was their inexcusability" (ajnapologiva; cf. John 9:39, 15 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+9:39,15):22).103 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note103)


4. "Those who are called with the intention of salvation are 'called according to purpose' (kata prothesin, Rom. 8:28 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Rom+8:28)), the purpose of which is that they love God, be justified, etc.104 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note104)


5. "Salvation according to the intention of God is promised to none other than those having the prescribed condition .... Since this cannot be said of the reprobate, it equally cannot be said that they are called by God with the intention that they should be saved."105 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note105)


6. "It can no more be said that God calls each and every individual with the intention that they should be saved, than that they should be damned. For a conditioned promise includes the opposite threatening, so that every unbeliever will be condemned as every believer is to be saved .... It can no more be concluded that God wills all to be saved for the reason that he promises pardon of sin and salvation to all promiscuously (if they repent), than that he does not will the salvation of all for the reason that he denounces a curse and death upon all (unless they repent and believe)."106 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note106)


Turretin can use the term offer (oblatio, the nominal form of offero, which can also mean "presentation"107 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note107)) in explaining how the reprobate are called seriously yet without the intention of salvation; but he does so in a way that is quite incompatible with the claims of the welgemeende aanbod des heils:

Although God does not intend the salvation of reprobate by calling them, still he acts most seriously and sincerely; nor can any hypocrisy or deception be charged against him--neither with respect to God himself, because he seriously and most truly shows them the only and most certain way of salvation, seriously exhorts them to follow it and most sincerely promises salvation to all those who do follow it, namely, to those who believe and repent; nor does he only promise, but actually bestows it according to his promise; nor in regard to men, because the offer [or presentation, oblatio] of salvation is not made to them absolutely, but under a condition, and thus it posits nothing unless the condition is fulfilled, which is wanting on the part of man.108 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note108)


The key to understanding how God can seriously call the reprobate without intending their salvation is the distinction between the will of the decree and that of the precept:

if he shows that he wills a thing by the will of precept and yet does not will it by the will of decree, there is no simulation or hypocrisy here, as in prescribing the law to men, he shows that he wills that they should fulfill it by approbation and command, but not immediately as to decree. Now in calling God indeed shows that he wills the salvation of the called by the will of precept and good pleasure (envarestiva), but not by the will of decree. For calling shows what God wills man should do, but not what he himself haddecreed to do. It teaches what is pleasing and acceptable to God and in accordance with his own nature, namely, that one should come to him; but not what he himself has determined to do concerning man. It signifies what God is prepared to give believers and penitents, but not what he has actually decreed to give to this or that person.109 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note109)

It is one thing to will reprobates to come, i.e. to command them to come...another to will that they should not come, i.e. not to will to give them the power to come. God can in calling them will the former and yet not the latter without any contrariety because the former has to do only with the will of precept, while the latter has to do with the will of the decree For a serious call does not require that there should be an intention and purpose of drawing him, but only that there should be a constant will of commanding duty and bestowing the blessing upon him who performs it, which God most seriously wills.110 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note110)


Turretin also clarifies the relationship between the will of God in calling and the role of the preacher in proclaiming the gospel. The preacher can proclaim that Christ is the Savior of all who will come to him in faith -- a truth that even the reprobate can believe.111 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note111) Pastors are to "invite all their hearers promiscuously to repentance and faith as the only way of salvation, and, supposing these, to salvation; and they ought to intend nothing else than the gathering of the church or the salvation of the elect."112 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note112) Pastors do not know who will benefit from their preaching. They certainly cannot distinguish between the elect and the reprobate. In charity they may wish the best for all; and they dare not judge any person to be reprobate. At the same time, however, their intention is none other than that of the Lord: they intend only the salvation of the elect, whoever they may be.113 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note113)
In his discussion of the various distinctions in the will of God, Turretin makes it clear that it is the will of the decree (or good pleasure) that is more properly referred to as the will of God; this is usually what is meant by "the will of God." The decree of the precept (or complacency) "does not properly include any decree or volition in God, but implies only the agreement of the thing [commanded or prescribed] with the nature of God." Thus it is "less properly called the will of God."114 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note114) Thus, when we ask whether God wills all to be saved, the answer is, properly speaking, no.

disciple
10-12-04, 09:22 AM
I think perhaps we are misunderstanding one another. I think what you are talking about is what has been considered Calvinism by the churchworld at various times and as far as that goes I agree with you. What I am speaking of or trying to speak of is what Calvinism actually is at least as it is presented in a logical system. I'm not denying that Dabney, Hodge, or Shedd taught these things or declaring them unregenerate for doing so. I think they were wrong on these issues and I'm more interested in the rightness or wrongness of the doctrine.so in essence, we are talking about and emphasizing two different things. i'm talking about historical calvinism and it's variety and you're talking about which calvinism is most biblical (or perhaps which has the correct interpretation of true calvinism...whatever true calvinism may be).

in my opinion, these are two different discussions requiring two different paths of research. the one you are attempting is what i keep saying that i don't know that we'll be able to tame here (if the "scholars" and historians can't come to a consensus, i'm not sure that we will). if one is ambitious, he will research the topic himself doing his own source work. but as i've said before, i do not have time for this nor is it very high on my list of priorities.


However, to throw people such as Baxter in there as being any kind of Calvinist just doesn't seem right.but as i was saying before, some researchers say that early calvinists saw a duality in the atonement. and from what i understand, baxter affirmed the sufficient for all men, efficient for the elect formula. therefore, he did believe in a limited aspect of the atonement. plus, from what i understand, he also heartily affirmed the four other points. but as i said before, i have not read him so i'm simply passing on information i've heard from other sources. nor am i trying to champion baxter, but am simply allowing for the possibility that he would be historically classified as a calvinist based on the historical usage of the term (not on what i've decided is the one true calvinism).


I agree that this variety existed, but I don't believe the variety was good. Someone has to be right on this issue and a whole lot of people have to be wrong.with all due respect, and not to be rude, but all that i've seen from you thus far is links from the PRCA. i know that you believe that they are the holders of the mantle of truth, but you've certainly already limited yourself if that's the only position that you'll (a priori?) accept as truth. again, my point here is not to decide for everyone else what is the one true calvinism. people can make that decision for themselves without reading more polemics (this may be best done by reading actual source work or the work of historians and not the work of theologians who are often only interested in defending their particular tradition).


There are a variety of causes but I think the major influence for a good deal of the deadness during the era were the state churches. People were recognized as citizens of the kingdom who were merely citizens of a given country and who were by no means strangers and pilgrims on this earth and so worldliness came into the church both through these people who had no business in the church and through the state's involvement. Then those who sought to cure the deadness used the wrong means and methodism and pietism and other movements erupted as if the introduction of false theology could make the churchworld better.

I know it is popular to criticize people like Voetius or Beza or Turretin, saying that they corrupted Calvin's theology, but I disagree. I believe they further developed it and weeded out the error as each generation in the church ought to do. Concern for theology is never a bad thing. It only becomes a bad thing if we look at it abstractly, if we look at it as an end in itself without using it as a means to know God better.this is a different perspective, of course. but from what i've been learning in church history (which i just finished), hermeneutics (which i'm now taking), as well as from david ponter's papers and dr. daniel's lectures is that, right or wrong, many changes and developments took place during the period of protestant creedalism/scholasticism/orthodoxy. some argue that beza and turretin (i'm not familiar with voetius) took calvin further that he would have been willing to go because they misunderstood him in places.

also, from what i understand, this period was marked by a battlefield of polemics, controversy, schisms, hatred, slander/libel, etc. again, this why such movements as pietism came about because the life of the church was waning. from what i've read, it was much like medieval scholasticism where there was a dead orthodoxy, debating the fine points of theology with very little practice, life, and heart in their Christianity with heavy emphasis on tradition.

http://mb-soft.com/believe/txc/pietism.htm
http://library.sebts.edu/sprescott/Church%20History_files/Protestant%20Scholasticism%20and%20Pietism.htm
http://mb-soft.com/believe/txc/scholasp.htm
http://www.christiancounterculture.com/articles/lovingthoseweoppose.html

i know the following is out of context quotes, but there is a listing of quotes from calvin that one can further investigate if they are ambitious that are believed by some to support what has been historically called amyraldism (or amyraldianism, whichever you prefer):

http://mb-soft.com/believe/txs/calvine.htm (http://mb-soft.com/believe/txs/calvine.htm)
http://mb-soft.com/believe/txn/amyraldi.htm

you can check them in context here:

http://www.ccel.org/c/calvin/

wildboar
10-12-04, 10:26 AM
with all due respect, and not to be rude, but all that i've seen from you thus far is links from the PRCA.
Raymond Blacketer's article appears on the PRCA website but he is not a member of the PRCA and defends the doctrine of common grace. However, he denies the well-meant offer. You can also read the same article in its original source which was in the Calvin Theological Journal which of course is affiliated with the CRC.

I read Calvin's Institutes before I read anyone's interpretation of Calvin. The first person I remember reading who interpreted Calvin was Sproul and I remember wondering how he got some of the things he did out of Calvin's writings. This was well before I ever heard of the PRC. I hear allegations from time to time that the PRC takes Calvin out of context but I really haven't seen anything to back it up. The PRC writings are usually quite willing to say when Calvin is wrong on a given issue.

disciple
10-12-04, 10:34 AM
a forum started by david ponter is found here:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Calvin_and_Calvinism/

here is cut and paste of a post from there by ponter:


1) We have the consistant Calvinian exegesis: eg: (multiple statements) of Jn 3:16 (universal), Mt 23:37 (God-man and universal), 2 Pet 2:2 with Jude 4 (men go to hell whom Christ had ransomed and shed his blood for), 2 Pet 3:9 (universal). Roms 14:15 with 1 Cor 8:11-12 (folk for whom Christ died back on the road to perdition etc). Add to this Jn 12:47, etc. I have called this the patterned exegesis of Calvin. These are general verses which no strict particularist could similarly exegete.

2) We have Calvin's own direct statements where on expiation/redemption verses he takes a universal reading, eg, Isa 53:11-12, Jn 1:29, 1 Tim 2:6, Mark 14:24.

3) We have the many so-called "wasted-blood" statements, stated in passing in general non-polemicical contexts.

4) We have the similar many universal expiation passages, again in general contexts.

5) We have the very internal evidence from within Reformed theologians, then and now, who admit that the sufficiency-efficiency formula was changed so as to exclude any sense that Christ intentionally died *for* all sufficiently. These same writers even admit that the early Reformers held to this construction, eg, Owen, Cunningham, Walker, Berkhof, etc. These guys admit the formula was redefined to exclude that idea. We have early Reformers affirming that Christ suffered, died or redeemed all men sufficiently.

6) We have the rise of Federalism which reshaped Reformed Soteriology. We even have folk like AA Hodge saying that with the rise of Federalism the universal aspects of Christs work faded into the background.

7) We have the documented resistence of writers at the time these theological changes were happening, like Amyraut, Baxter and Usher.

8) We have well documented information that at Dort, for example, there was tremendous diversity of opinion regarding the extent of the atonement.

9) We also have the various attempts to move back to a moderate position such as by Boston and the Marrow Men and their attempts to root their ideas in earlier Reformation history.

Against all this we have:

1) the one statement from Calvin in his tract on communion where he says that Christ did not shed his blood for these wicked folk who think they can rightly partake of communion.

2) the passage in 1 Jn 2:2, where Calvin says of that verse, not of the doctrine, that world means elect. But nowhere does he say that Christ only died, only suffered for the elect, etc. Indeed, there he affirms that Christ suffered for all sufficiently.

3) Calvin's statement of all kinds in 1 Tim 2:4. But at no point does he restrict the redemption or the will to some of all kinds of folk, eg, all kinds of elect folk.

Theologically, against the position, men like Helm and Nicole import later arguments for limited atonement back on to Calvin, like the high priestly prayer argument, the double-payment argument, and the impossiblity to separate impetration and the application of the expiation. But these arguments are not found in Calvin as far as I can tell. And they never actually cite him using the arguments. Its really only these later arguments which sustain their case. Eg., if we didnt import the double-payment argument into Calvin, there would be no reason to deny the straightforward statements.

For all the reasons, I find the Helm/Nicole polemic untenable.

wildboar
10-12-04, 10:55 PM
I am once again drawn to Blacketer's article and have not seen evidence to the contrary that these apparent contradictions in Calvin are actually due to a distinction he makes between the external and internal call.


There is another passage, moreover, in which Calvin makes it quite clear that he rejects the concept of a universal atonement. Combating Tilemann Heshusius' doctrine of the physical presence of Christ in the Lord's Supper, Calvin poses the following rhetorical question: "I should like to know how the wicked can eat the flesh of Christ which was not crucified for them, and how they can drink the blood which was not shed to expiate their sins?"87 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note87) We might also ask, how can redemption be offered to those for whom it was neither intended nor actually obtained? Again, how can Christ be offered to the reprobate, when in fact he has not been offered for them?


Calvin touches on this matter again in his short piece, Response to Certain Calumnies and Blasphemies, a rejection of Sebastian Castellio's objections to Calvin's doctrine of predestination. Castellio contends that God created the whole world to be saved, and that he works to draw to himself all who have gone astray. Calvin admits that this may be true in one sense, with regard to the doctrine of faith and repentance. This doctrine is published or declared (proposé) to all in general, but with a twofold purpose: to draw his elect to faith, and to render the rest inexcusable.88 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note88) God summons and exhorts all to come to him, but he does not draw all of them to himself; the promise to do so is only given to a "certain number," the elect.89 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note89)


Castellio thinks that God desires the salvation of every individual because all are called. But Calvin responds that Castellio does not understand that most basic truth about God's calling (Calvin calls it the ABCs of the Christian faith): the distinction between the external and the internal call. The external call comes "from the mouths of men," while the internal call is the secret work of God. Moreover, Calvin adds, 1 Timothy 2:4 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=1+Timothy+2:4) means that God desires the salvation of all who will come to a knowledge of the truth, that is, the elect.90 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note90) Castellio would do well to profit from "the little book written by our brother, Mr. Beza." This little book is Beza's Summa totius Christianismi, which includes his famous table of predestination. Far from characterizing the external call as an offer of salvation, Beza writes that God justly hates the reprobate because they are corrupt.91 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note91) As for the reprobate who hear the external call, Beza explains that


their downfall is much more severe, since he in fact grants them the external preaching, but who, despite being called, are neither willing nor even able to respond, because, they are content in their blindness, and think that they see, and because it is not given to them to embrace and believe the Spirit of truth. Consequently, although their obstinacy is necessary, it is nevertheless voluntary. This is why they refuse to come to the banquet when they are invited; for the word of life is foolishness and an offense to them, and ultimately a lethal odor that leads to death.92 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note92)

Turning back to Calvin's trouncing of Castellio, he concludes his brief treatise by once more employing the distinction between God's preceptive and decretive will. It is true, he says, that God often uses a form of speech such as "Return to me, and I will come to you." But the purpose of such language is to show us what we ought to do, not what we are able to do.93 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note93)


Calvin later expanded his refutation of Castellio's antipredestinarian views in a treatise on the Secret Providence of God (1558). Here again, Calvin makes it clear that the proposition in 1 Timothy 2:4 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=1+Timothy+2:4), that God desires the salvation of all persons, must be qualified. "Since no one but he who is drawn by the secret influence of the Spirit can approach unto God, how is it that God does not draw all men indiscriminately to himself, if he really 'wills all men to be saved'?"94 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note94) For Calvin, this passage can mean that God wants all kinds, races, and classes of people to be saved; or it can mean that God wills that if anyone is to be saved, that person must repent and believe, and that this preceptive will of God is to be preached indiscriminately to all. But it does not mean that God earnestly desires the salvation of all who hear the preaching of the gospel.

wildboar
10-12-04, 11:34 PM
2) We have Calvin's own direct statements where on expiation/redemption verses he takes a universal reading, eg, Isa 53:11-12, Jn 1:29, 1 Tim 2:6, Mark 14:24.

Blacketer's interpretation of Calvin would seem to make a great deal more sense to me than to take a passage such as I Tim 2:6 and think that Calvin taught that it was Christ's intent to save everyone head for head on the cross.




That there might be a testimony in due time; that is, in order that this grace might be revealed at the appointed time. The phrase, for all, which theApostle had used, might have given rise to the question, "Why then had God chosen a peculiar people, if he revealed himself as a reconciled Father to all without distinction, and if the one redemption through Christ was common to all?" He cuts off all ground for that question, by referring to the purpose of God the season f34 for revealing his grace. For if we are not astonished that in winter, the trees are stripped of their foliage, the field are covered with snow, and the meadows are stiff with frost, and that, by the genial warmth of spring, what appeared for a time to be dead, begins to revive, because God appointed the seasons to follow in succession; why should we not allow the same authority to his providence in other: matters? Shall we accuse God of instability, because he brings forward, at the proper time, what he had always determined, and settled in his own mind? Accordingly, although it came upon the world suddenly and was altogether unexpected, that Christ was revealed as a Redeemer to Jews and Gentiles, without distinction; let as not think that it was sudden with respect to God but, on the contrary, let us learn to subject all our sense to his wonderful providence. The consequence will be, that there will be nothing that comes from him which shall not appear to us to be highly seasonable. On that account this admonition frequently occurs in the writings of Paul and especially when he treats of the calling of the Gentiles, by which, at that time, on account of its novelty, many persons were startled and almost confounded. They who are not satisfied with this solution, that God, by his hidden wisdom, arranged the succession of the seasons, will one day feel, that, at the time when they think that he was idle, he was framing a hell for inquisitive persons.

7. For which I have been appointed. That it may not be thought that he makes rash assertions — as many are wont to do — on a subject which he did not well understand, he affirms that God had appointed him for this purpose, that he might bring the Gentiles, who had formerly been alienated from the kingdom of God, to have a share in the gospel; for his apostleship was a sure foundation of the divine calling. And on this account he labors very hard in asserting it, as there are many who received it with no small difficulty.

disciple
10-13-04, 09:02 AM
i appreciate your references to this author, but i think it is a good idea to let calvin speak for himself. i have yet to see anyone arguing that he only believed in strict limited atonement (and saw no duality as in "sufficient for all, efficient for elect") provide a quote from him which states that he only suffered for the elect (stated positively) or that he explicitly did not die for anyone except the elect (stated negatively), in any sense whatsoever. perhaps you have some. if so, it would be interesting to explore as this would be the only way that his statements (cf. 1 Tim 2:4, 1 Joh 2:2, etc.) could indeed be contradictory (if he said that Christ did and did not die for all men, without exception, in the exact same sense).

here are some more quotes:

Yet I approve of the ordinary reading, that he alone bore the punishment of many, because on him was laid the guilt of the whole world. It is evident from other passages, and especially from the fifth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, [Rom 5:12, 18] that “many” sometimes denotes “all.”


[Calvin's commentary on Is 53:12]

“As by the offense of one we were made (constitute) sinners; so the righteousness of Christ is efficacious to justify us.He does not say the righteousness — DIKAIOSUNHN, but the justification — DIKAIWMA, of Christ, in order to remind us that he was not as an individual just for himself, but that the righteousness with which he was endued reached farther, in order that, by conferring this gift, he might enrich the faithful. He makes this favor common to all, because it is propounded to all, and not because it is in reality extended to all; for though Christ suffered for the sins of the whole world, and is offered through God’s benignity indiscriminately to all, yet all do not receive him. [“Nam etsi passus est Christus pro peccatis totius mundi. atque omnibus indifferenter Dei benignitate offertur; non tamen omnes apprehendum.” It appears from this sentence that Calvin held general redemption. — Ed.]

[Calvin's commentary on Ro 5:18]



again, i direct you to the following link to check the context.



http://www.ccel.org/c/calvin/



i think calvin's words are plain enough that they do not necessitate a search for some hidden meaning that is not obvious on the surface of his words. this is what i find when many people try to explain (or authoritatively declare) what calvin really meant by what he said. again, it becomes like the roman catholic scholastics doing all that they can to interpret the middle men to show that their tradition matches that of the venerated fathers'.

wildboar
10-13-04, 03:09 PM
i have yet to see anyone arguing that he only believed in strict limited atonement (and saw no duality as in "sufficient for all, efficient for elect") provide a quote from him which states that he only suffered for the elect (stated positively) or that he explicitly did not die for anyone except the elect (stated negatively), in any sense whatsoever. I think we in fact do have this in the statement Calvin made about communion quoted both in the article I posted and mentioned in the post which you posted.

doctr_of_grace
10-13-04, 03:40 PM
So I am not misunderstanding or misrepresenting anyone here I would like some clarification if possible.

To believe that faith comes from God alone and that the faith we have is actually toward or about "something" ie (Belief in Christ's righteousness) ... meaning that justification comes by faith in the imputed righteousness of Christ on his church or elect. This justification (or declaring the wicked righteous) if I am understanding the term justification correctly ... comes solely from God and only to those whom God accounts the Cross and the work of Jesus Christ to ... right?

Wouldn't it be impossible for a person to claim justification from God and deny that this justification comes solely from the Cross and work of Jesus Christ? This person would be taking credit for his belief and therefore have room to boost before God.

Am I misrepresenting the Gospel with the above statement? Am I remotely suggesting that faith is a result of our work? To exercise faith or to exercise repentance is not a work of man but a result of God working in that man. Perhaps I am not being very clear and perhaps that is part of the problem with reading Calvin on these issues.

Disciple ... you make a valid point though and I must admit that some things that Calvin says especially in his commentaries causes one to sit back and say hmmmm at the very least :) .

To whom did Christ die? To say Christ died for anyone that is in fact in hell is ludicrus. I have failed to see Calvin make such a claim. I believe he like the rest of us struggle with some of the "universal" verses that exist in scripture but I don't think he has gone so far as to say that there are people in hell whom Christ died for.

Harald ... I feel that I may have misunderstood your statement about Paul and "perfect knowledge". Could you perhaps clarify it for me. Do you believe that it is possible for any human being living in the world today to have perfect knowledge of God's Word and perfect understanding of faith, justification and the workings of God. Is there room for error in any Christian's thinking? If wrong thinking is a sin and that wrong thinking person is in fact elect would that sin be paid for as well as all the sins of this individual?

I also apologize to you for what you seem to believe are offensive statements coming from a woman. I truly believe that John Calvin is one of the great reformers and that he was used by God and is in fact "saved". I believe that he along with Luther and countless others put their lives on the line for what they perceived to be the correct way of interpreting God's Holy Word. How many protestants were burned at the stake for holding to the scriptures and denouncing the Roman Church?

So I guess I got a bit defensive for him. It really doesn't matter today. He is long gone and God knows whether or not he is saved or not and I certainly will not stand in judgement of him.

Anyways ... I think I have gotten a bit carried away with this thread and humbly apologize.

In Christ .... Jan

disciple
10-13-04, 03:57 PM
I think we in fact do have this in the statement Calvin made about communion quoted both in the article I posted and mentioned in the post which you posted.do you mind providing the quote and reference? thanks!

harald
10-13-04, 05:13 PM
Janice. You have already apologized so there is no real need to do so again. But just so that you know I hold no grudge against you as a person. I accept and appreciate your apology. Thank you.

Then to doctrinal things, where we apparently disagree to some degree. As to "perfect knowledge", then. I find "perfect knowledge" once by doing a search on the KJV text of the NT, but it is a moot verse, Acts 24:22, as you'll learn if you check the verse. So, our "perfect knowledge" may be hard to define and come to terms with. Only God has absolutely perfect knowledge in every sense of the word "perfect", seeing He is omniscient. I believe it is not possible for any human on earth today to have perfect knowledge of God's Word in the sense that he/she has perfect knowledge concerning the Holy Scriptures so as to be able to give the exactly right interpretation of each verse and clause and word and passage etc. This would require an exhaustive knowledge of all the original languages involved, and of all things doctrinal, historical etc. etc. No one on earth possesses such knowledge. The New Testament does not use "perfect knowledge" when it comes to Scriptural truth and doctrine etc. But it contains the Greek word EPIGNÔSIS. Paul uses it quite often. But only some versions make difference between this and GNÔSIS. GNÔSIS would be "knowledge", but EPIGNÔSIS would be "full knowledge", "accurate knowledge", "thorough knowledge". EPIGNÔSIS ("thorough knowledge") is God's will for His saints as to many things. This can be verified by checking out the Ephesian epistle in the Greek. It is theoretically possible to attain at "thorough knowledge" of things such as faith, justification, and God's workings. But none of this "full knowledge" is to be compared to God's knowledge of the same, which is absolutely perfect and exhaustive, and flawless. Those that are interested in divine and spiritual things but who never attain to an EPIGNÔSIS of them are condemned by Paul in 2Timothy chapter 3, verse 7. Here the KJV undertranslates EPIGNÔSIS by "knowledge". To attain at a full knowledge of faith one must be much taught of God experimentally, as well as taught well in the Scriptures. Example - Paul the apostle. The same goes for the workings of God (again Paul as example). To attain at an accurate knowledge of justification before God one does not necessarily need to be regenerated, but one does need to be well taught concerning Paul's teaching on it. There are and have been people who have been unregenerate but who have been taught the doctrine of justification quite aright, so much so that they have had a "thorough knowledge" of it. Theirs has been a mere head knowledge, but nevertheless a thorough comprehension.

Yes, there is room for error and errors (plural) in a Christian's thinking. A Christian often learns through unlearning his/her errors. But error is not the same as heresy. Heresy has to do with being opinionated. A "Christian", "a saint" etc. is never in the NT spoken of as "heretical" or as one who practises heresy or heresies. This is noteworthy. Hereticalness is a work of the flesh, and practising heresy on a continual basis is not possible for a genuine saint, Christian. This I glean from Paul in Galatians 5.
As for an elect person, Yes, his/her wrong thinking as sin has been paid for by Christ on the cross, yet this does not give license to willfully persist in wrong thought patterns.

As for Calvin or any other who you may esteem I am not interested in fighting over them. But my firm conviction is that Calvin and Luther were very amiss as respects justification before God, and a few other vital points. And the underlying reason as to why they were amiss is that they were not taught of God. Had Calvin for example been taught of God he would have attained at EPIGNÔSIS as respects the thing known as justification before God. The fact that he did not attain to this will have occasioned some stern reproach at the judgment seat of Christ. And in not attaining at full knowledge concerning justification he taught others his faulty knowledge and understanding, leading them astray. The same applies for Luther. I do not doubt their sincerity, but sincere people may be wrong, which they quite often have been and are.

The very least of God's true sheep have better and more accurate and more God-glorifying and more Christ-honouring knowledge about justification before God at the point of their conversion than the plenteously letter-learned Calvin had at his death-bed, because God's sheep are spiritually and experimentally taught of the best Teacher there is, the Holy Spirit of God.


Harald

wildboar
10-13-04, 11:39 PM
disciple:

Here are the references and quotes. It's late at night and I'll be going out of town for a few days, but I do hope to look this passage up as it exists in its context.

Against all this we have:

1) the one statement from Calvin in his tract on communion where he says that Christ did not shed his blood for these wicked folk who think they can rightly partake of communion.


There is another passage, moreover, in which Calvin makes it quite clear that he rejects the concept of a universal atonement. Combating Tilemann Heshusius' doctrine of the physical presence of Christ in the Lord's Supper, Calvin poses the following rhetorical question: "I should like to know how the wicked can eat the flesh of Christ which was not crucified for them, and how they can drink the blood which was not shed to expiate their sins?"87 (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html#note87)
87 "Et qnando tam mordicus verbis adhaeret, scire velim quomodo Christi carnem edant impii, pro quibus non est crucifixa, et quomodo sanguinem bibant, qui expiandis eorum peccatis non est effusns," Clear Explanation of Sound Doctrine concerning the True Partaking of the Flesh and Blood of Christ in the Holy Supper (1561), CO, 9:484; English translation in Calvin: Theological Treatises, ed. J.K.S. Reid (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1954), 285.

GraceAmbassador
10-14-04, 07:54 AM
Sona si latine loqueris!

(for the unitiated: "Honk if you speak Latin"):cool:

Spero nos familiares mansuros!

Milt

GraceAmbassador
10-14-04, 07:57 AM
W.B.

Sona si latine loqueris!

(for the unitiated: "Honk if you speak Latin"):cool:

Spero nos familiares mansuros!

Milt

doctr_of_grace
10-15-04, 06:04 AM
W.B.

Sona si latine loqueris!

(for the unitiated: "Honk if you speak Latin"):cool:

Spero nos familiares mansuros!

Milt
Hi Milt

Wish I did hahaha :D

An interesting read written by Calvin which is a response he did against his book on predestination where he completely destroys the argument that Albertus Pighius and Georgius the Sicilian state that God draws all men and it is only the man's resistance that causes them to end up in hell.

Calvin opens this book with the following:

"THE same motive which impelled us to write this book, most excellent Sirs, constrained us also to dedicate it to you, that it might go forth under your name and auspices. The free election of God, by which He adopts unto Himself whom He will out of the lost generation-of men, has been hitherto publicly declared by us, in this city, with all reverence, sobriety and sincerity, and has been peacefully received by the people. But now, Satan, the father of all strifes, has subtlely introduced, by means of a certain worthless person, a wide spreading error, and has attempted to root out our doctrine, which is drawn from the pure Word of God, and to shake the faith of the people. But since this hungry, hunter after vain glory wishes to gain notoriety out of the very flames of the temple of God, lest he should catch that reward of his unholy audacity for which he has laid his nets, let his name be buried under our silence, while we leave it purposely unmentioned." ....

"On the other hand, however, lest some unstable ones should be moved, of whom serious care must be taken, to set forth plainly before all the real state of the case and cause at issue is no less expedient than a solemn duty on our part. For iniquity, unless it be resolutely met, makes its creeping way (as saith Paul) "like a canker" (2 Tim. ii. 17). Now this Defence, which we offer to all the godly, will, we hope, be a strong and effectual remedy to those who are healable, and will serve also as a wholesome antidote to the sound and the whole. And the subject itself is one to which the children of God should devote their most studious attention, that they become not ignorant of their heavenly birth and origin. For some fools, because the Gospel is called "the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth," would blot out under this pretext the election of God; whereas it ought to have entered into the minds of such to think from whence faith comes! Now the Scripture everywhere proclaimeth aloud that God giveth to His Son those that were ever His, that He calleth those whom He hath chosen, and that those whom He hath adopted for sons He begetteth by His Spirit; and finally, that the men whom He has taught within, and to whom His "arm is revealed," believe. Wherefore, whosoever shall hold faith to be the earnest and pledge of adoption, will assuredly confess that it flows from Divine election as its eternal source. And yet the knowledge of salvation is not to be sought from the secret counsel of God. Life is set before us in Christ, who not only makes Himself known, but presents Himself to our enjoyment in the Gospel. Into this mirror let the eye of our faith ever fixedly look. Nor let it ever desire to penetrate where access to its sight is not given."

If you are interested in seeing the rest is it online ...

http://www.rsglh.org/calvins.calvinism.htm

You can't go away from reading this believing that Calvin actually held to unlimited atonement. Even in the sense of Amyraldianism (if I am understanding that form of theology correctly).

Thanks .... Jan

disciple
10-15-04, 09:46 AM
You can't go away from reading this believing that Calvin actually held to unlimited atonement. Even in the sense of Amyraldianism (if I am understanding that form of theology correctly).you are correct. it appears that he did not hold to an unqualified unlimited atonement. in other words, he didn't appear to believe that Christ died for every individual, in exactly the same sense. but we need to make sure we understand the difference between election and the atonement. they are not the same thing. he did appear to hold to an unlimited aspect of the atonement. but this is highly nuanced (there are very specific qualifications).

modern discussions seem much too simplistic and truncated here. because of this, i'm not so sure that the modern calvinistic paradigm is equipped to handle and interpret calvin in his historical context. there seem to be many limitations for we only see one or the other extreme (i.e., high calvinism or arminianism). with only two conceptual categories allowed, the modern debate sees much polarization (e.g., you are either a 5-pointer or an arminian...if you affirm 4 of the 5 you just don't understand the issues and are therefore a cryto-arminian or a confused calvinist).

also, i don't see that calvin says here that Christ died only for the elect or that He in no sense died for those who are not elect. as i've been trying to say, there is an argument that the early calvinists saw a duality in the atonement (as in the phrase, "sufficient for all men, efficient for the elect"). we see in 1 john 2:2 that calvin affirmed this teaching [1]. perhaps this is because they had a different understanding of the atonement than later (and most modern) calvinists. though to be honest, i haven't studied the issue enough to know for sure.

[1] I pass by the dotages of the fanatics, who under this pretense extend salvation (notice he does not use the word atonement here) to all the reprobate, and therefore to Satan himself. Such a monstrous thing deserves no refutation. They who seek to avoid this absurdity, have said that Christ suffered sufficiently for the whole world, but efficiently only for the elect. This solution has commonly prevailed in the schools. Though then I allow that what has been said is true, yet I deny that it is suitable to this passage...

Calvin's Commentaries on the General Epistles

disciple
10-15-04, 03:42 PM
More interesting quotes (both considered calvinist works):

Question 37: What dost thou understand by the words, "He suffered"?
Answer. That he, all the time that he lived on earth, but especially at the end of his life, sustained in body and soul, the wrath of God against the sins of all mankind: that so by his passion, as the only propitiatory sacrifice, he might redeem our body and soul from everlasting damnation, and obtain for us the favor of God, righteousness and eternal life.

Heidleberg Catechism

http://www.prca.org/hc_text2.html#Q37 (http://www.prca.org/hc_text2.html#Q37)





XXXI. Of the one Oblation of Christ finished upon the Cross.
The Offering of Christ once made is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction, for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin, but that alone. Wherefore the sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was commonly said, that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits.

39 Articles

http://anglicansonline.org/basics/thirty-nine_articles.html (http://anglicansonline.org/basics/thirty-nine_articles.html)

wildboar
10-18-04, 08:31 PM
More interesting quotes (both considered calvinist works):

Question 37: What dost thou understand by the words, "He suffered"?
Answer. That he, all the time that he lived on earth, but especially at the end of his life, sustained in body and soul, the wrath of God against the sins of all mankind: that so by his passion, as the only propitiatory sacrifice, he might redeem our body and soul from everlasting damnation, and obtain for us the favor of God, righteousness and eternal life.



Heidleberg Catechism

I'm not very familiar with the 39 articles so I will not comment, however you are misreading the Heidelburg. Ursinus (the chief author of the catechism) comments extensively on this passage and is very clear as to what is meant by it. Unfortunately I don't have the time to type all of it out but it is clear from his commentary that the term "mankind" is being used in an organic sense and does not mean every person head for head. He quotes Ambrose for support who says "There is a certain special universality of the elect, and foreknown, discerned and distinguished from the entire generality." He also says that to extend the promise to the reprobate would be blasphemy. He speaks of the death of Christ in the same way as the Canons do saying that considered in and of itself it is sufficient to atone for the sins of every individual but that it was intended only for the elect.

disciple
10-19-04, 09:29 AM
I'm not very familiar with the 39 articles so I will not comment, however you are misreading the Heidelburg. Ursinus (the chief author of the catechism) comments extensively on this passage and is very clear as to what is meant by it.thank you. i am definitely not an expert on this catechism (its exact meaning or history) so i appreciate your corrections. but i would eventually appreciate the evidence you have. thanks again.

wildboar
10-20-04, 09:45 AM
thank you. i am definitely not an expert on this catechism (its exact meaning or history) so i appreciate your corrections. but i would eventually appreciate the evidence you have. thanks again. The discussion extends from pages 221-225 in the P and R edition of Ursinus's commentary.


III. Did Christ Die for All?

In answering this question we must make a distinction, so as to harmonize those passages of Scriptures which seem to teach contradictory doctrines. In some places Christ is said to have died for all, and for the whole world....
What shall we say in view of these seemingly opposite passages of Scripture? Does the word of God contradict itself? By no means. But this will be the case, unless these declarations, which in some places seem to teach that Christ died for all, and in others that he died for a part only, can be reconciled by a proper and satisfactory distinction, which distinction, or reconciliation, is two-fold.
There are some who interpret the general declarations of the wholenumber of the faithful, or of all that believe; because the promises of the gospel properly belong to all those that believe, and because the Scriptures do often restrict them to such as believe....It is in this way that Ambrose interprets those passages which speak of the death of Christ as extending to all: "The people of God," says he, "have their fulness, and although a large portion of men either neglect, or reject, the grace of the Saviour, yet there is a certain SPECIAL UNIVERSALITY of the elect, and fore-known, separated and discerned from the generality of all, that a whole world might seem to be saved out of a whole world; and all men might seem to be redeemed out of all men," &c. In this waythere is no repugnancy, or contradicition; for all those that believe are the many, the peculiar people, the Church, the sheep, the elect, &c., for whom Christ died, and gave himself.
Others reconcile these seemingly contradictory passages of Scriptures by making a distinction between the sufficiency, and efficacy of the death of Christ. For there are certain contentious persons, who deny that these declarations which speak in a general way, are to be restricted to the faithful alone, that is, they deny that the letter itself, or the simple language of Scripture does thus limit them, and in proof thereof they bring forward those passages in which salvation seem to be attributed not only to those that believe, but also to hypocrites and apostates, as it is said: "Denying the Lord which bought them." And, also, where it is said that they "have forgotten that they were purged from their old sins." (2 Pet. 2:1; 1:9.) But it is manifest that the declarations of this kind are to be understood either concerning the mere external appearance, and vain glorying of redemption, or of sanctification; or else of the sufficiency, and greatness of the merit of Christ. That it may not, therefore, be necessary for us to contend much with these capious and fastidious persons concerning the restriction of those passages which speak so generally (although it is most manifest in itself) and that those places which speak of the redemption of hypocrites may the more easily be reconciled, some prefer (and not without reason according to my judgment) to interpret these declarations, which in appearance seem to be contradictory, partly of the sufficiency, and partly of the application and efficacy of the death of Christ.
They affirm therefore, that Christ died for all, and that he did not die for all; but in different respects. He died for all, as touching the sufficiency of the ransom which he paid; and not for all; but only for the elect, or those that believe, as touching the application and efficacy thereof. The reason of the former lies in this, that the atonement of Christ is sufficient for expiating all the sins of all men, or of the whole world, if only men will make application thereof unto themselves by faith. For it cannot be said to be insufficient, unlesss we give countenenance to that horrible blasphemy (which God forbid!) that some blame of the destruction of the ungodly results from a defect in the merit of the mediator. The reason of the latter is, because all the elect, or such as believe, and they alone, do apply unto themselves bu faith the merit of of Christ's death, together with the efficacy thereof, by which they obtain righteousness....The rest are excluded from this efficacy of Christ's death by their own unbelief....Those, therefore, whom the Scriptures exclude from the efficacy of Christ's death, cannot be said to be included in the number of those for whom he died as it respects the efficacy of his death, but only as to its sufficiency; because the death of Christ is also sufficient for their salvation, if they will but believe; and the only reason of their exclusion arises from their unbelief.
It is in the same way, that it, by making the same distinction that we reply to those who ask concerning the purpose of Christ, Did he will to die for all? For just as he died, so also he willed to die. Therefore, as he died for all, in respect to the sufficiency of the ransom; and for the faithful alone in respect to the efficacy of the same, so also he willed to die for all in general as touching the sufficiency of his merit, that is, he willed to merit by his death, grace, righteousness, and life in the most abundant manner for all; because he would not that any thing should be wanting as far as he and his merits are concerned, so that all the wicked who perish may be without excuse. But he willed to die for the elect alone as touching the efficacy of his death, that is, he would not only sufficientyly merit grace and life for them alone, but also effectually confers these upon them, grants faith, and the Holy Spirit, and brigs it to pass that they apply to themselves, by faith, the benefits of his death, and so obtain for themselves the efficacy of his merits.
In this sense it is correctly said that Christ died in a different manner for believers and unbelievers. Neither is this declaration attened with any difficulty or inconvenience, inasmuch as it harmonises not only scripture, but also with experience; for both testify that the remedy of sin and death is most sufficiently and abundantly offered(WB-or presented) in the gospel to all; but that it is effectually applied, and profitable only to them that believe (WB-notice that there are not said to be any benefits for the unbeliever). The Scriptures, also everywhere, restrict the efficacy of redemption to certain persons only, as to Christ's sheep, to the elect, and such as believe, whilst on the other hand it clearly excludes from the grace of Christ the reprobate and unbelieving as long as they remain in their unbelief....
If therefore, Christ would not pray for the world, by which we are to understand such as do not believe, much less would he die for them, as far as the efficacy of his death is concerned; for it is less to pray, than to die for anyone. There are also tow inseparable parts of the sacrifice of Christ--intercession and death. And if he himself refuse to extend one part to the ungodly, who is he that will dare to give the other to him.
Lastly, the orthodox Fathers and Schoolmen, also distinguish and restrict the above passages of Scriptue as we have done; especially Augustin, Cyril and Prosper. Lombard writes as follows: "Christ offered himself to God, the Trinity for all men, as it respects the sufficiency of the price; but only for the elect as it regards the efficacy thereof, because he effected, and purchased salvation only for those who were predestinated." Thomas writes: "The merit of Christ, as to its sufficiency, extends equally to all, but not as to its efficacy, which happens partly on account of free will, and partly on account of the election of God, through which the effects of the merits of Christ are mercifully bestowed upon some, and withheld from others according to the judgment of God." Other schoolmen, also speak such a way, that the benefits of his death, nevertheless pertain properly to such as believe, to whom alone they are also profitable and available.

disciple
10-20-04, 10:44 AM
The discussion extends from pages 221-225 in the P and R edition of Ursinus's commentary.



III. Did Christ Die for All?

In answering this question we must make a distinction, so as to harmonize those passages of Scriptures which seem to teach contradictory doctrines. In some places Christ is said to have died for all, and for the whole world....
What shall we say in view of these seemingly opposite passages of Scripture? Does the word of God contradict itself? By no means. But this will be the case, unless these declarations, which in some places seem to teach that Christ died for all, and in others that he died for a part only, can be reconciled by a proper and satisfactory distinction, which distinction, or reconciliation, is two-fold.

There are some who interpret the general declarations of the wholenumber of the faithful, or of all that believe; because the promises of the gospel properly belong to all those that believe, and because the Scriptures do often restrict them to such as believe....It is in this way that Ambrose interprets those passages which speak of the death of Christ as extending to all: "The people of God," says he, "have their fulness, and although a large portion of men either neglect, or reject, the grace of the Saviour, yet there is a certain SPECIAL UNIVERSALITY of the elect, and fore-known, separated and discerned from the generality of all, that a whole world might seem to be saved out of a whole world; and all men might seem to be redeemed out of all men," &c. In this waythere is no repugnancy, or contradicition; for all those that believe are the many, the peculiar people, the Church, the sheep, the elect, &c., for whom Christ died, and gave himself.

