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Brandan
01-27-04, 11:07 AM
What is your opinion of Duty Faith?

wildboar
01-27-04, 11:23 AM
The Bible teaches it and I believe it:D

Brandan
01-27-04, 12:04 PM
An interesting article on the subject..


An Internet Chat on Duty Faith and the Protestant Reformed Churches

http://www.evangelica.de/Duty_Faith_and_the_Protestant_Reformed_Churches.ht m

Skeuos Eleos
01-27-04, 01:36 PM
WB, I think this is what is known as a "set-up". :D

Brandan
01-27-04, 01:38 PM
Charles, Martin, I am not asking because I hope to set someone up hehehehe

No seriously, I have never really studied the doctrine of Duty-Faith in depth and I want to focus on it like I have on the free offer and common grace.

Skeuos Eleos
01-27-04, 02:08 PM
It just looked like it because you posted the question, WB "bit the bait" and you came straight back with something refuting the position of the PRC on it. Oh well, I still laughed even though it was unintentional.

Anyway, looks like a good topic. Unfortunately there's not quite enough to go on for me to be clear what exactly is being said. Surely faith is a gift not a duty so am I missing something?

What do you know about this "George Ella" Brandan, I've never heard of him before but he looks like he has his head screwed on right - unlike me!

Martin

PILGRIM313
01-27-04, 06:33 PM
DUTY FAITH
The name given, usually by hyper-Calvinists, to describe those, usually Calvinists who believe that in the gospel Christ is offered to all men if they will believe on Him. In this scheme, all who hear the gospel should believe on Christ in the certainty that if they do they will be saved (hence the name duty-faith preachers).

Hyper-Calvinists reject the idea of the free offer of the gospel. They look on telling sinners that they ought to believe on Christ as inherently absurd, because sinners are dead and cannot believe until the Hol Spirit regenerates them. Here they go beyond Scripture. The sinner's inability in no way lessens his responsibility. God commands siners to keep His law, though they cannot do it. Equally, He commands them to beleive His gospel and His Son. If these were not so, how could Christ state that the Hly Spirit would reprove the world, "of sin, because they believe ot on me" (Jn.16:8-9)? If unbelief is a sin, then faith is clearly a duty.

taken from the Thelogical Dictionary, Alan Cairns, Faith Free Presbyterian Church Org.

Brandon, sounds like you are opening another can of worms!!!
Pilgrim

Brandan
01-27-04, 07:28 PM
CON Duty Faith articles:
http://www@geocities.com/Heartland/Lake/8890/grace/duty_faith.html
http://www@geocities.com/Heartland/Lake/8890/grace/trottsdutyfaith.html
http://www@geocities.com/Heartland/Lake/8890/grace/gs26.html
http://www@geocities.com/Heartland/Lake/8890/grace/forman.html

Pro Duty Faith Article:
http://www.thevine.net/~phillipj/dutyfth.htm
http://www.prca.org/current/Doctrine/NEWS-F16.htm (bottom of the page)
http://www.prca.org/current/Doctrine/news-f17.htm#HyperCalvinism

Bob Higby
01-27-04, 11:09 PM
Well, where is the expression 'duty faith' in the New Testament? Anyway, I can see that I have a lot of reading and catching up to do.

For me, faith is belief with an 'amen' in the gospel of revelation. It embraces the Christ of revelation with assured confidence that he is the only hope of eternal life.

The popular view of today seems to be FAITH IS WORKS. I see it, hear it, read it at every turn. Men want to force this sewage down my throat.

That's all, I cannot yet intelligently join this discussion! I only know that my view of faith will not change as a result of it.

Brandan
01-28-04, 06:46 AM
OK, in this discussion, I'm thinking of taking the anti-duty faith position merely for the sake of debate. Like I said, I haven't made up my mind and am not leaning toward any position. However, since we already have a PRO Duty Faith man, (WildBoar), then we're gonna need an ANTI Duty Faith person even if his heart isn't truly in it! So let's see where this takes us.

Charles, would you please tell me why you think saving faith is a duty by which all men are bound?

Brandan

wildboar
01-28-04, 09:21 AM
I believe there are problems with duty-faith both as defined by the article and as defined by the definition given by Pilgrim.

Duty-faith just as duty-repentance is the belief that every person who hears the gospel has a responsibility to believe and to repent. It does not mean that God desires that all men repent and believe but it means that each person is responsible to believe. In answer to other questions I will post two short articles by Rev. Ron Hanko here:




What's Wrong with Hyper-Calvinism?

We continue here our examination of hyper-Calvinism in answer to the question posed in the last issue: "What is hyper-Calvinism? How would you define it?"

In that last issue we said that hyper-Calvinism is NOT the denial that God well-meaningly offers salvation to all who hear the gospel, showing a love for all and a desire to save everyone. It IS the denial that the command of the gospel to repent and believe must be preached to all without exception.

The heart of hyper-Calvinism, therefore, is a rejection of so-called "duty faith" and "duty repentance," i.e., that it is the solemn duty and obligation of all who hear the gospel to repent and believe. Hyper-Calvinism concludes that because men are lost in sin and are unable of themselves to repent and believe, it is a mistake to command them to do so. Such a command would imply that they are able to repent and believe.

The hyper-Calvinist, then, makes the same mistake as the Arminians and free-willists, only he draws a different conclusion. Both think that to command or demand repentance and faith of dead sinners must imply that such sinners are not dead and have in themselves the ability to repent and believe. The free-willist says, then: "To command must imply ability, therefore, men have the ability." The hyper-Calvinist says: "To command must imply ability, therefore we will not command any but the elect."

This means that while a true hyper-Calvinist will preach the "facts" of the gospel to all who will hear (and insist that he is preaching the gospel), he will not command a "mixed" audience to repent and believe. Those commands, he thinks, should be preached only to those who show evidence of being "sensible sinners," that is, sinners who have come under conviction by the work of the Holy Spirit.

We reject these notions for various reasons. First, it is difficult to imagine how anyone, without divine inspiration, can ever be sure that he is preaching only to "sensible sinners" in order confidently to bring the command of the gospel. In reality, therefore, the command of the gospel will seldom, if ever, be heard in hyper-Calvinist preaching.