Others reconcile these seemingly contradictory passages of Scriptures by making a distinction between the sufficiency, and efficacy of the death of Christ. For there are certain contentious persons, who deny that these declarations which speak in a general way, are to be restricted to the faithful alone, that is, they deny that the letter itself, or the simple language of Scripture does thus limit them, and in proof thereof they bring forward those passages in which salvation seem to be attributed not only to those that believe, but also to hypocrites and apostates, as it is said: "Denying the Lord which bought them." And, also, where it is said that they "have forgotten that they were purged from their old sins." (2 Pet. 2:1; 1:9.) But it is manifest that the declarations of this kind are to be understood either concerning the mere external appearance, and vain glorying of redemption, or of sanctification; or else of the sufficiency, and greatness of the merit of Christ. That it may not, therefore, be necessary for us to contend much with these capious and fastidious persons concerning the restriction of those passages which speak so generally (although it is most manifest in itself) and that those places which speak of the redemption of hypocrites may the more easily be reconciled, some prefer (and not without reason according to my judgment) to interpret these declarations, which in appearance seem to be contradictory, partly of the sufficiency, and partly of the application and efficacy of the death of Christ.

They affirm therefore, that Christ died for all, and that he did not die for all; but in different respects. He died for all, as touching the sufficiency of the ransom which he paid; and not for all; but only for the elect, or those that believe, as touching the application and efficacy thereof. The reason of the former lies in this, that the atonement of Christ is sufficient for expiating all the sins of all men, or of the whole world, if only men will make application thereof unto themselves by faith. For it cannot be said to be insufficient, unlesss we give countenenance to that horrible blasphemy (which God forbid!) that some blame of the destruction of the ungodly results from a defect in the merit of the mediator. The reason of the latter is, because all the elect, or such as believe, and they alone, do apply unto themselves bu faith the merit of of Christ's death, together with the efficacy thereof, by which they obtain righteousness....The rest are excluded from this efficacy of Christ's death by their own unbelief....Those, therefore, whom the Scriptures exclude from the efficacy of Christ's death, cannot be said to be included in the number of those for whom he died as it respects the efficacy of his death, but only as to its sufficiency; because the death of Christ is also sufficient for their salvation, if they will but believe; and the only reason of their exclusion arises from their unbelief.

It is in the same way, that it, by making the same distinction that we reply to those who ask concerning the purpose of Christ, Did he will to die for all? For just as he died, so also he willed to die. Therefore, as he died for all, in respect to the sufficiency of the ransom; and for the faithful alone in respect to the efficacy of the same, so also he willed to die for all in general as touching the sufficiency of his merit, that is, he willed to merit by his death, grace, righteousness, and life in the most abundant manner for all; because he would not that any thing should be wanting as far as he and his merits are concerned, so that all the wicked who perish may be without excuse [d. to remove all legal obstacles as others have said; in other words, he made the sacrifice, but it is their own fault for not having it applied by faith, i.e., they are without excuse because the sacrifice had been made]. But he willed to die for the elect alone as touching the efficacy of his death, that is, he would not only sufficientyly merit grace and life for them alone, but also effectually confers these upon them, grants faith, and the Holy Spirit, and brigs it to pass that they apply to themselves, by faith, the benefits of his death, and so obtain for themselves the efficacy of his merits.

In this sense it is correctly said that Christ died in a different manner for believers and unbelievers [how can you miss this?!?] Neither is this declaration attened with any difficulty or inconvenience, inasmuch as it harmonises not only scripture, but also with experience; for both testify that the remedy of sin and death is most sufficiently and abundantly offered(WB-or presented) in the gospel to all; but that it is effectually applied, and profitable only to them that believe (WB-notice that there are not said to be any benefits for the unbeliever). The Scriptures, also everywhere, restrict the efficacy of redemption to certain persons only, as to Christ's sheep, to the elect, and such as believe, whilst on the other hand it clearly excludes from the grace of Christ the reprobate and unbelieving as long as they remain in their unbelief....

If therefore, Christ would not pray for the world, by which we are to understand such as do not believe, much less would he die for them, as far as the efficacy of his death is concerned; for it is less to pray, than to die for anyone. There are also tow inseparable parts of the sacrifice of Christ--intercession and death. And if he himself refuse to extend one part to the ungodly, who is he that will dare to give the other to him.

Lastly, the orthodox Fathers and Schoolmen, also distinguish and restrict the above passages of Scriptue as we have done; especially Augustin, Cyril and Prosper. Lombard writes as follows: "Christ offered himself to God, the Trinity for all men, as it respects the sufficiency of the price; but only for the elect as it regards the efficacy thereof, because he effected, and purchased salvation only for those who were predestinated." Thomas writes: "The merit of Christ, as to its sufficiency, extends equally to all, but not as to its efficacy, which happens partly on account of free will [d. faith], and partly on account of the election of God, through which the effects of the merits of Christ are mercifully bestowed upon some, and withheld from others according to the judgment of God." Other schoolmen, also speak such a way, that the benefits of his death, nevertheless pertain properly to such as believe, to whom alone they are also profitable and available.thank you for providing the quote. and thank you for providing more evidence in support of my point (that it seems that the early calvinists believed that Christ truly died for the whole world/all mankind, head for head, in some sense). it is very clear to me that ursinus affirmed the medeival sufficient for all (not just hypothetically so), efficient for the elect formula, just as calvin and the other early calvinists did. he explicitly says that Christ died for the non-elect, in some sense (in regards to its sufficiency, availability, etc.). just see the bolded above.

wildboar
10-20-04, 05:04 PM
disciple:
I believe you are misreading. It says that Christ died for all men as respects the sufficiency of the price. It explicitly denies that it was Christ's intent to save all men. The portions you underlined are speaking of the value of Christ's death considered in and of itself.

disciple
10-20-04, 06:05 PM
disciple:
I believe you are misreading. It says that Christ died for all men as respects the sufficiency of the price. It explicitly denies that it was Christ's intent to save all men.i never said that nor did i say that the early calvinists believed that it was Christ's intent to save all men (like he tried to save all but was unable). you are putting words into my mouth i think. ursinus, like the other early calvinists, explicitly said that Christ, in some sense, did die for the non-elect. this is something that high calvinists could never say and that many high calvinists accuse of being a crypto-arminian if you were to say the things that ursinus said. his words are plain enough for all to read.


The portions you underlined are speaking of the value of Christ's death considered in and of itself.but he explicitly says that Christ died for the entire world, head for head, elect and reprobate alike, though with qualifications (e.g., they didn't believe that he died for the whole world equally in exactly the same sense). so it is clear that he didn't believe in a general atonement in an unqualified sense (he emphasized a particular or efficient aspect to the atonement), but it also clear that neither was he a strict particularlist (that he also emphasized a general or sufficient aspect to the atonement). we need to make sure we let the words speak for themselves without reading modern day high calvinism back into it.

as i said, his words are plain and i did not misread them (perhaps you should ask me how i read them before you assume that i am misreading them, for i gave no elaboration or interpretation...therefore i wonder what you are basing your accusation that i'm misreading them on). and i think you are putting words into my mouth for it has not been said here that it was Christ's intent to save all but that early calvinists taught, in line with the scholastics, that Christ died for the reprobate in some sense.

wildboar
10-20-04, 07:24 PM
disciple:

He makes it very clear though that no benefits extend to the reprobate as a result of the atonement.

disciple
10-20-04, 09:56 PM
disciple:

He makes it very clear though that no benefits extend to the reprobate as a result of the atonement.but my point was that they affirm that he did die for them, in a certain sense. do you at least affirm this (that ursinus was saying this)? and i'm not arguing that they say that they get anything from it (though some believed that they did), i'm saying that they affirmed a universal/general aspect to the atonement (truly sufficient for all men and truly made for all men...so that they are without excuse). this is something that is anathema to high calvinists. indeed so much so, that they would accuse these early calvinists of being amyraldians, crypto-arminians, or perhaps even simply arminians.

wildboar
10-20-04, 10:27 PM
but my point was that they affirm that he did die for them, in a certain sense. do you at least affirm this (that ursinus was saying this)?Yes and although it is not my position I do not see the same problems associated with it as I do with the position of Fuller and Amyraut. Ursinus writes in the section immediately following that which I quoted.


The promise is indeed universal in respect to such as repent and believe; but to extend it to the reprobate would be blasphemy. "There is," saith Ambrose, as just quoted, "a certain special universality of the elect, and foreknown, discerned and distinguished from the entire generality." This restriction of the promises to such as believe, is proven from the plain and explicit form in which they are expressed....
Christ died for all as it regards the merit and efficacy of the ransom which he paid; but only for those that believe as it respects the application and efficacy of his death; for seeing that the death of Christ is applied to such alone, and is profitable to them, it is correctly said to belong properly to them alone, as ahs been already shown. The well-meant offer goes well beyond this since it extends the promise to the reprobate as well as the Heynsian view of the covenant. Both the Canons and the Heidelberg do not want to diminish in any way the value of Christ's death and so they speak in these terms such as sufficiency. Yet others come along and twist these sayings so that they can speak of an intent on the part of Christ to save all in the atonement. This absolutely destroys the value of the death altogether since most are lost who Christ supposedly intended to die for. I think most would consider me to be a high Calvinist but I cannot speak for all of them. All I know is that I would not accuse Ursinus of being a crypto-Calvinist. Davenant, Fuller, the Marrow men, Amyraut, and others are a different story.

disciple
10-21-04, 08:49 AM
Yes and although it is not my position I do not see the same problems associated with it as I do with the position of Fuller and Amyraut. Ursinus writes in the section immediately following that which I quoted.do you see the atonement as EITHER limited/particular OR unlimited/general? do you believe that there could be BOTH limited/particular AND unlimited/general aspects (i.e., a duality in the atonement)? if you don't personally affirm this, do you allow this for others (e.g., calvin, heidleberg, 39 articles, etc.) while still allowing them into the calvinist camp? in other words, could they still ligitimately be called real calvinists and not be called a crypto-calvinist or crypto-arminian or whatever other pejorative term one could come up with to communicate what they think is confused, corrupted, or perverted calvinism (or not as calvinistic as they themselves are, whatever this may even mean)?


Both the Canons and the Heidelberg do not want to diminish in any way the value of Christ's death and so they speak in these terms such as sufficiency.but it does not appear that it is just so as not to diminish the value in any way, they actually say that he died for them. and the reasons that they give is in order to remove all legal obstacles (so that they would be without excuse as if no provision was made) and to give ground to the universal call. that is clear to me from their statements.


Yet others come along and twist these sayings so that they can speak of an intent on the part of Christ to save all in the atonement.but no one here has asserted this. that has never been the issue in this thread as far as i can tell. i think we must distinguish between intent to save all equally and provision made so as to give a basis for the universal call and so that all would be without excuse (no one could claim that provision was not made). i would recommend that you listen to the messages on the atonement when you get the CD i'm sending (as well as the whole historical section...messages 1-24). it has been quite enlightening to me and hopefully can be helpful for your studies as well.

wildboar
10-21-04, 10:41 AM
do you see the atonement as EITHER limited/particular OR unlimited/general?
I believe that statements about the atonement being unlimited are at best speculative. I do not believe that the limited/unlimited paradox is necessary to do justice to the Scriptures and Ursinus allows for this interpretation. It is not his own, but he allows for it and it is completely within the bounds of Reformed orthodoxy to hold to such a position.


do you believe that there could be BOTH limited/particular AND unlimited/general aspects (i.e., a duality in the atonement)?
No.


if you don't personally affirm this, do you allow this for others (e.g., calvin, heidleberg, 39 articles, etc.) while still allowing them into the calvinist camp?
I do not believe there are limited and general aspects of the atonement nor do I believe that those who subscribe to such a teaching should be considered Calvinists. I do believe it is possible and it in fact Calvin and Ursinus's position that we can speak of the atonement in different senses. I think such a statement is a philosophical speculation but I do not think it does the damage to theology that the modern dualistic notion does and it is certainly within the bounds of reformed orthodoxy as defined by the creeds.

Calvin speaks of the atonement as being universal in relation to the revealed will of God and limited in respect to the secret will though he also argues in his Institutes that God's revealed and secret will are not in conflict with one another. I think the purpose in Calvin's statements are to keep foolish men from going about trying to figure out who Christ died for before they preach the Gosple to them. Calvin takes a very strong substitutionary position. Peter Martyr, H. Zanchius, T. Beza, J. Piscator, W. Ames, and R. Abbot all took strong stands on the definite atonement and none of them acknowledge themselves to differ from Calvin and Calvin never writes opposing their teaching. Beza was heartily endorsed by Calvin so the idea that Beza somehow corrupted Calvin's theology does not stand. It seems very odd indeed that both Calvin's successors and opposers could misunderstand him so much.

I do think there are some problems with Calvin's position and his successors helped iron them out. Ursinus' statements are clearer and have more to do with the death considered in and of itself when speaking of the atonement.


but no one here has asserted this. that has never been the issue in this thread as far as i can tell. i think we must distinguish between intent to save all equally and provision made so as to give a basis for the universal call and so that all would be without excuse (no one could claim that provision was not made).
But some of those listed under the title "calvinist" in this thread have asserted this.

disciple
10-21-04, 12:50 PM
I believe that statements about the atonement being unlimited are at best speculative.so are you retracting your affirmation that some early calvinists (e.g., calvin and ursinus) affirmed that he did die for all mankind, in a certain sense. i'm a little confused now. i feel like you've given and then you're now taking back. perhaps you could clarify.


I do not believe that the limited/unlimited paradox is necessary to do justice to the Scriptures and Ursinus allows for this interpretation.so do you allow for someone to do this while still being categorized as a calvinist? for example, would you call calvin and ursinus a calvinist?


It is not his own, but he allows for it and it is completely within the bounds of Reformed orthodoxy to hold to such a position.where do you see that this was not his own? you just quoted what he said and he affirmed unequivocally that Christ died for even the reprobate, in some sense.


I do not believe there are limited and general aspects of the atonement nor do I believe that those who subscribe to such a teaching should be considered Calvinists.so does this mean that you would now categorize calvin and ursinus, etc. as non-calvinists? i thought you just affirmed that these calvinists taught that Christ died for all mankind in some sense. again, i'm very confused and feel you have given and are now taking back.


Calvin speaks of the atonement as being universal in relation to the revealed will of God and limited in respect to the secret will though he also argues in his Institutes that God's revealed and secret will are not in conflict with one another.so do you propose that if we find seemingly contradictory statements in calvin that we pick the one that agrees with our brand of calvinism? this being said, how do you read this? what could this even mean if not what it seems to plainly mean on the surface?

God is said not to wish the death of a sinner. How so? since he wishes all to be converted. Now we must see how God wishes all to be converted; for repentance is surely his peculiar gift: as it is his office to create men, so it is his province to renew them, and restore his image within them. For this reason we are said to be his workmanship, that is, his fashioning. (Ephesians 2:10.) Since, therefore, repentance is a kind of second creation, it follows that it is not in man’s power; and if it is equally in God’s power to convert men as well as to create them, it follows that the reprobate are not converted, because God does not wish their conversion; for if he wished it he could do it: and hence it appears that he does not wish it. But again they argue foolishly, since God does not wish all to be converted, he is himself deceptive, and nothing can be certainly stated concerning his paternal benevolence. But this knot is easily untied; for he does not leave us in suspense when he says, that he wishes all to be saved. Why so? for if no one repents without finding God propitious, then this sentence is filled up. But we must remark that God puts on a twofold character: for he here wishes to be taken at his word. As I have already said, the Prophet does not here dispute with subtlety about his incomprehensible plans, but wishes to keep our attention close to God’s word. Now, what are the contents of this word? The law, the prophets, and the gospel. Now all are called to repentance, and the hope of salvation is promised them when they repent. this is true, since God rejects no returning sinner: he pardons all without exception: meanwhile, this will of God which he sets forth in his word does not prevent him from decreeing before the world was created what he would do with every individual: and as I have now said, the Prophet only shows here, that when we have been converted we need not doubt that God immediately meets us and shows himself propitious.

[Ezekiel 18:23]

Again, when the sophists seize on this passage, to prove free will, and to set aside the secret predestination of God, the answer is easy. “God wills to gather all men,” say they; “and therefore all are at liberty to come, and their will does not depend on the election of God.” I reply: The will of God, which is here mentioned, must be judged from the result. For since by his word he calls all men indiscriminately to salvation, and since the end of preaching is, that all should betake themselves to his guardianship and protection, it may justly be said that he wills to gather all to himself. It is not, therefore, the secret purpose of God, but his will, which is manifested by the nature of the word, that is here described; for, undoubtedly, whomsoever he efficaciously wills to gather, he inwardly draws by his Spirit, and does not merely invite by the outward voice of man.

If it be objected, that it is absurd to suppose the existence of two wills in God, I reply, we fully believe that his will is simple and one; but as our minds do not fathom the deep abyss of secret election, in accommodation to the capacity of our weakness, the will of God is exhibited to us in two ways. And I am astonished at the obstinacy of some people, who, when in many passages of Scripture they meet with that figure of speech which attributes to God human feelings, take no offense, but in this case alone refuse to admit it. But as I have elsewhere treated this subject fully, that I may not be unnecessarily tedious, I only state briefly that, whenever the doctrine, which is the standard of union, is brought forward, God wills to gather all, that all who do not come may be inexcusable.

[Matthew 23:37]


please note, i have not commented on this so please do not tell me that i am misreading it until you ask me how i am actually reading it. thanks.


I think the purpose in Calvin's statements are to keep foolish men from going about trying to figure out who Christ died for before they preach the Gosple to them. Calvin takes a very strong substitutionary position.but it is aparent from my plain reading allowing their words to speak for themselves (without reading modern high calvinism back into) that while they are not unqualified universalists, neither are they strict particularists (they affirmed that he died for all mankind, even the reprobate, in some sense and this i thought you admitted that they taught).


It seems very odd indeed that both Calvin's successors and opposers could misunderstand him so much.and from your statements here, it seems that you believe that only you (and those you agree with) are understanding him correctly.


But some of those listed under the title "calvinist" in this thread have asserted this.perhaps you could name names and provide evidence. thanks.

wildboar
10-21-04, 09:56 PM
disciple:

You asked me a series of questions, some of them relating to my own position on the atonement, some about what I believed various people taught in regards to the atonement, and some asking me what positions could or could not be considered Calvinistic. These all have somewhat different answers and I tried to answer your questions the best I could. Let me try to make it clearer.

1. I believe that to speak of the atonement considered in itself as being sufficient for every person without exception is speculative and is unnecessary.

2. I don't believe that speaking of the atonement as being sufficient for every single man or not doing so puts a person outside of Reformed/Calvinistic orthodoxy.

3. I believe that Calvin's statements need to be read in the context of his understanding of the secret and revealed wills of God.


Originally Posted by wildboar
It is not his own, but he allows for it and it is completely within the bounds of Reformed orthodoxy to hold to such a position.
where do you see that this was not his own? you just quoted what he said and he affirmed unequivocally that Christ died for even the reprobate, in some sense.

Sorry for the confusion, I must have only thought of a sentence rather than typing it before I wrote this. I meant to say that my explanation in regards to the passages is not Ursinus' position but he allows for my interpretation.

I am not attempting to read high Calvinism into Calvin's statements. I've already said that Calvin's position and my own are not synonymous.

perhaps you could name names and provide evidence. thanks.Amyraut. I do not possess primary source material on Ayraut. However, all that I have read from various sources seems to indicate that Amyraut taught that God decreed that He would redeem all men by the cross work of Christ and that this decree precedes any decree to discriminate among men. The Son is said to have died with the intention to save all men but the Holy Spirit only applies the saving benefits to some. This position is contrary to statements made by Calvin about the Trinity.

Davenant. Sources which I have quote Davenant as saying: "For as we can truly announce to every man that his sins are expiable by the death of Christ according to the ordination of God and will be expiated, if only he should believe in Christ; so also we can truly declare, that the same Christ was raised again, that he might justify him through faith, and was exalted at the right hand of God, that, by his mediation and merits, he might preserve him through faith in the favor of God, and at length might lead him to glory. Therefore we do not put asunder those things which God hath joined together; but we teach that the death, resurrection, and intercession of Christ are joined together in indissoluble union."

Calvin flatly denies that Christ intercedes for the reprobate.

wildboar
10-25-04, 07:35 AM
The following information is taken from http://www.prca.org/prtj/nov98.html#AADavenant

Amyraut wrote:

the Sacrifice which Jesus Christ offered was equally for all; and the salvation which he received from His Father, in the sanctification of the spirit and the glorification of the body, was destined equally for all-provided the necessary disposition for receiving it was equal. Moise Amyraut, Treatise on Predestination, in George Smeaton, The Doctrine of the Atonement According to the Apostles (1870: Peabody, MA: Hendrikson, 1988), p. 540.
Amyraut's views have been summarized as follows:



1. Sin is the result of the darkening of the understanding.
2. God, moved by an earnest desire to save all mankind, decided to give in ransom His Son Jesus Christ, who died "equally for all men" and to make a universal offer of salvation to all men.
3. This offer is made sometimes more clearly, as when the gospel is preached; sometimes more obscurely, as in the case of the witness of nature to the heathen unreached by the gospel. Nevertheless God has predestined all men and every man unto salvation, provided they believe; and in nature there is sufficient presentation of the truth so that men may exercise faith if they will only do so.
4. Although man is not precluded from believing by any external constraint, his corruption has rendered him morally unable to accept God's offer. It is therefore necessary that God Himself should produce faith in the hearts of those whom He has chosen to redeem.
5. This He does for the elect, by a supernatural enlightenment of mind or by sweet moral sausion, which leaves intact the operation of the will.

Roger Nicole, Moyse Amyraut: A Bibliography. (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1981), pp. 9-10. Others have also attempted to summarise the Amyraldian position. Cf. Universalism and the Reformed Churches. Op. cit., p. 36.


1. The motive impelling God to redeem men was benevolence, or love to men in general.
2. From this motive He sent His Son to make the salvation of all men possible.
3. God in virtue of a universal hypothetical decree, offers salvation to all men if they believe in Christ.
4. All men have a natural ability to repent and believe the gospel.
5. But as this natural ability was counteracted by a moral inability, God determined to give His efficacious grace to a certain number of the human race, and thus secure their salvation.

disciple
10-25-04, 09:38 AM
The following information is taken from http://www.prca.org/prtj/nov98.html#AADavenant

Amyraut wrote:

Amyraut's views have been summarized as follows:
thanks for the quotes. i don't know enough about (am not familiar at all with) either amyraut or davenant to even comment (nor would i necessarily care to). plus, those were two names i did not mention (i believe you are the only one who has brought them up). i'm somewhat curious as to why you are bringing them up. and if we wanted to discuss those individuals, it might be more beneficial to discuss their actual writings and arguments rather than someone's interpretation (summary) of them.

wildboar
10-25-04, 05:24 PM
i don't know enough about (am not familiar at all with) either amyraut or davenant to even comment (nor would i necessarily care to). plus, those were two names i did not mention (i believe you are the only one who has brought them up).They were found in your quote of David Ponter.

7) We have the documented resistence of writers at the time these theological changes were happening, like Amyraut, Baxter and Usher.
My point in posting is to show that Amyraut brought a change to the understanding of the atonement. His own position is different from Calvin's although he claimed it was the same so he is not a reliable source on whether or not others were changing.

and if we wanted to discuss those individuals, it might be more beneficial to discuss their actual writings and arguments rather than someone's interpretation (summary) of them. But I did provide actual quotations.

disciple
10-25-04, 11:37 PM
They were found in your quote of David Ponter.fair enough.

My point in posting is to show that Amyraut brought a change to the understanding of the atonement. His own position is different from Calvin's although he claimed it was the same so he is not a reliable source on whether or not others were changing.i'm not arguing for this, but some historians also believe that it was those like amyraut (properly understood/interpreted) who actually preserved calvin's intent and that beza, owen, turretin, etc. changed it. personally, from my very limited exposure to their writings, i would say that it is somewhere in between (they both had some right and some wrong). in other words, neither had a corner on the "truth" of calvinism but preserved some of the early calvinists while changing some depending on their own particular settings, situations, conflicts, etc. i would guess that much of the development (which included change in various ways--whether right or wrong, good or bad) resulted from what the extreme positions taught (so you have the pendulum swing effect where neither is actual reading him 100% correct because of the polemics involved). i think this is much more accurate than to posit that beza et al agreed with calvin 100% and somehow preserved early calvinism perfectly. that's certainly not what i get out of just reading the words of calvin (and others like ursinus) which are not vague or ambigious in the least. they were quite explicit that Christ died for (atoned for the sins of) all mankind (head for head as you like to put it), in a certain sense.


But I did provide actual quotations.ok. i guess i meant quotations with references (available for us to check) to the writings where we could all read them in context, etc.

wildboar
10-26-04, 08:29 AM
i think this is much more accurate than to posit that beza et al agreed with calvin 100% and somehow preserved early calvinism perfectly. that's certainly not what i get out of just reading the words of calvin (and others like ursinus) which are not vague or ambigious in the least. I'm not saying that Calvin and Ursinus held the same position as Beza and Turretin on the atonement. What I do see from the quote I provided in Ursinus's writing is that Ursinus did not have a problem with those who did hold this view. Calvin also endorsed tracts by Beza in which Beza's view of the atonement was laid forth which leads me to believe he did not have a major problem with this view. On the other hand Calvin, Ursinus, and Dabney are very clear that Christ had no intention to save all in the atonement. Amyraut taught that he did.

I did provide references for anyone willing to put the time in to look for them.


the Sacrifice which Jesus Christ offered was equally for all; and the salvation which he received from His Father, in the sanctification of the spirit and the glorification of the body, was destined equally for all-provided the necessary disposition for receiving it was equal. Moise Amyraut, Treatise on Predestination, in George Smeaton, The Doctrine of the Atonement According to the Apostles (1870: Peabody, MA: Hendrikson, 1988), p. 540.
As far as I know, this complete work is not posted on-line. This book is still available from several used bookstores.

disciple
10-26-04, 09:30 AM
What I do see from the quote I provided in Ursinus's writing is that Ursinus did not have a problem with those who did hold this view.it's not just that he did not have a problem, he explicitly affirms it as his own view:

In this sense it is correctly said that Christ died in a different manner for believers and unbelievers Neither is this declaration attened with any difficulty or inconvenience, inasmuch as it harmonises not only scripture, but also with experience.


Calvin also endorsed tracts by Beza in which Beza's view of the atonement was laid forth which leads me to believe he did not have a major problem with this view.where is this endorsement? i don't doubt the endorsement exists, it's just that i have not personally seen it.


On the other hand Calvin, Ursinus, and Dabney are very clear that Christ had no intention to save all in the atonement. Amyraut taught that he did.and this is where some of those like amyraut probably misread early calvinists...sort of (somewhat). i say "sort of" because calvin (as shown in the quotes i provided above from his commentaries, cf. Ezek 18 and Mt 23) did state that there is a sense in which Scripture speaks of God be willing that all mankind (head for head) be saved (and that is accomodation, not that He actually attempts or wills decretively/secretly to save all but is unable...here is the distinction between the secret and revealed will which calvin apparently affirmed):

But this knot is easily untied; for he does not leave us in suspense when he says, that he wishes all to be saved. Why so? for if no one repents without finding God propitious, then this sentence is filled up. But we must remark that God puts on a twofold character: for he here wishes to be taken at his word. As I have already said, the Prophet does not here dispute with subtlety about his incomprehensible plans, but wishes to keep our attention close to God’s word. Now, what are the contents of this word? The law, the prophets, and the gospel. Now all are called to repentance, and the hope of salvation is promised them when they repent. this is true, since God rejects no returning sinner: he pardons all without exception: meanwhile, this will of God which he sets forth in his word does not prevent him from decreeing before the world was created what he would do with every individual:

[Ezek 18:37]

...we fully believe that his will is simple and one; but as our minds do not fathom the deep abyss of secret election, in accommodation to the capacity of our weakness, the will of God is exhibited to us in two ways. And I am astonished at the obstinacy of some people, who, when in many passages of Scripture they meet with that figure of speech which attributes to God human feelings, take no offense, but in this case alone refuse to admit it. But as I have elsewhere treated this subject fully, that I may not be unnecessarily tedious, I only state briefly that, whenever the doctrine, which is the standard of union, is brought forward, God wills to gather all, that all who do not come may be inexcusable

[Mt 23:37]


I did provide references for anyone willing to put the time in to look for them.but i don't own the book, do you? so it does me very little good. anyone else here on the list have it?

and you provided references to a book about the atonement which referenced amyraut. you did not provide references, quote, etc. to the actual works of amyraut (which i am totally unfamiliar with and so it would be meaningless for me to comment or argue with anything you say about him). so talking about what others think of amyraut and quotations of amyraut that others provide may be of little help here.

wildboar
10-26-04, 02:44 PM
it's not just that he did not have a problem, he explicitly affirms it as his own view:

In this sense it is correctly said that Christ died in a different manner for believers and unbelievers Neither is this declaration attened with any difficulty or inconvenience, inasmuch as it harmonises not only scripture, but also with experience.
Sorry, my phrase "this view" was ambiguous. By "this view" I meant the view of Beza and others who did not hold to the same position as him. Ursinus writes in the first section:

There are some who interpret the general declarations of the wholenumber of the faithful, or of all that believe; because the promises of the gospel properly belong to all those that believe, and because the Scriptures do often restrict them to such as believe....It is in this way that Ambrose interprets those passages which speak of the death of Christ as extending to all: "The people of God," says he, "have their fulness, and although a large portion of men either neglect, or reject, the grace of the Saviour, yet there is a certain SPECIAL UNIVERSALITY of the elect, and fore-known, separated and discerned from the generality of all, that a whole world might seem to be saved out of a whole world; and all men might seem to be redeemed out of all men," &c. In this waythere is no repugnancy, or contradicition; for all those that believe are the many, the peculiar people, the Church, the sheep, the elect, &c., for whom Christ died, and gave himself.
Ursinus himself does not take this position but he does not deem it a corruption or see any big problem with it.

where is this endorsement? i don't doubt the endorsement exists, it's just that i have not personally seen it.
It is from the multi-volume Latin set. I do not own a copy. The article which I got my information from quotes Calvin as saying: Castellio would do well to profit from "the little book written by our brother, Mr. Beza." "Enquoy il [Castellio] monstre que iamals il n'a appris l' ABC des Chrestiens, veu qu'il ne sait distinguer entre la predication exterieure, qui se fait par la bouche des hommes, et la vocation secrette de Dieu, pax laquelle il touche les coeurs au dedans... Et quand il est dit au second chapitre de la premiere ŕ Timothee, que Dieu veut que tous soient sauvez, la solution est adioustee quant et quant, qu'ils venient ŕ la cognoissance de verité," CO, 58:201.
The Little Book being referred to is Beza's Summa totius Christianismi which contains Beza's table of predestination which can be found here: http://www.covenanter.org/Beza/bezas_table.html


but i don't own the book, do you? so it does me very little good. anyone else here on the list have it?

and you provided references to a book about the atonement which referenced amyraut. you did not provide references, quote, etc. to the actual works of amyraut (which i am totally unfamiliar with and so it would be meaningless for me to comment or argue with anything you say about him). so talking about what others think of amyraut and quotations of amyraut that others provide may be of little help here. I am limited in my abilities to only being able to work with Greek, Latin, Dutch, and English. I rely greatly upon the scholarship of others as I'm sure you do as well. The quotes I gave appeared in the Calvin Theological Journal which is a well-read and reputable source. If the quotes were erroneous I am almost certain someone would have made a stink about it. I have not read anything which proves them to be false and so I assume them to be legitimate until I am shown otherwise. It wasn't just sentence fragment but a decent sized quote. If I got that paranoid about sources I couldn't study hardly anything because I would be worried the whole time that the translator botched it.

disciple
10-26-04, 04:34 PM
Ursinus himself does not take this position but he does not deem it a corruption or see any big problem with it.i don't know that i ever said that the early reformers saw an overemphasis on a particular aspect of the atonement (i.e., the efficiency) as a problem. but what it seems is that they thought the most biblical approach was to give each its proper emphasis. i don't know that the issue of a great overemphasis on the particular/efficient aspect of the atonement (with no qualifiers) was catching on in the time of calvin and other early calvinists. perhaps beza began it or gave it form, but i don't know if that means that this is what cavlin himself believed or even fully endorsed. just because we don't find any real objection of this particular emphasis, does not equal full endorsement of everything. saying nothing is not the same as hearty endorsement.


It is from the multi-volume Latin set. I do not own a copy. The article which I got my information from quotes Calvin as saying: Castellio would do well to profit from "the little book written by our brother, Mr. Beza." ...The Little Book being referred to is Beza's Summa totius Christianismi which contains Beza's table of predestination which can be found here: http://www.covenanter.org/Beza/bezas_table.html again, i wouldn't take from this that calvin endorsed each and every facet of everything that beza wrote or that he himself believed or emphasized similarly or that he saw it as a proper development of what he taught. if i were to take such an endorsement as proof that he agreed, i would also have to believe that arminius and wesley were calvinists:

"I believe Calvin was a great instrument of God; and that he was a wise and pious man."

— John Wesley

"After the Holy Scriptures, I exhort the students to read the Commentaries of Calvin... I tell them that he is incomparable in the interpretation of Scripture; and that his Commentaries ought to be held in greater estimation than all that is delivered to us in the writings of the ancient Christian Fathers: so that, in a certain eminent spirit of prophecy, I give the pre-eminence to him beyond most others, indeed beyond them all. I add, that, with regard to what belongs to common places, his Institutes must be read after the Catechism, as a more ample interpretation. But to all this I subjoin the remark, that they must be perused with cautious choice, like all other human compositions."

— Arminius

http://www.logos.com/products/details/887


I rely greatly upon the scholarship of others as I'm sure you do as well...If I got that paranoid about sources I couldn't study hardly anything because I would be worried the whole time that the translator botched it.but this specifically is a known area of widespread dispute and disagreement among historians and theologians. and we may be in danger of just repeating the errors of others if we just parrot what others have said.

this does not mean that i do not depend upon the scholarship of others but it does mean that i will tentatively accept it, as long as it makes sense, but holding to it very loosely and knowing that i have not been able to do the primary research. and if i am unable to verify in such an area of considerable debate, i must even be more cautious.

you trust your denomination and your particular tradition, and that's your prerogative. i personally want to make sure i give everything a check/verification, even if it's from a highly respectable source (this is not a guarantee of infallibility) and even it's from my particular tradition. it helps me to avoid making a priori assumptions. but that's just my perspective. i respect yours, but i will not personally buy your interpretation because i have not been able to actually verify it for myself. i come away with a different interpretation based on my examination of the available evidence.

wildboar
10-26-04, 09:31 PM
if i were to take such an endorsement as proof that he agreed, i would also have to believe that arminius and wesley were calvinists That's a completely different matter. In the one case we find Calvin endorsing someone, in the other we find the other people endorsing Calvin. Calvin never endorsed Wesley or Arminius and I think it is clear from his writings that he would have been opposed to them. The Ku Klux Klan's endorsement of Pat Buchanan did not make Buchanan a Klansman or affiliated with the core beliefs of that particular party, but if Buchanan had endorsed the Klan it would be a different story. If I were the founder of a certain school of philosophy and one of my students who I knew was going to take over for me after I died started to further develop that philosophy and I gave endorsement and approval to the writings of that student it would be very odd for later generations to say that that student somehow corrupted my writings and proclaim that a person who lived at a later date and went the opposite direction my student had in how he developed my writings was more faithful.

you trust your denomination and your particular tradition, and that's your prerogative. The article from which I quoted was written by someone who is a member of the denomination which deposed the ministers who started the denomination of which I am a part and the author himself supports things such as common grace of which I and the PRC are opposed to. I came to my beliefs about what Scripture teaches on these particular issues prior to joining the PRC. Most of my study of historical theology has been from books written by non-PR authors. However, I have not seen any instance where it seemed that the historical information provided by the PR authors was inaccurate or misleading.

i personally want to make sure i give everything a check/verification, even if it's from a highly respectable source (this is not a guarantee of infallibility) and even it's from my particular tradition. it helps me to avoid making a priori assumptions. but that's just my perspective. i respect yours, but i will not personally buy your interpretation because i have not been able to actually verify it for myself. i come away with a different interpretation based on my examination of the available evidence. Do you have some quotes from Amyraut which show that he taught something other than what is being presented here? Or do you believe that he is saying something else and that it is being taken out of context?

I really don't have a problem admitting that Calvin taught something erroneous and I have stated he taught erroneous things. He was a human being and theology didn't die with him. If theology doesn't develop the church dies. Theology must be developed by building upon the work of those who have gone before us and weeding out what they taught that was unscriptural. If it could be shown that Calvin taught the same thing Amyraut did, then it's still wrong.

wildboar
10-26-04, 10:06 PM
i don't know that the issue of a great overemphasis on the particular/efficient aspect of the atonement (with no qualifiers) was catching on in the time of calvin and other early calvinists.
John Calvin lived from 1509-1564. Peter Martyr Vermigli lived from 1499-1562 and is now viewed by many as being just as important as Calvin in the development of reformed theology. Unfortunately his works are not quite as readily accessible as Calvin's but they are now being printed. I believe there is a 12 volume set already released with another on the way. Many believe that Calvin got his theology of the Lord's Supper from Vermigli. My source is a book called The Glory of the Atonement published by IVP. I have not had the time or the funds to plunge into the writings of Vermigli myself. However this book claims that Vermigli did in fact hold to a definite atonement and quotes him as saying "God decreed to give his own Son up to death, and indeed a shameful death, in order to rid his elect of sin." (Loci Communes (London: Thomas Vautrollerius, 1583), 607).

Jerome Zanchi lived from 1516-1590 and is quoted in the same work above as saying in regard to for whom Christ offered himself: "For us, the elect, who are nonetheless sinners." He then adds that the sacrifice is efficacious for the salvation of the elect, although it would be completely sufficient for the redemption of the whole world. (Commentarius in Epistolam Sancti Pauli ad Ephesios, ed. A. H. Hartog [Amsterdam: J.A. Wormser, 1888], 2:266).

The above two references are taken from pages 316-317 of the book written above from the article entitled Definite Atonement in Historical Perspective by Raymond Blacketer.

The same article also cites several other works including the medieval Glossa Ordinaria that says in regards to Matthew 20:28 that Jesus gave his life "for many, not for all, but for those who were predestined to life." (from the interlinear gloss of Jerome's Commentariorum in Evangelium Matthaei, in PL 26:150). There are also several statements by Augustine cited which if taken together seem to teach that he also held to a limited atonement towards the end of his life. The ninth-century monk Gottschalk of Orbais is also credited with explicitly teaching the doctrine of limited redemption.

wildboar
10-26-04, 10:22 PM
Luther made some conflicting statements throughout his life in regards to the atonement. However when commenting on 2 Timothy 2:4 he says (and I have checked this one for myself):

For these verses must always be understood as pertaining to the elect only, as the apostle says in 2 Tim. 2:10 "everything for the sake of the elect." For in an absolute sense Christ did not die for all, because He says: "This is my blood which is poured out for you" and "for many"--He does not say: for all--"for the forgiveness of sins."
Here's a fuller quote than the one I provided earlier in regards to what Calvin says in regards the Lord's Supper that I don't believe has been sufficiently dealt with. If you own the Calvin Collection CD-Rom it is contained on vol. 2 of the selected works of John Calvin pp. 477-478:



He asks Calvinists with what faith they can approach the Supper —whether with a great or a little faith? It is easy to give the answer furnished by the Institutes, where I distinctly refute the error of those who require aperfection which is nowhere to be found, and by this severity keep back from the use of the Supper not the weak only, but those best qualified to receive it. Nay, even our children, by the form which is in common use, are fully instructed how to refute the silly calumny. It is vain for him therefore to display his loquacity by running away from the subject. That he might not plume himself by his performance in this respect, we think it proper to insert this much by the way. He says the two things are diametrically opposed, viz., forgiveness of sins and guilt before the tribunal of God; as if the least instructed did not know that believers in the same act provoke the wrath of God, and yet by his indulgence obtain favor. We all condemn the craft of Rebecca in substituting Jacob in the place of Esau, and there cannot be a doubt that in the eye of God the act was deserving of severe punishment; yet he so mercifully forgave it, that by means of it Jacob obtained the blessing. It is worth while to observe in passing, with what acuteness he disposes of my objection, that Christ cannot be separated from his Spirit. His answer is, that as the words of Paul are clear, he assents to them. Does he mean to astonish us by a miracle when he tells us that the blind see it? It has been clearly enough shown that nothing of the kind is to be seen in the words of Paul. He endeavors to disentangle himself by saying, that Christ is present with his creatures in many ways. But the first thing to be explained is, how Christ is present with unbelievers, as being the spiritual food of souls, and, in short, the life and salvation of the world. And as he adheres so doggedly to the words, I should like to know how the wicked can eat the flesh of Christ which was not crucified for them? and how they can drink the blood which was not shed to expiate their sins? I agree with him, that Christ is present as a strict judge when his Supper is profaned. But it is one thing to be eaten, and another to be a judge. When he afterwards says that the Holy Spirit dwelt in Saul, we must send him to his rudiments, that he may learn how to discriminate between the sanctification which is proper only to the elect and the children of God, and the general power which even the reprobate possess. These quibbles, therefore, do not in the slightest degree affect my axiom, that Christ, considered as the living bread and the victim immolated on the cross, cannot enter any human body which is devoid of his Spirit.

disciple
10-27-04, 09:18 AM
That's a completely different matter. In the one case we find Calvin endorsing someone, in the other we find the other people endorsing Calvin.i think you're missing my point. it is very plain and simple. endorsement of someone's work does not mean that you agree 100% with everything they wrote/said/believed. telling someone to read someone's work is not equivalent to saying, "this reflects exactly what i believe." if it did, then we would have to assume that arminius agreed 100% with calvin.


If I were the founder of a certain school of philosophy and one of my students who I knew was going to take over for me after I died started to further develop that philosophy and I gave endorsement and approval to the writings of that student it would be very odd for later generations to say that that student somehow corrupted my writings and proclaim that a person who lived at a later date and went the opposite direction my student had in how he developed my writings was more faithful.so the implication of what your saying is what? do you mean by this that what calvin wrote concerning the general/universal/efficient aspect of the atonement was not what it seems to mean? in other words, he didn't really mean what he seems to plainly mean on the surface? i'm sorry but i'm at a loss as to what you're suggesting here.


The article from which I quoted was written by someone who is a member of the denomination which deposed the ministers who started the denomination of which I am a part and the author himself supports things such as common grace of which I and the PRC are opposed to. I came to my beliefs about what Scripture teaches on these particular issues prior to joining the PRC. Most of my study of historical theology has been from books written by non-PR authors. However, I have not seen any instance where it seemed that the historical information provided by the PR authors was inaccurate or misleading.thank you for sharing your perspective.


Do you have some quotes from Amyraut which show that he taught something other than what is being presented here? Or do you believe that he is saying something else and that it is being taken out of context?no. as far as i can tell we've only discussed one quotation of him. i can't verify if it was taken out of context, since i do not have nor have i ever seen the writings of amyraut. that is why i said before that i do not know enough about him to even comment. have you read his writings? can you verify if it was taken out of context? what do we even have here to work with?


I really don't have a problem admitting that Calvin taught something erroneous and I have stated he taught erroneous things. He was a human being and theology didn't die with him. If theology doesn't develop the church dies. Theology must be developed by building upon the work of those who have gone before us and weeding out what they taught that was unscriptural. If it could be shown that Calvin taught the same thing Amyraut did, then it's still wrong.but remember, we weren't talking about whether early calvinism was biblical or not. i thought what we've been discussing is whether later calvinism was different in respect to the atonement, etc. than early calvinism. i think it is important to distinguish historical theology and its development and systematic theology and its biblicalness (if i can coin a term). so if we're talking about historical theology and its development we should not allow the latter to derail the discussion.

disciple
10-27-04, 10:03 AM
John Calvin lived from 1509-1564. Peter Martyr Vermigli lived from 1499-1562 and is now viewed by many as being just as important as Calvin in the development of reformed theology. Unfortunately his works are not quite as readily accessible as Calvin's but they are now being printed. I believe there is a 12 volume set already released with another on the way. Many believe that Calvin got his theology of the Lord's Supper from Vermigli.yes i understand that calvin quoted/interacted vermigli in his writings more than anyone else (even augustine!). and yet most people have not even heard of vermigli. dr. daniel discusses this individual in his messages (which you should be receiving any day now).


My source is a book called The Glory of the Atonement published by IVP. I have not had the time or the funds to plunge into the writings of Vermigli myself. However this book claims that Vermigli did in fact hold to a definite atonement and quotes him as saying "God decreed to give his own Son up to death, and indeed a shameful death, in order to rid his elect of sin." (Loci Communes (London: Thomas Vautrollerius, 1583), 607).but it is important here to understand that i don't believe that it is an either/or thing (either definite or indefinite). from reading calvin and others (dabney, ursinus, hodge) we get the idea that it is BOTH general AND particular, BOTH efficient AND sufficient. in other words, they seemed to teach that it had both aspects though not in exactly the same manner and in the same relationships. in other words, the BOTH...AND refered to different aspects/facets of the atonement.

and we see in the writings of calvin that he gave each their own biblical emphasis and did not exclude one or the other. they did not seem to see them as contradictory because the two aspects of the atonement were not referring to the same exact thing. so calvin did appear to believe in a definite atonement as well, but this was not in an unqualified sense. this is because he also believed in a general aspect to the atonement as well (as clearly evidenced by his quotes). and from what i understand, vermigli believed the same (though i have not read anything from vermigli, so this is only what i've heard from others).


Jerome Zanchi lived from 1516-1590 and is quoted in the same work above as saying in regard to for whom Christ offered himself: "For us, the elect, who are nonetheless sinners." He then adds that the sacrifice is efficacious for the salvation of the elect, although it would be completely sufficient for the redemption of the whole world. (Commentarius in Epistolam Sancti Pauli ad Ephesios, ed. A. H. Hartog [Amsterdam: J.A. Wormser, 1888], 2:266).sufficient for all, efficient for elect. the exact same thing that calvin and ursinus were saying. what's the problem here? as i see it, the early calvinists taught that the atonement has two aspects, one general/sufficient and the other particular/efficient. i don't understand why you appear to be forcing an either/or construct (as with modern strict particularists) onto early calvinism. here are the different positions as i see it:


strict generalists - only a sufficient aspect to the atonement; Scripture presents Christ as only dying in one sense, i.e., for everyone.
generalists/particularists - both a sufficient and efficient aspect to the atonement; Scripture presents Christ as dying died in two senses, sufficiently for all mankind (head for head) so that all may be without excuse and Christ died efficiently for the elect so that they would be saved.
strict particularists - only an efficient aspect to the atonement; Scripture presents Christ as only dying in one sense, i.e., for the elect.
from looking at this, it seems that 1 and 3 are the extremes and represent modern arminians and modern calvinists. the early calvinists seemed to fall into 2. therefore, it does little good to quote someone who fell into category 2 when they are emphasizing the efficient/particular aspect if we don't also recognize that they also emphasized (elsewhere in other contexts) the sufficient/genearl aspect of the atonement. if we fail to look at all that they wrote concerning the atonement, then we fall into the either/or trap into thinking (like most modern calvinists) that the early calvinists only emphasized one aspect of the atonement.

for example, i could just quote all of the passages that calvin emphasized the general/sufficient aspect of the atonement tell everyone that he was a strict generalist. but this would be dishonest. if i do not recognize and understand that he also emphasized the particular/efficient aspect of the atonement, then i have misunderstood and misrepresented him. do you understand what i'm saying here?


The same article also cites several other works including the medieval Glossa Ordinaria that says in regards to Matthew 20:28 that Jesus gave his life "for many, not for all, but for those who were predestined to life." (from the interlinear gloss of Jerome's Commentariorum in Evangelium Matthaei, in PL 26:150). There are also several statements by Augustine cited which if taken together seem to teach that he also held to a limited atonement towards the end of his life. The ninth-century monk Gottschalk of Orbais is also credited with explicitly teaching the doctrine of limited redemption.i understand that gottschalk was one of the first strict particularists but that augustine also held to the medieval sufficient/efficient construct of the atonement.

disciple
10-27-04, 10:24 AM
Luther made some conflicting statements throughout his life in regards to the atonement. However when commenting on 2 Timothy 2:4 he says (and I have checked this one for myself):

For these verses must always be understood as pertaining to the elect only, as the apostle says in 2 Tim. 2:10 "everything for the sake of the elect." For in an absolute sense Christ did not die for all, because He says: "This is my blood which is poured out for you" and "for many"--He does not say: for all--"for the forgiveness of sins." again, the issue for the early reformers, as i see it, is how does Scripture present it. so they are very free to say that in a sense, Christ died for all men (head for head). but not in an absolute sense. effectually and applicationally, he only died for the elect. nevertheless, they still affirmed that Scripture emphasized a general aspect to the atonement. but again, if we just took this quote from luther and others like it in the exclusion of anything else he said on the atonement, we would probably end up misunderstanding what he believed about the atonement.


Here's a fuller quote than the one I provided earlier in regards to what Calvin says in regards the Lord's Supper that I don't believe has been sufficiently dealt with. If you own the Calvin Collection CD-Rom it is contained on vol. 2 of the selected works of John Calvin pp. 477-478:
Quote:


He asks Calvinists with what faith they can approach the Supper —whether with a great or a little faith? It is easy to give the answer furnished by the Institutes, where I distinctly refute the error of those who require aperfection which is nowhere to be found, and by this severity keep back from the use of the Supper not the weak only, but those best qualified to receive it. Nay, even our children, by the form which is in common use, are fully instructed how to refute the silly calumny. It is vain for him therefore to display his loquacity by running away from the subject. That he might not plume himself by his performance in this respect, we think it proper to insert this much by the way. He says the two things are diametrically opposed, viz., forgiveness of sins and guilt before the tribunal of God; as if the least instructed did not know that believers in the same act provoke the wrath of God, and yet by his indulgence obtain favor. We all condemn the craft of Rebecca in substituting Jacob in the place of Esau, and there cannot be a doubt that in the eye of God the act was deserving of severe punishment; yet he so mercifully forgave it, that by means of it Jacob obtained the blessing. It is worth while to observe in passing, with what acuteness he disposes of my objection, that Christ cannot be separated from his Spirit. His answer is, that as the words of Paul are clear, he assents to them. Does he mean to astonish us by a miracle when he tells us that the blind see it? It has been clearly enough shown that nothing of the kind is to be seen in the words of Paul. He endeavors to disentangle himself by saying, that Christ is present with his creatures in many ways. But the first thing to be explained is, how Christ is present with unbelievers, as being the spiritual food of souls, and, in short, the life and salvation of the world. And as he adheres so doggedly to the words, I should like to know how the wicked can eat the flesh of Christ which was not crucified for them? and how they can drink the blood which was not shed to expiate their sins? I agree with him, that Christ is present as a strict judge when his Supper is profaned. But it is one thing to be eaten, and another to be a judge. When he afterwards says that the Holy Spirit dwelt in Saul, we must send him to his rudiments, that he may learn how to discriminate between the sanctification which is proper only to the elect and the children of God, and the general power which even the reprobate possess. These quibbles, therefore, do not in the slightest degree affect my axiom, that Christ, considered as the living bread and the victim immolated on the cross, cannot enter any human body which is devoid of his Spirit.

how does this contradict the sufficient/efficient construct? how does this negate or rule out any general/sufficient aspect to the atonement? i'm sorry but i'm missing what the problem/contradiction is. again, i want to emphasize that we cannot take one set of verses at the exclusion of the others. what would your suggestion be? that because of this one verse, we are to understand all the others where he emphasized the general/sufficient aspect of the atonement differently? what would you suggest that this verse does/says about the places where he clearly emphasized a general/sufficient aspect to the atonement?

wildboar
10-27-04, 10:43 AM
i think you're missing my point. it is very plain and simple. endorsement of someone's work does not mean that you agree 100% with everything they wrote/said/believed. telling someone to read someone's work is not equivalent to saying, "this reflects exactly what i believe." if it did, then we would have to assume that arminius agreed 100% with calvin.
Reciprocal endsorsement as in the case of Beza and Calvin means something far different than one-sided endorsement as in the case of Arminius and Calvin. I believe that as Calvin's theology developed it became more logically consistent as is reflected in books such as Sermons on Election and Reprobation which were part of a sermon series he did on Genesis starting in September of 1559 towards the end of his ministry. He attaches an appendix in entitled "An Answer to a Libel Against Predestination" in which he calls it a blasphemy to say that God "created all the world to be saved."(306)


so the implication of what your saying is what? do you mean by this that what calvin wrote concerning the general/universal/efficient aspect of the atonement was not what it seems to mean? in other words, he didn't really mean what he seems to plainly mean on the surface? i'm sorry but i'm at a loss as to what you're suggesting here.
I believe that Calvin's theology developed over time and that Beza developed it further. What was implicit in Calvin became explicit in Beza. Calvin never held to the exact position that Beza did on the atonement, but it also does not appear that he had a great problem with Beza's interpretation either. If I were to read a book which someone had written and I thought it was excellent with the exception of what it said about the atonement, I would include some sort of caveat about that in my endorsement of the book. I would say "the book is excellent but the section on the atonement is a corruption of the Scriptures" or something like that. We don't find that in Calvin. I believe there is a general trajectory which can be followed in the development in Calvin's thought. Beza and reformed orthodoxy followed the trajectory upward. Amyraut and others started from where Calvin began as a reformed theologian and began a downard trajectory.


no. as far as i can tell we've only discussed one quotation of him. i can't verify if it was taken out of context, since i do not have nor have i ever seen the writings of amyraut. that is why i said before that i do not know enough about him to even comment. have you read his writings? can you verify if it was taken out of context? what do we even have here to work with?
I have not read his writings. I am unaware of any English translation of them. However, you acted as if you didn't agree that this is what Amyraut taught and I am having a difficult time understanding why you don't. Blacketeer is a well respected scholar who studied under Richard Muller who is considered by many to be the authority on Post-Reformation doctrine. I don't agree with everything either of these men write but I haven't seen any reason to disagree with Blacketeer on this. What he has written and what he quoted seems to be in harmony with every other article I have seen on what Amyraut taught.

but remember, we weren't talking about whether early calvinism was biblical or not. i thought what we've been discussing is whether later calvinism was different in respect to the atonement, etc. than early calvinism. i think it is important to distinguish historical theology and its development and systematic theology and its biblicalness (if i can coin a term). so if we're talking about historical theology and its development we should not allow the latter to derail the discussion. I agree. My only point in posting what I did was to show that my own position is not exactly that of Calvin's and I have no desire to try to pretend it is.

disciple
10-27-04, 10:52 AM
Reciprocal endsorsement as in the case of Beza and Calvin means something far different than one-sided endorsement as in the case of Arminius and Calvin. I believe that as Calvin's theology developed it became more logically consistent as is reflected in books such as Sermons on Election and Reprobation which were part of a sermon series he did on Genesis starting in September of 1559 towards the end of his ministry. He attaches an appendix in entitled "An Answer to a Libel Against Predestination" in which he calls it a blasphemy to say that God "created all the world to be saved."(306)i think i understand what you're saying. though i think you are still misunderstanding the thrust of what i'm saying, i will not pursue this any further.


I believe that Calvin's theology developed over time and that Beza developed it further. What was implicit in Calvin became explicit in Beza. Calvin never held to the exact position that Beza did on the atonement, but it also does not appear that he had a great problem with Beza's interpretation either. If I were to read a book which someone had written and I thought it was excellent with the exception of what it said about the atonement, I would include some sort of caveat about that in my endorsement of the book. I would say "the book is excellent but the section on the atonement is a corruption of the Scriptures" or something like that. We don't find that in Calvin.this is an argument from silence. arminius also did not provide any qualifiers. are we to gather by this that arminius had no quibble with calvin?


I believe there is a general trajectory which can be followed in the development in Calvin's thought. Beza and reformed orthodoxy followed the trajectory upward. Amyraut and others started from where Calvin began as a reformed theologian and began a downard trajectory.i see the two as each getting some right. beza got the efficient aspect right and amyraut got the sufficient aspect right. but the reality is that calvin and the early calvinists emphasized both. these two emphasized one at the exclusion of the other.


I have not read his writings. I am unaware of any English translation of them. However, you acted as if you didn't agree that this is what Amyraut taught and I am having a difficult time understanding why you don't. Blacketeer is a well respected scholar who studied under Richard Muller who is considered by many to be the authority on Post-Reformation doctrine. I don't agree with everything either of these men write but I haven't seen any reason to disagree with Blacketeer on this. What he has written and what he quoted seems to be in harmony with every other article I have seen on what Amyraut taught.i keep telling you that i don't know enough about amyraut to comment. but you admit that you haven't read him and you still make absolute assertions about him. i'm not willing to say that blacketeer is right or wrong since i have nothing to verify him with. i would expect the same from others and would not want to speak about the writings and belief about someone third hand. so i did not intend to communicate that i thought anyone was misreading amyraut. what i intended to communicate was my ignorance and skepticism regarding this because i cannot verify. do you understand this?


I agree. My only point in posting what I did was to show that my own position is not exactly that of Calvin's and I have no desire to try to pretend it is.fair enough. thank you.

wildboar
10-27-04, 10:57 AM
how does this contradict the sufficient/efficient construct? how does this negate or rule out any general/sufficient aspect to the atonement? i'm sorry but i'm missing what the problem/contradiction is. again, i want to emphasize that we cannot take one set of verses at the exclusion of the others. what would your suggestion be? that because of this one verse, we are to understand all the others where he emphasized the general/sufficient aspect of the atonement differently? what would you suggest that this verse does/says about the places where he clearly emphasized a general/sufficient aspect to the atonement? I'm not denying that Calvin taught an sufficient/efficient construct which was in harmony with his understanding of the revealed/hidden will of God. What I do deny is that Calvin taught a sufficient/efficient construct in the same way that Amyraut and others did in which it was Christ's intent to save all people. I think the danger comes in when the sufficient/efficient theology of Calvin is equivocated with the sufficient/efficient theology of Amyraut and many modern Presbyterians.

disciple
10-27-04, 11:03 AM
I'm not denying that Calvin taught an sufficient/efficient construct which was in harmony with his understanding of the revealed/hidden will of God. What I do deny is that Calvin taught a sufficient/efficient construct in the same way that Amyraut and others did in which it was Christ's intent to save all people. I think the danger comes in when the sufficient/efficient theology of Calvin is equivocated with the sufficient/efficient theology of Amyraut and many modern Presbyterians.but did i ever say that Calvin taught that it was Christ's intent to save all people, decretively so (using Calvin's revealed/hidden will construct)? did i ever say that amyraut represented true early calvinism? i guess i'm wondering why you're arguing against something i never said. that is a straw man.

wildboar
10-27-04, 03:34 PM
disciple:

I never said you did. I was speaking in regards to what you posted which David Ponter posted in which he was claiming that we could know that Calvin didn't teach what the post-reformation theologians said he did on the basis of complaints by Amyraut. Amyraut sought to shift the very core of what Calvin taught and claim those who differed in regards to non-essential elements of the atonement were corrupting the pure doctrine of Calvin.

disciple
10-27-04, 03:54 PM
disciple:

I never said you did. I was speaking in regards to what you posted which David Ponter posted in which he was claiming that we could know that Calvin didn't teach what the post-reformation theologians said he did on the basis of complaints by Amyraut. Amyraut sought to shift the very core of what Calvin taught and claim those who differed in regards to non-essential elements of the atonement were corrupting the pure doctrine of Calvin.ok thanks. it just seemed that your comments were directed at me. i was not aware that you were responding to that specifically.

but i would say that ponter is much more capable and studied than i concerning this issue. i believe he has spent 3+ years researching this topic and probably is much more familiar with amyraut than either of us (though if i'm correct, he has not personally read amyraut either). that's not to say he's right. but it is to say that he's committed much more time and effort on this specific issue than either you or i. and dr. daniel did his doctoral dissertation on this. and his comments line up with ponter's (and as far as i know, neither of the two have interacted or exchanged info...in other words, both of them worked independently). and he has spent considerable time and effort on this issue and comes to conclusions different than those you are mentioning regarding amyraut. my only point here being that there is considerable and legitimate debate even among those scholars immersed in this stuff (i.e., i am not arguing the correctedness of either position, just pointing out that it isn't cut and dry as some assume it is). do you understand what i'm saying here?

Bob Higby
10-27-04, 08:51 PM
my only point here being that there is considerable and legitimate debate even among those scholars immersed in this stuff

But why is 'debate' in this sense an issue? That is what I am struggling with. The scholars disagree as much as the non-scholars. Why should I believe that their sole and completely pure motive is the defense of biblical revelation? After decades of reading their arguments, I and everyone else KNOW that this is not their only motive!

Only pure and limited Definite Atonement stands in consistent harmony with the WHOLE of biblical revelation on soteriology. If one is not convinced of this after two millenniums of debate, I don't care what ANY scholar has to say in opposition to it!

wildboar
10-27-04, 09:31 PM
disciple:

Actually Ponter seems to be in agreement with Hacketeer. In the article you posted: http://www.sounddoctrine.net/LIBRARY/Modern%20Day%20Reform%20Teaching/David%20Ponter/Offer_gospel.htm


Secondly, it is my contention that Kuiper's overall theology of Grace is more analogous to the Amyraldianism of Moise Amyraut, a 17th century French Reformed theologian. Entailed in Amyraldianism is the belief that God, moved by an ardent desire to save all, decreed and so designed that Christ make an Atonement of infinite worth and universally and conditionally sufficient for all men. That is, the atonement was designed, by God, to be sufficient for the needs of all men. Yet God foreseeing that none, if left to themselves would believe (because of man's inherent depravity), so designed, that the atonement would be unconditionally and efficaciously applied to some, namely the elect. As a consequence, in the Amyraldian order of the Decrees, the decree of election is preceded by the decree to make an Atonement universally sufficient for all. I find the reference note on the above paragraph very interesting:

See B.B.Warfield. The Plan of Salvation. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1984), pp 87-104; and Roger Nicole's article Amyraldianism in The Encyclopedia of Christianity. Gen. Ed. E.H. Palmer. (Delaware: The National Foundation for Christian Education, 1964). There have been many who have subscribed to Amyraldian tenets, such as Richard Baxter, Thomas Boston, Andrew Fuller and Ralph Wardlaw.
I agree with the vast majority of this article. I would take issue with certain statements about common grace and the well-meant offer but I believe the general thrust is correct. However it puzzles me then why Ponter would say in the other post that you posted:


7) We have the documented resistence of writers at the time these theological changes were happening, like Amyraut, Baxter and Usher.
I'm not sure what relevance the resistance of Amyraut, Baxter, and Usher who stood outside of the bounds of orthodox Calvinism have to do with anything.

Ponter I believe rightly also writes:

In the end, it must be admitted that Kuiper, Fuller, and others like them, hold to a universal conditional sufficiency for all men, and an unconditional efficient atonement, which God only applies to the elect at his own good pleasure. These people have taken the term 'infinite sufficiency' and redefined it as, 'universal sufficiency,' while expecting us to believe that the old orthodox Reformers understood it after the same fashion.

disciple
10-28-04, 09:28 AM
my only point here being that there is considerable and legitimate debate even among those scholars immersed in this stuff

But why is 'debate' in this sense an issue? That is what I am struggling with. The scholars disagree as much as the non-scholars. Why should I believe that their sole and completely pure motive is the defense of biblical revelation? After decades of reading their arguments, I and everyone else KNOW that this is not their only motive!i have tried to limit this discussion to historical/systematic theology. we can evaluate the biblicalness of it, but that wasn't really my intent in posting and thus far all i've tried to discuss is "what did the early calvinists teach and believe." and this is because of some reading and listening that i've been doing. i think there is a lot of covering up and selective quoting going on in the reformed world regarding people trying to prove that "their" particular brand of calvinism is the true calvinism of history (therefore i'm talking about the history of it, not the biblicalness of it).


Only pure and limited Definite Atonement stands in consistent harmony with the WHOLE of biblical revelation on soteriology. If one is not convinced of this after two millenniums of debate, I don't care what ANY scholar has to say in opposition to it!i hope you understand that my goal in this thread is to only discuss historical theology and whether or not calvin et al. believed and taught exactly as people are saying they taught today. i have tried not to derail the focus so we begin jumping back and forth from discussing the trend of historical theology and evaluating whether it lines up with Scripture or not.

Bob Higby
10-29-04, 05:58 PM
Disciple states:

i hope you understand that my goal in this thread is to only discuss historical theology and whether or not calvin et al. believed and taught exactly as people are saying they taught today. i have tried not to derail the focus so we begin jumping back and forth from discussing the trend of historical theology and evaluating whether it lines up with Scripture or not.

I would agree that your goal is a most important and critical endeavor. However, most today who call themselves 'Calvinist' have no idea of what the great expositor truly taught. And I do not support Calvin's parroting of Augustinian and Patristic ideas on a number of points. But the teachers of today quote snippets of his teaching in the same way that those who want to defeat the United States constitution quote that very same constitution. So I don't believe we can intelligently discuss this issue without a discussion of the motives of the current trends in theology.

disciple
10-29-04, 11:15 PM
Disciple states:

i hope you understand that my goal in this thread is to only discuss historical theology and whether or not calvin et al. believed and taught exactly as people are saying they taught today. i have tried not to derail the focus so we begin jumping back and forth from discussing the trend of historical theology and evaluating whether it lines up with Scripture or not.

I would agree that your goal is a most important and critical endeavor. However, most today who call themselves 'Calvinist' have no idea of what the great expositor truly taught. And I do not support Calvin's parroting of Augustinian and Patristic ideas on a number of points. But the teachers of today quote snippets of his teaching in the same way that those who want to defeat the United States constitution quote that very same constitution. So I don't believe we can intelligently discuss this issue without a discussion of the motives of the current trends in theology.this is true. thanks for your thoughts.

Bill Ross
12-10-04, 12:02 PM
<Twisse>
>>...Only pure and limited Definite Atonement stands in consistent harmony with the WHOLE of biblical revelation on soteriology. If one is not convinced of this after two millenniums of debate, I don't care what ANY scholar has to say in opposition to it![/QUOTE]...

<Bill>
Scripture never refers to a "pure and limited Definite Atonement" in relation to justification. In fact, it never speaks of an "atonement" at all.

Rather it speaks of justification on the basis of faith. That is, that God counts faith as righteousness, and forgives the sins of the believer.

This is also what both Luther and Calvin taught.

Bill Ross

disciple
02-09-05, 11:40 AM
However, we should keep in mind that Calvin developed his doctrine over time. There is a gradual progression one can see if Calvin's writings are traced on issues such as a general love God has for all people which is denied in his later writings. The same is true of Luther and I would hope that all of us would develop in our theology.i'm sure calvin's theology did develop but do you have actual evidence that he denied God's general love in his later writings? i ask this because a friend supplied me with quotes with actual dates and the evidence i have does not accord with your assertion. perhaps you have additional empirical evidence in support of your claim that we might discuss. because as it stands from here, your bare assertion seems a bit unfounded.

wildboar
02-09-05, 05:01 PM
disciple:

I believe I supplied some quotes found in Calvin's Calvinism which was from some of his later writings somewhere in one of these threads, where I posted it I do not know. I do see statements which go back and forth from what I have read of Calvin and no longer claim a general trajectory. Although coupled with his approval of Beza and his statements which deny a love of God toward the reprobate and his own various statements I am led to conclude that Calvin is making some sort of distinction between the revealed and hidden will of God and not teaching that within God's being there is a love for the reprobate.

disciple
02-09-05, 05:35 PM
I believe I supplied some quotes found in Calvin's Calvinism which was from some of his later writings somewhere in one of these threads, where I posted it I do not know. I do see statements which go back and forth from what I have read of Calvin and no longer claim a general trajectory.what do you mean by you "no longer claim a general trajectory"?


Although coupled with his approval of Beza and his statements which deny a love of God toward the reprobate and his own various statements I am led to conclude that Calvin is making some sort of distinction between the revealed and hidden will of God and not teaching that within God's being there is a love for the reprobate.what do you think of the following? could you demonstrate your conclusion from the following?

John Calvin (1509-1564) started writing in the 1530s



"We now see why an oath is interposed, while he pronounces that he will take care that the Jews should not ridicule any longer. Behold, says he, all souls are mine; as the sole of the son so the soul of the father, all souls are mine; the soul, therefore, which has sinned it shall die. Some interpreters explain the beginning of the verse thus: that men vainly and rashly complain when God seems to treat them too severely, since the clay does not rise against the potter. Since God is the maker of the whole world, we are his workmanship: what madness, then, to rise up against him when he does not satisfy us: and we saw this simile used by Jeremiah. (Jeremiah 18:6). The sentiment, then, is true in itself, that all souls are under God's sovereignty by the right of creation, and therefore he can arbitrarily determine for each whatever he wishes; and all who clamor against him reap no profit: and this teaching it is advantageous to notice. But this passage ought to be understood otherwise; namely, that nothing is more unworthy than that God should be accused of tyrannizing over men, when he rather defends them, as being his own workmanship. When, therefore, God pronounces that all souls are his own, he does not merely claim sovereignty and power, but he rather shows that he is affected with fatherly love towards the whole human race since he created and formed it; for, if a workman loves his work because he recognizes in it the fruits of his industry, so, when God has manifested his power and goodness in the formation of men, he must certainly embrace them with affection. True, indeed, we are abominable in God's sight, through being corrupted by original sin, as it is elsewhere said, (Psalm 14:1, 2) but inasmuch as we are men, we must be dear to God, and our salvation must be precious in his sight. We now see what kind of refutation this is: all souls are mine, says he: I have formed all, and am the creator of all, and so I am affected with fatherly love towards all, and they shall rather feel my clemency, from the least to the greatest, than experience too much rigor and severity. At length he adds, the soul which sinned it shall die."

Calvin on Ezekiel 18:1-4; Written two months before he died

"True it is that God giveth oftentimes some sign of his love to all men in general: but yet is all Adam's offspring cut off from him, till we be grafted in again by Jesus Christ.Therefore there is one kind of love which God beareth towards all men, for that he hath created them after his own image, in which respect he maketh the Sun to shine upon all men, nourishing them and having a care of their life. But all this is nothing, in respect of the special goodness which he keepeth in store for his chosen, and for those that are of his flock: howbeit not for any worthiness which he findeth in them, but for because it pleaseth him to accept them for his own."

From Calvin's Sermons on Galatians, Sermon Two, 1:3-5, Completed 1557-8, based on early commentary of 1548. Note here the allusion to Mt 5:45.

"But I will content myself with dwelling on one point only, and let that suffice. Proofs of the love of God towards the whole human race exists innumerable, all of which demonstrate the ingratitude of those who perish or come "to perdition." This fact, however, forms no reason whatever why God should not confine his especial or peculiar love to a few, whom he has, in infinite condescension, been pleased to chose out of the rest."
Calvin, "The Secret Providence of God" found in Calvin's Calvinism, p., 268. First published 1558.
"The Father loveth the Son. But what is the meaning of this reason? Does he regard all others with hatred? The answer is easy, that he does not speak of the common love with which God regards men whom he has created, or his other works, but of that peculiar love which, beginning with the Son, flows from him to all the creatures. For that love with which, embracing the Son, he embraces us also in him, leads him to communicate all his benefits to us by his hand. "
Calvin on John 3:35; Dated 1553

Skeuos Eleos
02-09-05, 06:49 PM
I am led to conclude that Calvin is making some sort of distinction between the revealed and hidden will of God and not teaching that within God's being there is a love for the reprobate.I have been starting to look into this a little deeper recently and am inclined to agree with Doug that things are more finely 'nuanced' than we generally acknowledge. I think the following quotes from Calvin show that the first half of this statement is certainly true.

However, as regards not having a love for the reprobate ... Calvin certainly seems to speak of a love in His revealed will but whether he would say that this does not equate to an actual love 'in His being' seems to be somewhat debateable. But then I don't understand enough about these theological distinctions in God's will nor to what extent passages that Calvin takes as having a universal intent he would take as being anthropopathisms. From the evidence I've seen from Calvin he does seem to go beyond that.


This is His wondrous love towards the human race, that He desires all men to be saved, and is prepared to bring even the perishing to safety...It could be asked here, if God does not want any to perish, why do so many in fact perish? My reply is that no mention is made here of the secret decree of God by which the wicked are doomed to their own ruin, but only of His lovingkindness as it is made known to us in the Gospel. There God stretches out His hand to all alike, but He only grasps those (in such a way as to lead to Himself) whom He has chosen before the foundation of the world.
Comment on 2 Peter 3: 9

It is true that Saint John saith generally, that {God] loved the world. And why? For Jesus Christ offereth himself generally yo all men without exception to be their redeemer ... Thus we see three degrees of the love that God hath shewed us in our Lord Jesus Christ. The first is in respect of the redemption that was purchased in the person of him that gave himself to death for us, and became accursed to reconcile us to God his Father. That is the first degree of love, which extendeth to all men, insasmuch as Jesus CHrist reacheth out his arms to call and allure all men both great and small, and to win them to him. But there is a special love for those to whom the gospel is preached: which is that God testifieth unto them that he will make them partakers of the benefit that was purchased for them by the death and passion of his Son. And forasmuch as we be of that number, therefore we are double bound already to our God: here are two bonds which hold us as it were strait tied unto him. Now let us come to the third bond, which dependeth upon the third love that God sheweth us: which is that he not only causeth the gospel to be preached unto us, but also maketh us to feel the power thereof, so as we know him to be our Father and Saviour, not doubting but that our sins are forgiven us for our Lord Jesus Christ's sake, who bringeth us the gift of the Holy Ghost, to reform us after his own image (Sermons on Deuteronomy, 167)

Now we must see how God wishes all to be converted...But we must remark that God puts on a twofold character: for he here wishes to be taken at his word. As I have already said, the Prophet does not here dispute with subtlety about his incomprehensible plans, but wishes to keep our attention close to God's word. Now what are the contents of this word? The law, the prophets, and the gospel. Now all are called to repentance, and the hope of salvation is promised them when they repent: this is true, since God rejects no returning sinner: he pardons all without exception; meanwhile, this will of God which he sets forth in his word does not prevent him from decreeing before the world was created what he would do with every individual...
Comment on Ezekiel 18:23

I contend that, as the prophet is exhorting to penitence, it is no wonder that he pronounces God willing that all be saved. But the mutual relation between threats and promises shows such forms of speech to be conditional...So again...the promises which invite all men to salvation...do not simply and positively declare what God has decreed in His secret counsel but what he is prepared to do for all who are brought to faith and repentance...Now this is not contradictory of His secret counsel, by which he determined to convert none but His elect. He cannot rightly on this account be thought variable, because as lawgiver He illuminates all with the external doctrine of life. But in the other sense, he brings to life whom He will, as Father regenerating by the Spirit only His sons.
Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, pp. 105-6

Seeing that in His Word He calls all alike to salvation, and this is the object of preaching, that all should take refuge in His faith and protection, it is right to say that He wishes all to gather to Him. Now the nature of the Word shows us that here there is no description of the secret counsel of God - just His wishes. Certainly those whom He wishes effectively to gather, He draws inwardly by His Spirit, and calls them not merely by man's outward voice. If anyone objects that it is absurd to split God's will, I answer that this is exactly our belief, that His will is one and undivided: but because our minds cannot plumb the profound depths of His secret election to suit our infirmity, the will of God is set before us as double.
Comment on Matthew 23:37

Pighius speaks...that Christ, the Redeemer of the whole world, commands the Gospel to be preached promiscuously to all does not seem congruent with special election. But the Gospel is an embassy of peace by which the world is reconciled to God, as Paul teaches (2 Cor. 5:18); and on the same authority it is announced that those who hear are saved. I answer briefly that Christ was so ordained for the salvation of the whole world that He might save those who are given to Him by the Father, that He might be their life whose head He is, and that He might receive those into participation of His benefits whom God by His gratuitous good pleasure adopted as heirs for Himself. Which of these things can be denied?...Even those opposed to me will concede that the universality of the grace of Christ is not better judged than from the preaching of the Gospel. But the solution of the difficulty lies in seeing how the doctrine of the Gospel offers salvation to all. That it is salvific for all I do not deny. But the question is whether the Lord in His counsel here destines salvation equally for all. All are equally called to penitence and faith; the same mediator is set forth for all to reconcile them to the Father - so much is evident. But it is equally evident that nothing can be perceived except by faith, that Paul's word should be fulfilled: the Gospel is the power of God for salvation to all that believe (Rom. 1:16). But what can it be for others but a savour of death to death? as he elsewhere says (2 Cor. 2:16).
Further, since it is clear that out of the many whom God calls by His external voice very few believe, if I prove that the greater part remain unbelieving because God honours with illumination none but those whom He will, then I draw another conclusion. The mercy of God is offered equally to both kinds of men, so that those who are not inwardly taught are rendered only inexcusable....
Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p. 102-3
And he contenteth not himself to say, that Christ gave himself for the world in common, for that had been but a slender saying: but (sheweth that) every of us must apply to himself particularly, the virtue of the death and passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Whereas it is said that the Son of God was crucified, we must not only think that the same was done for the redemption of the world: but also every of us must on his own behalf join himself to our Lord Jesus Christ, and conclude, It is for me that he hath suffered...But when we once know that the thing was done for the redemption of the whole world, pertaineth to every of us severally: it behoveth every of us to say also on his own behalf, The Son of God hath loved me so dearly, that he hath given himself to death for me...we be very wretches if we accept not such a benefit when it is offered to us...Lo here a warrant for our salvation, so as we ought to think ourselves thoroughly assured of it.
Sermons on Galatians, p. 106-7

So then, seeing it is God his will that all men should be partakers of that salvation which he hath sent in the person of his only begotten Son...yet we must mark that Saint Paul speaketh not here of every particular man, but of all sorts, and of all people: Therefore, when he saith, that God will have all men to be saved, we must not think that he speaketh here of Peter, or John, but his meaning is this, that whereas in times past he chose out one certain people for himself, he meaneth now to show mercy to all the world...but when Jesus Christ came to be a common Saviour for all in general, he offered the grace of God his father, to the end that all might receive it...Let us see now, whether God will draw all the world to [the Gospel] or not. No, no: for then had our Lord Jesus Christ said in vain No man can come to me, unless God my Father teach him (Jn. 6:44)...
It followeth then, that before the world was made, (as Saint Paul saith in the first to the Ephesians) God chose such as it pleased him: and it pertaineth not to us to know, why this man, more than that man, we know not the reason...Saint Paul speaketh not here of every particular man, (as we shewed already) but he speaketh of all people...now God showeth himself a Saviour of all the world...Saint Paul speaketh not in this place, of the strait counsell of God, neither that he meaneth to lead us to this everlasting election & choice which was before the beginning of the world, but only sheweth us what God his will and pleasure is, so far forth as we may know it. Truth it is, that God changeth not, neither hath he two wills, neither does he use any counterfeit dealing, as though he meant one thing, but would not have it so. And yet doth the Scripture speak unto us after two sorts touching the will of God...God doeth exhort all men generally, thereby we may judge, that it is the will of God, that all men should be saved, as he saith also by the Prophet Ezekiel I will not the death of a sinner, but that he turn himself and live (Ezek. 18:23)...For Jesus Christ is not a Saviour of three or four, but he offereth himself to all...And is he not the Saviour of the whole world as well? Is Jesus Christ come to be the Mediator between two or three men only? No, no: but he is the Mediator between God and men...
Sermons on Timothy and Titus, pp. 149-60

Since therefore He intends the benefit of His death to be common to all, those who hold a view that would exclude any from the hope of salvation do Him an injury. Comment on 1 Timothy 2:3-5
He seems to be going even beyond duty faith - but let's not start that one again. :D

Martin

ray kikkert
02-09-05, 09:13 PM
I have been starting to look into this a little deeper recently and am inclined to agree with Doug that things are more finely 'nuanced' than we generally acknowledge. I think the following quotes from Calvin show that the first half of this statement is certainly true.

However, as regards not having a love for the reprobate ... Calvin certainly seems to speak of a love in His revealed will but whether he would say that this does not equate to an actual love 'in His being' seems to be somewhat debateable. But then I don't understand enough about these theological distinctions in God's will nor to what extent passages that Calvin takes as having a universal intent he would take as being anthropopathisms. From the evidence I've seen from Calvin he does seem to go beyond that.

He seems to be going even beyond duty faith - but let's not start that one again. :D

Martin
I have a question. Does anybody have a Calvin commentary download with a search engine? I get Calvin off of www.ccel.org (http://www.ccel.org) but they do not have a search engine for wording.

Anyways have as read through this:


Christ’s Death for the World


And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world (I John 2:2).

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

The question which I deal with in this article reads: "Regarding the doctrine of limited atonement, could you please tell me who the "whole world" is in I John 2:2, and why it is only "world" in John 3:16? Could you please expound on "world" in John 3:16 and "whole world" in I John 2:2. Also, who is John referring to in I John 2:2 when he says, "our sins?"

I think Spurgeon says somewhere that the word "world" in Scripture never once means every man head for head.

It is striking that both passages referred to by the questioner are to be found in John. John's gospel message in the gospel narrative and in his letters is the message of a universal salvation. This great and glorious truth is stressed again and again in John.

But a universal salvation through the death of Christ does not mean, in John's thinking, that Christ died for everyone, and that everyone is saved. Not only John himself, but the whole of Scripture militates against that.

Let us take a rather quick look at the two passages which the questioner refers to.

I John 2:2 is one of those beautiful texts which emphasize so strongly that Christ is, in His death, a catholic Christ Who died for a catholic church. By "our sins" John refers to the sins of himself and those to whom he writes. In fact, we may even broaden this out a bit and say that John may very well refer to the sins of all the saints who were living at the time when this epistle was written.

But John looks beyond his own era and sees a church, redeemed in the blood of Christ, which is gathered from the whole world; i.e., from every nation and tribe and tongue. And that is because Christ shed His blood for a church that will be gathered from the nations throughout the entire new dispensation.

This is a glorious thought. The doctrine of the catholicity of the church is one of the most beautiful doctrines to be found in Scripture. Write to me sometime, and we will spend a bit more time discussing it.

The passage in John 3:16 is very similar, but has a slightly different emphasis. In the first place, it is obvious that the word "world" in this passage refers to the world of God's elect. For the text says that Christ died for those who believe in Him. And those who believe in Him are the elect. And so Christ died for the elect, and for them only.

But the word "world" in John 3:16 refers to the whole creation. The word "world" is "cosmos." And here John teaches that the love of God extends to the whole cosmos besides the world of the elect. God loves His world. He created it. Fallen man tries to steal it from God, and in the process wrecks God's world. But God loves it and has also redeemed it in the blood of Christ. So the whole cosmos will be saved when Christ comes again and makes this world into the new and heavenly creation.

These differences in meaning probably explain why John speaks of the "whole world" in his epistle, and of the "world" in his gospel

Two things yet. If Christ died for every man head for head, then one of two things must be true: 1) every man is saved; or, 2) Christ's death does not actually save, but salvation rests upon the free will of man. It has been well said, "A Christ for all is a Christ for no one."

The second remark is this. The "world" of the elect people of God is the true world. It is the world of eternal election. It is the world of God's unchangeable purpose in Christ. It is the world which is the object of God's love, for which Christ died, and which will be taken to glory to be with God forever. The true world is saved. Think of a beautiful temple. The finished temple is the fulfillment of the plan and purpose of the architect. The scaffolding is only for the building of the temple and is burned when the temple is finished. The reprobate are the "scaffolding" in the erection of the temple of the elect. When they have served their purpose, they are destroyed. God loves His temple.

Calvin speaks eloquently on I John 2:2. "Here a question may be raised, how have the sins of the whole world been expiated? I pass by the dotages of the fanatics, who under this pretence extend salvation to all the reprobate.... Such a monstrous thing deserves no refutation. They who seek to avoid this absurdity, have said that Christ suffered sufficiently for the whole world, but efficiently only for the elect.... Though ... I allow that what has been said is true, yet I deny that it is suitable to this passage; for the design of John was no other than to make this benefit common to the whole church. Then under the word "all" or "whole", he does not include the reprobate, but designates those who should believe as well as those who were then scattered through various parts of the world. For then is really made evident, as it is meet, the grace of Christ, when it is declared to be the only true salvation of the world." Prof. H. Hanko


greetings and salutations el rana

GraceAmbassador
02-09-05, 10:12 PM
Dear Hearts:

If I may, allow me a few questions and then a comment:

What if we discover, whether in the writings of Calvin or in the Scriptures some evidence, however faint, that God does love in some way or in all way the reprobate? Will this affect us at all in His own wondrous love for us, His children, or in some way make us less adoring of His great work he has wrought for our Salvation?