Second, hyper-Calvinism turns the command to repent and believe into a command to continue to repent and believe or to persevere in repenting and believing. So-called "sensible sinners," the only ones who may be called to repent and believe are those who have already begun to do so by the secret operations of the Holy Spirit. The faith called for, in that case, is not saving faith in the truest and deepest sense of the word, i.e., faith that brings a person into communion with Christ, justifies him and gives him salvation, but only faith as it continues to manifest itself in its fruits of assurance and hope.

It is in this connection that true hyper-Calvinists usually teach that person is justified completely in eternity and that justification by faith involves only the assurance of justification. Thus the faith called for in the gospel does not in fact justify us before God, but only assures of a justification that has already taken place.

It is in this connection also that hyper-Calvinists are also accused, and rightly, of a certain antinomianism (anti-lawism or anti-commandism) regarding faith. They do not take seriously the command to repent and believe, exactly because the call to faith is for them only the call to be assured of one's faith. It is on these grounds that we emphatically repudiate hyper-Calvinism.

Rev. Ron Hanko





What Is Hyper-Calvinism?

We continue here with the question: "What is hyper-Calvinism? How would you define it?" In answer we have shown in our last article that hyper-Calvinism is a denial of so-called "duty faith" and "duty repentance."

This denial is against Scripture. Scripture says in Acts 17:30 that "God now commandeth all men every where to repent." John the Baptist in his preaching even called the unbelieving Pharisees and Saducees to repentance (Matt. 3:8; Lk. 3:8). Jesus, too, called all to repentance in His preaching (Matt. 4:17) and upbraided the cities of Galilee because they did not repent (Matt. 11:20). When He sent out the 70 He sent them also to those who would reject the gospel and even warned them about this rejection (Mk. 6:10, 11), yet we read that they went out and preached that men should repent (Mk. 6:12).

Nor is there any evidence that when Peter, in the temple after the healing of the lame man, preached "repent ye and be converted" (Acts 3:19), that he was preaching only to "sensible sinners." Certainly, Simon the sorcerer was not a "sensible sinner" when Peter said to him: "Repent therefore of this wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee" (Acts 7:22).

Several of the passages already cited (Acts 3:19; 7:22) also imply that the gospel calls for faith on the part of all who hear. Faith is part of conversion, and one cannot pray God for forgiveness without also praying in faith. So, too, it is not possible that Jesus condemned the Pharisees for not believing if believing was not required of them (Matt. 21:25; Lk. 22:67; Jn. 10:25, 26).

The hyper-Calvinist gets around these verses by speaking of different kinds of repentance and faith. He speaks of "Jewish repentance," "reformation repentance," "circumstantial repentance," "collective repentance," etc., and claims that Scripture also calls for different kinds of faith. So he insists that many of the verses we have referred to call only for such kinds of faith and repentance, but not for saving repentance and faith.

We do not deny, of course, that Scripture speaks of "faith" and "repentance" that are not saving (Acts 8:13; II Cor. 7:10; James 2:19; Heb. 12:17). But these, as we know, are simply hypocrisy, and do not find favor with God. They cannot possibly, then, be something God calls for. How could God, Who does not lie, speaking through the gospel, call men to a repentance or faith which is not sincere and saving? There is not the slightest evidence in Scripture that He does so, either.

We believe, therefore, that the Word of God in Acts 17:30 must be taken seriously by those who preach the gospel. We reject the notion that the command to repent and believe savingly should be heard only by those who show some evidence of conviction. That would not only limit the preaching of the gospel, but would in the end destroy true gospel preaching.

As we hope to show in the next article, the command to repent and believe is an integral part of the preaching not only as far as God's elect are concerned, but also as far as the "reprobate" are concerned. All who come under the preaching MUST hear that command! Not only is it according to the will of God that it be preached to all promiscuously, but it is necessary as far as the gospel itself is concerned. To deny this is to strip the gospel of its power and make it an empty and vain show. Rev. Ron Hanko

Brandan
01-28-04, 09:40 AM
Charles, I had already linked to those articles...

I have a question and I'd like to know if you can answer it for me...

If everyone has a duty to exercise saving faith as you say, what about the reprobate? The reprobate cannot exercise saving faith. Second how can the reprobate believe something is true for him when it isn't? Didn't Christ die only for the elect? How is the reprobate responsible for believing the gospel is true for him when it isn't since Christ did not die for him?

wildboar
01-28-04, 09:52 AM
If everyone has a duty to exercise saving faith as you say, what about the reprobate? The reprobate cannot exercise saving faith.
Romans 9:19-20 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

This is the same objection raised by every Arminian who hears the Gospel of grace. The reasoning is that since man is born with a sinful nature and incapable of doing any good then man cannot be held responsible for not doing good. The Bible says otherwise.


Didn't Christ die only for the elect? How is the reprobate responsible for believing the gospel is true for him when it isn't since Christ did not die for him?
The Gospel is never presented in the Scriptures as "Christ died for you", no matter how much David Hunt may think it is. The Gospel is that God justifies the ungodly.

This is why hyper-Calvinism is not some sort of consistent Calvinism, hyper-Calvinism is backwards Arminianism.

Sola Gratia,
WildBoar

Brandan
01-28-04, 10:05 AM
Romans 9:19-20 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

This is the same objection raised by every Arminian who hears the Gospel of grace. The reasoning is that since man is born with a sinful nature and incapable of doing any good then man cannot be held responsible for not doing good. The Bible says otherwise. I don't think non duty faith people would think that at all. This is dealing with having the gift of faith versus repenting of sin. Anti-Duty faith people would not say that men are not under obligation to repent. Men are under obligation to repent even though they cannot. Are you suggesting that faith comes because men repent? (please don't misunderstand me, I'm not taking an anti duty faith position, simply arguing as I think an anti would LOL)


The Gospel is never presented in the Scriptures as "Christ died for you", no matter how much David Hunt may think it is. The Gospel is that God justifies the ungodly.And I would agree with that. However, those that believe the gospel come to the realization that Christ did indeed die for the individual. If men are under duty to savingly believe then also men are under duty to be the elect of God and come to the knowledge that Christ did indeed die for them. Further, they are under duty to be justified by Christ and to be loved by Him and to be preserved by faith, right?


This is why hyper-Calvinism is not some sort of consistent Calvinism, hyper-Calvinism is backwards Arminianism.I haven't seen those you call hyper-calvinists present the gospel as "Christ died for you." They simply present the facts that Christ died for sinners. Everyone that I've seen that denies duty faith says that we must preach the gospel message indiscriminately. If someone denies duty faith and preaches the gospel indiscriminately, what is the problem with that?

disciple
01-28-04, 10:15 AM
The Gospel is never presented in the Scriptures as "Christ died for you", no matter how much David Hunt may think it is. The Gospel is that God justifies the ungodly.great comments WB. there is a good little book by tom wells about limited atonement called "price for a people". in it he discusses this misunderstanding of what the gospel message is. in a nutshell, he says that the message that the apostles in acts gave (not the gospel but the message of challenge that follows the gospel) was not that Christ died for them but that Christ has been crucified and is now resurrected as Savior, Messiah, Lord, and King and He demands your allegience. therefore all are commanded and responsible to put down their weapons and surrender (the issue of whether they are able or not is moot here).


This is why hyper-Calvinism is not some sort of consistent Calvinism, hyper-Calvinism is backwards Arminianism.this is a very interesting, and i think correct way to put it. i really think this issue is as simple as you said it is that, "Duty-faith just as duty-repentance is the belief that every person who hears the gospel has a responsibility to believe and to repent. It does not mean that God desires that all men repent and believe but it means that each person is responsible to believe." the issue is not about ability but responsibility.

Acts 17:30 "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead." 32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer, but others said, "We shall hear you again concerning this." 33 So Paul went out of their midst.

paul here is declaring this message to everyone. he does not cater one message to those he believes to be reprobate and another to those he believes to be elect. in fact we find in v.32 that some laughed about it. i don't think the issue is that saving faith is expected of all (as if it is assumed that all are able) but that allegience is commanded of all (reprobate and elect alike). the Scripture is crystal clear of this regardless of all of the extra-biblical language that is thrown around.

2 Thess 1:7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed for our testimony to you was believed.

the reprobate is facing judgment for unbelief just as much as he is facing judgment for breaking God's law. he is responsible to obey whether or not he has the ability to do so. all that his non-compliance does is increase his judgment and magnify God's glory and power.

Brandan
01-28-04, 10:28 AM
Further comments, I don't think anyone who is against duty faith would say that unbelief is not a sin. They would say those who do not believe the gospel are indeed sinful because of their unbelief, but they would say men are not duty bound to exercise saving faith.

wildboar
01-28-04, 10:28 AM
disciple:

Exactly. To not believe is to call God a liar.

brandan:


I haven't seen those you call hyper-calvinists present the gospel as "Christ died for you." They simply present the facts that Christ died for sinners. Everyone that I've seen that denies duty faith says that we must preach the gospel message indiscriminately.
I'm not suggesting that the methods or that the end result is the same. I'm saying that they both adopt the same erroneous premises. that if God holds man responsible to do x, man has the ability or has been given the ability by God to do x.


Men are under obligation to repent even though they cannot. Are you suggesting that faith comes because men repent?
By no means. I'm stating that men sin when they do not believe just as they sin when they do not repent, both actions say that God is a liar.


If men are under duty to savingly believe then also men are under duty to be the elect of God and come to the knowledge that Christ did indeed die for them. Further, they are under duty to be justified by Christ and to be loved by Him and to be preserved by faith, right?
Men are commanded by God to believe. No man elect or reprobate is commanded by God to be justified, loved by Him, etc.

Sola Gratia,
WildBoar

Brandan
01-28-04, 10:33 AM
Men are commanded by God to believe. No man elect or reprobate is commanded by God to be justified, loved by Him, etc.
Anti-Duty Faith people say that men are commanded to believe...

http://geocities.com/Heartland/Lake/8890/grace/gs26.html
Whatever our worthy predecessors intended by the terms of this Article, they certainly did not mean to minimize the sin of unbelief. The purpose was to rebut the flesh-pleasing error taught by the Arminian that man in his natural state (that is, dead in trespasses and sins) is possessed of some latent power to exercise savingly the spiritual acts of faith and repentance. Our belief is that fallen man has neither power, nor will, nor inclination to anything spiritual. Scripture abundantly teaches this (I Cor. 2:14 Rom. 8: 7,8; Matt. 15: 19; John 1:11-13; 3:3-7). But this notwithstanding, we believe that all men are under obligation to believe and obey God.
It sounds like anti-duty faith people are teaching the same thing.

Brandan
01-28-04, 10:42 AM
I invited an anti duty faith individual to this conversation (Mike Krall of the Pristine Grace website). Let's hope he joins and can give his insight! I seriously want to get to the bottom of this issue and exhaust this topic because right now I'm very confused about it.

Brandan

disciple
01-28-04, 11:08 AM
I'm not suggesting that the methods or that the end result is the same. I'm saying that they both adopt the same erroneous premises. that if God holds man responsible to do x, man has the ability or has been given the ability by God to do x.this is just like the logic used by luther in his bondage of the will. erasmus was reading the imperatives (mood of command in Greek) as if they were indicatives (mood of reality in Greek). because God commands everyone to believe and repent and because they have the responsibility (or duty bound) to obey Him, it does not logically follow that they have the ability to obey Him.

disciple
01-28-04, 11:15 AM
It sounds like anti-duty faith people are teaching the same thing.i really think it's mostly a semantics issue as it seems that the anti-duty-faith people think that the duty-faith people are saying one thing when they really are saying another. for example, the anti-duty-faith people think that saying that faith is the duty of all, reprobate and elect alike, is equivalent to saying that all have the ability and that Christ died for all. it does not follow that to say that God commands all to repent and believe and that it is the responsibility (read "duty") of all to obey, reprobate and elect alike, is the same as saying that all have the ability to obey. i think the term duty is something of a shibboleth.

Brandan
01-28-04, 11:18 AM
i really think it's mostly a semantics issue as it seems that the anti-duty-faith people think that the duty-faith people are saying one thing when they really are saying another. for example, the anti-duty-faith people think that saying that faith is the duty of all, reprobate and elect alike, is equivalent to saying that all have the ability and that Christ died for all. it does not follow that to say that God commands all to repent and believe and that it is the responsibility (read "duty") of all to obey, reprobate and elect alike, is the same as saying that all have the ability to obey. i think the term duty is something of a shibboleth.This is what George Ella says in his article:
http://www.evangelica.de/Duty_Faith_and_the_Protestant_Reformed_Churches.ht m

PRC says: "That is why duty-repentance and duty-faith does not compromise Calvinistic doctrines of grace, but on the contrary, is true Calvinism."