I am willing to worship God by whatever love He demonstrates for whomever He demonstrates. He will be the same Jehovah Nissi, Jehovah Rapha, Jehovah Jireh, the only God among "gods", in whose presence I will ever sing praises, and will worship Him in full humility and adoration for the love He has bestowed me in a doubtless fashion proven by the cross whereupon Jesus died!

Perhaps the only discredit will be to my own self since I have proclaimed that God loves no one else but the elect. But that discredit, and even the shame of being found incorrect should not be a reason, a rather insignificant reason, for me to regard God's love for me any less marvelous than the love He has demonstrated for me in Jesus Christ.

Just thought I should bring this up...

Milt

Bob Higby
02-09-05, 10:54 PM
Any doctrine proposing that God 'loves' the non-elect for a brief moment in the duration of this puny and short life--then hates them without measure and without end forever in hell--such a teaching is most destructive of the immutability of God. Why are men so determined to defend this 'love' that consists of no love of substance at all? It is like the love of a crocodile and means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. If we propose that an infinite personal God has a disposition for a bare split second that disappears into the infinite ages of eternity; we are denying that God is God.

Whatever compassion God has for the non-elect (if any): he has to exercise this compassion toward them even when they are in hell. Otherwise God is not immutable. :cool:

wildboar
02-09-05, 11:22 PM
disciple:

Very well. I stand corrected. Calvin was wrong on this issue.

Brandan
02-10-05, 06:13 AM
So now it's been proven that Calvin believed God loved the reprobate. Wildboar and I say he's wrong. So I guess that makes Charles and me legitimate hyper-calvinists! We have gone beyond Calvin in theology. GASP!

Bob, I definitely agree with your assessments. I too question why men are fascinated with God's love for the reprobate. My speculation is this -

1. They love the idea of universalism and hate the idea of a particular atonement.
2. They think God's love is needed to "evangelize".
3. They think God's hatred of the wicked destroys his character as a "loving" God and they need Him to love everyone for them to be comfortable in their conscience. Otherwise, they would have difficulty worshiping him.

Eileen
02-10-05, 08:25 AM
or.............

they try to understand what God's perfect hatred means by comparing it to how we as mutable creatures 'hate' and 'love' and by doing so have a very pitiable view of our Sovereign God.

'Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated'

What do we know from this scripture but that those that are elect (by God's act of mercy) are loved, those that are not are hated. We know that He suffers long with those vessels of wrath so that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy. Do we even fully understand God's love (as finite human beings), let alone His perfect hatred.

My love and my hatred are tainted with sin, HIS love and HIS hatred are not. Can we comprehend that? I don't think I can, I can but submit (by His Grace) to His Sovereignty in all things.

Eileen~

ray kikkert
02-10-05, 08:25 AM
So now it's been proven that Calvin believed God loved the reprobate. Wildboar and I say he's wrong. So I guess that makes Charles and me legitimate hyper-calvinists! We have gone beyond Calvin in theology. GASP!

Bob, I definitely agree with your assessments. I too question why men are fascinated with God's love for the reprobate. My speculation is this -

1. They love the idea of universalism and hate the idea of a particular atonement.
2. They think God's love is needed to "evangelize".
3. They think God's hatred of the wicked destroys his character as a "loving" God and they need Him to love everyone for them to be comfortable in their conscience. Otherwise, they would have difficulty worshiping him.
It is the lie of the devil. That God loves the reprobate is a heretical lie. That God loves a wicked sinner that He has purposed to save in Christ is the truth.This is where the water is mudded. Yea hath God said? Yes God did say it point blank "Jacob have I loved , but Esau have I hated". If you have a problem with the truth of Scripture, may God convict you to repent or find a religion to suit the vain philosophy of your puny mind.
I grow tired of the lament and whine of what Calvin said here while piously sidestepping what he says elsewhere. To make Calvin out to be a rank arminian shows a lack of understanding to what the man wrote throughout his life.If you want to make Calvin out to be a hypercrite fine go ahead, that is nothing knew under the sun, but if that leads then to make God out to be the hypercrite, may God convict you to repentance. The alternative is to make Christ and His particular grace to be of none effect and turn it rather into lasciviousness.

So, lets review. If you maintain that God loves the reprobate, you refute the Godhead, His Word, and believe a heretical lie of the devil. Clear enough?

greetings and salutations, el rana

disciple
02-10-05, 10:04 AM
Why are men so determined to defend this 'love' that consists of no love of substance at all? It is like the love of a crocodile and means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.from my perspective (reading quotes from such calvinists as calvin, dabney, shedd, hodge, carson, etc.) it is to do proper justice to Scripture and to explain/leave room for categories that perhaps can't seem to fit into our particular systematic and presuppositions.

for example, can there not be degrees or different senses in which God loves? that is what calvin seems to be saying. there is one sense in which he loves all that he creates in general (common, fatherly) and there is another sense in which He loves the elect (special, peculiar). much like carson writes about in his article:

http://www.antithesis.com/pdf/love.pdf

disciple
02-10-05, 10:09 AM
I too question why men are fascinated with God's love for the reprobate. My speculation is this -

1. They love the idea of universalism and hate the idea of a particular atonement.so would apply this to calvin, dabney, shedd, hodge, etc? do they love the idea of universalism and hate the idea of a particular atonement?


3. They think God's hatred of the wicked destroys his character as a "loving" God and they need Him to love everyone for them to be comfortable in their conscience. Otherwise, they would have difficulty worshiping him.is this true of these men as well?

disciple
02-10-05, 10:16 AM
So, lets review. If you maintain that God loves the reprobate, you refute the Godhead, His Word, and believe a heretical lie of the devil. Clear enough?so would you say this of calvin?

Brandan
02-10-05, 12:33 PM
so would apply this to calvin, dabney, shedd, hodge, etc? do they love the idea of universalism and hate the idea of a particular atonement?

is this true of these men as well?Disciple I don't know. I said it was merely speculation on my part - maybe it could be a number of different things as well. Personally if Calvin truly believed that God loves the reprobate - he was flat out wrong. I personally don't care if he believed it or not. :D

Ivor Thomas
02-10-05, 01:46 PM
According to Calvin,the Blood was shed for the reprobate? as well as Elect, there are numerous quotes i will just give one for now.-(Also we ought to have good care of those that have been redeemed with the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ,If we see souls which have been so precious to God go to perdition, and we make nothing of it, that is to despise the blood of our lord Jesus Christ. Sermons on Ephesians, p.521)..Ivor Thomas...:eek:

ray kikkert
02-10-05, 04:56 PM
so would you say this of calvin?
No. Calvins gospel basis was predestination. Maybe have a look at what Calvin would comment on Romans 9:13 and let me know.;)

greetings and salutations, el rana

tomas1
02-10-05, 05:12 PM
Maybe these men took a long look at their own sin, realized that their intellect might deceive them, and in light of seemingly conflicting passages choose to submit to scripture even if it did not always fit neatly to their system.

I’m not saying they were right in their conclusions just that they were not so quick to discount difficult passages. I think that is a good thing.



Just a thought

Skeuos Eleos
02-10-05, 06:38 PM
I think you have it right there Tomas1. I have no doubt that the motives of many are questionable as Brandan suggests but at the same time I think we should be charitable to men such as Calvin, Shedd, Hodge and Dabney and not hastily attribute such motives to them but rather assume that they were simply trying to exegete the texts as they thought was correct. Some things to bear in mind here are:
- nobody has got all their exegesis right. That is the very reason why I want to consider what several people say about a debateable passage and not come to hasty conclusions myself
- to some degree we are all going to read our own particular presuppositions into dificult texts
- from what I have seen so far all these guys were very clearly and strongly upholding sovereign election and God's special, electing love
- as has already been intimated, some of the difference comes down to differentiating between God's revealed and secret will;
- another difference could be to do with how much we consider such expressions to be anthopopathisms (i.e. we cannot truly understand God, scriptures which represent God as having emotions, particuarly where they run counter to His decreed will, are therefore 'accommodated' to us mere humans)
- another difference may be to do with how much we let our 'system' drive our exegesis rather than the other way around. EVERYBODY applies the analogy of scripture to some extent, the differences may lie in how far its taken.

I am sure there are more factors - they were all clever guys and I am not. Therefore I am going to give them some respect and not simply ignore them because they don't fit with my system. In any event, the more one understands the position of those who take a contrary position, the more confident one should be enabled to be in their own position. Surely being prepared to be challenged is a good thing? Better therefore to carefully consider than come to hasty and often superficial conclusions?

Martin

Bob Higby
02-10-05, 09:19 PM
It does not bother me that Calvin was inconsistent in his exposition of scripture, as the greatest of expositors have always been demonstrated to be inconsistent in many things!

'Calvinism' as an official doctrinal label refers to the 5-points of Dort as opposed to the 5-points of Arminius. Let us not confuse this helpful distinction with the inconsistencies of Calvin himself. If the majority insist on making an issue out of this thing about Calvin's quirks, I will abandon the 'Calvinist' label entirely. Most critics who use the term Calvinism have NO IDEA WHATSOEVER of what they are talking about anyway.

On Carson's article, I find many points to be valid. I have been refreshed by his writings so often in the last 25 years. But he still misses the crucial point. There is no doctrine of God's 'lesser love' that can be justified unless it also applies to his disposition toward the wicked in the hereafter for eternity. If it is a disposition that God has for the mere moment of a few earthly years, it has ABSOLULTELY NO MEANING WHATSOEVER!

As Carson states, God is GOOD in an aspect of his unchanging disposition toward the non-elect. This is not LOVE in any biblical sense (agape or friendship). God is also HATING in his unchanging disposition toward them. :cool:

GraceAmbassador
02-10-05, 09:35 PM
A caviat of sorts has been duly injected into this discussion that is worthy of our consideration. Perhaps a sub-heading in this discussion:

The Immutability of God.

First we have to make a clear distinction between the "reprobate" and the "unsaved". Then, if we agree with those who say that God does have "some" or "all" sort of love for the reprobate (the unsavable unelect) we have to examine the issue of whether God remains loving them when they go to hell. If we conclude that He does, then there must be a show of biblical evidenciary material for such.

If, however, we conclude that God does not continue to love the unsavable unelect (redundance intended) we are indeed making God mutable. Again, where is the scripture where God states: "I cease from loving you, or I don't love you anymore?"

It seems that one text that could shed some cintilla of light in this issue is the text of Matthew 22:32 where Jesus declares God as a God of the living and not the dead. This in the context of God declaring, years after the death of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that He is the God of the living, thus making Abraham, Isaac and Jacob living beings in His sight.

Since God is God of the living and the text implies the word "only", as in God of the "living only", the elect is always alive in God's presence. Those who are not God's, the unelect are then "dead" before God thus not elegible for His love. The text speaks of resurrection, which had not yet occured and Abraham, Issac and Jacob's bodies were still in the tomb. Yet they were alive to God as per Jesu's answer to the Sadducees.

Taking from the fact that God is the God of the living, the dead unelect are not loved by God since their "dead" for Him as God is not their God. How can we say that God loved the unelect when they were alive here on earth? If the Bible mentions such a thing as a second "death" and traditionally we assume that this is hell (and this is debatable) in Rev. 2:11, how can God be the God of the living and love the "dead"?

I know I am rambling and having a hard time to make my point. This issue of God's immutability, as I see it, has to be considered before we take the side of those who proclaim God's love for the unelect.

Again, I may not have made my point very clear because the issue is still boiling in my mind. Help!

Milt

tomas1
02-11-05, 04:52 AM
Milt
First we have to make a clear distinction between the "reprobate" and the "unsaved". Then, if we agree with those who say that God does have "some" or "all" sort of love for the reprobate (the unsavable unelect) we have to examine the issue of whether God remains loving them when they go to hell. If we conclude that He does, then there must be a show of biblical evidenciary material for such.

This question for me has always been bound up with the question of eternal conscious torment, and I whole-heartedly agree with you on this point. However as BT and others are discovering even that issue is not as cut and dried as many have been led to believe.

Isn’t it great to sometimes swim in the deep water? :p

Skeuos Eleos
02-11-05, 09:08 AM
Milt

First we have to make a clear distinction between the "reprobate" and the "unsaved". Then, if we agree with those who say that God does have "some" or "all" sort of love for the reprobate (the unsavable unelect) we have to examine the issue of whether God remains loving them when they go to hell. If we conclude that He does, then there must be a show of biblical evidenciary material for such.

This question for me has always been bound up with the question of eternal conscious torment, and I whole-heartedly agree with you on this point. However as BT and others are discovering even that issue is not as cut and dried as many have been led to believe.

Isn’t it great to sometimes swim in the deep water? :pIts also bound up with what exactly do we mean by God's 'immutability'. For example, is God being 'mutable' when it transpires that His revealed 'will' was not in accord with his decreed will? (e.g. "Pharaoah, let my people go")

So, here's a thought: God loves His elect, yet doesn't God manifest his wrath and anger towards elect unbelievers as a means to lead them to know of His love for them? Similarly then, I think it could be argued that though God hates the reprobate, He manifests His love towards them, that the wrath they subsequently experience is made all the more just and deserved. I don't see Calvin arguing this but then I don't fully understand the difference he makes between revealed / conditional will and secret will. If that is a difference he consistently points out elsewhere then perhaps it is simply assumed without being stated in the passages quoted? If this were true, then God's immutablity would not be challenged, i.e. the difference being between actual love towards them in His being vs. manifesting His nature, i.e. the God who IS love, toward them. I think this is what Charles was saying earlier but as is later acknowledged the quotes don't seem to bear this out. It just that I have read several other places in Calvin where he does speak of the difference between the secret and revealed will.

Well, I dunno really, I'm just trying to help old Calvin out coz' he ain't around to stick up for himself. :p

Let me know if you think I'm on to something or if I'm barking up the wrong tree in a blind alley without a paddle. :D

Martin

disciple
02-11-05, 01:15 PM
It just that I have read several other places in Calvin where he does speak of the difference between the secret and revealed will.but IS that what he is doing in those quotes? to me it sounds like he's contrasting two different aspects of God's love (i.e., there is a general aspect and a particular aspect). and this has nothing to do with the secret/revealed will.


Well, I dunno really, I'm just trying to help old Calvin out coz' he ain't around to stick up for himself. :p maybe he doesn't need any help. maybe we just need to work harder at understanding what exactly he's saying. it may be that high calvinists just don't have a category for this type of language and so according to their fixed system, calvin must either be a heretic, inconsistent, or, as many try to unsuccessfully demonstrate, doesn't really mean what he seems to mean (and then they proceed to bring in evidence from other contexts rather than discussing the texts in question...e.g., ray kikkert).

Ivor Thomas
02-11-05, 01:16 PM
The more i have read of Calvin, the more convinced i am his writings on this subject support Amyraldianism, According to Amyraut there exists a two fold will of God in predestination, a universal and conditional will, and a particular and unconditional will,. Infact Amyraut i was surprised to learn, believed Calvin had taught this. Any one not familiar with Amyraut will find his material on web, of course i am not recommending these men on this subject, but to bring to the light their error, not having a go at them, just wanting truth to shine through.Here is another quote from Calvin- It is true that Saint John saith generally, that [God] loved the world and why? for Jesus Christ offereth himself generally to all men without exception to be their redeemer...[sermons p.167 on Deuteronomy]... Ivor Thomas.

disciple
02-11-05, 02:46 PM
If we conclude that He does, then there must be a show of biblical evidenciary material for such.

If, however, we conclude that God does not continue to love the unsavable unelect (redundance intended) we are indeed making God mutable. Again, where is the scripture where God states: "I cease from loving you, or I don't love you anymore?"Please keep in mind the following:

Deut 7:7 The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

when you read these texts:

Hos 1:6 Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the LORD said to Hosea, “Call her Lo-Ruhamah (which means “not loved”), for I will no longer show love to the house of Israel, that I should at all forgive them.


Hos 9:15 “Because of all their wickedness in Gilgal, I hated them there. Because of their sinful deeds,I will drive them out of my house. I will no longer love them; all their leaders are rebellious.


2 Sam 7:15 But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.


Jer 12:7 “I will forsake my house, abandon my inheritance; I will give the one I love into the hands of her enemies. 8 My inheritance has become to me like a lion in the forest. She roars at me; therefore I hate her.


Ps 78:59 When God heard, He was filled with wrath and greatly abhorred Israel;

i guess the question we need to ask here when we insert a caveat such as this that is not really based on a specific text but a human understanding of a logical construct is, "what does it mean that God is immutable?" and do we properly understand what this doctrine refers/applies to when our construct does not allow room for such statements as those above?

Ivor Thomas
02-11-05, 04:09 PM
Far be it from me to say but i cant let the translation pass on, Hos;1:6 Lo-Ruhamah means pitied and it's mercy [not love] in the verse; and 2.Sam;7:15 is Mercy [not love]; Jer.12:7 at the end should read Hate it [not her] Ps.78:59 [filled] should not be there. It all makes a difference so we can know God is not mutable in his love for the elect, and hate for the reprobate. Ivor Thomas..

disciple
02-11-05, 04:59 PM
Far be it from me to say but i cant let the translation pass on, Hos;1:6 Lo-Ruhamah means pitied and it's mercy [not love] in the verse; andracham - to love, love deeply, have mercy, be compassionate, have tender affection, have compassion http://www.studylight.org/lex/heb/view.cgi?number=07355 used in ex 33.19, 2 ki 13.23, ps 18.1, 103.13, lam 3.32


2.Sam;7:15 is Mercy [not love];checed - covenant love; used in ex 34.6-7, num 14.18, deut 7.9, 12


Jer.12:7 at the end should read Hate it [not her]please provide evidence for this assertion. something other than the KJV. enlighten us on what the hebrew grammar is here. thanks.

and please tell us what is IT? what is the subject in the context? what does he say in v. 7 (I have forsaken My house, I have abandoned My inheritance; I have given the beloved of My soul Into the hand of her enemies) and how does that fit with your reading of v. 8?

i don't know the hebrew, but i can tell you that the LXX (greek) has the feminine here and not the neuter as you assert.


Ps.78:59 [filled] should not be there. It all makes a difference so we can know God is not mutable in his love for the elect, and hate for the reprobate. Ivor Thomas..so how should it read then? please provide grammatical evidence for why this is a bad translation of the hebrew. again, something other than the KJV. thanks.

so now God has wrath (or "is wroth" as the KJV has) and hatred for Israel that He said He loved at one time and promised His covenant love to. does this mean God changed?

Ivor Thomas
02-11-05, 05:19 PM
Should have said Lo-Ruhamah means Not pitied, also think you used the NIV, i believe my translation to be far superior to NIV, surprised you dont think this to be so. Mercy here in these verses dont mean love, in the way you imply. Ivor Thomas.

disciple
02-11-05, 05:35 PM
Should have said Lo-Ruhamah means Not pitied, also think you used the NIV, i believe my translation to be far superior to NIV, surprised you dont think this to be so. Mercy here in these verses dont mean love, in the way you imply. Ivor Thomas.if you're going to make comments on an improper translation, please provide the empirical evidence from the grammar to demonstrate this. if you are completely unfamiliar with the hebrew and only work with the KJV, then don't object to the translation just because it doesn't agree with your preferred english version (i.e., the KJV). because, as i'm sure you know, the Scriptures were not inspired in the KJV.

and it might help to do a little thinking about what the text is saying that God hates. for example, ask yourself what the subject is so you can logically deduct what/who it is that God hates (since you apparently don't know the hebrew). in the context it is very obvious who/what it is saying that God hates.

also, a quick comment about your objection to jer 12.7-8; there is no neuter in the hebrew. so just because the KJV has "it" does not mean the hebrew has "it." that's the folly in using an english translation as your measuring rod. it really gets you nowhere.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_language

Gender
Hebrew distinguishes between masculine nouns—such as yeled (="boy, child")—and feminine nouns—such as yaldah (="girl"). There is no neuter gender. Generally, almost all nouns that end in "ah" are feminine. Sometimes, as in the example, a feminine form can be formed through adding a final "ah" to a masculine noun (written as the letter "he").

From http://www.theology.edu/hebrew/hb03.htm (http://www.theology.edu/hebrew/hb03.htm)

Introduction to Gender


English is unusual among the world's languages in being mostly gender neutral. That is, only animate beings are thought of as either masculine or feminine. Most English nouns are neuter, and our verbal system does not distinguish between masculine or feminine subjects.

Hebrew, on the other hand, is not gender neutral at all. All nouns in Hebrew are either masculine or feminine and there is no neuter at all. Make a note of that. Additionally, the verbal system distinguishes between the masculine and feminine gender of the subjects in a sentence, as we will discover in later lessons. For the moment, you only need to think about the fact that all nouns, animate or not, are classified as either masculine or feminine.

Ivor Thomas
02-11-05, 05:55 PM
Dont want to argue with you if you think the NIV, is more correct than KJV, that shows me how much Hebrew you know, also it's your loss as far as i'm concerned, I know it says mercy in those passages and not love like the NIV has. And an whole bunch of study wont change my mind. Ivor Thomas...

Skeuos Eleos
02-11-05, 06:30 PM
And an whole bunch of study wont change my mind. Ivor Thomas...Isn't that a very dangerous attitude to take? And isn't this supposed to be a discussion forum? There would be no point in having any discussion if that is all everybody ever said to something they don't agree with. It's not as if you have presented any evidence for what you say. How do you expect people to take a dogmatically held position seriously if nothing is presented to back it up? Come on this is a discussion forum - I come here to learn. How is that helping?

Soli Deo Gloria,
Martin

wildboar
02-11-05, 06:50 PM
There are certainly changes in administration but not changes in God and I believe that is clearly what the 'beloved'/'not-beloved' refers to. God works out His covenant organically. God does not say to individuals "I will no longer love you" but He says so to nations and peoples. God from all eternity loved all of His elect but the way that was worked out externally has changed throughout history.

disciple
02-11-05, 10:14 PM
There are certainly changes in administration but not changes in God and I believe that is clearly what the 'beloved'/'not-beloved' refers to. God works out His covenant organically. God does not say to individuals "I will no longer love you" but He says so to nations and peoples. God from all eternity loved all of His elect but the way that was worked out externally has changed throughout history.then explain saul (2 sam 7.15).

disciple
02-11-05, 10:21 PM
Body of Divinity
book 1, chapter 12, sect, 2:

All that God has made is the object of his love; all the works of creation, when he had made them, he looked over them, and saw that they were good, “very good”, Genesis 1:31 he was well pleased, and delighted with them; yea, he is said to “rejoice in his works”, Psalm 104:31 he upholds all creatures in their beings, and is the Preserver of all, both men and beasts; and is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works, Psalm 36:6 145:9 and particularly, rational creatures are the objects of his care, love, and delight: he loves the holy angels, and has shown his love to them in choosing them to happiness; hence they are called “elect angels”, 1 Timothy 5:21 by making Christ the head of them, by whom they are confirmed in the estate in which they were created, Colossians 2:10 and by admitting them into his presence, allowing them to stand before him, and behold his face, Matthew 18:10 yea, even the devils, as they are the creatures of God, are not hated by him, but as they are apostate spirits from him: and so he bears a general love to all men, as they are his creatures, his offspring, and the work of his hands; he supports them, preserves them, and bestows the bounties of his providence in common upon them, Acts 17:28 14:17 Matthew 5:45 but he bears a special love to elect men in Christ; which is called his “great love”, Ephesians 2:4 whom he has chosen and blessed with all spiritual blessings in him, Ephesians 1:3,4 and which love is distinguishing and discriminating, Malachi 1:1,2 Romans 9:11,12.

disciple
02-11-05, 10:27 PM
Dont want to argue with you if you think the NIV, is more correct than KJV, that shows me how much Hebrew you know, also it's your loss as far as i'm concerned, I know it says mercy in those passages and not love like the NIV has. And an whole bunch of study wont change my mind. Ivor Thomas...i guess that settles it then. you've made your mind and that's that. and for the record, i'm the only one who is being honest here as i confessed i did not know hebrew. you, on the other hand, are pretending that you are an expert on translations and you cannot even give a shred of empirical evidence for your bold assertions. only that it reads different than the KJV. these kind of tactics make it very difficult to take you seriously and to take any time interacting with you.

wildboar
02-12-05, 12:09 AM
disciple:

As you know I don't know Hebrew either so I am at the mercy of lexicons and commentaries. The most recent lexicon I own is HALOT (2000) and it understands the word as primarily denoting loyalty or faithfulness. BDB (1906)thinks the word means goodness or kindness. Though love may often be related to each of these things it is not related to the essence of them. I can show loyalty or kindness to someone I have no love for. The prophecy had a primary fulfillment in Solomon and culminated in the Messiah whose kingdom will have no end.

TWOT (1980-my hope is built on nothing less than Scofield notes and moody press:p ) appears to disagree with me but provides an interesting summary of the research:



For centuries the word µesed was translated with words like mercy, kindness, love. The LXX usually uses eleos "mercy," and the Latin misericordia. The Targum and Syriac use frequently a cognate of ‰ob. The root is not found in Akkadian or Ugaritic. The lexicons up through BDB and GB (which said Liebe, Gunst, Gnade, love goodness, grace) are similar. KB however is the "mutual liability of those... belonging together."





In 1927 Nelson Glueck, shortly preceded by I. Elbogen, published a doctoral dissertation in German translated into English by A. Gottschalk, Hesed in the Bible with an introduction by G. A. LaRue which is a watershed in the discussion. His views have been widely accepted. In brief, Glueck built on the growing idea that Israel was bound to its deity by covenants like the Hittite and other treaties. He held that God is pictured as dealing basically in this way with Israel. The Ten Commandments, etc. were stipulations of the covenant, Israel's victories were rewards of covenant keeping, her apostasy was covenant violation and God's µesed was not basically mercy, but loyalty to his covenant obligations, a loyalty which the Israelites should also show. He was followed substantially by W. F. Lofthouse (1933), N. H. Snaith (1944), H. W. Robinson (1946), Ugo Masing (1954), and many others.





There were others, however, who disagreed. F. Assension (1949) argued for mercy, basing his views on the OT versions. H. J. Stoebe (doctoral dissertation 1951, also articles in 1952 VT and in THAT) argued for good-heartedness, kindness Sidney Hills and also Katherine D. Sakenfeld (The Meaning of µesed in the Hebrew, Bible, New Inquiry), held in general that µesed denotes free acts of rescue or deliverance which in prophetic usage includes faithfulness. For this historical survey and references see Sakenfeld pp. 1-13 (hereafter called Sak.); also LaRue in the book by Glueck (here called G.)





The writer would stress that the theological difference is considerable whether the Ten Commandments are stipulations to a covenant restricted to Israel to which God remains true and to which he demands loyalty, or whether they are eternal principles stemming from God's nature and his creation to which all men are obligated and according to which God will judge in justice or beyond that will show love, mercy and kindness.





On the meaning of our word µesed it is convenient to start, as G. and Sak. have done, with the secular usage, i.e. between man and man. Glueck argues that µesed is practiced in an ethically binding relationship of relatives, hosts, allies friends and rulers. It is fidelity to covenant obligations real or implied. Sakenfeld goes over the same material and concludes that indeed a relationship is present (love almost necessitates a subject-object relation) but that the µesed is freely given. "Freedom of decision" is essential. The help is vital, someone is in a position to help the helper does so in his own freedom and this "is the central feature in all the texts" (p. 45).





Glueck certainly seems to find obligation where there is none. Stoebe gives an extensive treatment of µesed in THAT (pp. 599-622) and remarks (p. 607) that 1Kings is an instance where µesed is unexpected. Benhaded was defeated. He could claim no obligation. He hoped for mercy, kindness, Stoebe cites the men of Jabesh also (2Sam 2:5). Saul had died in defeat. The care of Saul's body seems clearly to have been a free act of kindness.





Also Laban's willingness to send Rebekah to Isaac was not from any covenant obligation (though G. cites the appeal to providence in v. 50). It was a kindness to a long-lost relative. He could easily have said "no." The beautiful story of Ruth is tarnished by considering Ruth's action as motivated by contractual obligations. The Lord had no obligation to get the widows new husbands in Moab (Ruth 1:8-9). Ruth went with Naomi from pure love. Boaz recognized her action as goodness in Ruth 2:11-12 and calls it µesed in Ruth 3:10. Even Glueck inclined toward kindness here. The action of Rahab was kindness (Josh 2:12). Her loyalty would naturally and legally be to her king and city. The angels in Gen 19:19 were hardly bound by covenant obligation-or any obligation-to Lot. Indeed the basis of their action is said in v. 16 to have been their compassion (cf. Isa 63:9). In Gen 21:23 Abimelech cites his previous µesed as grounds for making the covenant with Abraham which required further µesed. Glueck makes something of 1Sam 20:8, 14, 15 where David and Jonathan swore friendship. This covenant, says G. was the basis of the µesed. Here, perhaps, is G's major mistake. He forgets that covenants arise on the basis of a relationship and that the obligations are often deeper than the covenant. Verse 17 shows that Jonathan's love moved him to make the covenant. When Jonathan died, David lamented for him out of love, not obligation (2Sam 1:26). David's µesed to Saul's house is said to be for the sake of Jonathan, not because of a legal obligation (2Sam 9:1, 3, 7). Glueck seems to miss the mark widely when he says it was neither grace nor mercy; it was brotherliness required by covenantal loyalty. Such a view has failed to see the depth of David's character. Stoebe calls it the spontaneous proof of a cordial friendly attitude ( herzlich freundlich Gesinnung). Other examples must be omitted, but they are similar. All parties agree that in Est 2:9, 17 the word is used of favor, kindness, but some try to make this usage unusual being post-exilic.





When we come to the µesed of God, the problem is that of course God was in covenant relation with the patriarchs and with Israel. Therefore his µesed can be called covenant µesed without contradiction. But by the same token God's righteousness, judgment, fidelity, etc. could be called covenant judgment, etc. The question is, do the texts ascribe his µesed to his covenants or to his everlasting love? Is not µesed as Dom Sorg observed (see Bibliography) really the OT reflex of "God is love"?





A prominent early usage is in God's declaration of his own character: Exo 20:6 parallel to Deut 5:10 and also Exo 34:6-7. These passages are discussed by G., Sak. and Stoebe from the viewpoint of documentary division first. But aside from this Sak. emphasizes the freedom of God's µesed. in all these passages. She notes the proximity to words for mercy in Exo 34:6-7 and remarks that it is "this aspect of God's µesed (as his mercy) which takes on greater importance in exilic and postexilic writing"-of which she envisions a good bit-(p. 119). However, she considers Exo 20 and Deut 5 as in a "covenantal context" (p. 131) and holds that "those who are loyal (loving) will receive µesed while those who are disloyal (hating) will be punished" (p. 131). She is led into this covenantal emphasis by the prior idea that since secular treaties speak of love, brotherhood and friendship between suzerain and vassal, that therefore these are covenant words and show that a covenant was at least implied. This view forgets that love is a covenant word because kings borrowed it from general use to try to render covenants effective. They tried to make the vassal promise to act like a brother, friend and husband. It does not follow that God's love is merely a factor in a covenant; rather the covenant is the sign and expression of his love. McCarthy more acceptably says, "the form of the Sinai story in Exo 19-24 which is reflected in the text without later additions does not bear out the contention that the story reflects an organization according to covenant form." His view is that the power and glory of Yahweh and the ceremonies conducted effected the union "more than history, oath, threat and promise" (Mccarthy, D. J., Treaty and Covenant, Pontif. Bib. Inst., ed. of 1963, p. 163).





The text itself of Exo 20 and Deut 5 simply says that God's love (µesed) to those who love him (°ąhab) is the opposite of what he will show to those who hate him. The context of these commands is surely God's will for all mankind, although his special care, indeed his covenant, is with Israel. That µesed refers only to this covenant and not to the eternal divine kindness back of it, however, is a fallacious assumption.





The text of Exo 34:6-7 is fuller and more solemn, coming as it does after the great apostasy. It was a tender revelation of God's self to Moses. Sakenfeld is right here "that forgiveness must always have been latent [at least!] in the theological usage of µesed even before the exile (p. 119). The association with divine mercy is surely patent in the words and in the context of the occasion of the apostasy. The word raµűm with its overtones of mother love, and µannűn "grace" combined with the phrase "slow to anger" all emphasize the character of God who is love. He is great in µesed and °emet (of which more later). He keeps µesed for thousands which is immediately related to forgiveness of sin. That all this simply says that God keeps his oath seems trivial. The oath is kept because it is the loving God who speaks the oath.





Sakenfeld nicely brings together the several passages dependent on Exo 34:6-7. They are: Num 14:18-19; Neh 9:17; Psa 86:15; Psa 103:8; Psa 145:8 (cf. 9 and 10); Joel 2:13; and Jon 4:2. Of these passages, only Psa 86:15 includes the word °emet after µesed. They all speak of the love of the Lord and some mention his forgiveness. None specifically ground the µesed in covenant.





The phrase µesed and °emet "truth" mentioned above is thought by some to argue for the concept of loyalty or fidelity in µesed. It occurs some twenty-five times with about seven more in less close connection. Most agree it is a hendiadys and one noun serves to describe the other. Therefore the phrase means "faithful love" or "true kindness" or the like. Kindness and faithfulness is a fair equivalent hendiadys in English. The combination hardly seems to further the idea of fidelity to a covenant in the word µesed. If the term already meant that, why would the qualifier "faithful" be added? Usually, as in the usage µesed alone, there is no covenant expressed to which fidelity is due. It is alleged in 1Kings 3:3, but although God's µesed to David in making his son king was indeed according to covenant; it was also according to his love which lay back of his covenant. The text does not ascribe it to covenant loyalty. Stoebe points out in Psa 89 that the covenant of v. 3 is based on the µesed of v. 2 [H 4 and 3] (THAT, p. 615).





Another pair of nouns is covenant, b®rît, and µesed used seven times with some other instances of use in near contexts. The main instance is Deut 7:9, 12 which has echoes in 1Kings. 8:23; 2Chr 6:14; Neh 1:5; Neh 9:32; and Dan 9:4. It itself is called by Stoebe (THAT, p. 616) a paraphrase of Exo 34:6. He remarks that Deut 7:8 ready bases all God's favor on his love. If this pair be translated "covenantal love" or "covenant and love," it should be remembered that the love is back of the covenant. This point is illustrated by Jer 2:2 where the µesed of Israel's youth is likened to the love of a bride. The love of a bride is the basis of the promise, not the result.





It should be mentioned that µesed is also paired about fifteen times with nouns of mercy like raµűm, e.g. Psa 103:4; Zech 7:9 (and cf. Exo 34:6-7 above), µ˘n, e.g. Gen 19:19; Psa 109:12 tanµűm, Psa 94:18-19; etc. These instances usually stand as paired nouns not really in an adjectival relation. The implication is that µesed is one of the words descriptive of the love of God.





So, it is obvious that God was in covenant relation with Israel, also that he expressed this relation in hesed, that God's µesed was eternal (Note the refrain of Psa 136) -though the µesed of Ephraim and others was not (Hos 6:4). However, it is by no means clear that µesed necessarily involves a covenant or means fidelity to a covenant. Stoebe argues that it refers to an attitude as well as to actions. This attitude is parallel to love, raµűm goodness, ‰ôb, etc. It is a kind of love, including mercy, µannűn, when the object is in a pitiful state. It often takes verbs of action, "do," "keep," and so refers to acts of love as well as to the attribute. The word "lovingkindness" of the KJV is archaic, but not far from the fulness of meaning of the word.

Bob Higby
02-12-05, 01:24 AM
Ivor:
According to Amyraut there exists a two fold will of God in predestination, a universal and conditional will, and a particular and unconditional will,

To me it is clear that this is different from Calvin's distinction. Calvin proposes a sovereign vs. commanded will of God in certain places (with which I also disagree and don't believe scripture teaches); however, this is not the same thing as Amyraut's distinction between conditional (universal) and unconditional (particular) will.

God's will is his PASSION, PURPOSE, LUST, not mere commandments. It includes his commands only insofar as he has ordained believers to walk in them. But God has commanded many things that are not his will to be fulfilled.

The concept of God's will being 'missed' in the NT synoptics and other writings only refers to the fact that the kingdom of grace (the heart of God's passion, purpose, and lust) is missed by many. Only those who do his will (fulfill his passionate purposes in believing and obeying the covenant gospel) will enter the kingdom.

I have no trouble with the OT scriptures on God's changing love and wrath; these are in the context of the Old Covenant which was created for the purpose of being destroyed. In the Old Covenant arrangement God's favor was stated as being dependent on man's (especially Israel's) faithfulness or lack of it. :cool:

GraceAmbassador
02-12-05, 01:26 AM
Please keep in mind the following:

Deut 7:7 The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

when you read these texts:

Hos 1:6 Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the LORD said to Hosea, “Call her Lo-Ruhamah (which means “not loved”), for I will no longer show love to the house of Israel, that I should at all forgive them.


Hos 9:15 “Because of all their wickedness in Gilgal, I hated them there. Because of their sinful deeds,I will drive them out of my house. I will no longer love them; all their leaders are rebellious.


2 Sam 7:15 But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.


Jer 12:7 “I will forsake my house, abandon my inheritance; I will give the one I love into the hands of her enemies. 8 My inheritance has become to me like a lion in the forest. She roars at me; therefore I hate her.


Ps 78:59 When God heard, He was filled with wrath and greatly abhorred Israel;

i guess the question we need to ask here when we insert a caveat such as this that is not really based on a specific text but a human understanding of a logical construct is, "what does it mean that God is immutable?" and do we properly understand what this doctrine refers/applies to when our construct does not allow room for such statements as those above?
Thanks for responding and thank you for correcting me in the spelling of "caveat".

I will read your reply with time because I do think you raise a couple of issues that I could have overlooked. It is 2:30AM in Michigan and I just came back from working and have no condition of reasoning. My body is not obeying the commands of my brain at this hour. I will get back to the issue.

Milt

Ivor Thomas
02-12-05, 04:23 AM
Isn't that a very dangerous attitude to take? And isn't this supposed to be a discussion forum? There would be no point in having any discussion if that is all everybody ever said to something they don't agree with. It's not as if you have presented any evidence for what you say. How do you expect people to take a dogmatically held position seriously if nothing is presented to back it up? Come on this is a discussion forum - I come here to learn. How is that helping?

Soli Deo Gloria,
Martin Martin i presented Gods word as we have it, go back and read over the posts, are you saying the word,is [love and not mercy]?, what i meant by bunch of study would not change my mind, is because i have done a bunch of study. And one of the results is i know the KJV IS Superior or more reliable than the NIV. Thanks for your encouragement:rolleyes: , Martin i find your position on this thread rather puzzling in your posts, you need to take a stance one way or the other,hope you take the right one of course :D Ivor Thomas...

harald
02-12-05, 06:02 AM
Ivor (and all). While it may indeed be true the KJV is more faithful than NIV in general, this does not then mean KJV is right every time and NIV (or some other version) is always in the wrong. Consider this. As for the particular passage at hand I have not studied it so therefore will not say anything on it this or that way. I would have to study it to give my opinion, which for the record is only mine, not necessarily God's Yea and Amen.

As for this thing with God's "love" towards all or only the elect. I am not familiar with the Hebrew word(s) rendered "love". But am somewhat familiar with those of the Greek testament. I am not sure if it is right in the light of the Greek Testament to say that God has "phileo" love towards the non-elect. Neither am I sure whether it is right to say He has "agape" love towards the same. I know He has both towards His elect. But my take would be that God is nowhere said to have "phileo" love towards the non elects. I have learnt that the two are not exactly the same. Phileo and its cognates I believe have more to do with affection(s). One version, ALT, distinguishes between the two Greek verbs agapaO and phileO. I recall it was by rendering phileO as "to love affectionately", and the former as "to love". I think this may be a distinction quite to the point. AgapaO would then be more a love which springs from principle, not so much from the affections. It is interesting that the in the Greek Testament there is a commandment by Christ to his disciples to "love" (agapaO) their enemies. But no similar command to "phileO" them. Which I take to mean that disciples of Christ were commanded to love their enemies from principle, but not to love them affectionately as though emotionally delighting in their ungodly persons and works.

Thus mine own take is that the agap- root words has to do with an intent or determinate love which springs from principle and volition. It is a love which has something to do with obligation. The phile- root words has to do with a love which has bearing on the emotions and affections principally. Like "to be fond of", "to cherish", "to love affectionately" etc.
Thus I think it impossible for God to have "phileo" towards ungodly ones. He just cannot delight in them for what they are in and of themselves. But if the same ungodly are elects He may (and in fact does/did) have "agape" love towards them while they are still ungodly. When He has regenerated them He will, I believe, show "phileo" love towards them. Agape love on God's part is at the root of the atonement He provided in Christ for His own. Not phileo.

So, because at least the Greek Testament makes distinction between these two "loves" then it would be wise for you who debate to define what sort or kind of love you have in mind when you use the English (general) "love" here in connection with whether or not God "loves" all men without exception or no.


Harald

disciple
02-12-05, 01:25 PM
Martin i presented Gods word as we have it, go back and read over the posts, are you saying the word,is [love and not mercy]?, what i meant by bunch of study would not change my mind, is because i have done a bunch of study. And one of the results is i know the KJV IS Superior or more reliable than the NIV.do you not see that this is just circular reasoning?! and if you have indeed done "a bunch of study" then surely you should be able to provide some evidence? and out of curiosity, how did you do "a bunch of study" and not know hebrew to verify whether or not it is truly a superior translation? i would agree that it was a superior translation for the 17th century...but the NIV is a superior translation for the 21st century. we just don't speak elizabethan englishs any longer. anyway, i can see that discussing this with you is a complete waste of time since you are dishonest and will not produce any evidence for your strong assertions. that communicates to me that you cannot be taken seriously and that your assertions are baseless.

disciple
02-12-05, 01:26 PM
...the word as primarily denoting loyalty or faithfulness. BDB (1906)thinks the word means goodness or kindness. Though love may often be related to each of these things it is not related to the essence of them.

the essence of them? by this do you mean that it is not part of the semantic range of the word? and what of the other words? this only attempts to explain away HESED (unsuccessfully i might add).



and this does not escape the logical quandry that God was loyal, faithful, good, kind, gracious, etc. (all synonyms for or expressions of love/affection) at one time and then was not. in other words, He changed. and whether or not it is the OC and even in the wrangling about the words, the logical conclusion is inescapable that He changed His disposition toward someone (both nations and individuals). so if we don't have a problem with this type of language applied to God in the OT, then we shouldn't have a problem using that type of language (for we find it in the NT as well, cf. John 3:16-36, Eph 2.1-10, etc.).



here are some other lexicons for each word and it is quite obvious that love/affection is definitely part of the semantic range (the essence) of each word used in the examples:

2 Sam 7:15
LOVING-KINDNESS


A. Noun.

checed (2617), “loving-kindness; steadfast love; grace; mercy; faithfulness; goodness; devotion.” This word is used 240 times in the Old Testament, and is especially frequent in the Psalter. The term is one of the most important in the vocabulary of Old Testament theology and ethics.