[Ella's] comment: This is begging the question and you are back at peg one. You have just hung this on without any proof whatsoever. Actually, this contradicts much of what you have said and can be in no way deduced from it. From what I gather from the above and below, you cannot possibly believe in duty faith. I suspect that you are merely hanging on to a shibboleth which you have heard is orthodox, without having examined it in the light of Scripture and conscience. I grew up accepting what some wrongly call ‘believer’s baptism’ and was very hard on those who did not agree with me. Believer’s baptism was my shibboleth. I mean here the teaching that baptism is something that we do for God. When I examined this idea, however, in the light of Scripture and conscience, it became unacceptable. Baptism is something that God does for us as there are no conditions which God has not met in Christ to bring us into full church membership with Him. We all have our shibboleths and I am certainly not saying that I am rid of mine.

wildboar
01-28-04, 12:34 PM
From what I can gather from reading the articles it seems that some of the current anti-duty-faith group wants to hold onto the terminology and statements of their predecessors but is actually saying the exact opposite of their predecessors.


We deny duty-faith and duty-repentance - these terms signifying that it is every man's duty spiritually and savingly to repent and believe. We deny also that there is any capability in man by nature to any spiritual good whatever. So that reject the doctrine that men in a state of nature should be exhorted to believe in or turn to God.
It seems pretty clear what this article is saying. It's saying that an unregenerate man should not even be exhorted to believe.


Whatever our worthy predecessors intended by the terms of this Article, they certainly did not mean to minimize the sin of unbelief.
This statement by Gosden seems to be saying, "I really don't know what they meant but it can't possibly be what it seems to mean." This is the same problem we find with many who want to say they adopt some confession but really disagree with the confession on various issues. They attempt to read their own beliefs into the article.

Some have adopted a revision of the above mentioned article suggested by Mr. Popham in the Gospel Standard for December in 1906. It is supposedly meant to clarify the above statement and reads:


We deny duty faith and duty repentance - these terms signifying that it is every man's duty spiritually and savingly to repent and believe (Gen. 6:5, Gen 8:21, Matt. 15:19, Jer. 17:9, John 6:44, John 6:65.) We deny also that there is any capability in man by nature to any spiritual good whatever. So that we reject the doctrine that men in a state of nature should be exhorted to believe in or turn to God of themselves.
As you can see, adding "of themselves" changes the meaning entirely. I doubt it could be proved that this was the original meaning of the article.

It really seems that there were those who denied duty faith and those who didn't and now some want to still claim to deny duty-faith but really hold to the same belief as those who held to duty-faith.

Ella does not really give an adequate explanation of why this is not the case or what difference there actually is.

Sola Gratia,
WildBoar

Brandan
01-28-04, 12:51 PM
OK, next question. Who here thinks faith is a work?

disciple
01-28-04, 12:52 PM
From what I can gather from reading the articles it seems that some of the current anti-duty-faith group wants to hold onto the terminology and statements of their predecessors but is actually saying the exact opposite of their predecessors...Ella does not really give an adequate explanation of why this is not the case or what difference there actually is.i find that if everyone would just stick to discussing specific Scripture texts then the discussion becomes a whole lot easier. the problem is that people go off on logical and philosophical tangents and start throwing around un-Scriptural terminology and then things get all muddied up. stick to stuff like Acts 17 and 2 Thess 1 and then all of these tangents would be unneccesary.

Brandan
01-28-04, 12:53 PM
Is there a difference between belief and saving faith?

Brandan
01-28-04, 12:55 PM
i find that if everyone would just stick to discussing specific Scripture texts then the discussion become a whole lot easier. the problem is that people go off on logical and philosophical tangents and start throwing around un-Scriptural terminology and then things get all muddied up. stick to stuff like Acts 17 and 2 Thess 1 and then all of these tangents would be unneccesary.Agreed. I personally don't like the words "duty faith". But it was a major theological battle of the past and this phraseology is used by many today and those who deny the phraseology are being labeled as hypers. Because of this I want to knowk what those who believe it and deny it really mean. Is it possible that it is just an issue of semantics?

Brandan
01-28-04, 12:59 PM
I think some of those that affirm duty faith believe that men are duty bound to SAVE THEMSELVES through the use of faith in accepting the sincere offer of the gospel. This is obviously unscriptural. There are others that use the term duty faith to mean that men are obligated to believe the gospel - nothing more. We know that justification, election, sanctification, salvation, and its benefits (faith) are all gifts of God. The anti duty faith people don't like the idea that men are responsible to savingly believe as it presupposes that men can indeed save themselves through the act of faith. We all know that faith is not the cause of justification but the result of justification.

wildboar
01-28-04, 01:07 PM
Is there a difference between belief and saving faith?
No, not as long as the belief is a true belief. Some categorize different types of belief and faith to speak of those who exhibit belief for a time and I think this can be done legitmately since Jesus also seems to do this. However, to believe is just simply the verb form of faith. And the command to repent can never be obeyed apart from faith.


OK, next question. Who here thinks faith is a work?
Faith is neither a work or condition but something which is worked in us by God.

Sola Gratia,
WildBoar

disciple
01-28-04, 01:09 PM
Is it possible that it is just an issue of semantics?perhaps. i think the debate has a lot riding on the different definitions and understandings of the terminology from the different camps. i think if they could agree on what duty-faith even means, then perhaps dialogue would be much more fruitful. but the anti-duty-faith side seems intent on defining it for everyone and then making a huge argument on that basis. if we define duty-faith as simply the command to all men and responsibility of all men, reprobate and elect, to repent and believe and obey God, then i don't see how the anti-duty-faith folks can get around the Scripture. if all they are saying is that man is unable to save himself on his own, then i don't know why this even applies and why they are getting their underwear in a bunch. i think luther summarizes it well in his "bondage of the will" against erasmus: "we're talking imperatives here and not indicatives. we're not talking about ability but responsibility." some people just like to argue and have too much time on their hands or something. again, it's no wonder why the world looks upon the church and laughs when it seems that all we can do is argue amongst ourselves about the most trivial things. the sectarianism that abounds in some circles wreaks.