The Septuagint nearly always renders checed with eleos (“mercy”), and that usage is reflected in the New Testament. Modern translations, in contrast, generally prefer renditions close to the word “grace.” kjv usually has “mercy,” although “loving-kindness” (following Coverdale), “favor,” and other translations also occur. rsv generally prefers “steadfast love.” niv often offers simply “love.”

In general, one may identify three basic meanings of the word, which always interact: “strength,” “steadfastness,” and “love.” Any understanding of the word that fails to suggest all three inevitably loses some of its richness. “Love” by itself easily becomes sentimentalized or universalized apart from the covenant. Yet “strength” or “steadfastness” suggests only the fulfillment of a legal or other obligation.

The word refers primarily to mutual and reciprocal rights and obligations between the parties of a relationship (especially Yahweh and Israel). But checed is not only a matter of obligation; it is also of generosity. It is not only a matter of loyalty, but also of mercy. The weaker party seeks the protection and blessing of the patron and protector, but he may not lay absolute claim to it. The stronger party remains committed to his promise, but retains his freedom, especially with regard to the manner in which he will implement those promises. Checed implies personal involvement and commitment in a relationship beyond the rule of law.

Marital love is often related to checed Marriage certainly is a legal matter, and there are legal sanctions for infractions. Yet the relationship, if sound, far transcends mere legalities. The prophet Hosea applies the analogy to Yahweh’s checed to Israel within the covenant (e.g., 2:21). Hence, “devotion” is sometimes the single English word best capable of capturing the nuance of the original. The rsv attempts to bring this out by its translation, “steadfast love.” Hebrew writers often underscored the element of steadfastness (or strength) by pairing checed with ˒emet (“truth, reliability”) and ˒emunah (“faithfulness”).

Biblical usage frequently speaks of someone “doing,” “showing,” or “keeping” checed. The concrete content of the word is especially evident when it is used in the plural. God’s “mercies,” “kindnesses,” or “faithfulnesses” are His specific, concrete acts of redemption in fulfillment of His promise. An example appears in Isa. 55:3: “… And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.”

Checed has both God and man as its subject. When man is the subject of checed, the word usually describes the person’s kindness or loyalty to another; cf. 2 Sam. 9:7: “And David said … I will surely show thee [Mephibosheth] kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake.…” Only rarely is the term applied explicitly to man’s affection or fidelity toward God; the clearest example is probably Jer. 2:2: “Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, thus saith the Lord; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness.…” Man exercises checed toward various units within the community—toward family and relatives, but also to friends, guests, masters, and servants. Checed toward the lowly and needy is often specified. The Bible prominently uses the term checed to summarize and characterize a life of sanctification within, and in response to, the covenant. Thus, Hos. 6:6 states that God desires “mercy [rsv, “steadfast love”] and not sacrifice” (i.e., faithful living in addition to worship). Similarly, Mic. 6:8 features checed in the prophets’ summary of biblical ethics: “… and what doth the Lord require of thee, but … to love mercy..?”

Behind all these uses with man as subject, however, stand the repeated references to God’s checed. It is one of His most central characteristics. God’s loving-kindness is offered to His people, who need redemption from sin, enemies, and troubles. A recurrent refrain describing God’s nature is “abounding/plenteous in checed" (Exod. 34:6; Neh. 9:17; Ps. 103:8; Jonah 4:2). The entire history of Yahweh’s covenantal relationship with Israel can be summarized in terms of checed. It is the one permanent element in the flux of covenantal history. Even the Creation is the result of God’s checed (Ps. 136:5-9). His love lasts for a “thousand generations” (Deut. 7:9; cf. Deut. 5:10 and Exod. 20:6), indeed “forever” (especially in the refrains of certain psalms, such as Ps. 136).

Words used in synonymous parallelism with checed help to define and explain it. The word most commonly associated with checed is ˒emet (“fidelity; reliability”): “… Let thy loving-kindness [checed] and thy truth [˒emet] continually preserve me.” ˒Emunah with a similar meaning is also common: “He hath remembered his mercy [checed] and his truth [˒emunah] toward the house of Israel.…” This emphasis is especially appropriate when God is the subject, because His checed is stronger and more enduring than man’s. Etymological investigation suggests that checed˒s primitive significance may have been “strength” or “permanence.” If so, a puzzling use of checed in Isa. 40:6 would be explained: “All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field.”

The association of checed with “covenant” keeps it from being misunderstood as mere providence or love for all creatures; it applies primarily to God’s particular love for His chosen and covenanted people. “Covenant” also stresses the reciprocity of the relationship; but since God’s checed is ultimately beyond the covenant, it will not ultimately be abandoned, even when the human partner is unfaithful and must be disciplined (Isa. 54:8, 10). Since its final triumph and implementation is eschatological, checed can imply the goal and end of all salvation-history (Ps. 85:7, 10; 130:7; Mic. 7:20).

The proper noun Hacdiah (1 Chron. 3:20) is related to checed The name of Zerubbabel’s son means “Yahweh is faithful/gracious,” a fitting summary of the prophet’s message.
[Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W. (1996). Vine's complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words. Nashville: T. Nelson.]

· Jer 12:17
3342יְדִדוּת (yedidut): n.fem.; ≡ Str 3033; TWOT 846c—LN 25.33-25.58 beloved one, i.e., a dearly loved one as the object of one’s affection (Jer 12:7+)
[Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.]

· Hos 1:6
8163רָחַם (racham): v.; ≡ Str 7355; TWOT 2146—1. LN 25.33-25.58 (qal) love, i.e., have feeling or attitude of strong affection toward an object, based on an association or relationship, which can manifest an act. of kindness toward the object of one’s love and affection (Ps 18:2[EB 1]+); (pual) be loved (Hos 2:3[EB 1]; 2:25[EB 23]+); 2. LN 88.75-88.82 (piel) have compassion on, show mercy, take pity on, show love, i.e., have feelings and actions of kindness and concern for one in difficulty, regardless of one’s state of guilt for an offense, usually based in a relationship or association (Ex 33:19(2×); Dt 13:18[EB 17]; 30:3; 1Ki 8:50; 2Ki 13:23; Ps 102:14[EB 13]; 103:13(2×); 116:5; Isa 9:16[EB 17]; 13:18; 14:1; 27:11; 30:18; 49:10, 13, 15; 54:8, 10; 55:7; 60:10; Jer 6:23; 12:15; 13:14; 21:7; 30:18; 31:20(2×); 33:26; 42:12; 50:42; La 3:32; Eze 39:25; Hos 1:6, 7; 2:6[EB 4],25[EB 23]; Mic 7:19; Hab 3:2; Zec 1:12; 10:6+); (pual) find compassion, find mercy (Pr 29:13; Hos 14:4[EB 3]+)
[Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.]

· Hos 9:15
170 אָהַב (˒ahab): v.; ≡ Str 157; TWOT 29—1. LN 25.33-25.58 (qal) love, i.e., have an affection based on a close relationship, sometimes in comparison to other persons with a lesser relationship (Ge 22:2; 24:67; 25:28; Est 2:17), note: this relationship can be familial, proper romance, or attraction; (qal pass.) be loved (Dt 21:15(2×),16; Ne 13:26; Hos 3:1+); 2. LN 25.1-25.11 (qal) like, i.e., have a desire for an object based in desirability, with a focus on a preference of one thing over another (Ge 27:4), note: qal ptcp. as noun, see 170.5; nif ptcp. as adj. 2Sa 1:23+, see 5533.5; piel ptcp. as a noun, see 4396.5; for another noun, see also 173
[Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.]

TO LOVE


· A. Verb.

˒ahab (157), or ˒aheb (157), “to love; like.” This verb occurs in Moabite and Ugaritic. It appears in all periods of Hebrew and around 250 times in the Bible.

Basically this verb is equivalent to the English “to love” in the sense of having a strong emotional attachment to and desire either to possess or to be in the presence of the object. First, the word refers to the love a man has for a woman and a woman for a man. Such love is rooted in sexual desire, although as a rule it is desire within the bounds of lawful relationships: “And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her …” (Gen. 24:67). This word may refer to an erotic but legal love outside marriage. Such an emotion may be a desire to marry and care for the object of that love, as in the case of Shechem’s love for Dinah (Gen. 34:3). In a very few instances ˒ahab (or ˒aheb) may signify no more than pure lust—an inordinate desire to have sexual relations with its object (cf. 2 Sam. 13:1). Marriage may be consummated without the presence of love for one’s marriage partner (Gen. 29:30).

˒Ahab (or ˒aheb) seldom refers to making love (usually this is represented yada˒, “to know,” or by shakab, “to lie with”). The word does seem to have this added meaning, however, in 1 Kings 11:1: “But King Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh …” (cf. Jer. 2:25). Hosea appears to use this nuance when he writes that God told him to “go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress …” (3:1). This is the predominant meaning of the verb when it appears in the causative stem (as a participle). In every instance except one (Zech. 13:6) ˒ahab (or ˒aheb) signifies those with whom one has made or intends to make love: “Go up to Lebanon, and cry; and lift up thy voice in Bashan, and cry from the passages: for all thy lovers are destroyed” (Jer. 22:20; cf. Ezek. 16:33). ˒Ahab (or ˒aheb) is also used of the love between parents and their children. In its first biblical appearance, the word represents Abraham’s special attachment to his son Isaac: “And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest …” (Gen. 22:2). ˒Ahab (or ˒aheb) may refer to the family love experienced by a daughter-in-law toward her mother-in-law (Ruth 4:15). This kind of love is also represented by the word racham˒Ahab (or ˒aheb) sometimes depicts a special strong attachment a servant may have toward a master under whose dominance he wishes to remain: “And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free …” (Exod. 21:5). Perhaps there is an overtone here of family love; he “loves” his master as a son “loves” his father (cf. Deut. 15:16). This emphasis may be in 1 Sam. 16:21, where we read that Saul “loved [David] greatly.” Israel came “to love” and deeply admire David so that they watched his every move with admiration (1 Sam. 18:16).

A special use of this word relates to an especially close attachment of friends: “… The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” (1 Sam. 18:1). In Lev. 19:18: “… Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself..” (cf. Lev. 19:34; Deut. 10:19) ˒ahab (or ˒aheb) signifies this brotherly or friendly kind of love. The word suggests, furthermore, that one seek to relate to his brother and all men according to what is specified in the law structure God gave to Israel. This was to be the normal state of affairs between men.

This verb is used politically to describe the loyalty of a vassal or a subordinate to his lord— so Hiram of Tyre “loved” David in the sense that he was completely loyal (1 Kings 5:1).

The strong emotional attachment and desire suggested by ˒ahab (or ˒aheb) may also be fixed on objects, circumstances, actions, and relationships.


B. Noun.

˒ahabah (160), “love.” This word appears about 55 times, and it represents several kinds of “love.” The first biblical occurrence of ˒ahabah is in Gen. 29:20; there the word deals with the “love” between man and wife as a general concept. In Hos. 3:1 the word is used of “love” as a sexual activity. ˒Ahabah means “love” between friends in 1 Sam. 18:3: “Then Jonathan and David made a covenant because he loved him as his own soul.” The word refers to Solomon’s “love” in 1 Kings 11:2 and to God’s “love” in Deut. 7:8.


C. Participle.

˒ahab (157), “friend.” This word used as a participle may mean “friend”: “… The rich hath many friends” (Prov. 14:20).
[Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W. (1996). Vine's complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words. Nashville: T. Nelson.]

disciple
02-12-05, 02:11 PM
Ivor (and all). While it may indeed be true the KJV is more faithful than NIV in general,but this is an a priori assumption. there has been no evidence to substantiate this claim.


I am not sure if it is right in the light of the Greek Testament to say that God has "phileo" love towards the non-elect. Neither am I sure whether it is right to say He has "agape" love towards the same. I know He has both towards His elect. But my take would be that God is nowhere said to have "phileo" love towards the non elects. I have learnt that the two are not exactly the same. Phileo and its cognates I believe have more to do with affection(s).i'm sorry but this is just a fallacy in lexical semantics. for AGAPAW is used in this way in Mat 5.43ff (Lk 6.32ff), John 3.16, and Mark 10.21. attached is a paper i wrote for seminary on the subject of AGAPAW/FILEW.

Ivor Thomas
02-12-05, 02:39 PM
do you not see that this is just circular reasoning?! and if you have indeed done "a bunch of study" then surely you should be able to provide some evidence? and out of curiosity, how did you do "a bunch of study" and not know hebrew to verify whether or not it is truly a superior translation? i would agree that it was a superior translation for the 17th century...but the NIV is a superior translation for the 21st century. we just don't speak elizabethan englishs any longer. anyway, i can see that discussing this with you is a complete waste of time since you are dishonest and will not produce any evidence for your strong assertions. that communicates to me that you cannot be taken seriously and that your assertions are baseless. Doug has a moderater you should know the Rules you have called me dishonest in front of this forum, I want an apology, I produced what was right the scriptures,I repeat it says Mercy not love, you call me DISHONEST because I sincerely believe it to be so. Ivor Thomas..

disciple
02-12-05, 02:57 PM
Doug has a moderater you should know the Rules you have called me dishonest in front of this forum, I want an apology, I produced what was right the scriptures,I repeat it says Mercy not love, you call me DISHONEST because I sincerely believe it to be so. Ivor Thomas..what are you talking about? you have produced nothing but an english translation you prefer and given no evidence for your strong assertions. in addition, you have pretended to be an expert on these issues and are not being up front about your ignorance of the hebrew to be able to make these authoritative assertions. you'll get no apology from me simply because there is absolutely nothing for me to apologize for. besides, here are what the rules state (http://www.5solas.org//media.php?id=313):

No 'people bashing'
It's ok to feel angry, sad, or irritated and express yourself with words. It's ok to tell someone that you think they are wrong, teaching heresy, perverting the truth, or maybe a bit confused.
What you may not do is use insults, harrassment, derogatory comments, obscenity, profanity, excessive sarcasm, facetious remarks, or any hurtful jab to make a point.

i am doing the former (which is allowed), not the latter. so please put up, or shut up. provide the evidence or stop making bare assertions. that's using "good form" in debate/discussion.

Flynn
02-12-05, 03:16 PM
G'day Ivor,

If the KJV says its mercy, and apparently its inerrant as you see it, please define the word mercy for us? What is the mercy of God?

Thanks
Flynn

Ivor Thomas
02-12-05, 03:25 PM
what are you talking about? you have produced nothing but an english translation you prefer and given no evidence for your strong assertions. in addition, you have pretended to be an expert on these issues and are not being up front about your ignorance of the hebrew to be able to make these authoritative assertions. you'll get no apology from me simply because there is absolutely nothing for me to apologize for. besides, here are what the rules state (http://www.5solas.org//media.php?id=313):

No 'people bashing'
It's ok to feel angry, sad, or irritated and express yourself with words. It's ok to tell someone that you think they are wrong, teaching heresy, perverting the truth, or maybe a bit confused.
What you may not do is use insults, harrassment, derogatory comments, obscenity, profanity, excessive sarcasm, facetious remarks, or any hurtful jab to make a point.

i am doing the former (which is allowed), not the latter. so please put up, or shut up. provide the evidence or stop making bare assertions. that's using "good form" in debate/discussion.You have said that i am Dishonest and a waste of time, you have insulted me and caused mistrust towards me on this forum, i have not been Dishonest toward you, for a second time i ask you to apologise. Ivor Thomas..

disciple
02-12-05, 03:39 PM
You have said that i am Dishonest and a waste of time, you have insulted me and caused mistrust towards me on this forum, i have not been Dishonest toward you, for a second time i ask you to apologise. Ivor Thomas..again, there is nothing to apologize for. if you would just provide evidence for your claims rather than employing cavalier dismissal because you've done "a bunch of study" then there wouldn't be any issue. it is you that have caused mistrust towards you on this forum because you pretend to be an expert but will provide no evidence (other than a quote from the KJV which you hold as the standard by a priori). so you have no one to blame but yourself. please cease trying to force an apology out of me because the solution to this issue lies in your power alone.

Ivor Thomas
02-12-05, 03:41 PM
G'day Ivor,

If the KJV says its mercy, and apparently its inerrant as you see it, please define the word mercy for us? What is the mercy of God?

Thanks
Flynn Hello Flynn i never said the KJV was inerrant, I find it to be more reliable, well Flynn you can go vines or strongs or some other for definition of Mercy, But then of course, what ever context you find it in scriptures, would have to be taken into account dont you think. Thanks Ivor Thomas

harald
02-12-05, 04:39 PM
Doug and Ivor. I will not try to sort out your apparent disagreement. You will have to do it yourselves. But I think you, Doug, have spoken to Ivor, who is much elder than yourself, as though there existed nothing such as obligation for respect towards such as are elder than yourself (age-wise), irrespective of the fact of your being a moderator. To say that Ivor is "dishonest" is to say he is not an honest man, but something else. What "empirical evidence" (a favourite term of yours by the way) have you to put forth that this is in fact true of Ivor? You could have worded yourself more carefully and not state so dogmatically that he is "dishonest".


Harald

harald
02-12-05, 04:54 PM
Doug. As for KJV vs. NIV I did say my opinion that KJV "in general" is more faithful. I do not say always. I can quickly point out one area where in the NT the KJV is far superior to the NIV, and that is soteriology, including the doctrine of justification before God. Just think of all those passages where NIV darkens counsel by rendering "pisteôs Ięsou Christou" as "faith IN Jesus Christ". Just to support the common "evangelical" heterodoxy of justification before God by or thru faith in Christ.

Your one and a half page document was not much helpful. Things that are different are not the same. God the Holy Spirit was not in the business of tautology. When He for some reason inspired some penman to use this word instead of that word He obviously had a good reason. As for OIDA (eidô) and GINOOSKOO they are by far not the same. If you claim they are then I say you have not learned your Greek vocabulary aright. KJV btw very much darkens counsel in the NT by rendering both verbs "know". Perhaps so also with other versions. At least NIV does so in 1John where both verbs are much used by John. Both versions thusly neglect to distinguish between things that differ, having been translated by men who were reprobate concerning the faith.



Harald

GraceAmbassador
02-12-05, 07:16 PM
Please keep in mind the following:

Deut 7:7 The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

when you read these texts:

Hos 1:6 Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the LORD said to Hosea, “Call her Lo-Ruhamah (which means “not loved”), for I will no longer show love to the house of Israel, that I should at all forgive them.


Hos 9:15 “Because of all their wickedness in Gilgal, I hated them there. Because of their sinful deeds,I will drive them out of my house. I will no longer love them; all their leaders are rebellious.


2 Sam 7:15 But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.


Jer 12:7 “I will forsake my house, abandon my inheritance; I will give the one I love into the hands of her enemies. 8 My inheritance has become to me like a lion in the forest. She roars at me; therefore I hate her.


Ps 78:59 When God heard, He was filled with wrath and greatly abhorred Israel;

i guess the question we need to ask here when we insert a caveat such as this that is not really based on a specific text but a human understanding of a logical construct is, "what does it mean that God is immutable?" and do we properly understand what this doctrine refers/applies to when our construct does not allow room for such statements as those above?Doug: I love debating with you! Even if I always lose, I always GAIN! Now that I am slightly more lucid than last night (if that is at all possible) let me answer you the way I know how:

If God changes (or mutates) his feelings for His people, (assuming you agree with me that the Hebrews in the O.T. were God's elect) is that the same thing as God loving the reprobate and then changing this love after they go to hell, if such a mutation really occurs? If this indicates God's "mutability", then what to say about God loving people to hell!

Without falling into the fallacies already mentioned here about biblical words (see, my son gave me Carson's book on Exegetical Fallacies at Christimas 2003 and I use it often...) how can we define or equate the love/hate/wrath/anger God feels for His elect people with the love that He has for the unelect (assuming again this loves exists)?

If I love my son, but am angered with him momentarily and discipline him (although not using the word hate) does that mean that I am mutating my feelings toward him? Does that mean I am fleeting inconsistent. volatile and unreliable in my feelings? I know this is a parablblical example. You know it is my style often to use these examples for understanding purposes, but it is a valid one.

Also, although we are discussing Calvin's teachings on a particular issue, first and foremost I should check your opinion on this: Do you think God loves the reprobate to hell?

Doug, I am not an expert in anything... Or a specialist on anything... I am an oxymoronic "especialist in generalities":cool: . A specialist (or an expert) is someone who knows much about very little.:D

I hope we can dispell tensions a bit here; thus I often tend to use humor for such purpose... I pray it works.

Milt

ray kikkert
02-12-05, 09:05 PM
maybe he doesn't need any help. maybe we just need to work harder at understanding what exactly he's saying. it may be that high calvinists just don't have a category for this type of language and so according to their fixed system, calvin must either be a heretic, inconsistent, or, as many try to unsuccessfully demonstrate, doesn't really mean what he seems to mean (and then they proceed to bring in evidence from other contexts rather than discussing the texts in question...e.g., ray kikkert).
If one has his blinders on and focuses his attention on one specific text of Calvin one can easily build a heretical exegesis. Fortunate for the church of Christ, that truth was built upon when this specific verse was uttered as evidence by the calumniators throughout church history against the truth of Scripture. It is no wonder the reformers at the synod of Dort added this text under the first head of doctrine being predestination or divine election and reprobation. They knew what it meant. By faith so do I. I do not need four levels of understanding to grasp the intent of Scripture here. Simply faith or unbelief. Take the blinders off and see the bigger picture like Romans 9:13. Our forefathers did and that is part of sound reformed exegetical glory and honor to God , not Calvin.

greetings and salutations el rana

Bob Higby
02-13-05, 10:53 AM
Doug:
and this does not escape the logical quandry that God was loyal, faithful, good, kind, gracious, etc. (all synonyms for or expressions of love/affection) at one time and then was not. in other words, He changed. and whether or not it is the OC and even in the wrangling about the words, the logical conclusion is inescapable that He changed His disposition toward someone (both nations and individuals). so if we don't have a problem with this type of language applied to God in the OT, then we shouldn't have a problem using that type of language (for we find it in the NT as well, cf. John 3:16-36, Eph 2.1-10, etc.).

For you this is a logical quandry, for many of us is is not. I do not accept paradox as a valid hermeneutic in interpreting scripture. If I were to do so, my faith would ultimately perish.

What are your a-priori assumptions on this, Doug? The greatest scholars disagree on interpreting the translation. I'm interested in hermeneutical method based on the WHOLE of scripture and progressive revelation (culminating in God's final gospel revelation to Paul). If one is not a Paulinist and wants to pose a paradox of scripture arguing against scripture, any interpretation can be justified.

GraceAmbassador
02-13-05, 11:19 AM
Doug:
and this does not escape the logical quandry that God was loyal, faithful, good, kind, gracious, etc. (all synonyms for or expressions of love/affection) at one time and then was not. in other words, He changed. and whether or not it is the OC and even in the wrangling about the words, the logical conclusion is inescapable that He changed His disposition toward someone (both nations and individuals). so if we don't have a problem with this type of language applied to God in the OT, then we shouldn't have a problem using that type of language (for we find it in the NT as well, cf. John 3:16-36, Eph 2.1-10, etc.).

For you this is a logical quandry, for many of us is is not. I do not accept paradox as a valid hermeneutic in interpreting scripture. If I were to do so, my faith would ultimately perish.

What are your a-priori assumptions on this, Doug? The greatest scholars disagree on interpreting the translation. I'm interested in hermeneutical method based on the WHOLE of scripture and progressive revelation (culminating in God's final gospel revelation to Paul). If one is not a Paulinist and wants to pose a paradox of scripture arguing against scripture, any interpretation can be justified.
Right again Bill!

I have to add to this conversation that a change in "God's disposition" is not the same as God changing as an overall divine being. I hope I made myself clear. (See a few posts above).

I provided a family situation event to aid my point and the understanding thereof.

I don't want to be repetitious, but my disagreement with Doug (as I perceive it) lies on the fact that He believes that the changing of God's disposition towards His people, whereas He still maintained His promises and decrees about and to them, is the same as the possibility of God loving the reprobate, to whom He made not, nor maintained any promise of a "deliverance" or a "messiah" in the future, whether it be spiritual or natural, and then hating them when they are in hell.

If, otherwise, God continues to love them while in hell, I would like to see some proof that God has any feelings or interest for the "dead" based upon the scripture I provided of Mat 22:32, which, in my humble view IS relevant to this discussion.

The summary of my point is: God's changing His disposition towards His people is not the same as God loving/hating the reprobate, thus it does not prove that God changes, or that God is "changeable". We MUST be careful not to fall into the pit of open-theism (this is not a straw-man, please).

Pauline Gospel shows that God is faithful even under blunt unfaithfulness. But that faithfulness is directed to and exclusive of the Elect.

I hope I was capable of expressing myself clearly. I am sorry if after reading Bill Twisse's post, I jumped into answering my own questions to Doug that I aksed in a previous post without giving him the courtesy of waiting for an answer.

Milt

disciple
02-13-05, 11:34 AM
To say that Ivor is "dishonest" is to say he is not an honest man, but something else. What "empirical evidence" (a favourite term of yours by the way) have you to put forth that this is in fact true of Ivor? You could have worded yourself more carefully and not state so dogmatically that he is "dishonest".it is there for all to see. he makes a claim and gives no basis for it. i will summarize it:

his claim: the verses are translated wrong
his basis: it doesn't agree with the KJV
my request: provide grammatical evidence from the original why the translation is wrong
his answer: i've already done a bunch of study and don't need to tell you about it

wildboar
02-13-05, 12:49 PM
Doug:

As I'm sure you already know, you can't read the entire lexical range of a word into a word each time it appears in Scripture. If that were so, everytime I read the word luw I would have to conclude that whatever the object of that verb was was going to be released, destroyed, and atoned for. Words must be interpreted in context. The idea of loyalty if properly understood removes the logical problem. A certain outward loyalty can be exhibited for a time period without an inward love toward a person. God for a time upheld Saul as king and upheld him in that position but Christ's reign is eternal. We must also acknowledge the anthropomorphisms that are found in the Scriptures. There is debate among scholars as to what the word means and as far as I know none of the scholars are involved in the discussion we are having. If I could be shown from Scripture that there is a very certain teaching that God shows His love to the non-elect then I will modify my theology but if this teaching is based on a verse which is disputed I'm not going to modify my theology to accomodate a person's opinion about what the word means.

wildboar
02-13-05, 12:53 PM
doug:

I lost track of the instances where you believed other words referred to God's love for the reprobate, could you post them again?

Flynn
02-13-05, 01:40 PM
If one has his blinders on and focuses his attention on one specific text of Calvin one can easily build a heretical exegesis. Fortunate for the church of Christ, that truth was built upon when this specific verse was uttered as evidence by the calumniators throughout church history against the truth of Scripture. It is no wonder the reformers at the synod of Dort added this text under the first head of doctrine being predestination or divine election and reprobation. They knew what it meant. By faith so do I. I do not need four levels of understanding to grasp the intent of Scripture here. Simply faith or unbelief. Take the blinders off and see the bigger picture like Romans 9:13. Our forefathers did and that is part of sound reformed exegetical glory and honor to God , not Calvin. greetings and salutations el rana
G'day Ray,
Its interesting that you say one specfic text. Ive shown you a dozen or so over the last month, but you just ignore them. Youve yet to show anyone what exactly from Calvin you think refutes his other statements on general love. But you mention forefathers. I wonder if you think that Ursinus, the principle author of the Heidelberg catechism, to which you must subscribe, as part of the three forms of unity, when he says:

"Merciful. God's appears in this: 1. That he wills the salvation of all men. 2. That he defers punishment, and invites all to repentance. 3. That he accomedates himself to our infirmity. 4. That he redeems those called into his service. 5. That he gave and delivered up to death his only begotten Son. 6. That he promises and does all these things most freely out of his mercy. 7. That he confers benefits upon his enemies and such as are unworthy of his regard...

"Bountiful. God is said to be bountiful; 1. Because he creates and preserves all things. 2. Because he confers benefits upon all, even upon the wicked. 3. Because of the free and boundless love which he exercises towards his creatures, especially to man. 4. Because of the love which he cherished towards the church, and in giving them eternal life and glory to his people."

Ursinus, Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism, p., 127.

He has a threefold love of God there: love to the creature, love to man, love to the elect. ray, is there any mainstream Reformed theologian prior to 1924, whose writings are in English today, for fairness sake, whom you think denied this three-fold view of love? Is there any that you respect, which are acessible in English today that we can accept as a common starting point for meaningful dialogue? Eg, Polanus, a' Brakel, Turretin, Heppe, Witsius, Bavinck, Owen, etc. Anyone you think is representative, autoritatively, of pre-1924 Reformed theology?

Take care,
Flynn

Flynn
02-13-05, 01:47 PM
doug:

I lost track of the instances where you believed other words referred to God's love for the reprobate, could you post them again? Jer 12:7-8, Hos 1:6, and Hos 9:15, with 2 Sam 7:15. The Brown-Drive-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon defines hesed, when divinely expressed to persons as "loving-kindness," and lists 2 Sam 7:15 as an example of this.

Hos 9:15 has the Hebrew word ahav (sometimes spelt ahab) which means love. The literal wording is, I shall ceasing joining my love to them, that also applies to Hos 1:6, where the Hebrew is racham, which in its verbal form means love: see the BDD again on this. Here too Yahweh says I will cease joining my love to them.

God ceases to love them. It does not mean he never loved them, but that he stopped loving them, hence this is why every translation words it this way.

Hope that helps,
Flynn

wildboar
02-13-05, 02:00 PM
Jer. 12:7-8, Hos. 1:6, and Hos. 9:15 all speak of God's organic dealings in His plan of salvation. As Israel existed as the church of the old dispensation God loved her, but Israel's rebelliousness grew and grew and God called a people to himself which were not previously his people and saved people out of every nation tribe and tongue. Just as a minister stands before the congregation and adresses them as God's people and offers God's blessing knowing full well there are those who are not God's people among the congregation, so God adresses his people organically. Hos. 9:15 shows that it is impossible for God to both love and hate a person simultaneously. It certainly couldn't be used to show a general love of God for mankind since the passages are adressing specific groups who God now hates instead of loves.

disciple
02-13-05, 02:05 PM
Your one and a half page document was not much helpful. Things that are different are not the same. God the Holy Spirit was not in the business of tautology. When He for some reason inspired some penman to use this word instead of that word He obviously had a good reason.it wasn't meant to be THE definitive treatment on the subject. also, i'm not saying that the words are perfect synonyms but that in some contexts there is almost no distinction. for example, both AGAPAW and FILEW are used to describe the Father's love for the Son. out of curiosity, using john 21 as an example, what would you say is the Holy Spirit inspired distinction between the synonyms in that text (as described in my paper)? what precisely do the different terms mean? and do you not allow variation of language for stylistic reasons?

Flynn
02-13-05, 02:13 PM
Jer. 12:7-8, Hos. 1:6, and Hos. 9:15 all speak of God's organic dealings in His plan of salvation. As Israel existed as the church of the old dispensation God loved her, but Israel's rebelliousness grew and grew and God called a people to himself which were not previously his people and saved people out of every nation tribe and tongue. Just as a minister stands before the congregation and adresses them as God's people and offers God's blessing knowing full well there are those who are not God's people among the congregation, so God adresses his people organically. Hos. 9:15 shows that it is impossible for God to both love and hate a person simultaneously. It certainly couldn't be used to show a general love of God for mankind since the passages are adressing specific groups who God now hates instead of loves. G'day Wild,

No one is using this or the other verses to prove a general love for mankind, but only to respond to the claim that God could never love the reprobate, else he would be mutable. So that aside, so who was actually hated? Was the object of God's hatred here anyone in particular? Whom exactly did he hate here in Hos 9:15?

And with respect to Saul, where Yahweh says he has taken his lovingkindess from Saul, how does your answer address this?

Thanks
Flynn

Flynn
02-13-05, 02:26 PM
Hello Flynn i never said the KJV was inerrant, I find it to be more reliable, well Flynn you can go vines or strongs or some other for definition of Mercy, But then of course, what ever context you find it in scriptures, would have to be taken into account dont you think. Thanks Ivor Thomas
G'day Ivor,

How do you know that the KJV here is more accurate than any other translation on 2 Sam 7:15 for example? Most of them express the Hebrew, hesed, as some form of love, eg, lovingkindness, loyal love, or just love?

But that aside. If the argument is that if God were to love the reprobate yet cease in that love to them, else he would be mutable, how it not also the case that if God is merciful to the reprobate, yet ceases in that love, he is not also subject to the claim that he is now mutable? How does the mercy of 2 Sam 7:15 and Hos 1:6 (as the KJV translates it) compatible with that electing and unconditional and never-ending mercy of Roms 9?

One more thing, the KJV is actually not consistent here. For the 2 Sam 7:15 covenant promise to David is repeated by David in Ps 89:33. There David refers to that promise made by Yahweh to David, back to God. But here the KJV correctly translates the same Hebrew word "hesed" as lovingkindness, so then why should we not make the most natural conclusion that the mercy of 2 Sam 7:15 and the lovingkindess of Ps 89:33, being from the same Hebrew word hesed (spelt chesed in the 19th C) is not the same in meaning?

Compare:

2 Sam:
7:12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy
fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of
thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.
7:13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne
of his kingdom for ever.
7:14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I
will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the
children of men:
7:15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from
Saul, whom I put away before thee.
7:16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever
before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
7:17 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did
Nathan speak unto David.


Psalm:
89:32 Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity
with stripes.
89:33 Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him,
nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.
89:34 My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of
my lips.
89:35 Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David.
89:36 His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.
89:37 It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful
witness in heaven. Selah.

take care,
Flynn

Ivor Thomas
02-13-05, 03:32 PM
Hello again Flynn i have several Translations, and happen to think NIV is a bad one, but thats just my choice, Has for Saul Gods Loving kindness [Mercy] was on display in time towards him, and not FOR Him. God does not change, he did not love Saul and then not love him, as for David Gods Mercy was toward him and for him, everlastingly, Mercy fits the context better, of who David was and who Saul was, in these verses under debate. There does not seem to me to be any conflict in the use of MERCY here,but there is with use of love. Thanks Ivor Thomas...

Ivor Thomas
02-13-05, 04:22 PM
it is there for all to see. he makes a claim and gives no basis for it. i will summarize it:

His claim: the verses are translated wrong
His basis: it doesn't agree with the KJV
My request: provide grammatical evidence from the original why the translation is wrong
his answer: i've already done a bunch of study and don't need to tell you about it Doug i never said this last line, this is adding to me what i have not said to you, you have put words around bunch of study, to make me look and say something i have not, look and see if it can be found this- line that finishes [and don't need to tell you about it] this is lies.. Ivor Thomas..

Flynn
02-13-05, 04:32 PM
Hello again Flynn i have several Translations, and happen to think NIV is a bad one, but thats just my choice, Has for Saul Gods Loving kindness [Mercy] was on display in time towards him, and not FOR Him. God does not change, he did not love Saul and then not love him, as for David Gods Mercy was toward him and for him, everlastingly, Mercy fits the context better, of who David was and who Saul was, in these verses under debate. There does not seem to me to be any conflict in the use of MERCY here,but there is with use of love. Thanks Ivor Thomas...
G'day Ivor,

Where do you get it was 'towards' him, but not 'for' him? What exegetical, lexical or theological basis are you making that determination?

And what does it mean to have love toward someone, but not for someone? Can you give me a biblical example of this toward but not for love?

By what context do you say mercy fits the context better? All the standard Hebrew lexicons note that hesed here means love. By what determination are you saying that it should be mercy?

And I am still trying to figure out mercy somehow does not make God mutable if he took it away from Saul, and yet love would make God make him mutable if he took that away from Saul. And I am still trying to figure how this mercy matches the electing mercy, which is uncheangeable, in Roms 9.

Take care,
Flynn

Ivor Thomas
02-13-05, 04:52 PM
G'day Ivor,

Where do you get it was 'towards' him, but not 'for' him? What exegetical, lexical or theological basis are you making that determination?

And what does it mean to have love toward someone, but not for someone? Can you give me a biblical example of this toward but not for love?

By what context do you say mercy fits the context better? All the standard Hebrew lexicons note that hesed here means love. By what determination are you saying that it should be mercy?

And I am still trying to figure out mercy somehow does not make God mutable if he took it away from Saul, and yet love would make God make him mutable if he took that away from Saul. And I am still trying to figure how this mercy matches the electing mercy, which is uncheangeable, in Roms 9.

Take care,
Flynn Then look at Romans 9:17 about Phar-aoh, might help in your figuring hope so. Ivor Thomas...

Flynn
02-13-05, 06:03 PM
Then look at Romans 9:17 about Phar-aoh, might help in your figuring hope so. Ivor Thomas...
G'day Ivor,

Can you answer any of my questions? Citing this verse does nothing to help me understand the rationale behind any of your assertions. What does love toward but not for mean? How could mercy be taken from him? How does the mercy given to Saul and to an entire nation at one point (hos 1:6), and then taken away, match the mercy in Roms? To be clear, I dont believe mercy is the correct translation of hesed here, but I am using mercy for the sake of the discussion.

Ivor, can you provide some reasoning for your assertions? Why should I believe you? Just because you say so, makes it so?

Take care
Flynn

disciple
02-13-05, 06:21 PM
If one has his blinders on and focuses his attention on one specific text of Calvin one can easily build a heretical exegesis. Fortunate for the church of Christ, that truth was built upon when this specific verse was uttered as evidence by the calumniators throughout church history against the truth of Scripture. It is no wonder the reformers at the synod of Dort added this text under the first head of doctrine being predestination or divine election and reprobation. They knew what it meant. By faith so do I. I do not need four levels of understanding to grasp the intent of Scripture here. Simply faith or unbelief. Take the blinders off and see the bigger picture like Romans 9:13. Our forefathers did and that is part of sound reformed exegetical glory and honor to God , not Calvin.

greetings and salutations el ranaso since you're making the assertion (that i have my blinders on and only focusing my attention on one specific text of Calvin...wait, aren't you doing the same thing, rom 9.13, which actually you have not provided a quotation of but have simply told me to go see...i would call this special pleading), then the burden of proof is on you to do three things:

explain what calvin et al means in the quotes provided
provide quotes which demonstrate that calvin et al believed that Christ did not in any sense die for all people without exclusion and that God did not in any sense love all people without exclusion.
* please note that providing a quote which states that Christ died for the elect or that God loves the elect does not prove your case. this is the fallacy of disjunctive syllogism (http://www.tektonics.org/logical_fallacies.html#350) or something like that since you cannot prove the negative of one premise by the positive of a separate inverse premise.).
post the quote in question on rom 9.13 from calvin that demonstrates that calvin believed that Christ in no sense died for all people without exclusion and that God in no sense loves all people without exclusion.

Ivor Thomas
02-13-05, 06:22 PM
G'day Ivor,

Can you answer any of my questions? Citing this verse does nothing to help me understand the rationale behind any of your assertions. What does love toward but not for mean? How could mercy be taken from him? How does the mercy given to Saul and to an entire nation at one point (hos 1:6), and then taken away, match the mercy in Roms? To be clear, I dont believe mercy is the correct translation of hesed here, but I am using mercy for the sake of the discussion.

Ivor, can you provide some reasoning for your assertions? Why should I believe you? Just because you say so, makes it so?

Take care
Flynn Wait a bit Flynn go back and look you bought Romans 9 into the discussion, so i pointed you to verse 17 , you have to understand it , as you said you are figuring it out. all your proof is of one translation that you accept against the translation i accept. Because i can cite lexicons etc that give me the use of the word mercy, but as i say you bought Romans in, so please dont say that i am making assertions, just trying to discuss thats all. Ivor Thomas..

disciple
02-13-05, 06:39 PM
For you this is a logical quandry, for many of us is is not. I do not accept paradox as a valid hermeneutic in interpreting scripture. If I were to do so, my faith would ultimately perish.then please demonstrate how this is not a logical quandary for your system.


What are your a-priori assumptions on this, Doug? The greatest scholars disagree on interpreting the translation.what translation? and what do you mean about my a priori assumptions? could you clarify? i'm just posting the text of Scripture in response to milt. they seem pretty clear to me.


I'm interested in hermeneutical method based on the WHOLE of scripture and progressive revelation (culminating in God's final gospel revelation to Paul). If one is not a Paulinist and wants to pose a paradox of scripture arguing against scripture, any interpretation can be justified.so again, i ask, how are these verses to be understood within your framework? also i'd be interested in hearing what your or brandan have to say about the john gill quote. and while i'm at it, i'll post another in the next post.

disciple
02-13-05, 06:43 PM
And though there are various gifts and blessings, and effects of it, it is but one in God: there is but one Fountain, from whence they all flow. With respect to creatures, the objects of it, some distinctions are made concerning it, as of natural and “supernatural” grace. Natural grace seems to sound oddly, and unless guarded against, may tend to confound nature and grace together; but rightly applied and understood, may be admitted. What Adam enjoyed, in a state of integrity, above the rest of creatures, was all owing to the unmerited kindness and goodness of God, and so may be called grace; as the image of God, in which he was created; his holiness and righteousness; knowledge and understanding; the communion he had with God, and his dominion over the creatures; and yet it was all natural: so many things which his posterity in their fallen state enjoy, being altogether owing to the free favour and undeserved goodness of God, may be called grace: to have a being, and life, and the preservation of it, and the mercies of life, as food and raiment, which men are altogether unworthy of, are gifts and favours; and so may bear the name of grace, though only natural blessings. “Supernatural” grace includes all the blessings of grace bestowed upon any of the sons of fallen Adam; and all the graces of the Spirit wrought in them; and which will easily be allowed to be supernatural. But that Adam had any such, in a state of innocence, for my own part, I cannot see; though some are of this opinion. Again, grace is, by some, distinguished into “common” or “general”, and “special” or “particular”. “Common” or “general” grace, if it may be so called, is what all men have; as the light of nature and reason, which every man that comes into the world is enlightened with; the temporal blessings of life, the bounties of providence, called the riches of God’s goodness, or grace, Romans 2:4 which all partake of, more or less; and the continuance and preservation of life; for “God is the Saviour of all men”, 1 Timothy 4:10.