Brandan
01-28-04, 01:10 PM
Faith is neither a work or condition but something which is worked in us by God.So how is man under duty to have something that is worked in us by God? In other words, regeneration is something that is worked in us by God. Justification is something God has already done for us. The gift of faith is something God gives us. If faith is a gift, how can it be a duty?

disciple
01-28-04, 01:20 PM
So how is man under duty to have something that is worked in us by God? In other words, regeneration is something that is worked in us by God. Justification is something God has already done for us. The gift of faith is something God gives us. If faith is a gift, how can it be a duty?duty or command or responsibility has little to do with ability. if i command my child to do something, the child may be unable to carry it out, but that does not negate the responsibility or duty to obey the command. it really does go back to the argument luther used against erasmus. erasmus and pelagius just inferred that if we are all commanded to do something, that the commandment necessarily implied the ability to carry it out. in their minds, God would never command anything that we were not able to carry out because that would somehow be unfair or un-God of Him. but this doesn't follow. it is a logical fallacy (non-sequitur).

Brandan
01-28-04, 01:23 PM
perhaps. i think the debate has a lot riding on the different definitions and understandings of the terminology from the different camps. i think if they could agree on what duty-faith even means, then perhaps dialogue would be much more fruitful. but the anti-duty-faith side seems intent on defining it for everyone and then making a huge argument on that basis. if we define duty-faith as simply the command to all men and responsibility of all men, reprobate and elect, to repent and believe and obey God, then i don't see how the anti-duty-faith folks can get around the Scripture. if all they are saying is that man is unable to save himself on his own, then i don't know why this even applies and why they are getting their underwear in a bunch. i think luther summarizes it well in his "bondage of the will" against erasmus: "we're talking imperatives here and not indicatives. we're not talking about ability but responsibility."Technically, it was the pro duty faith people that made a big deal out of it and started accusing those who don't agree with them as being "hypers". From what I've gathered there were *some* particular baptist hyper calvinists that wouldn't preach the gospel at all unless they thought that person was of the elect. But from what I'm discovering, those who are accusing those who denied duty faith as hypers have mischaracterized these men. They're committing historical revisionism, and have blown hyper-calvinism up so much it's amazing. When the evidence shows that these "hyper-calvinists" flourished and had many converts through their "evangelism" these people will say that it just proves how dangerous they were! LOL Anyway, I haven't heard too many people get upset about speaking duty faith, usually it's the "free offer" crowd like Phil Johnson that has condemned those who deny duty faith (Go read his article on hyper-calvinism).

some people just like to argue and have too much time on their hands or something. LOL "too much time on their hands or something?" I admit that there are some hyper-critical individuals out there, but your comment seems to trivialize the subjects at hand and I would have to disagree with you there. These are very important topics because they have divided churches in the past and do so today.

again, it's no wonder why the world looks upon the church and laughsThey don't laugh because of debates over duty-faith, they laugh because they hate God and the Gospel of Grace.

when it seems that all we can do is argue amongst ourselves about the most trivial things. the sectarianism that abounds in some circles wreaks.Actually, I would say sectarianism is a problem in all circles. Even I myself find myself discovering the sin of sectarianism in my own life. However, I would have to say this is not a trivial question.

Brandan
01-28-04, 01:26 PM
duty or command or responsibility has little to do with ability. if i command my child to do something, the child may be unable to carry it out, but that does not negate the responsibility or duty to obey the command. it really does go back to the argument luther used against erasmus. erasmus and pelagius just inferred that if we are all commanded to do something, that the commandment necessarily implied the ability to carry it out. in their minds, God would never command anything that we were not able to carry out because that would somehow be unfair or un-God of Him. but this doesn't follow. it is a logical fallacy (non-sequitur).Yes, and I agree with you that if man is unable to carry something out it does not mean he's not responsible. Just because man cannot obey the law does not mean he's not responsible for his transgressions. But if FAITH as we say is not a work, man cannot be responsible to WORK faith because to say he is would imply that FAITH IS a work.

disciple
01-28-04, 01:34 PM
They don't laugh because of debates over duty-faith, they laugh because they hate God and the Gospel of Grace.this is true. but many steer clear of the church because they see it as a bunch of squabbling and judgmental people. i'm not saying that this is what the church is, i'm just saying that this is how many see us. there often is a reason for stereotypes and i think this comes from our sinfulness and sectarianism.


Actually, I would say sectarianism is a problem in all circles. Even I myself find myself discovering the sin of sectarianism in my own life. However, I would have to say this is not a trivial question.yes it is (not just the church). i didn't mean to minimize everything but i believe that this seems a bit trivial. at least amongst confessed calvinists, i think it is trivial to squabble here. i really don't think it's all that complicated. sometimes people just major on the minors and like to make mountains out of molehills. and i think that this debate is just one of those cases (again assuming we're not talking about those who hate the doctrines of grace).

disciple
01-28-04, 01:39 PM
Yes, and I agree with you that if man is unable to carry something out it does not mean he's not responsible. Just because man cannot obey the law does not mean he's not responsible for his transgressions. But if FAITH as we say is not a work, man cannot be responsible to WORK faith because to say he is would imply that FAITH IS a work.i don't believe it does. really, everything we have is a gift of God. but this does not mean that it is NOT something that we carry out or are responsible to carry out. and before anyone gets excited i don't mean that we carry it out by our own strength and our own power. the issue is, we believe, God does not believe for us. and while it is a gift, i don't believe that it is something somehow infused in us. God simply gives us the ability to respond positively. He raises us from our spiritual death, breathing new life into us, but we exercise the faith, not God. so in that case, faith is not a work and if it is commanded to all it cannot be construed to be a work, but is a responsibility whether or not we are able to carry it out. the difference between elect and reprobate here is in that the elect don't have the ability either, until/unless God does something about it...and praise His holy Name, He does do and has done something about it!

disciple
01-28-04, 01:45 PM
so how would an anti-duty-faith person deal with Acts 17 and 2 Thess 1? how would they understand these texts? would they interpret Acts 17 as only given to the elect? i really wonder if they deal with such texts and if so, how they deal with them.