Body of Divinity, book 1, Chapt 13, Introductory section.

disciple
02-13-05, 06:48 PM
As I'm sure you already know, you can't read the entire lexical range of a word into a word each time it appears in Scripture. If that were so, everytime I read the word luw I would have to conclude that whatever the object of that verb was was going to be released, destroyed, and atoned for. Words must be interpreted in context.you are correct, i am already aware of this. i am not trying to commit an unwarranted adoption of an expanded semantic field or illegitimate totality transfer. but i'm also trying to be careful that i don't commit an unwarranted restriction of the semantic field (i would say that i would entertain the discussion that HESED in 2 Sam 7:15 may not have "love" as its primary emphasis). also, i'm trying to balance your statement that love is not part of the essence of HESED (whatever this might mean).


The idea of loyalty if properly understood removes the logical problem. A certain outward loyalty can be exhibited for a time period without an inward love toward a person. God for a time upheld Saul as king and upheld him in that position but Christ's reign is eternal. We must also acknowledge the anthropomorphisms that are found in the Scriptures. There is debate among scholars as to what the word means and as far as I know none of the scholars are involved in the discussion we are having. If I could be shown from Scripture that there is a very certain teaching that God shows His love to the non-elect then I will modify my theology but if this teaching is based on a verse which is disputed I'm not going to modify my theology to accomodate a person's opinion about what the word means.so this objection appears to only involve HESED (2 Sam 7:15), what about the other texts? how shall we explain those away?

tomas1
02-13-05, 06:53 PM
Disciple do these quotes come from your own research or do you have a resource on high Calvinism that you are using? I find them all very interesting

Peace

disciple
02-13-05, 07:00 PM
doug:

I lost track of the instances where you believed other words referred to God's love for the reprobate, could you post them again?go see Jer 12.7-8, Hos 1.6, 9.15. from one page back:

Jer 12.7-8: 3342יְדִדוּת (yedidut): n.fem.; ≡ Str 3033
Hos 1.6: 8163רָחַם (racham): v.; ≡ Str 7355
Hos 9.15: 170 אָהַב (˒ahab): v.; ≡ Str 157

Brandan
02-13-05, 07:09 PM
Everyone who hates what I believe loves to throw that quote by Gill at me - especially on Pal Talk. I don't know what Gill was thinking when he wrote that, but I think he's wrong :) I have no problems if "grace" means goodness (which is what Gill is saying I believe), but I don't like using that terminology.

Also Doug, you can see that I have addressed this quote here at this link: http://www.predestinarian.net/showthread.php?t=1851

- Brandan

disciple
02-13-05, 07:24 PM
Doug i never said this last line, this is adding to me what i have not said to you, you have put words around bunch of study, to make me look and say something i have not, look and see if it can be found this- line that finishes [and don't need to tell you about it] this is lies.. Ivor Thomas..it is true that those were not all of your exact words which was why i did not provide quotes. but why have you not provided the evidence that both flynn, skeuos, and i have requested? evidence that is required when such an assertion is made. if it is just your favorite or preferred translation then that is a different story altogether. but if you are saying it is "wrong" (inaccurate, incorrect, etc.) in a particular place then you must (are required) provide the evidence otherwise your assertion is without foundation and must be thrown out (withdrawn). and it is for this reason that it is difficult for people to take you seriously because you make definitive assertions and yet when pressed provide zero evidence.

so will you provide the evidence or won't you? and if you will not, will you withdraw your claim that the TNIV (it is not the NIV) is inaccurate here? these are your only options. so what will it be?

Flynn
02-13-05, 07:44 PM
Wild said:


The idea of loyalty if properly understood removes the logical problem. A certain outward loyalty can be exhibited for a time period without an inward love toward a person. God for a time upheld Saul as king and upheld him in that position but Christ's reign is eternal. We must also acknowledge the anthropomorphisms that are found in the Scriptures. There is debate among scholars as to what the word means and as far as I know none of the scholars are involved in the discussion we are having. If I could be shown from Scripture that there is a very certain teaching that God shows His love to the non-elect then I will modify my theology but if this teaching is based on a verse which is disputed I'm not going to modify my theology to accomodate a person's opinion about what the word means.
you are correct,...[ cut cut ](i would say that i would entertain the discussion that HESED in 2 Sam 7:15 may not have "love" as its primary emphasis). also, i'm trying to balance your statement that love is not part of the essence of HESED (whatever this might mean).

so this objection appears to only involve HESED (2 Sam 7:15), what about the other texts? how shall we explain those away? Hang on a sec. Wild is wrong there. It cant merely mean loyalty without love. The logic of the synstax is clear and strong. I will not take my hesed from... whom... David and his heirs. That first defines the nature of this hesed, unless you want to say tha the loyalty God expressed to David was loveless. So that first defines the nature of the hesed, its not mere loyalty, without love. Then it says, as I took it... the hesed, from Saul. If the hesed means mere loyalty with no love for Saul, then it must also mean the same for David and his seed. To assert that hesed changes in its essential definitional meaning like that is the strongest form of equivocation, which is unstated by the author, hence double equivocation.

Secondly, who in the academic world is disputing this verse? And the Hebrew just cant be treated in this manner, that hesed here means loyalty apart from love.

This verse clearly say that God will not turn aside his lovingkindness from David and his seed, Solomon, as he took it away from Saul.

Flynn

Flynn
02-13-05, 07:47 PM
Wait a bit Flynn go back and look you bought Romans 9 into the discussion, so i pointed you to verse 17 , you have to understand it , as you said you are figuring it out. all your proof is of one translation that you accept against the translation i accept. Because i can cite lexicons etc that give me the use of the word mercy, but as i say you bought Romans in, so please dont say that i am making assertions, just trying to discuss thats all. Ivor Thomas..
So Ivor, am I to now assume that the only reason you dont agree that the hebrew means lovingkindness is because you choose not to believe it? You have not given a single objective reason for why you think it should be mercy and not lovingkindness. I would ask you, if you were in my shoes, listening to someone just offer a purely subjective opinion, why should you believe the claims he makes?

Flynn

Flynn
02-13-05, 08:00 PM
Everyone who hates what I believe loves to throw that quote by Gill at me - especially on Pal Talk. I don't know what Gill was thinking when he wrote that, but I think he's wrong :) I have no problems if "grace" means goodness (which is what Gill is saying I believe), but I don't like using that terminology.


But he doesnt does he. He expressly declares what Grace means:

The grace of God may be considered as displayed in acts of goodness
towards his creatures, especially men; and is no other than his free
[i]favour and good will to men; it is no other than love unmerited and
undeserved, exercising and communicating itself to them in a free and
generous manner; which they are altogether unworthy of. There are
many things called grace, and the grace of God, because they flow
from his grace, and are the effects of it...

He defines it as that love, goodwill of God, and free favour. Then he says:
"And though there are various gifts and blessings, and effects of it [the grace as he has just defined it], it is but one in God: there is but one Fountain, from whence they all flow." Then immediately he discusses non-electing common/general grace and electing grace.

And when you connect this what he says of the general love of God, which is extended to all creatures, even to the apostate spirits, Gill is more than clear. He never meant a bare providence, but a disposition of love and grace to all which is non-electing. He means by common grace, that general love and favour which God extends to all creatures, including reprobate men and apostate angels.

Gill denies Darth.

Take care
Flynn

wildboar
02-13-05, 08:15 PM
disciple:

I already explained the Hosea and Jeremiah passages at least twice in this thread so I thought there must be some other passages which were being referred to. My goal is not to explain them away but to determine what they are saying from the context before allowing them to be used as some sort of theological proof-text. Anyhow, in regard to my interpretation of Hosea and Jeremiah it has little to do with belief in differences in meanings of the words in the passage and a great deal to do with my hermeneutic and the covenant theology that is found throughout all of Scripture. God does not just deal with individuals. He deals with families and nations and countries. Israel found a special spot as the object of God's love in the Old Testament. He saved His people almost exclusively out of that nation. When He adressed Israel in the OT He would often adress them all as believers just as in the NT the author of the epistle will adress the church generally as if all were believers. And so as an organic whole (although there were often more reprobate than elect in the nation) God adressed Israel as His people and is said to love them. As an organic whole He also rejected them as they fell into greater and greater outward apostacy and removed His love from them as a nation.


Hang on a sec. Wild is wrong there. It cant merely mean loyalty without love. The logic of the synstax is clear and strong. I will not take my hesed from... whom... David and his heirs. That first defines the nature of this hesed, unless you want to say tha the loyalty God expressed to David was loveless. So that first defines the nature of the hesed, its not mere loyalty, without love. Then it says, as I took it... the hesed, from Saul. If the hesed means mere loyalty with no love for Saul, then it must also mean the same for David and his seed. To assert that hesed changes in its essential definitional meaning like that is the strongest form of equivocation, which is unstated by the author, hence double equivocation. There is not it in Hebrew, granted, but sur here is semitic idiom for removing and turning aside. The it is added and no translation or scholar would suggest there is a problem here.
This does not logically follow. I'm not saying that hesed cannot be accompanied by love, I'm saying that it is not necessary to have hesed toward someone in order to have love. God most certainly loved David but that is not the emphasis of the passage nor is it the meaning of the word. The passage is speaking of God's loyalty. You lose all credibility when you say "no translation or scholar would suggest there is a problem here." I already posted an entry from TWOT showing the various positions of various scholars as to what the meaning of the word is. Anytime I hear the phrase "All scholars agree that..." I know I'm not being told the truth anyhow since "all" scholars can't agree on anything. I can easily say to an employer who I have no love for that I will give my hesed to them and say to another person that I do love that I will give my hesed to them as well.

Brandan
02-13-05, 09:42 PM
Gill denies Darth.I don't know who you are Flynn. But if you had read my other posts on the topic you would also know what else Gill had to say about God's disposition toward the reprobate. If Gill taught what you think is "common grace", then he clearly contradicts himself numerous times!

Flynn
02-13-05, 09:47 PM
I don't know who you are Flynn. But if you had read my other posts on the topic you would also know what else Gill had to say about God's disposition toward the reprobate. If Gill taught what you think is "common grace", then he clearly contradicts himself numerous times!
G'day Darth,

No matter if Gill contradicted himself or not. He did say God loves the non-elect in the senses he outlines. He expressly says that God bears toward them a non-electing love and favour and goodwill. Its just not right to try and make him mean bare goodness.

take care
Flynn

Flynn
02-13-05, 09:58 PM
disciple:


[cut cut] God does not just deal with individuals. He deals with families and nations and countries. Israel found a special spot as the object of God's love in the Old Testament. He saved His people almost exclusively out of that nation. When He adressed Israel in the OT He would often adress them all as believers just as in the NT the author of the epistle will adress the church generally as if all were believers. And so as an organic whole (although there were often more reprobate than elect in the nation) God adressed Israel as His people and is said to love them. As an organic whole He also rejected them as they fell into greater and greater outward apostacy and removed His love from them as a nation.

In the Jewish mind, a nation is collection of individuals. In the Jewish mind, a nation is not an abstraction, something considered apart from the individuals. And so, the object of God's hatred in these verses denotes a collection of individuals, who constitute, families, clans, and nations. When it says he hated them, he means a certain collection of particulars. Of these same particulars, he says he ceases adding his love to them. When you use the term organic, you actually imply that God stopped loving no one in particular.

Thus, the question is this, is this text teaching us that God stopped loving no one in particular? Is that what you want to say?

You know the Arminians say that when it comes to the election of God, in Roms 9, God only elects nations, but not individuals. How is your reasoning here any different?



This does not logically follow. I'm not saying that hesed cannot be accompanied by love, I'm saying that it is not necessary to have hesed toward someone in order to have love.

Strange sentences. You want to say that hesed can come with love; implying that it may not come with love. And: one can show love without showing hesed love. Okay; sure. But hesed entails love. The concept of love is inseparable from the definition of hesed. You can add covenant loyalty, for sure. But its covenant love loyalty. And here is here is an example of hesed love loyalty. Hesed cannot be separated from love, compassion, kindess. Thats what the word denotes.

Ive read TWOT, can you show me where hesed means a loyalty without love? a loyalty without or apart from the underlying attitude of compassion and love? Thats what I would like to get clarified from you. If I have misread you, that you are not trying to say that hesed means here merely a loyalty without love, sorry.

take care,
Flynn

GraceAmbassador
02-13-05, 10:39 PM
Thus, the question is this, is this text teaching us that God stopped loving no one in particular? Is that what you want to say? I was going to drop out of this thread since I have aprehended all that I feel I can take, but I want to use Flynn's quote above to add a little wood to the fire, (if not atomic fuel) by the following:

Should not the question above be:

"...the question is: is this text teaching that God stopped loving no one in particular, or as a whole nation even when at the same time keeping the promise of a Messiah?"

If this is really "hate" as we discuss here as being the "hate" with which He hates the reprobate with, or hated His people with then what to say of His love when He demonstrated His love towards us (them) even when we were sinners... or when when we were children of wrath, dead in our trespasses and sins but He quickened us? (I am sure we are all familiar with these texts). That's my point that I am having such a hard time to express (at least as I wanted to be able to express).

Those texts do not indicate a "change" in God.
Can we say the same about the reprobate? God is still unchangeable in that HHe savingly loves His elect but at the same time He "is temporalily good" to the reprobate, or, as I call it, God has a truce a self imposed truce towards the reprobate. (Truce in the very nature of the word: a temporary cessation of hostilities). I think I have made my mind up on this...

When we were corresponding with Phil Johnson in the other thread, I emailed to him my opinion on this subject and posted a suggestion for a comparison between the text of Isaiah 61 and the quotation of Isaiah 61 Jesus uses in the New Testament. The part that says: ..."and the day of the veangeance of the Lord..." is left out by Jesus. Either Jesus was prone to misquote scriptures or He simply is the truce and declared the time of a truce. In this period the reprobate will enjoy the goodness of God and will prosper to the awe and astonishement of many. I will not call this "love" in the same level of LOVE as in God's love for His elect.

The above is how I reconcile this issue and it is what I will teach taking full responsibiltiy for my teaching before God.

Scholarship and translations are not helping here. What I have been able to capture has been from scriptures provided by Doug and the comments of Wildboar and Bill Twisse. My position has been taken, my made is made up.

Milt

Flynn
02-13-05, 10:41 PM
PS, And its for this reason we have lovingkindness in Ps 89:33, where David recites the divine oath first given in 2 Sam 7:15.
take care
Flynn

Brandan
02-13-05, 11:16 PM
G'day Darth,

No matter if Gill contradicted himself or not. He did say God loves the non-elect in the senses he outlines. He expressly says that God bears toward them a non-electing love and favour and goodwill. Its just not right to try and make him mean bare goodness.

take care
FlynnFlynn, I ask do you respect Gill and think he was a great theologian worthy of learning from, or do you despise most of his theology and only enjoy harping on the one or two snippets you find that support your understanding of Scripture?

Now I will address this statement to the hypers/high grace/free grace people on this thread. When did the low grace / neo-calvinists start picking up pieces of errant or inconsistent writings of Calvin and Gill and other theologians of the past to throw at free grace believers? I don't think Calvin or Gill was perfect, and believe they were wrong on a good many subjects. Do they think they're going to change our minds by pointing out the errors of notable high grace theologians?

Grace is free. Grace is pure - unpolluted - unstained by the corruption of man. Grace is everlasting. Grace does not change. Grace does not stop being Grace. God's love does not change. To suggest otherwise is to deny God! The immutability of God means nothing in the common grace calvinism of today.

GraceAmbassador
02-13-05, 11:18 PM
When we were corresponding with Phil Johnson in the other thread, I emailed to him my opinion on this subject and posted a suggestion for a comparison between the text of Isaiah 61 and the quotation of Isaiah 61 Jesus uses in the New Testament. The part that says: ..."and the day of the veangeance of the Lord..." is left out by Jesus. Either Jesus was prone to misquote scriptures or He simply is the truce and declared the time of a truce. In this period the reprobate will enjoy the goodness of God and will prosper to the awe and astonishement of many. I will not call this "love" in the same level of LOVE as in God's love for His elect.
I am quoting myself to suggest the reading of Psalm 73 and Psalm 94. I really believe what the "wicked" or reprobate is enjoying at this point and will enjoy until God decides otherwise is the His goodness which causes a "truce". At the same time, what the men of God, the "righteous", the elect experiences periodically is God's disciplining hand training, chastening and scourging. None of the above proves that God is mutable by loving the reprobate and then sending them to hell, or that He loves His elect temporalily and then "hates" them to the fulfillment of all the great and precious promises made to them.

Pardon the irreverence, but to believe otherwise is the same as to invert what the Bible teaches at best, at at worse, to teach that God backslid and the devil got saved...:confused:

(...and NO! I am not saying that Calvin or any other great man of the past believes in such an "inversion"...)

If you have not read my last post above, you will not understand what I am talking about...

Milt

Brandan
02-13-05, 11:18 PM
Another question I have for you people that love to dwell on God's love for the reprobate and the devils. What is so valuable about this doctrine of yours? What are the practical implications of holding to God's love? What is the primary reason you defend this view so much? I really want to know! What harm is caused by suggesting that God does not love all men?

wildboar
02-13-05, 11:28 PM
In the Jewish mind, a nation is collection of individuals. In the Jewish mind, a nation is not an abstraction, something considered apart from the individuals. And so, the object of God's hatred in these verses denotes a collection of individuals, who constitute, families, clans, and nations. When it says he hated them, he means a certain collection of particulars. Of these same particulars, he says he ceases adding his love to them. When you use the term organic, you actually imply that God stopped loving no one in particular.
There are many different Jewish minds, however if you read the OT you will find that at least the Jewish minds which God worked through in the writing of the OT were not as individualistic as the modern American mind. There is an undeniable pattern throughout the OT if you look at families and there is still is today. A family would start out strong in the faith and there would be a gradual decrease until not a single true believer could be found among them. In such an instance it could be said that God no longer loved that family but hated it. That's something quite different from saying that God used to love Joe but now hates him. I have yet to see any proof of this ocurring in Scripture.


You know the Arminians say that when it comes to the election of God, in Roms 9, God only elects nations, but not individuals. How is your reasoning here any different?

My reasoning here is different because the passage in Hosea actually talks about a group of people and not individuals and the passage in Romans 9 talks about individuals rather than a group of people. Romans 9 says that before Jacob or Esau were born God loved Jacob and hated Esau. It does not say that God loved Jacob for a time and then hated him or that God hated Esau for a time and then loved him. It speaks very specifically about individuals, even speaking to God predestinating the rise of Pharoah. God does not say the Israelites I loved but the Edomites I hated.


But hesed entails love. The concept of love is inseparable from the definition of hesed. You can add covenant loyalty, for sure. But its covenant love loyalty. And here is here is an example of hesed love loyalty. Hesed cannot be separated from love, compassion, kindess. Thats what the word denotes.

The scholars are divided on this. Read your TWOT again. TWOT gives an overview of the debate as to whether hesed refers to God's covenants or to His everlasting love. TWOT takes the latter position but mentions scholars which take the former position and other debates over the word. HALOT, recognized by many as being the standard modern dictionary, doesn't even mention love as a possible definition for the word.

wildboar
02-13-05, 11:53 PM
For those interested here's the full entry from HALOT:





I ds,x,: I dsx: JArm.t aD'sxi, Syr. hĚes/zdaŇ, CPArm. (only pl.) hĚsdyn, Mnd. adzyx (MdD 142a, Brockelmann Syr. Gramm §49); Arm.lw. Wagner 105:





—1. shame Lv 2017 Pr 1434;





—2. abuse Sir 4122 (Marg.) = SirMIV:3, ~ydsx 1QM iii 6 (alt. II). †





II ds,x, (ca. 250 x; sg. 234 x, 125 x Ps): ď dysix' and II dsx: MHb., JArm.tg aD's.xi, Syr. hĚesdaŇ, CPArm. hĚs/zd, Mnd. adzyx, everywhere < Heb., (Nöldeke Neue Beitr. 93; Lidzbarski Johannesbuch 1094); II dsx, Arb. hĚasëada to come together for aid; Glueck HĚesed :: Stoebe VT 2:244ff; Johnson Fschr. Mowinckel 100ff: ds,x†', ADs.x; (Sam.M48 isd-), $'D†,s.x;, ~ydIs'x], ydes.x;, wyd's'x], wd's'x] (Ps 10645 and Lam 322, K ADs.x;), Ps 11941 $'d,s'x] (BL 252r, Sec. esdac, Brönno 136f :: Beer-M. §52:1b);





—1. joint obligation between relatives, friends, host and guest, master and servant; closeness, solidarity, loyalty: a) ds,x, and tyrIB. (tyrIB.Ĺxh;w> ĹB.h; rmevo Dt 79, with rm;v' 712); rm;v'ĹB comes about by a ceremony BĹx results from the closer relationship between two people, the obligations are largely the same; tm,a/w< Ĺx Gn 2427.49 and xĹxw> hn"Wma/ Ps 8925 lasting loyalty, faithfulness; xw> hn"Wma/Ĺx hf'[' to show loyalty Gn 2123 Jos 212 Ju 124 835 1S 156 208 2S 38 91.7 102 Ru 18 1C 192; b) x hf'['Ĺx exists between a son and a dying father Gn 4729, a wife and a husband Gn 2013 (cf. Jr 22 || hb'h]a;), relatives Ru 220, guests Gn 1919, friends 1S 208 2S 91, people who do each other a service Ju 124, king and people 2S 38 2C 2422; c) > esp.: hb'h]a;Ĺx vyai confidant Pr 1117, cj. $'D>s.x; vyai your faithful servant Dt 338 (alt. favourite) $'D>s.x; vyaiĹx yven>a; the godly Is 571; x yven>a;Ĺx ykel.m; loyal kings 1K 2031; ADs.x; vyai each one’s faithfulness Pr 206; d) community > protection Ps 1442 (prp. ynIs.x'), > favour Ezr 29.17 (ynIs.x'Ĺxw" !xe), %l,M,h; ynEp.li Ĺx the favour of the king Ezr 728; xĹx tr;AT kind teaching Pr 3126; charm (of flowers) Is 406 (cf. MHb. hdwsx lovely, cj. ADm.x,);





—2. ADm.x,Ĺx in God’s relationship with the people or an individual, faithfulness, goodness, graciousness: a) xĹy Ĺx Ps 335 10317, ~yhil{a/ Ĺx 2S 93 Ps 5210; !Ayl.[, Ĺx 218; ADsx; ~l'A[l. Jr 3311 Ps 1361-26 1005 1061 1071 1181-4.29 Ezr 311; cj. Ps 44 (rd. yli ADsx;) and 122 (rd. ds,x,), $'D>s.x;B. in your faithfulness (to me) 14312; mercy $'D>s.x;B.Ĺx #pex' :: @a; Mi 718; b) @a;Ĺx hf'[' to show faithfulness with ~[i Ru 18, with l. Ex 206 and above (ď 1a); l.Ĺx rm;v' Dt 79 Da 94 and x rm;v'Ĺx rc;n" to keep faithfulness Ex 347 x rc;n"Ĺx rk;z" to remember Ps 983, ~[ime Ĺx bz:[' to withdraw faithfulness Gn 2427; c) God is x bz:['Ĺx br; abounding in faithfulness Ex 346 Nu 1418 Jl 213 Jon 42 Ps 865.15 1038 Neh. 917;





—3. pl. ~ydIs'x], yd;s'x] etc. the individual actions resulting from solidarity: a) (of people) godly action, achievements: by Nehemiah Neh 1314, Hezekiah 2C 3232, Josiah 3526; b) (God’s) proofs of mercy Gn 3211 Is 637 Ps 892 Lam 322; dywId' ydes.x; mercies shown to David Is 553 2C 642; ~ydIs'x]w: ~ymix]r; Ps 256;





—Ps 523 rd. dysix', Pr 2028b rd. qd,C,B; (?).





Der. dysix', hd'ysix], n.m. III ds,x,, ds,x, ď bv;Wy.





III ds,x,: n.m.; short form of hy"d>s;x] (Noth 183); Palm. n.f. CIS 2/3:4449; n.m. adsx Moscati 74:2: official of Solomon 1K 410. †
No doubt the people who put HALOT together are all a bunch of hyper-Calvinists...lol

Here's the entry from BDB:




B3280 ds,xń, (page 339) (Strong 2617)


† ds,xń,: 247 n.m.: 2 S 16, 17 goodness, kindness; — abs. Ĺx Gn 24:12 + 85 t.; ds,x+' Gn 39:21 + 12 t.; cstr. ds,x, 1 S 20:14 + 8 t.; sf. yDIs.x; Psalm 59:18 + 120 t. sfs.; pl. sydIs'x] Gn 32:11; cstr. ydesex; Is 55:3 + 5 t. (Baer: Jes p. 79 Ges: ě 93, R, 1. F.); sf. yd;s'x] Ne 13:14 + 1o t. sfs.; (not in H or P). I. of man: 1. kindness of men towards men, in doing favours and benefits 1 S 20:15 2 S 16:17 Psalm 141:5 Pr 19:22 20:6; hwhy ľx 1 S 20:14 the kindness of Ĺy (such as he shews, Thes MV; that sworn to by oath to Yahweh Mich Dathe; shewn out of reverence to Yahweh Th Ke); cf. ~yhla ľx 2 S 9:3; Ĺxatr;AT Pr 31:26 instruction in kindness, kindly instruction ydIM'[i ds,x, hf'[' do or shew kindness (in dealing) with me Gn 20:13 40:14 (E), 1 S 20:14 2 S 10:2 (yMi[i in | 1 Ch 19:2); c. ~[i Gn 21:23 (E), 24:12; 24:14 Jos 2:12; 2:12 Ju 1:24 (J), 8:35 1 S 15:6 2 S 2:5 3:8 9:1; 9:3; 9:7, 10:20 a = 1 Ch 19:2 a, 1 Ch 19:2 b 2 Ch 24:22; c. l[; 1 S 20:8 c. l. 1 K 2:7; ynpl ľx afn obtain kindness before Est 2:9; 2:17; Ĺx byjyh Ru 3:10. 2. kindness (especially as extended to the lowly, needy and miserable), mercy Pr 20:28 Jb 6:14; dsx vya merciful man Pr 11:17 (opp. yrIz"k.a;); Ĺx yKel.m; merciful kings 1 K 20:31; Ĺx hf[ Psalm 109:16; in this sense usu. with other attributes (v. also infr. II. 2.); ź tma Ho 4:1 Is 16:5; tmaw ľx Pr 3:3 14:22 16:6 20:28; tmaw ľx hf[ Gn 24:49 47:29 Jos 2:14 (J; RV gives thse under 1); ź hqdc Ho 10:12; Ĺxw hqdc Pr 21:21; ź jpvm Mi 6:8; jpvmw ľx Ho 12:7; ź !nEAx Psalm 109:12; ~ymxrw ľx Zc 7:9 Dn 1:9. — (On Ho 6:4; 6:6 v. 3 infr.) 3. (rarely) affection if Isr. to Ĺy love to God, piety: %yIr;W[n> ľx Je 2:2 priety of thy youth (| love of thine espousals to Yahweh); poss. also rq,Bo-!n:[]K; sk,D>s.x; Ho 6:4 your piety is like a morning cloud (fleeting), and ds,x, yKi xb;z='-aolw> yYTic.p;x' Ho 6:6 for piety I delight in and not in peace-offering (ź ~yhla t[d, cf. 1 S 15:22); — so Wü Now Hi (v:4) Che; Ke Hi (v:6) al. sub 2 (or 1); — ds,x, yven>n: men of piety Is 57:1 (ź qyDIc;); pl. pious acts 2 Ch 32:32 35:26 Ne 13:14. 4. lovely appearance: hd,Vo'h; #yciK. ADs.x;-lK' Is 40:6 all its loveliness as the flower of the field (so Thes Hi De Che Di al.; but do,xa LXX I Pet 1:24 & gloria Vulgate favour an original reading AdAh Lo or AdboK. Ew, see Br:MP 375; Du Ard'h]). II. of God: kindness, lovingkindness in condescendig to the needs of his creatures. He is sD's.x; their goodness favour Jon 2:9; yDIs.x; Psalm 144:2; yDIs.x; yhe~a/ God of my kindness Psalm 59:18; in v:11 rd. ADs.x; yh;~a/ my God with his kindness LXX Vulgate Ew Hup De Pe Che Bae; his is the kindness Psalm 62:13; it is with him Psalm 130:7; he delights in it Mi 7:18. 1. specif. lovingkindness: a. in redemption from enemies and troubles Gn 19:19 39:21 (J), Ex 15:13 (song), Je 31:3 Ezr 7:28 9:9 Psalm 21:8 31:17; 31:22 32:10 33:22 36:8; 36:11 42:9 44:27 48:10 59:17 66:20 85:8 90:14 94:18 107:8; 107:15; 107:21; 107:31 143:8; 143:12 Jb 37:13 Ru 1:8 2:20; men should trust in it Psalm 13:6 52:10; rejoice in it Psalm 31:8; hope in it Psalm 33:18; 147:11. b. in preservation of life from death Psalm 6:5 86:13 Jb 10:12. c. in quickening of spiritual life Psalm 109:26 119:41; 119:76; 119:88; 119:124; 119:149; 119:159. d. in redemption from sin Psalm 25:7 51:3. e. in keeping the covenants, with Abraham Mi 7:20; with Moses and Israel ds,x,żh;Ŕw> tyrIB.h; rmv keep-eth the covenant and the lovingkindness Dt 7:9; 7:12 1 K 8:23 = 2 Ch 6:14, Ne 1:5 9:32 Dn 9:4; with David and his dynasty 2 S 7:15 = 1 Ch 17:13, 2 S 22:51 = Psalm 18:51, 1 K 3:6; 3:6 = 2 Ch 1:8, Psalm 89:29; 89:34; with the wife Zion Is 54:10. 2. ds,x, is grouped with other divine attributes: tmaw dsx kindness (lovingkindness) and fidelity Gn 24:27 (J), Psalm 25;10 41:11; 40:12 57:4 61:8 85:11 89:15 115:1 138:2; ~[ tmaw ľx hf[ 2 S 2:6 15:20 (LXX, v. Dr); tmaw ľx br; Ex 34:6 (JE), Psalm 86:15; also ź tma Mi 7:20 Psalm 26:3 117:2; ź hn"Wma/ Psalm 88:12 89:3 92:3; Ĺxw hnwma Psalm 89:25; hnwmaw ľx Psalm 98:3; ź ~ymxr Psalm 77:9; symxrw ľx Je 16:5 Ho 2:21 Psalm 103:4; jpvmw ľx Je 9:23 Psalm 101:1; ź hqdc Psalm 36:11; Ĺxw bwj Psalm 23:6. 3. the kindness of God is a. abundant: ds,x,-br; abundant, plenteous in kindness (goodness) Nu 14:18 (J), Ne 9:17 (Qr), Jo 2:13 Jon 4:2 Psalm 86:5 103:8 (cf. Ex 34:6 JE; Psalm 86:15); ^D>s.x; bro Ne 13:22 Psalm 5:8 69:14 106:7 (LXX Vulgate Aq Targan, to be preferred to MT ^yd,s'x]); wd's'x] bro La 3:32 Psalm 106:45 (Kt LXX in both to be preferred). b. great in extent: Ĺxi ld,NO greatness of thy mercy Nu 14:19 (J); ĹxalAd'N> Psalm 145:8; it is kept for thousands Ex 34:7 (JE), Je 32:18, esp. of those connected with lovers of Ĺy, Ex 20:6 = Dt 5:10; for 1000 generations Dt 7:9; it is great as the heavens Psalm 57:11 103:11, cf. 36:6 108:5; the earth is full of it Psalm 33:5 119:64. c. everlasting: Adsx ~lA[l Je 33:11 1 Ch 16:34; 16:41 2 Ch 5:13 7:3; 7:6 20:21 Ezr 3:11 Psalm 100:5 106:1 107:1 118:1; 118:2; 118:3; 118:4; 118:29 136:1-26 (26 t.); ~lw[l ^dsx Psalm 138:8; ~lw[m ľx ~lw[ d[w Psalm 103:17; ~lw[ ľx Is 54:8; lK la ľx ~wyh Psalm 52:3. d. good: ^D>s.x; bAj-yKi Psalm 69:17 109:21; ~yyhm ^dsx bwj yk Psalm 63:4. 4. pl. mercies, deeds of kindness, the historic displays of lovingkindness to Israel: shewn to Jacob Gn 32:11(R); but mostly late Is 63:7 Psalm 25:6 89:2; wydsix broK. Is 63:7, see 3 a; promised in the Davidic covenant Psalm 89:50; dyyId' ydes.x; mercies to David Is 55:3 2 Ch 6:42; mercies in general La 3:22 Psalm 17:7 107:43 f. — ds,x, in n.pr.m. Ĺx-!b v. sub !Be. On Lv 20:17 Pr 14:34 v. II. ds,x, sub II. dsx.


B3285 ds,xń, (page 340) (Strong 2617)


I see nothing in the above to lead me to believe that love has to be involved. I have seen Vine's do enough weird things with the Greek that I have to question its reliability in the Hebrew especially given the great advancement in the study of Hebrew in recent years. I would be interested to see what TDOT has to say and hope that if I have some time in the next couple days to get a friend of mine to help look it up.

Ivor Thomas
02-14-05, 06:03 AM
Just to ask if any one could post Calvins commentaries on Hosea ch1v6; and Hosea ch9v15; this i believe would greatly help here?, only i woud have bought this as part of evidence, but i am unable to post, because of my computer illiteracy,. Ivor Thomas..

doctr_of_grace
02-14-05, 07:09 AM
here ya go Ivor .... My contribution to this thread ... I have really enjoyed it BTW :D .

Hosea 1:6. And she conceived again-- and bare a daughter. And God said unto him-- Call her name Loruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away.

The Prophet shows in this verse that things were become worse and worse in the kingdom of Israel, that they sinned, keeping within no limits, that they rushed headlong into the extremes of impiety. He has already told us, by calling them Jezreelites, that they were from the beginning rejected and degenerate; as though he said, "Your origin has nothing commendable in it; ye think yourselves to be very eminent, because ye derive your descent from holy Jacob; but ye are spurious children, born of a harlot: a brothel is not the house of Abraham, nor is the house of Abraham a brothel. Ye are then the offspring of debauchery." But he now goes farther and says, that as time advanced, they had ever been falling into a worse state; for this word, Loruchamah, is a more disgraceful name than Jezreel: and the Lord also denounces here his vengeance more openly, when he says,

I will no more add to pursue with mercy the house of Israel. Mxr, rechem, means to pity, and also to love: but this second meaning is derived from the other; for Mxr, rechem, is not simply to love, but to show gratuitous favour. By calling the daughter, then, Lo-ruchamah, God intimates that his favour was now taken away from the people. We know, indeed, that the people had been freely chosen; for if the cause of adoption be inquired for, it must be said to have been the mere mercy and goodness of God. Now then God, in repudiating the people, says, "Ye are like a daughter whom her father casts away and disowns, because he deems her unworthy of his favour." We now, then, comprehend the design of the Prophet; for, after having shown the Israelites to have been from the beginning spurious, and not the true children of Abraham, he now adds, that, in course of time, they had become so corrupt, that God would now utterly disown them, and would no longer deem them as his house. He, therefore, charges them with something more grievous than before, by saying, 'Call this daughter Lo-ruchamah;' for she was born after Jezreel. Here he describes by degrees the state of the people, that it continually degenerated. Though they were at the beginning depraved; but they were now, after the lapse of some time, utterly unworthy of God's favour.

I will no more add, he says, to pursue with favour the house of Israel. God here shows what constant forbearance he had exercised towards this people. I will no more add, he says; as though the Lord had said, "I do not now sally forth at the first heat of wrath to take vengeance on you, as passionate men are wont to do, who seize the sword as soon as any affront is given; I become not so suddenly hot with anger. I have, therefore, hitherto borne with you; but now your obstinacy is intolerable; I will not then bear with you any more." The Prophet, as we see, evidently intimates that the Israelites had very long abused the Lord's mercy, while he spared them, so that now the ripe time of vengeance had come; for the Lord had, for many years showed his favour to them, though they never ceased at any time to seek destruction to themselves. Hence we learn, as stated yesterday, that the Prophet's vehemence was not hasty: for God had before given warnings, more than sufficient, to the Israelites; he had also forgiven them many sins; he had borne with them until the state of things proved that they were altogether incurable. Since, then, the forbearance of God produced no effect on them, it was necessary to come to this last remedy, that the Lord should, as it were, with a drawn sword, appear as a judge to take vengeance.

He afterwards says, Mhl asa awsn yk, ki neshua asha lem. This sentence is variously explained. Some think that the verb is derived from the root hsn, nesche, with a final h, he; which means "to forget", as though it was said "By forgetting, I will forget them;" and the sense is not unsuitable. The Chaldean paraphraser wholly departs from this meaning, for he renders the clause, "By sparing, I will spare them." There is no reason for this; for God, as the context clearly shows, does not yet promise pardon to them; this meaning, then, cannot stand. They come nearer to the design of the Prophet who thus translate, "I will bring to them," that is, the enemy; for asn, nesha, signifies to take, and also to bring into the middle. But I prefer embracing their opinion who consider that Mhl, lem, is placed here for Mtwa, autem; for the servile letter l, lamed, has often the same meaning with the particle ta, at, which is prefixed to an objective case. Then the rendering is, literally given, "For, by taking away, I will take them away:" and the Hebrews often use this mode of speaking, and the sense is plainer, "By taking away, I will take them away." Some render the passage, "I will burn them;" but this explanation is rather harsh. I am satisfied with the meaning, to take, but I understand it in the sense of taking away. Then it is, "By taking away, I will take them away." 1 (http://www.ccel.org/c/calvin/comment3/comm_vol26/htm/viii.v.htm#_fnf1)

And this is what the following verse confirms; for when the Prophet speaks of the house of Judah, the Lord says, "With mercy will I follow the house of Judah, and will save them." The Prophet sets "to save" and "to take away" in opposition the one to the other.

We may then learn by the context what he meant by these words, and that is, that Israel had hitherto stood through the Lord's mercy; as though he said, "How has it happened that ye continue as yet alive? Do you think yourselves to be safe through your own valour? Nay, my mercy has hitherto preserved you. Now, then, when I shall withdraw my favour from you, your ruin will be inevitable; you must necessarily perish, and be brought to nothing: for as I have hitherto preserved you, so I will utterly tear you away and destroy you." A profitable lesson may be farther gathered from this passage, and that is, that hypocrites deceive themselves when they boast of the present favour of God, and, at the same time, exult without any fear against him; for as God for a time spares and tolerates them, so he can justly destroy and reduce them to nothing. But the next verse must be also joined.

1 (http://www.ccel.org/c/calvin/comment3/comm_vol26/htm/viii.v.htm#_fnb1) Though Newcome and others agree with Calvin in this sense, yet I still believe that the true rendering is that which is substantially given in the margin of our version. The verb here used, when followed by l does not mean to take away, but to pardon, to forgive, and the particle yk is sometimes rendered, that, so that, ut. Then the two lines may be thus translated: --

"I will no more show mercy to the house of Israel,
That by pardoning I should pardon them."

The main drift of the passage is still the same with what is assigned to it by Calvin. The version of Bishop Horsley favors what I have offered: he renders the last line thus: --

"Insomuch as to be perpetually forgiving them."


Hosea 9: 15. All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.

He says first, that all their evil was in Gilgal; though they thought that they had the best pretence for offering there their sacrifices to God's honour, because it had been from old times a sacred place. He had said before that they had multiplied to themselves altars to sin, and by these to give way to sins; he now repeats the same in other words, All their evil, he says, is in Gilgal; as though he said, "They indeed obtrude on me their sacrifices, which they offer in Gilgal, and think that they avail to excuse all their wickedness. I might, perhaps, forgive them, if they were given to plunder and cruelty, and were perfidious and fraudulent, provided pure worship had continued among them, and religion had not been so entirely adulterated; but as they have changed whatever I commanded in my law, and turned this celebrated place to be the seat of the basest impiety, so that it is become, as it were, a brothel, where religion is prostituted, it is hence evident, that the whole of their wickedness is in Gilgal."

It is certain that the people were also addicted to other crimes; but the word lk, cal, all, is to be taken for what is chief or principal. The Prophet speaks comparatively, not simply; as though he had said, that this corruption of offering sacrifices at Gilgal was more abominable in the sight of God than adulteries, or plunder, or frauds, or unjust violence, or any crime that prevailed among them. Their whole evil then was at Gilgal. But why the Prophet speaks thus, I have lately explained; and that is because superstitious men put forth their own devices, when God reproves them, "O! we have still many exercises of religion." They bring forward these by way of compensation. But the Lord shows that he is far more grievously offended with these superstitions, with which hypocrites cover themselves as with a shield, than with a life void of every appearance of religion: for "these," he says, "I conceived a hatred against them, on account of the wickedness of their works."

Here again the Prophet condemns what men think to be their special holiness. Who indeed can persuade hypocrites that their fictitious modes of worship are the greatest abominations? Nay, they even extol and imagine themselves to be like angels, and, as it were, cover all their wickedness with these disguises; as we see to be the case with the Papists who think, that when they obtrude on God their many masses and other devised forms, every sort of wickedness is redeemed. Since then hypocrites are thus wont to put on a disguise before God, and at the same time flatter themselves, the Prophet here declares that they are the more hated by God for this very wickedness, of daring to corrupt and adulterate his pure worship.

He then adds, I will eject them from my house. When God threatens to eject Israel from his house, it is the same as though he said, "I will wholly cast you away;" as when one cuts off a withered branch from a tree, or a diseased member from the body. It is indeed certain that the Israelites were then like bastards; for they were not worthy of any account or station in the Church, inasmuch as they had a strange temple and profane sacrifices; but as circumcision, and the priesthood in name, still remained among them, they boasted themselves to be the children of Abraham, and a holy people; hence the Prophet denounces here such a destruction, that it might appear that they in vain gloried in these superior distinctions, for God would expunge them from his catalogue. We now understand the design of the Prophet: but we shall, to-morrow, notice the remaining portion.