Brandan
01-28-04, 02:17 PM
so how would an anti-duty-faith person deal with Acts 17 and 2 Thess 1? how would they understand these texts? would they interpret Acts 17 as only given to the elect? i really wonder if they deal with such texts and if so, how they deal with them.Gill who is admired by the anti-duty faith people translated Acts 17:30 as follows… I don’t know if they would disagree with him or not…

but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent; that is, he hath given orders, that the doctrine of repentance, as well as remission of sins, should be preached to all nations, to Gentiles as well as Jews; and that it becomes them to repent of their idolatries, and turn from their idols, and worship the one, only, living and true God: and though for many hundreds of years God had neglected them, and sent no messengers, nor messages to them, to acquaint them with his will, and to show them their follies and mistakes; yet now he had sent his apostles unto them, to lay before them their sins, and call them to repentance; and to stir them up to this, the apostle informs them of the future judgment in the following verse. Repentance being represented as a command, does not suppose it to be in the power of men, or contradict evangelical repentance, being the free grace gift of God, but only shows the need men stand in of it, and how necessary and requisite it is; and when it is said to be a command to all, this does not destroy its being a special blessing of the covenant of grace to some; but points out the sad condition that all men are in as sinners, and that without repentance they must perish: and indeed, all men are obliged to natural repentance for sin, though to all men the grace of evangelical repentance is not given: the Jews [a] call repentance hbwvth twum, "the command of repentance", though they do not think it obligatory on men, as the other commands of the law. The law gives no encouragement to repentance, and shows no mercy on account of it; it is a branch of the Gospel ministry, and goes along with the doctrine of the remission of sins; and though in the Gospel, strictly taken, there is no command, yet being largely taken for the whole ministry of the word, it includes this, and everything else which Christ has commanded, and was taught by him and his apostles; Mt 28:20 (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&createchaps=1&highlight=1&abrv=1&version=kjv&book=40&chapter=28&verse1=20).

and 2Thess 1:8 as follows:

and that obey not the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; of which Christ is the author, was the preacher, and is the sum and substance; which is good news and glad tidings of the grace of, God, of peace, pardon, righteousness, life, and salvation by Christ; which may be said to be obeyed, when it is received and embraced by faith, with and from the heart, and confession is made of it with the mouth, and the ordinances of it are submitted to; and which is called the obedience of faith, because faith without obedience is not right, and obedience without faith is of no avail: but all that hear the Gospel do not obey it; there are some that disbelieve and reject the doctrines and ordinances of it, and others that, do profess it, and do not yield a cordial and cheerful obedience to it; both may be reckoned among the disobeyers of it: and though the unbelieving Jews may be chiefly designed here, yet deists of every age and place, where the Gospel revelation has come, and carnal professors, and profane despisers everywhere, may be included; whose condemnation will be aggravated by the external light which has shone around them, and they have hated; the severest punishment will be inflicted on them; it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon, Sodom and Gomorrah, than for such persons; see 1Pe 4:17 (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&createchaps=1&highlight=1&abrv=1&version=kjv&book=60&chapter=4&verse1=17).

Brandan
01-28-04, 03:29 PM
so how would an anti-duty-faith person deal with Acts 17 and 2 Thess 1? how would they understand these texts? would they interpret Acts 17 as only given to the elect? i really wonder if they deal with such texts and if so, how they deal with them.
From: http://geocities.com/Heartland/Lake/8890/grace/duty_faith.html

'BUT NOW COMMANDETH ALL MEN EVERYWHERE TO REPENT'

'But now commandeth all men everywhere to repent,' Acts xvii 30. This text has been considered a most clear and full authority for the duty of all men to repent and believe unto salvation. But this 'all men everywhere' we have sufficiently explained elsewhere, showing that this text cannot be taken to mean individual universality of all men, without doing violence to other texts, such as those of 'all flesh,' nor without direct opposition to the conduct of God's power now for these eighteen hundred years. But a people of all nations and tongues, and of all sorts are intended, the same as they charged Paul with teaching, saying, 'This is the man that teacheth all men everywhere,' Acts xxi 28, and which could not be all men individually everywhere, for no man could do so much as that. And beside, Paul was forbidden to go to some places and people where he was minded to go with the gospel, Acts xvi 6,7; and yet the very same phrase is used for Paul's teaching as is used in our text for God's commanding; and which is of the same meaning in which Ananias must be understood in saying to Paul, 'The God of our fathers both chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth, for thou shalt be his witness to all men of what thou best seen and heard,' Acts I 14,15. And so only is it, that 'All men shall fear and declare the work of God, for they shall wisely consider of his doing,' Psalm lxiv 9.

disciple
01-28-04, 03:38 PM
From: http://geocities.com/Heartland/Lake/8890/grace/duty_faith.html

'BUT NOW COMMANDETH ALL MEN EVERYWHERE TO REPENT'

'But now commandeth all men everywhere to repent,' Acts xvii 30. This text has been considered a most clear and full authority for the duty of all men to repent and believe unto salvation. But this 'all men everywhere' we have sufficiently explained elsewhere, showing that this text cannot be taken to mean individual universality of all men, without doing violence to other texts, such as those of 'all flesh,' nor without direct opposition to the conduct of God's power now for these eighteen hundred years. But a people of all nations and tongues, and of all sorts are intended, the same as they charged Paul with teaching, saying, 'This is the man that teacheth all men everywhere,' Acts xxi 28, and which could not be all men individually everywhere, for no man could do so much as that. And beside, Paul was forbidden to go to some places and people where he was minded to go with the gospel, Acts xvi 6,7; and yet the very same phrase is used for Paul's teaching as is used in our text for God's commanding; and which is of the same meaning in which Ananias must be understood in saying to Paul, 'The God of our fathers both chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth, for thou shalt be his witness to all men of what thou best seen and heard,' Acts I 14,15. And so only is it, that 'All men shall fear and declare the work of God, for they shall wisely consider of his doing,' Psalm lxiv 9.ok so he has proven that it doesn't mean "every individual who ever lived." but what does this prove? are we to imagine that paul had everyone submit a questionarre to find out which were elect or were really interested and then only spoke to them? or do we conclude from this that since it doesn't mean all people everywhere in the world (that it just means all in terms of more than jews, etc.) that it then only applies to the elect who come under the hearing of the command and who are the only ones with the ability to respond to the command? this individual has proved nothing at all. i seriously wonder how he further understands this text and what he thinks paul was doing/saying? i agree with Gill on both texts and i see no reason to understand it differently. paul says that God is commanding all people everywhere (you can't get much more universal than that) to repent. the anti-duty-faith person would have us read it this way, "God is commanding all people everywhere (actually only the elect among all people since the reprobate who come under the hearing of the command do not have the ability to repent/believe) to repent. therefore i cannot possibly make this declaration that paul made since i cannot possibly know whether or not everyone in the crowd to which i'm speaking actually has the ability to obey the command. poppy-cock!!!