Prayer

Grant, Almighty God, that inasmuch as thou hast freely embraced us in thy only-begotten Son, and made us, from being the sons and race of Adam, a holy and blessed seed, and as we have not hitherto ceased to alienate ourselves from the grace thou hast offered to us, -- O grant, that we may hereafter so return to a sound mind, as to cleave faithfully and with sincere affection of heart to thy Son, and so retain by this bond thy love, and be also retained in the grace of adoption, that thy name may be glorified by us as long as we sojourn in this world, until thou at length gatherest us into thy celestial kingdom, which has been purchased for us by the blood of thy Son. Amen.

Lecture Twenty-sixth

We stated yesterday how God expels from his house those who ought to have been deemed to be already among such as are without: for hypocrites always invent coverings for themselves until the Lord himself openly shows to them their baseness. It is therefore necessary that what they seem to have, as Christ also declares respecting hypocrites, should be taken away from them, (Matthew 13:12 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?passage=Matthew+13:12,).)

It then follows, -- I will not proceed on to love them. A question may be moved here -- why does God speak thus of his love? for he had already ceased to love that people, as it maybe fully gathered from facts. -- Though this saying may not be strictly correct, yet it is not unsuitable. Profane men, and those who are in love with worldly things estimate the love of God by present appearances. When the Lord feeds them well and plentifully, when they enjoy their pleasures, when they have no troubles to bear, they think themselves to be most acceptable to God. Such was the case with this people, as it has been already often stated, as long as the Lord suspended his vengeance; and this was especially the case under king Jeroboam the second, far we know that the Lord then spared and greatly favoured them. It was then a certain kind of love, when the Lord thus cherished them, God allured them to repentance by the sweetness of his goodness. But now, as he sees them to be growing harder and harder, he says, "I will not continue my love towards them; for I will now really show that I am angry with them, as I see that I have done nothing by my forbearance, which they do in a manner laugh to scorn." Thus we see that men are rejected by God nearly in the same way, when he exterminates them from his Church, as when he withdraws his blessing, which is, as it were, the pledge and symbol of his love.

The reason afterwards follows, Because heir princes are perfidious: and this is expressly mentioned, for it was needful that the origin of the evil should be stated. The Prophet then shows here that corruptions originated not with the common people, but with the princes. Now we know for what end God would have rank and dignity to exist among men, and that is, that there might be something like a bridle to restrain the waywardness of the multitude. When, therefore, princes become leaders to every wickedness, all things must then go on in the worst manner; for what ought to be a remedy becomes the cause of ruin. This, then, is what the Prophet meant in the first place. But by accusing the princes he does not absolve the people; but, as it has been said in another place, he insinuates that they must have been very blind, when they suffered themselves to be drawn into the ditch by the blind: for the people doubtless went astray of their own accord and willingly, though they had erring leaders; and though, as it has appeared elsewhere, they anxiously sought excuses for their errors. But we may hence learn how frivolous is the excuse of those who at this day exculpate themselves by the pretext of obeying princes and bishops; for the Lord here denounces punishment on the whole people, because the princes were perfidious. If it be so, we see that the whole body is involved, when wicked leaders rule and draw the people from the right way; yea, when they precipitate them into the same transgressions, and carry them along with them. When, therefore, there is such a confusion, universal punishment, which consumes all together, must follow. Let us proceed --

Bob Higby
02-14-05, 08:05 AM
At the moment I will add this one observation.

Since God's love includes the notion of friendship, in the 'covenant of works' frame-work it also includes the notion of temporal love. Any time the scriptures speak of God's friendship or regard for a person or nation changing, it is not talking about the EVERLASTING love of the covenant of redeeming grace. It is talking about his relationship with a person or nation that has been established based on a standard of obeying certain law (related to blessings or curses in this life).

I think that this harmonizes with what a lot of others are saying. :cool:

disciple
02-14-05, 10:12 AM
Everyone who hates what I believe loves to throw that quote by Gill at me - especially on Pal Talk. I don't know what Gill was thinking when he wrote that, but I think he's wrong :) I have no problems if "grace" means goodness (which is what Gill is saying I believe), but I don't like using that terminology.but like flynn said, he did use that terminology didn't he? and he was quite clear and direct about it.


Also Doug, you can see that I have addressed this quote here at this link: http://www.predestinarian.net/showthread.php?t=1851 i browsed a bit and didn't see anything provided that demonstrates that gill didn't mean what he said or that he somehow contradicted himself elsewhere. also, saying that God takes pleasure in the judgment of the wicked and that he hates them does not prove that he doesn't love them in any sense whatsover. what this does allow is degrees in or different senses of love.

disciple
02-14-05, 10:21 AM
I already explained the Hosea and Jeremiah passages at least twice in this thread so I thought there must be some other passages which were being referred to.is that where you used the organic argument? so did He or did He not love them organically and then at some point stop loving them organically? does this mean that God is mutable?


My goal is not to explain them away but to determine what they are saying from the context before allowing them to be used as some sort of theological proof-text.i don't think they are being used as a theological proof-text. up to this point, no one has proposed a theology that must be drawn from them. milt asked for verses that said that God loved and then did not love and these verses were provided. i don't think i have expounded on the meaning of the verses yet. the verses were posted and chaos has ensued.

disciple
02-14-05, 10:59 AM
Another question I have for you people that love to dwell on God's love for the reprobate and the devils.what is this rhetoric? "you people that love to dwell on God's love for the reprobate and devils"? c'mon brandan! how does this facilitate dialogue? how fair would it be for me to say "you people that love to dwell on God's hate for the reprobate and devils and ignore certain Scriptures"? is this all just a red herring to avoid dealing with the actual argument?


What is so valuable about this doctrine of yours? What are the practical implications of holding to God's love? What is the primary reason you defend this view so much? I really want to know! What harm is caused by suggesting that God does not love all men?here's the thing. someone here is being dishonest, misleading people, proposing a revisionist history (or is just simply being misled and so is in turn misleading others. therefore, the blind leading the blind), etc. we can't both be telling the correct story.

it's kind of like proverbs 18:17 "The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him." that's what i think it going on here. so it really has nothing to do with loving to dwell on God's love for the reprobate and devils. that's just incendiary and polemical language. it doesn't help our discussion but instead inhibits dialogue.


also, some here are not following the protocols of scholarship (e.g., providing the basis for their definitive statements). there are a couple of items on the posting guidelines (http://www.5solas.org//media.php?id=313) that are being violated. allow me to remind us all:

2. Carefully represent the views of those with whom you are in disagreement.

4. Be careful in the use of generalizations; where appropriate offer specific evidence.

6. Exercise care that expressions of personal offense at the differing opinion of others not be used as a means of inhibiting dialogue.

8. Be open to change in your own position and patient with the process of change in the thinking and behavior of others.

this seems to be the pattern that i've observed.

a quote or verse is quoted that creates a problem for one's system or position and one expressess doubt that it means what it seems to plainly mean.
one tries to get around the quote or verse in various ways (e.g., bad translation, out of context, proof-text, a word doesn't mean such and such, you don't understand that within the rest of the writings, etc.).
one finally admits that the quote or verse means what it plainly means.
next they claim that the person must have simply slipped up here and accidently contradicted himself or that you just don't understand the verse within the WHOLE of Scripture.
when other quotes or verses are supplied they then move to saying that the person was self-contradictary and given to paradox or that you just don't understand the WHOLE of Scripture (your system is screwed up).
next the person quoted or presenting the verse is dismissed since they are not the authoritative standard.
finally the person quoted or presenting the verse is declared a heretic and the argument they presented is never actually dealt with.

Flynn
02-14-05, 11:33 AM
G'day Wild,


My reasoning here is different because the passage in Hosea actually talks about a group of people and not individuals and the passage in Romans 9 talks about individuals rather than a group of people. Romans 9 says that before Jacob or Esau were born God loved Jacob and hated Esau. It does not say that God loved Jacob for a time and then hated him or that God hated Esau for a time and then loved him. It speaks very specifically about individuals, even speaking to God predestinating the rise of Pharoah. God does not say the Israelites I loved but the Edomites I hated.
But in Malachi, the subject is not an individual, but a nation. Paul has no problem extending that to persons.


The scholars are divided on this. Read your TWOT again. TWOT gives an overview of the debate as to whether hesed refers to God's covenants or to His everlasting love. TWOT takes the latter position but mentions scholars which take the former position and other debates over the word. HALOT, recognized by many as being the standard modern dictionary, doesn't even mention love as a possible definition for the word.
I did read the TWOT again. It concludes that hesed, in the context here means and entails lovingkindness. This lines up with the standard and definite Hebrew lexicons. There is no serious division in the Reformed-Evangelical scholarship here ,Wild. The most you have here is that, for sure, I will concede that some "scholars" have disputed that hesed may mean only covenant/conditional loyalty (whatever). But the overall lexical and translational weight is against you, Wild. The hesed of God (whether mercy or lovingkindness) was taken away from Saul.

So are you going to say that for 2 Sam 7:15 (with Ps 89:33) hesed meant only loveless loyalty?

The issue with the organic aspect of a nation as originally posed by Bavinck was that a nation, being a collection of people living in a "living" relationship with others in that nation are caught up in the affairs and circumstances of that nation. So that, if a nation suffers affliction and calamity, for the sins of the faithless (reprobate) within the nation, the faithful are at times caught up in that affliction and suffering. But as Hebrews tells us, for them, the faithful, the divine motive is discipline, not retribution. So the same affliction is given by God with different goals and motives.

The notion of organic unity never meant to suggest that God can cease loving a non-entity, something that only exists in an abstraction. And the love-hate here is temporal, not etenral. The nation as a whole is now denied the temporal blessings, grace and love which sustain the nation. There is no need to resort to some obscure abstracting theology that really cant tell us, exactly whom did God stop loving. So I ask again, seriously, what exactly did God stop loving?

take care
Flynn

Flynn
02-14-05, 11:46 AM
G'day Darth,



Flynn, I ask do you respect Gill and think he was a great theologian worthy of learning from, or do you despise most of his theology and only enjoy harping on the one or two snippets you find that support your understanding of Scripture?
Darth, how is that not an adhominem? What has my opinion of Gill have to do with whether or not he defined grace as that love and favour of God, which then he proceeds to bifurcate into non-electing grace and electing grace. The fact is, he never meant bare providence or loveless/graceless goodness.

And he didnt exactly mean that God is gracious to them merely to increase their condemnation. I will post a reply to you on that.


Now I will address this statement to the hypers/high grace/free grace people on this thread. When did the low grace / neo-calvinists start picking up pieces of errant or inconsistent writings of Calvin and Gill and other theologians of the past to throw at free grace believers? I don't think Calvin or Gill was perfect, and believe they were wrong on a good many subjects. Do they think they're going to change our minds by pointing out the errors of notable high grace theologians?
Whats this? You want to now move away from the historicity of your claimed position? The moment someone says this is true Calvinism, or true Reformed theology, they are invoking historical claims. What could be sounder but to cite and explicate Calvin, et al, on their own terms? Nothing. Historical analysis does not determine theological questions, agreed. But they can throw light upon them.



Grace is free. Grace is pure - unpolluted - unstained by the corruption of man. Grace is everlasting. Grace does not change. Grace does not stop being Grace. God's love does not change. To suggest otherwise is to deny God! The immutability of God means nothing in the common grace calvinism of today.
Agreed, divine love and grace do not change. They do not become evil or hatred. But men change in relation to them. Thus, in orthodox Calvinism, God is hostile to us as we stand without faith. Thats the essence of justification. God stands at war against us, for we are under his wrath. But, as Paul says, when we have reconciliation with God, we NOW have peace with God. Did God change? No. Did God become mutable? No. We now have a different relationship with God, not that he now suddenly approves evil and sin.

If the caricature is put aside, then the argument based on it is groundless.

So, God stopped loving Saul, and he stopped loving (in some sense) an apostate nation. He removed from them, as it were, his temporal favours and love.

Take care
Flynn

Skeuos Eleos
02-14-05, 12:02 PM
At the moment I will add this one observation.

Since God's love includes the notion of friendship, in the 'covenant of works' frame-work it also includes the notion of temporal love. Any time the scriptures speak of God's friendship or regard for a person or nation changing, it is not talking about the EVERLASTING love of the covenant of redeeming grace. It is talking about his relationship with a person or nation that has been established based on a standard of obeying certain law (related to blessings or curses in this life).

I think that this harmonizes with what a lot of others are saying. :cool:Bob, at the moment I am struggling to be clear what the differences being disputed are here so sorry if I've got it all wrong but does this mean that, in essence, you would accept the following? :
So, God stopped loving Saul, and he stopped loving (in some sense) an apostate nation. He removed from them, as it were, his temporal favours and love.

Thanks!
Martin

harald
02-14-05, 12:26 PM
Doug. Good that you admit the words are not perfect synonyms, because they indeed aren't. As for "in some contexts ... almost no distinction" I wonder whether it is so. I doubt. As for both words being used to describe the Father's love for the Son this is perfectly understandable. Seeing that the Father loves the Son from principle, but not only so, but what more, also loves Him affectionately, is fond of Him as a friend. As for John 21 I looked at it. The context involves phileO vs. agapaO and oida vs. ginooskoo. Very interesting. I would have to study the context carefully to see whether "my" distinction between phileO and agapaO holds true even here. I do not think Christ used them as exact synonyms here. I do not think the switch from agapaO to phileO was some stylistic thing on His part. He meant something by thus doing. And it was for Peter's benefit. Neither was Peter's switching from oida to ginooskoo some stylistic thing on his part. The two are not exact synonyms. He did the switch for a good reason. You asked "what precisely do the different terms mean?". As for phileO vs. agapaO I briefly (not exhaustively) propose "to love with affection" vs. "to love out of principle". But contextually here there may be need for some modification as to exact sense. As for oida vs. ginooskoo in the context I would propose a quite general distinction, viz. "to perceive, to understand, to know in a cognitive way" (eidO) vs. "to know experientially" (ginooskoo). But as for ginooskoo I would add that when God absolutely considered is involved then it may take on the sense of "to know absolutely", i.e. to know in every possible way and with absolute certainty.

As for variation of language for stylistic reasons I would say as follows. I do not believe this was important for the inspired penmen, nor for the Inspirer, the Spirit of God. At least not among the more important things. Among the more important things was precision of expression, precision in verbally setting forth eternal and spiritual and divine verities and facts. Paul was no orator, if he had been such a man maybe stylistic things would have been imporant to him. But now you find e.g. in the KJV in the Pauline corpus an almost tiresome amount of DE's, which KJV "faithfully renders" (as some say) "but". Very many verses in Paul begin, therefore, with this "but" (de). In KJV, that is. At least in this it seems Paul was not much concerned about language variation for stylistic reasons. He went for simplicity, precision, logic etc. As for myself I do allow variation of language for stylistic reasons. I have none problem whatever with it. But it (stylistics) is not my primary concern when I read something written by others, or when I myself compose something.

Harald

GraceAmbassador
02-14-05, 12:41 PM
Disciple:

You might not have received my email on your hotmail account, so I will post this in here:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BROTHER!

I have been greatly blessed by my interaction with you although it seems like a monologue...

May the Lord continue to keep you as a blessing to others even in a greater way you have been so far!

Milt

GraceAmbassador
02-14-05, 12:43 PM
Flynn:

I am developing an admiration for you as a debator. However I have the chills in debating individuals who do not identify themselfves theologically in their "profile" in the forum. Would you PLEASE, if it is not inconvenient to you, post your theological position.

As you say:

G'day brother!

Milt

Brandan
02-14-05, 01:04 PM
what is this rhetoric? "you people that love to dwell on God's love for the reprobate and devils"? c'mon brandan! how does this facilitate dialogue? how fair would it be for me to say "you people that love to dwell on God's hate for the reprobate and devils and ignore certain Scriptures"? is this all just a red herring to avoid dealing with the actual argument?Actually, it is good to dwell on God's hatred as well as God's love. I do indeed dwell on all of God's attributes and admire them!


so it really has nothing to do with loving to dwell on God's love for the reprobate and devils. that's just incendiary and polemical language. it doesn't help our discussion but instead inhibits dialogue.No, it's very important. I need to know why you vehemently defend God's love for the reprobate. It's obviously very important to you people. Otherwise, you'd blow it off and wouldn't argue it. I can understand if you're simply only interested in maintaining the truth of Scripture, but this is a topic that those who object to my beliefs are willing to hiss and snarl at me over. I want to know why!


also, some here are not following the protocols of scholarship (e.g., providing the basis for their definitive statements). there are a couple of items on the posting guidelines (http://www.5solas.org//media.php?id=313) that are being violated. allow me to remind us all:

2. Carefully represent the views of those with whom you are in disagreement.Another thing is we should carefully represent the views of dead theologians!


saying that God takes pleasure in the judgment of the wicked and that he hates them does not prove that he doesn't love them in any sense whatsover. what this does allow is degrees in or different senses of love.Doug, that is as bold faced a contradiction as I've ever seen. <sarcasm (not excessive lol)>Oh yeah, it sure is loving to send a person to hell and take pleasure in it! </sarcasm>

ray kikkert
02-14-05, 01:07 PM
G'day Ray,
response: Who are you and what confessional stance do you advocate?



Its interesting that you say one specfic text. Ive shown you a dozen or so over the last month, but you just ignore them.
response: I never ignored them, I have not even seen them.



Youve yet to show anyone what exactly from Calvin you think refutes his other statements on general love.
response: My argument is on the basis that Calvin's doctrine consisted of predestination and not a heretical general love of God. So lets get down to the nity grity here. Do you maintain a general love of God for all men?



But you mention forefathers. I wonder if you think that Ursinus, the principle author of the Heidelberg catechism, to which you must subscribe, as part of the three forms of unity, when he says:

"Merciful. God's appears in this: 1. That he wills the salvation of all men. 2. That he defers punishment, and invites all to repentance. 3. That he accomedates himself to our infirmity. 4. That he redeems those called into his service. 5. That he gave and delivered up to death his only begotten Son. 6. That he promises and does all these things most freely out of his mercy. 7. That he confers benefits upon his enemies and such as are unworthy of his regard...

"Bountiful. God is said to be bountiful; 1. Because he creates and preserves all things. 2. Because he confers benefits upon all, even upon the wicked. 3. Because of the free and boundless love which he exercises towards his creatures, especially to man. 4. Because of the love which he cherished towards the church, and in giving them eternal life and glory to his people."

Ursinus, Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism, p., 127.
Response: This is where you lack literary criticism. You will read into the "man" a general love of God to all, while sidestepping the actual confession itself that refutes it, the "Heidelberg Catechism". Lords Day 10, shows God's love is specific to His own. You would that we strain to see the fern seed of a heretical general love of God for all, and missing the elephant at ten paces of God's love to the elect alone. Which leads me to my next question. Do you maintain that God wills the salvation of all men ?



He has a threefold love of God there: love to the creature, love to man, love to the elect.
response: 3 loves? What pathetic exegesis you submit.



ray, is there any mainstream Reformed theologian prior to 1924, whose writings are in English today, for fairness sake, whom you think denied this three-fold view of love?
response: The Canons of Dort, especially the rejection of errors. What is so ironic and in refutation to your vain philosophy is that this same Synod not only rejected these vain fancys you speak of as advocated by the remonstrants, but also took on the Belgic Confession and the Heidelberg Catechism as the Three forms on Unity for the Reformed church internationally. They did not overlook things, they were thorough and had to be. They seen it as it was and those of us who confess these as the truths of Scripture, reject as they, the heretical systems of men including the love of God for all.


Is there any that you respect, which are acessible in English today that we can accept as a common starting point for meaningful dialogue? Eg, Polanus, a' Brakel, Turretin, Heppe, Witsius, Bavinck, Owen, etc. Anyone you think is representative, autoritatively, of pre-1924 Reformed theology?
Response: Again I refer you to the Canons of Dort. The Canons of Dort are a clear refute of heretical doctrine. Your choice of wording "pre 1924" shows a disgust with distinctive PRC doctrine that also refutes common grace. So this then leads me to my next question. Do you advocate a common grace of God.
I simply asl that you give a simple yes or no to my questions, no four levels of understanding or straddling the fence. Thank you in advance




Take care,
Flynn







greetings and salutations, el rana

Brandan
02-14-05, 01:07 PM
Agreed, divine love and grace do not change. They do not become evil or hatred. But men change in relation to them. Thus, in orthodox Calvinism, God is hostile to us as we stand without faith. Thats the essence of justification. God stands at war against us, for we are under his wrath. But, as Paul says, when we have reconciliation with God, we NOW have peace with God. Did God change? No. Did God become mutable? No. We now have a different relationship with God, not that he now suddenly approves evil and sin.

If the caricature is put aside, then the argument based on it is groundless.

So, God stopped loving Saul, and he stopped loving (in some sense) an apostate nation. He removed from them, as it were, his temporal favours and love.

Take care
FlynnGod does not base his love on what happens in time. His love is not based on the faith of the individual! God did not stand at war against His precious elect without faith, as He loved them in the EVERLASTING Covenant of Grace! He loved them based solely on the merits of Christ Alone.

Flynn
02-14-05, 02:28 PM
G'day Ray,


response: My argument is on the basis that Calvin's doctrine consisted of predestination and not a heretical general love of God. So lets get down to the nity grity here. Do you maintain a general love of God for all men?

Where in Dort or in Calvin or in Ursinus, is there a denial of general love? You are assuming that God cannot love and hate the same object in different senses. You need to prove that before you can argue that Calvin, because he believed that God hated (the hatred of preterition) the reprobate, he could not have believed that God loved them. That assumption is your controlling rationalism. You really need to prove the assumption, else you dont have a case.

What you do is the same logic we see in Jehovah's Witnesses. Because they rule out beforehand that God can be three and one in different senses, no amount of biblical evidence will have merit before their eyes. But as soon as one sees past this rationalism, the evidence can speak. So you too, need to prove that God cannot love and hate the same object in different senses.

Here is another text from Calvin on Heb 12:6:
For whom the Lord loveth, etc. This seems not to be a well-founded reason; for God visits the elect as well as the reprobate indiscriminately, and his scourges manifest his wrath oftener than his love; and so the Scripture speaks, and experience confirms. But yet it is no wonder that when the godly are addressed, the effect of chastisements which they feel, is alone referred to. For however severe and angry a judge God may show himself towards the reprobate, whenever he punishes them; yet he has no other end in view as to the elect, but to promote their salvation; it is a demonstration of his paternal love. Besides, the reprobate, as they know not that they are governed by God's hand, for the most part think that afflictions come by chance. As when a perverse youth, leaving his father's house, wanders far away and becomes exhausted with hunger, cold, and other evils, he indeed suffers a just punishment for his folly, and learns by his sufferings the benefit of being obedient and submissive to his father, but yet he does not acknowledge this as a paternal chastisement; so is the case with the ungodly, who having in a manner removed themselves from God and his family, do not understand that God's hand reaches to them. Let us then remember that the taste of God's love towards us cannot be had by us under chastisements, except we be fully persuaded that they are fatherly scourges by which he chastises us for our sins. No such thing can occur to the minds of the reprobate, for they are like fugitives. It may also be added, that judgment must begin at God's house; though, then, he may strike aliens and domestics alike, he yet so puts forth his hand as to the latter as to show that they are the objects of his peculiar care. close quote



Response: This is where you lack literary criticism. You will read into the "man" a general love of God to all, while sidestepping the actual confession itself that refutes it, the "Heidelberg Catechism". Lords Day 10, shows God's love is specific to His own. You would that we strain to see the fern seed of a heretical general love of God for all, and missing the elephant at ten paces of God's love to the elect alone. Which leads me to my next question. Do you maintain that God wills the salvation of all men ?

I am reading the questions for lords day 10 and I dont see that. I do see him using men, man, and human race interchangeably in his own commentary. And in his explanation here he says God demonstrates his care for the human race: "The excellent virtues, exploits, and success of heroes surpassordinary capacity of man, the singular gifts and excellency of articers which God has conferred upon certain indivuals for the general good and for the preservation of the human society %c testify that there is a God, who has a care for the human race." P., 149. I see nothing here proving what you assert. He uses the word man to denote the human race.

As for wills the salvation of all men, sure, just as Urinsus does, as I posted to you. God wills and invites all men to repentance and this is an act of his mercy. Didnt you read the whole section I posted the other day?



response: 3 loves? What pathetic exegesis you submit.
response: The Canons of Dort, especially the rejection of errors. What is so ironic and in refutation to your vain philosophy is that this same Synod not only rejected these vain fancys you speak of as advocated by the remonstrants, but also took on the Belgic Confession and the Heidelberg Catechism as the Three forms on Unity for the Reformed church internationally. They did not overlook things, they were thorough and had to be. They seen it as it was and those of us who confess these as the truths of Scripture, reject as they, the heretical systems of men including the love of God for all.

Ursinus says there are degrees in the love of God, there is a love to the creature, a love to man, and a love to the church, ie the elect. He says God wills and invites all men to repentance, as he is mercy. So where in any of these confessions is this negated? Post a line and chapter.


Response: Again I refer you to the Canons of Dort. The Canons of Dort are a clear refute of heretical doctrine. Your choice of wording "pre 1924" shows a disgust with distinctive PRC doctrine that also refutes common grace. So this then leads me to my next question. Do you advocate a common grace of God. I simply asl that you give a simple yes or no to my questions, no four levels of understanding or straddling the fence. Thank you in advance greetings and salutations, el rana

I asked you some questions, you just ignore them but add bluster to your rhetoric. Can you name for me, one maintream Reformed theologian whom you think denied the general love of God for mankind, before 1924? Or, of this list, whom do you think is a credible representative of orthodox Reformed teaching: Calvin, Polanus, Heppe, a' Brakel, Turretin, Bavinck? Can you name anyone prior to 1924 who denied the doctrine of general love? If I would cite any of these showing that they held that God has a general love to all men, which is distinguished from his electing love, would you accept their testimony?

Lastly, when Ursinus says man, he means men, the human race.

Bye Ray,
Flynn

Flynn
02-14-05, 02:35 PM
God does not base his love on what happens in time. His love is not based on the faith of the individual! God did not stand at war against His precious elect without faith, as He loved them in the EVERLASTING Covenant of Grace! He loved them based solely on the merits of Christ Alone.Hey Darth,

I never said he basis his love on what happens in time. So we are back to the rational assumption again. So tell me Darth, why does Paul say that now we have peace with God Roms 5:1, and now there is no condemnation from God, 8:1. I dont hold to eternal justification, which actually doesnt solve anything, as for any object to be justified, even in eternity, that objected must have been seen as needing justification, hence that object was in some sense, worthy of condemnation and death, objects of wrath, even if only logically in the mind of God, and not temporally in space and time.

So, how is it that by faith we now have peace with God and now no longer condemned? Did God change? What happened? Are you going to say that only in my conscience I have peace with God, and only in my mind I am now no longer condemned by my minds condemnation of me?

Take care arf gill. ;-)
Flynn

disciple
02-14-05, 02:48 PM
As for "in some contexts ... almost no distinction" I wonder whether it is so. I doubt...As for John 21 I looked at it. The context involves phileO vs. agapaO and oida vs. ginooskoo. Very interesting. I would have to study the context carefully to see whether "my" distinction between phileO and agapaO holds true even here. I do not think Christ used them as exact synonyms here. I do not think the switch from agapaO to phileO was some stylistic thing on His part. He meant something by thus doing. And it was for Peter's benefit. Neither was Peter's switching from oida to ginooskoo some stylistic thing on his part. The two are not exact synonyms. He did the switch for a good reason. You asked "what precisely do the different terms mean?". As for phileO vs. agapaO I briefly (not exhaustively) propose "to love with affection" vs. "to love out of principle". But contextually here there may be need for some modification as to exact sense. As for oida vs. ginooskoo in the context I would propose a quite general distinction, viz. "to perceive, to understand, to know in a cognitive way" (eidO) vs. "to know experientially" (ginooskoo). But as for ginooskoo I would add that when God absolutely considered is involved then it may take on the sense of "to know absolutely", i.e. to know in every possible way and with absolute certainty.but what exegetical basis do you have for making this claim? you say "you think" but you give no exegetical basis. you say that it was "for a good reason" but you do not demonstrate from the text what that reason is. also you have only dealt with two out of the six sets of synonyms. what about the following? βοσκω/ποιμαινω (vv. 15-17), αρνιον/προβατον (vv. 15-17), οιδα/γινωσκω (v. 17), προσφαγιον/ιχθυς/οψαριον (vv. 5-11), ελκυω/συρω (vv. 6, 8)

Brandan
02-14-05, 02:54 PM
Hey Darth,

I never said he basis his love on what happens in time. Umm, what does this mean then? "God is hostile to us as we stand without faith. Thats the essence of justification. "


So we are back to the rational assumption again. So tell me Darth, why does Paul say that now we have peace with God Roms 5:1, and now there is no condemnation from God, 8:1. That's experimental only. We have peace with God (in our conscience) through faith alone. God's wrath is not appeased by our faith.


I dont hold to eternal justification, which actually doesnt solve anything, as for any object to be justified, even in eternity, that objected must have been seen as needing justification, hence that object was in some sense, worthy of condemnation and death, objects of wrath, even if only logically in the mind of God, and not temporally in space and time.You don't have to. Biblical justification is justification by Christ Alone. Faith is evidence - not means of attaining.


So, how is it that by faith we now have peace with God and now no longer condemned? Did God change? What happened? Are you going to say that only in my conscience I have peace with God, and only in my mind I am now no longer condemned by my minds condemnation of me?Yes.


Take care arf gill. ;-)
FlynnWhat does "arf" mean?

ray kikkert
02-14-05, 02:56 PM
[QUOTE=Flynn]G'day Ray,

I will not entertain your heresy, it lacks edification.

Neither will I send a word of greeting to you. I consider you an enemy. You are hesitant to reveal who you are.

Reasons:

You advocate a love of God for all men, not the elect alone.
You advocate a universal atonement of Christ , since all men are loved by Him.
You advocate a common grace of God to all men.

I asked these questions flat out. Your house is one of desolation. For me to entertain your exegesis is to admit their is substance to it, which there is not , and that is made evident in your appeal to man. A chasing after the wind.


el rana

disciple
02-14-05, 03:05 PM
Actually, it is good to dwell on God's hatred as well as God's love. I do indeed dwell on all of God's attributes and admire them![/color]but you seem to spend an inordinate amount of time discussing God's hatred. i believe He does hate the reprobate but that does not mean he also doesn't love them in a certain sense. and if Scripture uses this language, then regardless of our systems or the men we venerate we should be OK with using this language.


No, it's very important. I need to know why you vehemently defend God's love for the reprobate. It's obviously very important to you people. Otherwise, you'd blow it off and wouldn't argue it. I can understand if you're simply only interested in maintaining the truth of Scripture, but this is a topic that those who object to my beliefs are willing to hiss and snarl at me over. I want to know why!
because as i said, there is a revisionist history being dispensed here that i think people should have all the evidence about so that they can make an informed decision. as the proverb says, "The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him." (proverbs 18:17)


Another thing is we should carefully represent the views of dead theologians![/color]i'm glad you feel the same way. so where is the evidence that calvin, gill, ursinus, Scripture, etc. teaches that God does not love all people without exclusion and that Christ did not die for all people without exclusion? remember, a positive premise does not prove the inverse of a different premise. for example the following syllogism is fallicious:

Minor Premise: God can only love or hate a person
Major Premise: God loves the elect
Conclusion: God has no love for the reprobate in any sense

this is a fallacy because the minor premise has not been proven true and the conclusion does not follow. so if you provide a quote that says that God loves the elect, for example, it does not follow that God can have no love at all, in any sense, for the reprobate.


Doug, that is as bold faced a contradiction as I've ever seen. <sarcasm (not excessive lol)>Oh yeah, it sure is loving to send a person to hell and take pleasure in it! </sarcasm>it is only a contradiction in your fixed system without any degrees and without any nuance allowed.

GraceAmbassador
02-14-05, 03:22 PM
Although believing that I am being ignored here, which it is okay with me, I will just post this question in here knowing that most likely I will not receive an answer or will receive one just to be proven wrong:

Which one of you who teaches what you teach are really in a position of responsibility before the body of Christ to teach what you teach? Within the same question, can you be at peace and present yourself accountable to God for teaching what you teach?

It is very easy and confortable defend a position without any accountability at all. You can always change later... It is another thing to make a decision on a position prayerfully and be ready for the consequences. This is not self-righteousness, but the way some of the positions are being presented and defended here is making me feel that I am back at first year of Bible School discussing things that we would not care if we would deny in the future... It is obvious by now that "translations" will NOT solve any problem and not bring about any agreement. If scholarship would solve every single theological dispute, we would all be worshipping some kind of "guru" in the likes of the Hindus. Scholarship can help, but at this point, in this thread exclusively, it is obviously not. Not even the mentioning of our past "gurus" and quoting them is helping in this debate. I pray that we find some agreement or disagreement here based on responsibility and accountability...

Milt

Brandan
02-14-05, 03:26 PM
i'm glad you feel the same way. so where is the evidence that calvin, gill, ursinus, Scripture, etc. teaches that God does not love all people without exclusion and that Christ did not die for all people without exclusion? Whoah whoah whoah back up there. Do you think Christ died for all people without exclusion? I can prove to you that Gill did not believe that Christ died for all people! That's universal atonement and he fought against it his entire life. But whether Gill or Calvin taught this is not that important to me.

You asked, where does "Scripture" teach that Christ did not die for all people without exclusion! Ummmmm, you're a moderator here - I thought you knew!

Flynn
02-14-05, 03:34 PM
I will not entertain your heresy, it lacks edification.
Neither will I send a word of greeting to you. I consider you an enemy. You are hesitant to reveal who you are. Reasons: You advocate a love of God for all men, not the elect alone. You advocate a universal atonement of Christ , since all men are loved by Him.You advocate a common grace of God to all men. I asked these questions flat out. Your house is one of desolation. For me to entertain your exegesis is to admit their is substance to it, which there is not , and that is made evident in your appeal to man. A chasing after the wind.
el rana
Man you are self-evidently evasive and in a humungus crack. :-) You cant sustain any line of your doctrine from anyone prior to 1924, can you? Ursinus says that God wills that salvation of all men, and that God has a love to man as man, and see how do you handle that. It must be a theological nightmare for you, hey? The author of one of the three forms of unity teaching a doctrine that you and the PRC condemns as heresy. Thats gotta be scary for you.

Tonight I will post some more from Ursinus.

See ya around Ray.
Flynn

disciple
02-14-05, 03:44 PM
Whoah whoah whoah back up there. Do you think Christ died for all people without exclusion? I can prove to you that Gill did not believe that Christ died for all people! That's universal atonement and he fought against it his entire life. But whether Gill or Calvin taught this is not that important to me.perhaps in a sense. such as calvin describes. but not in the same sense that He died for the elect. it follows that general/particular, common/special, etc. distinction or duality that calvin, gill, hodge, dabney, shedd, ursinus, etc. explicate.


You asked, where does "Scripture" teach that Christ did not die for all people without exclusion! Ummmmm, you're a moderator here - I thought you knew!i know of the Scriptures that declare that He died for the elect in a special sense (or that He died for the elect without comment of whether or not it applied in any sense to anyone else) but i know of no Scripture that explicitly says that Christ did not die for all men without exclusion in any sense (this can only be deduced through inference if you hold to a high calvinist construct). could you provide any?

disciple
02-14-05, 03:53 PM
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BROTHER!

I have been greatly blessed by my interaction with you although it seems like a monologue...

May the Lord continue to keep you as a blessing to others even in a greater way you have been so far!

Miltthanks a ton milt! i appreciate that! ;)

Flynn
02-14-05, 03:54 PM
G'day Darth,


Umm, what does this mean then? "God is hostile to us as we stand without faith. Thats the essence of justification. "?
God's love is not based on what we do in time as if we are the efficient and primary cause of the action which turns God, as it were. God's actions in time are determined by his decree, unconditional and sovereign. In this sense, God decrees to act in time. He decrees to justify us in time. He decrees to have us in a state as objects of his wrath and hostility in time. So in that sense his love is not based on what we do in time. But the Bible does not negate the temporal aspect as a necessary instrumental means. Thus in time, I am under the wrath of God. Through the instrumentality of faith, I have peace with God, and I am free from the condemnation of the law.




That's experimental only. We have peace with God (in our conscience) through faith alone. God's wrath is not appeased by our faith.
You don't have to. Biblical justification is justification by Christ Alone. Faith is evidence - not means of attaining. Yes.?

Do you have a single verse which says that I am justified in time, in my conscience? One verse? The context of Roms 5 and 8 is very objective, God and his Law, not my mind and my conscience. I am now free from the condemnation of the law of God. Who would say that the law of God can be reduced down to a feeling state in my own mind? You? If so, Scripture? Is my peace with God now reduced to a feeling state as well? Is that what Paul is talking about? Hardly.

Eternal Justification solves nothing. Think about this. God in eternity justified us. Okay, we had to be 'seen' in the mind of God as justified. That very word presupposes sin. Only sinners are justified. God saw us as criminals in once sense, atemporally and logically, and so he justified us, atemporally and logically. Therefore even in the decree to eternally justify, God can see us as sinners, objects of wrath and as justifed. It solves nothing, but actually proves that God can see the same object in different senses. But aside from that, Scripture does not teach eternal justification.

Of course the irrationality of eternal justification is further exposed as soon as you factor in the concordant doctrine of supralapsarianism, of man in the pure mass eternally elected. How a man in the pure mass can be justified is impossible, a logical contradiction like a square circle. Its therefore impossible to have a man coordinately eternally elected in the pure mass and eternally justifed.

But back to the point at hand. Where does it say that justification in time happens in the conscience?


What does "arf" mean?
English humour: you are only arf a gillite. ;-) Put on a cockney accent it will sound very funny. :-) You only believe in arf of Gills teachings.

Take care,
Flynn

Flynn
02-14-05, 03:58 PM
G'day Nutt,


Although believing that I am being ignored here, which it is okay with me, I will just post this question in here knowing that most likely I will not receive an answer or will receive one just to be proven wrong:
Well now that Ray has bowed out of the conversation because has nothing to bring to the discussion table but anathemas. Its hard responding to 4 or more people. Not ignoring, just prioritizing you.


Which one of you who teaches what you teach are really in a position of responsibility before the body of Christ to teach what you teach? Within the same question, can you be at peace and present yourself accountable to God for teaching what you teach?
I am of the Otherite faith. We have no problem with common grace. :-)


It is very easy and confortable defend a position without any accountability at all. You can always change later... It is another thing to make a decision on a position prayerfully and be ready for the consequences. This is not self-righteousness, but the way some of the positions are being presented and defended here is making me feel that I am back at first year of Bible School discussing things that we would not care if we would deny in the future... It is obvious by now that "translations" will NOT solve any problem and not bring about any agreement. If scholarship would solve every single theological dispute, we would all be worshipping some kind of "guru" in the likes of the Hindus. Scholarship can help, but at this point, in this thread exclusively, it is obviously not. Not even the mentioning of our past "gurus" and quoting them is helping in this debate. I pray that we find some agreement or disagreement here based on responsibility and accountability... Milt
The OPC and the PCA have no problem with anything I have said, so its not that we Otherites are out on a limb. :-)

Take care,
Flynn

disciple
02-14-05, 03:59 PM
I will not entertain your heresy, it lacks edification.

Neither will I send a word of greeting to you. I consider you an enemy. You are hesitant to reveal who you are.

Reasons:

You advocate a love of God for all men, not the elect alone.
You advocate a universal atonement of Christ , since all men are loved by Him.
You advocate a common grace of God to all men.

I asked these questions flat out. Your house is one of desolation. For me to entertain your exegesis is to admit their is substance to it, which there is not , and that is made evident in your appeal to man. A chasing after the wind.

el ranathat's a dodge if i ever saw one. so i guess we have our answer. does this mean you will throw out your assertions since they are apparently baseless? this is what i was talking about when i alluded to poor scholarship and poor debating techniques. if you make an assertion, make you must provide the evidence. if not, then don't make the assertion or if you've already made it and you have no evidence, then you must retract it. so what will it be?

Skeuos Eleos
02-14-05, 04:12 PM
I will not entertain your heresy, it lacks edification.

Neither will I send a word of greeting to you. I consider you an enemy. You are hesitant to reveal who you are.

Reasons:

You advocate a love of God for all men, not the elect alone.
You advocate a universal atonement of Christ , since all men are loved by Him.
You advocate a common grace of God to all men.

I asked these questions flat out. Your house is one of desolation. For me to entertain your exegesis is to admit their is substance to it, which there is not , and that is made evident in your appeal to man. A chasing after the wind.

el ranaNow wait a minute Ray. A response has been posted to your questions which seems like a rational and reasonable response, and some further questions have been asked but you seem to be refusing to answer. Calling something heresy does not make it heresy. There are people reading this who, as yet, will be unconvinced one way or the other. If you do not answer the questions raised but resort to ad hominem attacks do you not risk people not taking your posts seriously?

I've got to say I am watching this debate with great interest and I think this is a perfectly good question:
you too, need to prove that God cannot love and hate the same object in different senses. I need to see someone answer this because it undermines what I, and I assume you, have come to believe. Now, I don't have an answer but I'm hoping that you do because I sincerely hope that you have not resorted to this approach because you are unable to answer the questions posed because surely the sincere thing to do would be to admit that?

Now you may not like what is being said but surely, if you are prepared to make such a strong stand, then, for the sake of weaker brothers and sisters, you ought to present a credible defence for what you believe and why you disagree with what is being said or admit your inability to do so?

Soli Deo Gloria,
Martin

GraceAmbassador
02-14-05, 04:13 PM
God's love is not based on what we do in time as if we are the efficient and primary cause of the action which turns God, as it were. God's actions in time are determined by his decree, unconditional and sovereign. In this sense, God decrees to act in time. He decrees to justify us in time. He decrees to have us in a state as objects of his wrath and hostility in time. So in that sense his love is not based on what we do in time. But the Bible does not negate the temporal aspect as a necessary instrumental means. Thus in time, I am under the wrath of God. Through the instrumentality of faith, I have peace with God, and I am free from the condemnation of the law.
We are still confusing God's changing of His disposition towards someone with Him changing His love towards someone (or a group, etc.). I believe that in order to prove that God changed His love toward someone is to show without shadow of doubt that God reneged or cancelled His promise to that person, or group, or organic "organism" etc. For the sake of being mutually exclusive, that is, love/hate towards the elect versus love/hate towards the unelect, we have to prove that God HAS any promise to the unelect as He has for the elect and if He reneges in both cases on His promises when and if He hates them. I don't think this is possible and to use "paradox" theology is the worst cop out I have ever seen. I can use that "exit" in most issues if I refuse to debate them... That's what I think...