Brandan
01-28-04, 04:11 PM
ok so he has proven that it doesn't mean "every individual who ever lived." but what does this prove? are we to imagine that paul had everyone submit a questionarre to find out which were elect or were really interested and then only spoke to them?Beats me LOL, I don't think so and neither would an anti-duty faith individual.


or do we conclude from this that since it doesn't mean all people everywhere in the world (that it just means all in terms of more than jews, etc.) that it then only applies to the elect who come under the hearing of the command and who are the only ones with the ability to respond to the command?Hmmm, to me it seems that the author is suggesting only the elect are commanded to repent.


this individual has proved nothing at all. i seriously wonder how he further understands this text and what he thinks paul was doing/saying? I think he has given a rather plausible explanation, although I must admit I am quite confused on this topic right now.


i agree with Gill on both texts and i see no reason to understand it differently.Gill seems to have made a distinction between "repentance" and "evangelical repentance". What is your take on that?


paul says that God is commanding all people everywhere (you can't get much more universal than that) to repent. Doug, are you sure you're not committing eisogesis with this text? I mean "all people everywhere" could very well mean all types of people everywhere or it could mean all of "God's" people everywhere.


the anti-duty-faith person would have us read it this way, "God is commanding all people everywhere (actually only the elect among all people since the reprobate who come under the hearing of the command do not have the ability to repent/believe) to repent.Right, although I wonder why there would be harm in commanding everyone to repent and counting on the Holy Spirit to work this command out in the life of the elect?


therefore i cannot possibly make this declaration that paul made since i cannot possibly know whether or not everyone in the crowd to which i'm speaking actually has the ability to obey the command. poppy-cock!!!LOL!

disciple
01-28-04, 04:19 PM
Hmmm, to me it seems that the author is suggesting only the elect are commanded to repent.then why would the comment in Acts 17:31 make any sense?

"...because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."

if only the elect are commanded to repent then how would this apply?


Gill seems to have made a distinction between "repentance" and "evangelical repentance". What is your take on that?it depends on what he means by that distinction. i do see a distinction between the initial repentance that is commanded and that repentance that believers employ all throughout their lives (a la calvin's distinction).


Doug, are you sure you're not committing eisogesis with this text? I mean "all people everywhere" could very well mean all types of people everywhere or it could mean all of "God's" people everywhere.i take it as gill does that it refers to all people everywhere where the all may indeed just mean all types of people. but either way, i don't think it gains you anything because the thrust of paul's words is universal. and we see this from their response in v. 32 that they sneered. the command was for them as well (presumably reprobate folks). plus here it says that God is declaring not paul. so his objection that it couldn't mean all people everywhere doesn't really hold much water (where he says, "...and which could not be all men individually everywhere, for no man could do so much as that.")

Acts 17:30 "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent,...


Right, although I wonder why there would be harm in commanding everyone to repent and counting on the Holy Spirit to work this command out in the life of the elect?yeah i don't get this either. seems to me like trying to split hairs which weren't meant to be split.

Brandan
01-28-04, 04:24 PM
Thanks Doug! Great insight as usual. I have a lot to chew on tonight. Tonight is bible study and we're gonna be discussing the Lord's Supper so that should take my mind off of this topic for awhile!

Brandan
01-29-04, 11:27 AM
Gill wrote in his exegesis above:
call repentance hbwvth twum, "the command of repentance", though they do not think it obligatory on men, as the other commands of the law. Does that make any sense? It seems Gill is saying that men are exhorted to repent but are not obligated to repent.

disciple
01-29-04, 12:37 PM
Gill wrote in his exegesis above: Does that make any sense? It seems Gill is saying that men are exhorted to repent but are not obligated to repent.yeah it sounds a bit convoluted to me.

anyway, i thought a bit more about Acts 17 and i wanted to throw my thoughts out:

context: paul is speaking to the athenian Epicurean and Stoic philosophers (v. 18) who were strangers to the old covenant (acts 17:15-21).

paul mentions that while they worship man-made gods in ignorance, the God of Genesis 1 was also the one who created and is sovereign over them and indeed every nation of mankind (v. 26). so in v. 30 he tells them:

Acts 17:30 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."

so the point here is that not only is this God that they are ignorantly groping after the Creator of the heavens and the earth and God of the Jews (perhaps alluded to by his comments about the Creator not dwelling in temples a la 1 Kings 8:27, 2 Chr 2:6, 6:18), He is also the sovereign judge of all mankind (all nations and all peoples without distinction). so here "all people everywhere" is in contradistinction to only the special peoples of one location (i.e., Jews). nevertheless, the scope is still all encompassing and does not stop there for He will judge the world (not just groups or nations but individuals as well) and Paul is here passing on this declaration of God to presumably unregenerate Greek philosophers. so even if we do limit the scope of "all people everywhere" it doesn't really gain us anything. therefore i think the eisogesis would be a valid charge to anyone here seeing this declaration of God as only applicable to the elect for this is nowhere in this text (unless i missed it somewhere...if so, i'm open to correction).

Brandan
01-29-04, 12:57 PM
Maybe what the anti-duty faith people are saying (and unfortunately the one I requested to join us has turned down my invitation because he's tired of being called a hyper-calvinist) is that men should repent and have faith, but are not obligated or duty bound to repent and have faith. What is your take on that Doug?

disciple
01-29-04, 01:12 PM
Maybe what the anti-duty faith people are saying (and unfortunately the one I requested to join us has turned down my invitation because he's tired of being called a hyper-calvinist) is that men should repent and have faith, but are not obligated or duty bound to repent and have faith. What is your take on that Doug?perhaps that's as good a guess as any but it is just semantics. should implies obligation or duty. under the thesarus for duty the first synonym listed is obligation and to say that someone should do something is to command and say that they are obligated to do it. under should in the dictionary is the entry used in auxiliary function to express obligation, propriety, or expediency. in fact here is the etymology of the word should: Etymology: Middle English sholde, from Old English sceolde owed, was obliged to, ought to. so i really don't see how one can split hairs here.