Not ignoring, just prioritizing you.

It is okay with me as I said! I can exercise the same right of "prioritizing and/or ignoring". I just think it is not courteous though!

I am checking out of this debate as well but will read every post and should I feel the need to respond I will. Thanks

Milt

Ivor Thomas
02-14-05, 04:27 PM
Flynn could i ask you a question, because everything you have said inevitabely leads me to this conclusion about what you believe,Do you believe the blood of Christ was shed in any sense or way? for those who go to Hell.. Ivor Thomas..

Skeuos Eleos
02-14-05, 04:27 PM
We are still confusing God's changing of His disposition towards someone with Him changing His love towards someone (or a group, etc.) Milt, I am not sure I understand the difference between the two? If what followed that was a further explanation then I'm sorry but please could you make it a little clearer for me I'm not sure I'm following what you're saying.

I am checking out of this debate as well but will read every post and should I feel the need to respond I will. Thanks


Hopefully you'll 'check back in' to help out your poor English friend? (Friends in everything except soccer that is! :D )

Martin

GraceAmbassador
02-14-05, 04:40 PM
Milt, I am not sure I understand the difference between the two? If what followed that was a further explanation then I'm sorry but please could you make it a little clearer for me I'm not sure I'm following what you're saying.


Hopefully you'll 'check back in' to help out your poor English friend? (Friends in everything except soccer that is! :D )

Martin
Martin:

For the sake of understanding, I posted the following example a few posts ago (not with the same words):

If I love my son, but sometimes I discipline him harshly and hate what he did thus changing my disposition towards him, but I still maitain my promises to him, and ultimately fulfill them, does that mean that I changed as to my love for him? What did actually change: me or ONLY my disposition?

I hope this helps!

I call "soccer" football. Soccer is this poor little game that american girls play...

Milt

ray kikkert
02-14-05, 04:40 PM
that's a dodge if i ever saw one. so i guess we have our answer. does this mean you will throw out your assertions since they are apparently baseless? this is what i was talking about when i alluded to poor scholarship and poor debating techniques. if you make an assertion, make you are able to provide the evidence. if not, then don't make the assertion or if you've already made it, you must retract it.
I will in no wise retract my assertion, especially to you who ought to know better. This course of action you take is dangerous.

I submit the Word of God as we have it in 1st John chapter 3 and 4. Here we have clear indication of what God's love is and to whom it is directed.That the love of God is directed to more than to the elect is not taught by God. It is specific language for a chosen people. We are also told here how God's love is inseparably linked with the gift of faith and the gift of grace. That Faith and grace are also gifts given to the reprobate are also refuted by Scripture. John Calvin in no wise makes any attempt to define this love as something general for all men in his commentary here. Calvin does refer to the eternal purpose of God. Calvin is specific as to who this love of God is for. I love the brethren, I love not the world, and I am exhorted to try the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

I will submit that I do not possess "scholarship" and may exhibit "poor debating techniques" , but never let it be said that I cannot defend, or am not willing to give an answer for the hope that lies within me. Thus I will let one who is experienced answer the general love of God for all as valid based on John3:16

"THE 'WORLD' OF JOHN 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=JOHN+3:16) DOES NOT MEAN 'ALL MEN WITHOUT EXCEPTION"'

by Rev. David J. Engelsma

It is now common among Reformed people that, when one confesses God's election of some persons to salvation, God's particular love for the elect, and God's exclusive desire to save the elect, his confession is immediately contested by an appeal to John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16): "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Indeed, this is almost the rule. The one who thus appeals to John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16) intends to assert that God loves all men without exception and that God desires to save all men without exception. The basic assumption underlying this appeal to John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16), as an argument against election, is that the word, world, in John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16) means 'all men without exception.'

We do here announce, declare, and proclaim that this assumption is false. It is unbiblical. It commits one to a teaching that deviates from the gospel, fundamentally. The word, world, in John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16) does not mean 'all men without exception.'

We plead with our Reformed brothers and sisters who insist on understanding "world" in John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16) as "all men without exception" and on using this text against the confession of God's particular love for the elect to face up to the doctrinal position that they are taking. This, now, is their position: --God loves all men without exception, with a love that gives His only begotten Son for their salvation, that is, with the (saving) love that desires their salvation from sin and their eternal life in heaven.


- God gave His only begotten Son for all men without exception, that is, Jesus died for all men without exception.


- Nevertheless, many people whom God loves, whom God desires to save, and for whom Jesus died perish in hell, unsaved.


- Therefore, 1) many persons are separated from the love of God; 2) God's desire to save is frustrated in the case of many persons; and 3) the death of Jesus failed to save many for whom the Son of God, in fact, died.


- The reason for this sad state of affairs is that those persons refused to believe in Jesus, although they were able to do so by virtue of their free will.


- On the other hand, the reason why the others are saved is not that God loved them, desired their salvation, and gave His Son to die for them (for He also loved those who perish, desired their salvation, and gave His Son for them), but that they, by their free will, chose to believe.


- In conclusion, the damnation of the wicked is the defeat and disappointment of God, whereas the salvation of the believers is their own work.

When the all-men-without-exception-people quote John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16), this is how they are reading it: "For God so loved all men without exception, that he gave his only begotten Son to die for all men without exception, with the desire that all men without exception be saved, so that whosoever believeth in him, of his own free will, should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Whenever anyone challenges the confession of God's particular, exclusive love for His elect by quoting John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16), we must regretfully conclude that he holds the doctrinal position set forth above and wishes to confess it publicly, in order thus to overthrow the Reformed doctrine of predestination, limited atonement, total depravity, effectual grace, and the preservation of saints (which is only an elaborate way of saying, salvation by grace alone--the gospel).

The word, world, in the gospel of John does not mean 'all men without exception.' Proof:


- John 1:29 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+1:29): "Beho1d the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." Did Christ by His death take away the sin of all men without exception? If He did, all men without exception shall be saved.


- John 6:33 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+6:33). "For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world." Does Jesus give life (not, ineffectually offer life, but, efficaciously give life) to all men without exception? If He does, all men without exception have eternal life.


- John 17:9 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+17:9): "I (Jesus) pray not for the world." Does Jesus refuse to pray for all men without exception?

This last text points out that the word, world, in the gospel of John does not always have the same meaning. In John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16), the world is loved by God, with a love that gives the Son of God for its sake; in John 17:9 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+17:9), the Son of God refuses to pray for the world. The saints must not come to an understanding of the world of John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16) by a quick assumption, but by careful interpretation of the passage in the light of the rest of Scripture.

What then is the truth about the world of John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16)? Loved by God with Divine, almighty, effectual, faithful, eternal love, the world is saved. All of it! All of them!

Redeemed by the precious, worthy, powerful, effectual death of the Son of God, the world is saved. All of it! All of them!

The salvation of all the persons included in the world of John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16) is due solely to the effectual love of God and the redeeming death of Christ for them; whereas the persons who perish were never loved by God, nor redeemed by Christ, that is, they are not part of the world of John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16).

The world of John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16) (Greek: kosmos, from which comes our English word, cosmos, referring to our "orderly, harmonious, systematic universe") is the creation made by God in the beginning, now disordered by sin, with the elect from all nations, now by nature children of wrath even as the others, as the core of it. As regards its people, the world of John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16) is the new humanity in Jesus Christ, the last Adam (I Corinthians 15:45 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=I+Corinthians+15:45)). John calls this new human race "the world" in order to show, and emphasize, that it is not from the Jewish people alone, but from all nations and peoples (Revelation 7:9 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Revelation+7:9)). The people who make up the world of John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16) are all those, and those only, who will become believers (whosoever believeth); and it is the elect who believe (Acts 13:48 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Acts+13:48)).

This explanation of John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16) is not some strange, new interpretation dreamed up by latter-day hyper-Calvinists, but the explanation that has been given in the past by defenders of the Faith we call Reformed, that is, by those who confessed the sovereign grace of God in the salvation of sinners.

This was the explanation given by Frances Turretin, Reformed theologian in Geneva (1623-1687):


The love treated of in John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16). . . cannot be universal towards all and every one, but special towards a few... because the end of that love which God intends is the salvation of those whom He pursues with such love... If therefore God sent Christ for that end, that through Him the world might be saved, He must either have failed of His end, or the world must necessarily be saved in fact. But it is certain that not the whole world, but only those chosen out of the world are saved; therefore, to them properly has this love reference.... Why then should not the world here be taken not universally for individuals, but indefinitely for anyone, Jews as well as Gentiles, without distinction of nation, language and condition, that He may be said to have loved the human race, inasmuch as He was unwilling to destroy it entirely but decreed to save some certain persons out of it, not only from one people as before, but from all indiscriminately, although the effects of that love should not be extended to each individual, but only to some certain ones, viz, those chosen out of the world? (Theological Institutes)

About the word, world, in Scripture, Abraham Kuyper, the Dutch theologian (1837-1920) wrote:


For if there is anything that is certain from a somewhat more attentive reading of Holy Scripture, and that may be held as firmly established, it is, really, the irrefutable fact, that the word, world, in Holy Scripture, means "all men" only as a very rare exception and almost always means something entirely different.

In explanation, specifically, of the "world" of John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16), Kuyper went on to say that the reference is to the "proper kernel" of the creation, the elect people of God, "which Jesus snatches away from Satan."


...out of this kernel, out this congregation, out of this people, a "new world," a "new earth and new heaven," shall one day appear, by a wonder-work of God. The earth does not merely serve to allow the elect to be saved, in order then to disappear. No, the elect are men; these men form a whole, a collection, an organism; that organism is grounded in creation; and because now this creation is the reflection of God's wisdom and the work of His hands, God's administration of it may not come to nothing, but in the Great Day God's will with this creation shall be perfectly realized. [Dat De Genade Particulier Is (That Grace is Particular). My translation of the Dutch.]

Essentially the same is the interpretation of Arthur W. Pink (1886-1952):


Turning now to John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16), it should be evident from the passages just quoted that this verse will not bear the construction usually put upon it. "God so loved the world." Many suppose that this means, The entire human race. But "the entire human race" includes all mankind from Adam till the close of earth's history: it reaches backward as well as forward! Consider, then, the history of mankind before Christ was born. Unnumbered millions lived and died before the Savior came to the earth, lived here "having no hope and without God in the world," and therefore passed out into eternity of woe. If God "loved" them, where is the slightest proof thereof? Scripture declares "Who (God) in times past (from the tower of Babel till after Pentecost) suffered all nations to walk in their own ways" (Acts 14:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Acts+14:16)). Scripture declares that "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient" (Rom. 1:28 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Rom+1:28)). To Israel God said, "You only have I known of all the families of the earth" (Amos 3:2 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Amos+3:2)). In view of these plain passages who will be so foolish as to insist that God in the past loved all mankind! The same applies with equal force to the future .... But the objector comes back to John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16) and says, "World means world. "True, but we have shown that "the world" does not mean the whole human family. The fact is that "the world" is used in a general way... Now the first thing to note in connection with John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16) is that our Lord was there speaking to Nicodemus, a man who believed that God's mercies were confined to his own nation. Christ there announced that God's love in giving His Son had a larger object in view, that it flowed beyond the boundary of Palestine, reaching out to "regions beyond." In other words, this was Christ's announcement that God had a purpose of grace toward Gentiles as well as Jews. "God so loved the world," then, signifies, God's love is international in its scope. But does this mean that God loves every individual among the Gentiles? Not necessarily, for as we have seen the term "world" is general rather than specific, relative rather than absolute . . . the "world" in John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16) must, in the final analysis refer to the world of God's people. Must we say, for there is no other alternative solution. It cannot mean the whole human race, for one half of the race was already in hell when Christ came to earth. It is unfair to insist that it means every human being now living, for every other passage in the New Testament where God's love is mentioned limits it to His own people-- search and see! The objects of God's love in John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16) are precisely the same as the objects of Christ's love in John 13:1 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+13:1): "Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His time was come, that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end." We may admit that our interpretation of John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16) is no novel one invented by us, but one almost uniformly given by the Reformers and Puritans, and many others since them. (The Sovereignty of God)

We can only marvel that Reformed men and women are so soon removed from the truth of God's sovereign, particular, electing love in Jesus Christ, which truth has not only been confessed "by the Reformers and Puritans" before them, but has also been confessed by the Reformed church herself in her Creed, the Canons of Dordt.

Who hath bewitched them?

As for us, we are determined, out of love for the truth, to oppose the lie of a love of God in Jesus Christ for all men without exception; to try to rescue those who have been taken captive by this doctrine; and to preach and testify, near and far, in season and out of season, a love of God for the world that saves the world, a death of the Son of God that redeemed the world, a purpose of God for the saving of sinners that is accomplished, and a salvation of enslaved sinners by the sovereign power of the grace of God alone for the comfort of every believer and the glory of God.

Also I have appealed to the Canons of Dort and specifically the rejection of errors in the first head that deals with predestination, the basis of Calvins argumentation, and this , the Canons of Dort is the outworking of Calvin



The true doctrine concerning Election and Reprobation having been explained, the Synod rejects the errors of those:

I (http://www.prca.org/cd_index.html#head1). Who teach: That the will of God to save those who would believe and would persevere in faith and in the obedience of faith, is the whole and entire decree of election unto salvation, and that nothing else concerning this decree has been revealed in God's Word.

For these deceive the simple and plainly contradict the Scriptures, which declare that God will not only save those who will believe, but that he has also from eternity chosen certain particular persons to whom above others he in time will grant both faith in Christ and perseverance; as it written: "I manifested thy name unto the men whom thou gavest me out of the world," John 17:6 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=john+17:6)."And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed," Acts 13:48 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=acts+13:48).And: "Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love," Ephesians 1:4 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=ephesians+1:4).

II (http://www.prca.org/cd_index.html#head1). Who teach: That there are various kinds of election of God unto eternal life: the one general and indefinite, the other particular and definite; and that the latter in turn is either incomplete, revocable, non-decisive and conditional, or complete, irrevocable, decisive and absolute. Likewise: that there is one election unto faith, and another unto salvation, so that election can be unto justifying faith, without being a decisive election unto salvation. For this is a fancy of men's minds, invented regardless of the Scriptures, whereby the doctrine of election is corrupted, and this golden chain of our salvation is broken: "And whom he foreordained, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified," Romans 8:30 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=romans+8:30).

III (http://www.prca.org/cd_index.html#head1). Who teach: That the good pleasure and purpose of God, of which Scripture makes mention in the doctrine of election, does not consist in this, that God chose certain persons rather than others, but in this that he chose out of all possible conditions (among which are also the works of the law), or out of the whole order of things, the act of faith which from its very nature is undeserving, as well as its incomplete obedience, as a condition of salvation, and that he would graciously consider this in itself as a complete obedience and count it worthy of the reward of eternal life. For by this injurious error the pleasure of God and the merits of Christ are made of none effect, and men are drawn away by useless questions from the truth of gracious justification and from the simplicity of Scripture, and this declaration of the Apostle is charged as untrue: "Who saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before times eternal." 2 Timothy 1:9 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=2+timothy+1:9).

IV (http://www.prca.org/cd_index.html#head1). Who teach: that in the election unto faith this condition is beforehand demanded, namely, that man should use the light of nature aright, be pious, humble, meek, and fit for eternal life, as if on these things election were in any way dependent. For this savors of the teaching of Pelagius, and is opposed to the doctrine of the apostle, when he writes: "Among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest; but God being rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace have ye been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus; for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man should glory," Ephesians 2:3-9 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=ephesians+2:3-9).

V (http://www.prca.org/cd_index.html#head1). Who teach: That the incomplete and non-decisive election of particular persons to salvation occurred because of a foreseen faith, conversion, holiness, godliness, which either began or continued for some time; but that the complete and decisive election occurred because of foreseen perseverance unto the end in faith, conversion, holiness and godliness; and that this is the gracious and evangelical worthiness, for the sake of which he who is chosen, is more worthy than he who is not chosen; and that therefore faith, the obedience of faith, holiness, godliness and perseverance are not fruits of the unchangeable election unto glory, but are conditions, which, being required beforehand, were foreseen as being met by those who will be fully elected, and are causes without which the unchangeable election to glory does not occur.

This is repugnant to the entire Scripture, which constantly inculcates this and similar declarations: Election is not out of works, but of him that calleth. Romans 9:11 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=romans+9:11)."As many as were ordained to eternal life believed," Acts 13:48 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=acts+13:48)."He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy," Ephesians 1:4 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=ephesians+1:4)."Ye did not choose me, but I chose you," John 15:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=john+15:16)."But if it be of grace, it is no more of works," Romans 11:6 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=romans+11:6)."Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son," I John 4:10 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=1+john+4:10).

VI (http://www.prca.org/cd_index.html#head1). Who teach: That not every election unto salvation is unchangeable, but that some of the elect, any decree of God notwithstanding, can yet perish and do indeed perish. By which gross error they make God to be changeable, and destroy the comfort which the godly obtain out of the firmness of their election, and contradict the Holy Scripture, which teaches, that the elect can not be lead astray, Matthew 24:24 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=matt+24:24);that Christ does not lose those whom the Father gave him, John 6:39 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=john+6:39);and that God hath also glorified those whom he foreordained, called and justified. Romans 8:30 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=romans+8:30).

VII (http://www.prca.org/cd_index.html#head1). Who teach: That there is in this life no fruit and no consciousness of the unchangeable election to glory, nor any certainty, except that which depends on a changeable and uncertain condition. For not only is it absurd to speak of an uncertain certainty, but also contrary to the experience of the saints, who by virtue of the consciousness of their election rejoice with the Apostle and praise this favor of God, Ephesians 1 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=ephesians+1);who according to Christ's admonition rejoice with his disciples that their names are written in heaven, Luke 10:20 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=luke+10:20);who also place the consciousness of their election over against the fiery darts of the devil, asking: "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?" Romans 8:33 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=romans+8:33).

VIII (http://www.prca.org/cd_index.html#head1). Who teach: That God, simply by virtue of his righteous will, did not decide either to leave anyone in the fall of Adam and in the common state of sin and condemnation, or to pass anyone by in the communication of grace which is necessary for faith and conversion. For this is firmly decreed: "He hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardeneth," Romans 9:18 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=romans+9:18).And also this: "Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given," Matthew 13:11 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=matt+13:11). Likewise: "I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou didst hide these things from the wise and understanding, and didst reveal them unto babes; yea, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in thy sight," Matthew 11:25,26 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=matt+11:25,26). IX (http://www.prca.org/cd_index.html#head1). Who teach: That the reason why God sends the gospel to one people rather than to another is not merely and solely the good pleasure of God, but rather the fact that one people is better and worthier than another to whom the gospel is not communicated. For this Moses denies, addressing the people of Israel as follows: "Behold unto Jehovah thy God belongeth heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth, with all that is therein. Only Jehovah had a delight in thy fathers to love him, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all peoples, as at this day," Deuteronomy 10:14,15 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=deut+10:14,15).And Christ said: "Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the might works had been done in Tyre and Sidon which were done in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes," Matthew 11:21 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=matt+11:21).



greetings and salutations, el rana

disciple
02-14-05, 04:41 PM
I need to know why you vehemently defend God's love for the reprobate. It's obviously very important to you people. Otherwise, you'd blow it off and wouldn't argue it...Doug, that is as bold faced a contradiction as I've ever seen.so would the following verses (courtesy of flynn) be a bold faced contradiction with such passages as Ro 9:13 for example?

deut 10:18 He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.

jer 16:5 For thus saith the LORD, Enter not into the house of mourning, neither go to lament nor bemoan them: for I have taken away my peace from this people, saith the LORD, even lovingkindness and mercies.

and please note that i used KJV for those who believe it is wrong to eat meat.

disciple
02-14-05, 04:48 PM
I submit the Word of God as we have it in 1st John chapter 3 and 4. Here we have clear indication of what God's love is and to whom it is directed.That the love of God is directed to more than to the elect is not taught by God. It is specific language for a chosen people. We are also told here how God's love is inseparably linked with the gift of faith and the gift of grace. That Faith and grace are also gifts given to the reprobate are also refuted by Scripture.nothing here says that he does not love all men without exclusion in any sense at all. if i say that i love my wife, it does not automatically follow that i love no one else or that i can have no other type of love for anyone else in any sense whatsover. again, this is to commit the fallacy of disjunctive syllogism (http://www.tektonics.org/logical_fallacies.html#350).


John Calvin in no wise makes any attempt to define this love as something general for all men in his commentary here. Calvin does refer to the eternal purpose of God. Calvin is specific as to who this love of God is for. I love the brethren, I love not the world, and I am exhorted to try the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world.really? what of all the quotes that have been provided where calvin explicitly does exactly this? for example his commentary on john 3:16?


I will submit that I do not possess "scholarship" and may exhibit "poor debating techniques" , but never let it be said that I cannot defend, or am not willing to give an answer for the hope that lies within me. Thus I will let one who is experienced answer the general love of God for all as valid based on John3:16so your defense is to post someone else's article? can you articulate any of this in your own words? and am i having a discussion with you or with the PRC?

ray kikkert
02-14-05, 05:06 PM
nothing here says that he does not love all men without exclusion in any sense at all. if i say that i love my wife, it does not mean that i love no one else or that i can have no other type of love for anyone else in any sense whatsover. again, this is to commit the fallacy of disjunctive syllogism (http://www.tektonics.org/logical_fallacies.html#350).response: I see, so rather you will skirt who indeed is the object of God's love here, you object because of what is not said. Hmmmmmm, where have I heard this line of reasoning before ;)



really? what of all the quotes that have been provided where calvin explicitly does exactly this? for example his commentary on john 3:16?response: I have given basis, if you will not read it Disciple, that really is not my fault is it?



so your defense is to post someone else's article? can you articulate any of this in your own words?Response: Make up your mind and play by the rules you yourself are following. How is it okay for you to quote whomever you wish at length , yet I am not.

This is becoming very weak argumentation on your part now Disciple. You want to play a game of dodgeball blindfolded. When I ping sound reformed confessional exegesis off your head, you get upset. I appeal to you to take your blinders off, yet away you go crawling around searching for the ball. Then when you do find it , you end up throwing it in the opposite direction from where I am. A little pathetic is it not? Smarten up.


Greetings and salutations, el rana

disciple
02-14-05, 05:15 PM
response: I see, so rather you will skirt who indeed is the object of God's love here, you object because of what is not said.i'm not skirting anything. where exactly does the article you posted prove that God has no love whatsoever for any but the elect (let alone that calvin, ursinus, etc. taught this)? can you highlight the specific evidence? can you summarize it for me?

and would you say that if i made the statement that i love my wife and would die for her, that this also means that i love no one else in any sense whatsoever and that i wouldn't die for anyone else?


Hmmmmmm, where have I heard this line of reasoning before really?what is this cryptic response?


response: I have given basis, if you will not read it Disciple, that really is not my fault is it?where was your basis? where is the quote from calvin? where is your evidence?! i have not seen anything yet from you but an push to rom 9:13 and an article from engelsma. sheeesh!


Response: Make up your mind and play by the rules you yourself are following. How is it okay for you to quote whomever you wish at length , yet I am not.we're all asking for the evidence from calvin, ursinus, etc. not rhetoric from engelsma, hoeksema, etc. do you actually think that your article from engelsma proves your case? if so, please provide the exact point where engelsma provides this evidence from calvin, ursinus, etc.


This is becoming very weak argumentation on your part now Disciple. You want to play a game of dodgeball blindfolded. When I ping sound reformed confessional exegesis off your head, you get upset. I appeal to you to take your blinders off, yet away you go crawling around searching for the ball. Then when you do find it , you end up throwing it in the opposite direction from where I am. A little pathetic is it not? Smarten up.ho...hum. just more rhetoric. so again i ask, where is the evidence from calvin, ursinus, etc. that proves your case that they believed that God had no love in any sense whatsoever for any but the elect? do you have it?

Flynn
02-14-05, 05:28 PM
G'day Ray,

My what a big quote you have. :-)



I will in no wise retract my assertion, especially to you who ought to know better. This course of action you take is dangerous.

[cut cut]
John Calvin in no wise makes any attempt to define this love as something general for all men in his commentary here. Calvin does refer to the eternal purpose of God. Calvin is specific as to who this love of God is for. I love the brethren, I love not the world, and I am exhorted to try the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

I will submit that I do not possess "scholarship" and may exhibit "poor debating techniques" , but never let it be said that I cannot defend, or am not willing to give an answer for the hope that lies within me. Thus I will let one who is experienced answer the general love of God for all as valid based on John3:16 [cut cut]
Regardless of what you believe right now, try and really tell me what Calvin is saying in the following quotations from him on John 3:16:


1) It is true that Saint John says generally, that he loved the world. And why? For Jesus Christ offers himself generally to all men without exception to be their redeemer. It is said afterward in the covenant, that God loved the world when he sent his only son: but he loved us, us (I say) which have been taught by his Gospel, because he gathered us to him. And the faithful that are enlightened by the holy Ghost, have yet a third use of God's love, in that he reveals himself more familiarly to them, and seals up his fatherly adoption by his holy Spirit, and engraves it upon their hearts. Now then, let us in all cases learn to know this love of God, & when we be once come to it, let us go no further.

Thus we see three degrees of the love of God as shown us in our Lord
Jesus Christ. The first is in respect of the redemption that was purchased in the person of him that gave himself to death for us, and became accursed to reconcile us to God his father. That is the first degree of love, which extends to all men, inasmuch as Jesus Christ reaches out his arms to call and allure all men both great and small, and to win them to him. But there is a special love for those to whom the gospel is preached: which is that God testifies unto them that he will make them partakers of that benefit that was purchased for them by the death and passion of his son.

And for as much as we be of that number, therefore are we are double bound already to our God: here are two bonds which hold us as it were
straightened unto him. Now let us come to the third bond, which depends
upon the third love that God shows us: which is, that he not only causes
the gospel to be preached unto us, but also makes us to feel the power
thereof, not doubting but that our sins are forgiven us for our Lord Jesus Christ's sake... let us understand that he shows us a third love.

John Calvin, Sermons on Deuteronomy, (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth,
1987), p., 167


2) True it is, that this word, saviour, is oftentimes in holy writ given to the son of God: because it is he that hath fulfilled & brought to perfect end, whatsoever was requisite to our salvation... But yet notwithstanding, it is not also without cause, that in this place, S. Paul giveth God the father this title:& wherefore? Let us see from whence Jesus Christ came unto us. He was sent us from God his father, for so the scripture witnesses, God so loved the world, that he spared not his own begotten son, but delivered him to death for us [John 3:16, 1 John 4:9]. Therefore, whenever we behold our salvation in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, we must come to the very head and fountain from whence he came to us, that is to say, from the love which God bare unto mankind. And this is the reason wherefore S. Paul calls God Our Saviour: giving us to wit, by this word, that so oft as we think upon the profit which Jesus Christ has brought us, & we have gotten by him, we should lift up our hearts more high, and know, that God having pity upon the lost state wherein all the stock of Adam was, meant to provide for it, & therefore, gave this remedy, to wit, our Saviour Jesus Christ, who came to draw us out of the bottomless pit of death were in we were.

John Calvin, Sermons on Timothy and Titus (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth, 1983), p., 5.


3) That, then, is how our Lord Jesus bore the sins and iniquities of
many. But in fact, this word "many" is often as good as equivalent to
"all". And indeed, our Lord Jesus was offered to all the world. For it is not speaking of three or four when it says: ‘For God so loved the world, that he spared not His only Son." But yet we must notice that the
Evangelist adds in this passage: "That whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but obtain eternal life." Our Lord Jesus suffered for all, and there is neither great nor small who is not inexcusable today, for we can obtain salvation through him.

John Calvin, Sermons on Isaiah's Prophecy of the Death and Passion of
Christ, trans., by T.H.L. Parker (London: James Clarke & Co, 1966), sermon 7 no Isa., 53:12, p., 141


4) So let us learn (following what I have already mentioned) to know in
everything and by everything the inestimable goodness of our God. For as
He declared His love toward mankind when He spared not His Only Son but
delivered Him to death for sinners, also He declares a love which He bears especially toward us when by His Holy Spirit He touches us by the
knowledge of our sins and He makes us wail and draws us to Himself with
repentance.

John Calvin, Sermons on the Deity of Christ (New Jersey: Old Paths Publ., 1997), sermon 6, p., 108.

Try and respond to these. Try to not change the subject.

Take care,
Flynn

wildboar
02-14-05, 05:39 PM
The organic concept does involve real people but to say that God hates individuals who he once loved is without Scriptural foundation. The Bible always expresses the change in regard to a people group. God never says that I will love John who I once hated or the other way around. Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit used the passage in Malachi to launch into a discussion about individuals but if we took all of the privlages in interpretation the inspired apostles did, the interpretation of various passages would be nearly infinite. Malachi is most definitely talking about nations and not individuals. That is clear to anyone who is concerned about the context. I see very little exegesis going on here and very much Biblical hop-scotch.

I could aparently post TWOT and HALOT as much as I want and Flynn is going to believe that Vine's expository dictionary is infallible and nobody will question it. I see no reason from reading HALOT to think that hesed means something other than loyalty. For those who need it spelled out to them fifty times--I believe that hesed means loyalty period--not loveless loyalty and not loving loyalty--just plain good old loyalty. Unless someone contributes something noteworthy to the conversation I'm going to leave at this time since nobody seems interested in actually digging into the text. I really don't care what Calvin, Gill, or Joseph Smith taught about the verse.

Flynn
02-14-05, 05:48 PM
G'day Ray,

now to that big quote of yours.




[cut cut]

"THE 'WORLD' OF JOHN 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=JOHN+3:16) DOES NOT MEAN 'ALL MEN WITHOUT EXCEPTION"'

by Rev. David J. Engelsma
[cut cut]

I am actually not interested in what Engelsma taught. But now you cite Turretin:


This was the explanation given by Frances Turretin, Reformed theologian in Geneva (1623-1687):



The love treated of in John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16). . . cannot be universal towards all and every one, but special towards a few... because the end of that love which God intends is the salvation of those whom He pursues with such love... If therefore God sent Christ for that end, that through Him the world might be saved, He must either have failed of His end, or the world must necessarily be saved in fact. But it is certain that not the whole world, but only those chosen out of the world are saved; therefore, to them properly has this love reference.... Why then should not the world here be taken not universally for individuals, but indefinitely for anyone, Jews as well as Gentiles, without distinction of nation, language and condition, that He may be said to have loved the human race, inasmuch as He was unwilling to destroy it entirely but decreed to save some certain persons out of it, not only from one people as before, but from all indiscriminately, although the effects of that love should not be extended to each individual, but only to some certain ones, viz, those chosen out of the world? (Theological Institutes)
So now you take Turretin as an authoritative representation of Reformed theology? I will take your citing him as a yes. As for Pink, I am not interested in him as he is neither pre-1924 nor part of mainstream Reformed theology.

The Synod of Dort:

The true doctrine concerning Election and Reprobation having been explained, the Synod rejects the errors of those:

I (http://www.prca.org/cd_index.html#head1). Who teach: That the will of God to save those who would believe and would persevere in faith and in the obedience of faith, is the whole and entire decree of election unto salvation, and that nothing else concerning this decree has been revealed in God's Word.
Tonight I shall cite Turretin on this. The key is the whole and entire decree is about those who would believe, such that only their final salvation is decreed... no one is saying that.




For these deceive the simple and plainly contradict the Scriptures, which declare that God will not only save those who will believe, but that he has also from eternity chosen certain particular persons to whom above others he in time will grant both faith in Christ and perseverance; as it written: "I manifested thy name unto the men whom thou gavest me out of the world," John 17:6 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=john+17:6)."And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed," Acts 13:48 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=acts+13:48).And: "Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love," Ephesians 1:4 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=ephesians+1:4).
I dont deny this.


II (http://www.prca.org/cd_index.html#head1). Who teach: That there are various kinds of election of God unto eternal life: the one general and indefinite, the other particular and definite; and that the latter in turn is either incomplete, revocable, non-decisive and conditional, or complete, irrevocable, decisive and absolute. Likewise: that there is one election unto faith, and another unto salvation, so that election can be unto justifying faith, without being a decisive election unto salvation. For this is a fancy of men's minds, invented regardless of the Scriptures, whereby the doctrine of election is corrupted, and this golden chain of our salvation is broken: "And whom he foreordained, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified," Romans 8:30 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=romans+8:30).

Nor do I believe that there is a conditional and/or indefinite decree to elect. But as an aside, "indefinite" here is being used in the same way, Wildboar is using "organic."



III (http://www.prca.org/cd_index.html#head1). Who teach: That the good pleasure and purpose of God, of which Scripture makes mention in the doctrine of election, does not consist in this, that God chose certain persons rather than others, but in this that he chose out of all possible conditions (among which are also the works of the law), or out of the whole order of things, the act of faith which from its very nature is undeserving, as well as its incomplete obedience, as a condition of salvation, and that he would graciously consider this in itself as a complete obedience and count it worthy of the reward of eternal life. For by this injurious error the pleasure of God and the merits of Christ are made of none effect, and men are drawn away by useless questions from the truth of gracious justification and from the simplicity of Scripture, and this declaration of the Apostle is charged as untrue: "Who saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before times eternal." 2 Timothy 1:9 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=2+timothy+1:9).
Not denied by me at all.


IV (http://www.prca.org/cd_index.html#head1). Who teach: that in the election unto faith this condition is beforehand demanded, namely, that man should use the light of nature aright, be pious, humble, meek, and fit for eternal life, as if on these things election were in any way dependent. For this savors of the teaching of Pelagius, and is opposed to the doctrine of the apostle, when he writes: "Among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest; but God being rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace have ye been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus; for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man should glory," Ephesians 2:3-9 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=ephesians+2:3-9).
Not denied by me. Not how it says we are children of wrath. Do you even believe that before conversion, the elect are children of wrath?


V (http://www.prca.org/cd_index.html#head1). Who teach: That the incomplete and non-decisive election of particular persons to salvation occurred because of a foreseen faith, conversion, holiness, godliness, which either began or continued for some time; but that the complete and decisive election occurred because of foreseen perseverance unto the end in faith, conversion, holiness and godliness; and that this is the gracious and evangelical worthiness, for the sake of which he who is chosen, is more worthy than he who is not chosen; and that therefore faith, the obedience of faith, holiness, godliness and perseverance are not fruits of the unchangeable election unto glory, but are conditions, which, being required beforehand, were foreseen as being met by those who will be fully elected, and are causes without which the unchangeable election to glory does not occur.
No problem here. Where is the denial of general love? Now if we had said there was a general ineffecacious electing love, these comments would refute us. But no one is saying that, are they?

The rest I cut out because there is nothing there that actually denies what Calvin is saying.

What I will take is that you now have stated by implication that Turretin is an authoratative representative of Reformed theology. Thanks.

Take care,
Flynn

Flynn
02-14-05, 06:08 PM
G'day Wild,


The organic concept does involve real people but to say that God hates individuals who he once loved is without Scriptural foundation. The Bible always expresses the change in regard to a people group. God never says that I will love John who I once hated or the other way around. Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit used the passage in Malachi to launch into a discussion about individuals but if we took all of the privlages in interpretation the inspired apostles did, the interpretation of various passages would be nearly infinite. Malachi is most definitely talking about nations and not individuals. That is clear to anyone who is concerned about the context. I see very little exegesis going on here and very much Biblical hop-scotch.
We have two lines of argument here.

1) So, Wild, who then did God actually stop loving? Can you tell me in concise words whom God stopped loving? Did he stop loving the elect? Of course not. There are not many options. Did he stop loving an abstract people group? a people group not made up of any particular people? The Hebrew is clear, I will no longer add or join my love to this people. He was loving them, but then he ceases to love them. Who? What?

2) I can readily concede that some scholars said that hesed was loyalty. Granted. But the concensus of translations, (modern) and lexical is clear that hesed means loving-kindness. The KJV even translates hesed as lovingkindness in the parallel account of the same covenant promise in Ps 89:33 Saul was loved. But that love was taken away. On what exegetical and lexical basis should I imagine otherwise.

So in answer to the question, if God stopped loving someone, he would be mutable, that question has to be a false question.


I could aparently post TWOT and HALOT as much as I want and Flynn is going to believe that Vine's expository dictionary is infallible and nobody will question it.
Where did I ever assert that about Vines? I never even cited Vines at all for support. No need to strawman my argument, Wild.


I see no reason from reading HALOT to think that hesed means something other than loyalty. For those who need it spelled out to them fifty times--I believe that hesed means loyalty period--not loveless loyalty and not loving loyalty--just plain good old loyalty. Unless someone contributes something noteworthy to the conversation I'm going to leave at this time since nobody seems interested in actually digging into the text. I really don't care what Calvin, Gill, or Joseph Smith taught about the verse.
Wow. Against all the evidence adduced, the parallel account in Ps 89:33, the translations, even the KJV which has mercy--as reflecting the old understanding of hesed. Even the BDB which says hesed in exactly 2 Sam 7:15 means lovingkindness, you will just assert that it doesnt, without any support other than a possible interpretation. Even TWOT in the final remarks notes that

"it is by no means clear that hesed necessarily involves a covenant or means fidelity to a covenant. Stroebe argues that it refers to an attitude as well as to actions. This attitude is parallel to love, including mercy... It is a kind of love... and so refers to acts of love..." etc etc

So there are a few lines of evidence against you:

1)The fact that he KJV has mercy shows that the hesed here pertains to a disposition here on the part of God.

2) The paralell KJV rendering, Ps 89:33, shows that here the disposition is actually lovingkindness. The fault of the KJV is that it did not translate it consistently.

3) Every translation is against you.

4) The weight of solid lexical support is against you.

5) the LXX as a testimony is against you, as it too has mercy.

Its up to you man. There is no evidence on your side that here hesed means loyalty apart from love.

Are there any counter-examples that make it clear that when God expresses his hesed to men, he means loyalty only, without love? No.
How is not the case that you are like Ivor, just making arbitrary choices?

Take care,
Flynn

Flynn
02-14-05, 07:22 PM
G'day Ray,

Ray cites Turretin:



This was the explanation given by Frances Turretin, Reformed theologian in Geneva (1623-1687):

The love treated of in John 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:16). . . cannot be universal towards all and every one, but special towards a few... because the end of that love which God intends is the salvation of those whom He pursues with such love... If therefore God sent Christ for that end, that through Him the world might be saved, He must either have failed of His end, or the world must necessarily be saved in fact. But it is certain that not the whole world, but only those chosen out of the world are saved; therefore, to them properly has this love reference.... Why then should not the world here be taken not universally for individuals, but indefinitely for anyone, Jews as well as Gentiles, without distinction of nation, language and condition, that He may be said to have loved the human race, inasmuch as He was unwilling to destroy it entirely but decreed to save some certain persons out of it, not only from one people as before, but from all indiscriminately, although the effects of that love should not be extended to each individual, but only to some certain ones, viz, those chosen out of the world? (Theological Institutes)

Now Ray, There are few issues here. Its really not going to decide anything by citing Turretin on Jn 3:16. I am all for the diversity within the historic Reformed community. There were folk within my tradition that said the love of jn3:16 was universal, and others said it was particular. Calvin and Bavinck who happen to be my most favourite theologians said it was universal, just as they did with regard to 2 Pet 3:9, Mt 23:37, etc. But you dont have that luxury here. You as representative of the PRC have to say that no orthodox Reformed theologian ever affirmed a general love to the non-elect. Thats the issue that you have to argue to. You have to prove or deny (with proof) that no orthodox Reformed theologian affirmed a general love for mankind.

I personally dont mind that some said that the love of 3:16 was particular. But Turretin, as one example of my point, also candidly affirms that God does have a non-electing love for all men, which is distinguished from his electing love.

Do you have Turretin's Institutes, or do you just rely on Engelsma? I am going to assume you have access to the Institutes such that you will verify my quotations before you shoot off any denials or attacks on my honesty (eg I am misrepresenting him, etc, lying, etc).

Turretin:

Institutes: Vol 1:

From goodness flows love by which he communicates himself to the creature, and (as it were) wils to unity himself with it and do good good to it, but in diverse ways and degrees according to the diversity of the objects. Hence is usually made a threefold distinction in the divine love: the first, that love by which he follows the creatures (philoktisia), called love of the creature... he second is that by which he embraces men (philanthropia), called love of man... the third which is specially exercised towards the elect and is called the love of the elect (eklektophilia). For in proportion as the creature is more perfect and more excellent, so also does it share in the greater effluence and outpouring... of divine love." P., 241.

"However it is to be understood: (1) that they [the reprobate] are not excepted from the laws of common providence, but remain subject to them; nor are they immediately deprived of all of God's favour, but only the saving and vivifying (which is the fruit of election)." p., 381.

"The question is not whether God is borne by a general love and philanthropy (philanthropia) towards men as his creatures, and also bestows upon them various temporal benefits pertaining to the things of life (ta biotika). We do not deny that God has never left himself without witness... with regard to this (Acts 14:17)" p., 395.

"Nor in the effects of God's general love and the common providence by which he is borne to all his creatures (according to the variety of subjects distinguished by a greater or less excellence of nature), here are degrees, does it follow forthwith that there are affectively in God's special and saving love." p., 400.

Vol 2:
"[Temporary faith] depends upon common grace which bestows even on the reprobate certain blessings: not only external and temporal, but also spiritual and initial gifts (although no saving) as a testification of a certain general love and to increase their guilt on the supposition of their contumacy." p 588.

So you really do have to come to grips with what he is saying here. You really have to have the intellectual rigour to deal with these quotations honestly or the humility to say 1, you dont know, or 2, he was wrong, even that the highest and best of Reformed orthodoxy, Turretin, taught a non-electing love for mankind.

Now, I also was intending to type up his statements where he says God wills and wishes the salvation of all men, but I am too tired. Another day for that. maybe later, if you are willing enough, I can type out his even more numerous common grace statements; assuming that you will deal with these quotations in a proper manner first. I will try and get some more Ursinus tonight, perhaps.

Flynn

GraceAmbassador
02-14-05, 07:41 PM
Flynn:

You sound so much like Phil Johnson or Ian Murray that I am beginning to feel honored at their presence here in the Forum...

Milt