Brandan
01-29-04, 01:43 PM
When I used the word "should" I meant that they should do it because it would be beneficial to them, not because of obligation to God.

disciple
01-29-04, 01:51 PM
When I used the word "should" I meant that they should do it because it would be beneficial to them, not because of obligation to God.i guess i'm missing the distinction. i cannot see the difference based on my understanding of the english language. ok so would this be it, "you should do it for it'd be real nice if you did, but since you really can't then you're not obligated...it's just a friendly suggestion, not something that you have to do." so i should read the declaration in Acts 17:30f as a friendly suggestion but not something that everyone is commanded to do (therefore declared/commanded here really means suggested)?

Brandan
01-29-04, 01:53 PM
LOL Doug, I don't really understand what the antis think. We need someone to come defend their position. Oh is there ANY ANTI-DUTY Faith people out there willing to discusss this intelligently? I want to know what it is they're really protesting.

Bob Higby
01-30-04, 12:01 AM
I can't take either side in this debate, because I don't believe that there are only two possible positions. So my drifting to either of the two poles here is not in the cards.

I do not equate 'responsibility' and 'accountability' as being exactly the same thing. For me, God alone is responsible (he determines all things) and man alone is accountable (to God, God being accountable to no one). So I'm in disagreement with someone like Dr. Gordon Clark in this regard. I do believe it is proper to say that God is reponsible for sin and unbelief. But man alone is accountable for his sin and unbelief, though not responsible for it!

In other words, man is accountable to the gospel and the obligation to believe it. But without regeneration by the Holy Spirit, he is unable to do so--so God alone is responsible for unbelief. I would go further and state that the reprobate were created in eternal sin, incapable of regeneration. Nonetheless, in the day of judgment, unbelievers will be judged by the gospel and their accountability to have faith.

Some will claim that this is the ultimate injustice: God requires something of reprobate man that the same man is unable to do. But who are we to sit in judgment on God's sovereignty and ways?

Skeuos Eleos
01-30-04, 09:44 AM
Some will claim that this is the ultimate injustice: God requires something of reprobate man that the same man is unable to do. But who are we to sit in judgment on God's sovereignty and ways?Is "requires" the same as "commands"? God commands all men everywhere to repent and believe and their failure to do so codemns them but that doesn't mean he "requires" them to do so. To me "requires" implies desire or will whereas to command is simply setting forth the criteria on which will come reward or punishment. I could be splitting invisible hairs here though!

Apart from downright unbelief and rebellion I think the problem people have accepting this is that we do not see things from the point of view of God's purposes. We see it from the perspective of not being able to tell the wheat and tares apart and of seeing people having pain-filled, needy lives and thinking that they deserve something better. In other words we try to make ourselves as God and judge. When Paul talks about making others as vessels of wrath in Romans 9 we forget that God has purposes in doing this. Part of the reason for this that Paul makes clear to us is to make known the riches of His glory to His vessels of mercy but His ultimate purposes are to glorify Himself and to enable His chosen ones to "enjoy Him forever" and none of these purposes have anything to do with what people deserve or are able or required to do. Certainly, a reprobate is judged according to their unbelief but I see that more as being the means of their reprobation rather than the ultimate purpose.

We may not fully understand all of His purposes but we must remember that "there is no injustice with God" and that "the Lord of all the earth will do right"!

Martin

Bob Higby
01-30-04, 07:48 PM
Martin,

Amen to all that you have said! I could'nt differ with a single point.

Is "requires" the same as "commands"?

Yes, I meant the same thing. The additional elements that you see in the word 'requires' are not something that I was thinking of.

Grace rules! :)

Brandan
02-04-04, 10:16 PM
I talked to a brother on Pal Talk who denies duty faith, and this is what he said...

Duty Faith is a doctrine which says that a sinner has a responsibility to savingly believe the gospel.

I asked if men are sinful for unbelief, and he said, "yes". Unbelief is sinful because God has commanded men to believe the gospel.

So in a sense, men are responsible to believe and repent, but the "duty faith" they fight against it the idea that faith and repentance procures salvation. Faith and repentance are fruits and evidences of justification rather than the causes of justification. Apparently the duty faith people of long ago taught duty-faith hand in hand with the well meant offer. We don't hear duty faith being taught (at least I haven't) much today so it's not that big of a controversy - but is important nonetheless as it gives us an insight into the controversy of bygone years.

Bob Higby
02-05-04, 04:11 AM
Yes, old controversies like this cause us to re-think our current faith and confession.

It may not be obvious, but what DG said in the last post really illustrates the mediating position I hold to on this issue: accountability, not responsibility.

Duty Faith is a doctrine which says that a sinner has a responsibility to savingly believe the gospel.

Yes, that is why I deny 'responsibility' in this context. Responsibility implies that the 'buck' stops with the sinner. In this duty-faith schema, salvation is ultimately dependent on the sinner's own God-given ability to believe.

I asked if men are sinful for unbelief, and he said, "yes". Unbelief is sinful because God has commanded men to believe the gospel.

And I wholeheartedly affirm this also. This is accountability to the gospel, not responsibility to the gospel. God is responsible for the unbelief of men (the 'buck' stops with Him). However, he has commanded all to believe and will still hold all accountable.

Others may define this with different terms but I hope the concept is clear.

jitl_5234
02-26-04, 06:03 PM
I think a great example to give is what happened with Judas. Did God sovereignly put Judas in the midst of Christ to betray Him? yes. However, was Judas fully responsible or held accoutable for what he did? yes. Yet at the same time, Christ constantly gave Judas the chance to truly follow Him.

wildboar
06-27-04, 11:40 AM
I've been reading a good deal of Tobias Crisp lately and have throughly enjoyed him. I've also begun reading some of the other writers which often get lumped in with him as being antinomian including William Huntington. I'm starting to think that the label may be appropriate for Huntington and have not enjoyed reading him anywhere near as much as Crisp. Anyhow, Huntington seems to hold to this anti-duty faith position as well as to object to some statements made by others that I can't for the life of me figure out why he is objecting to them. The more I read, the odder it seems and the harder it is for me to understand how it caught on. The best I can figure is that the strict baptists reacted too strongly against the well-meant offer position of Andrew Fuller and adopted a position that would keep them from anything close to the well-meant offer.

I had purchased several copies of the Gospel Standard from the 1800's a couple years ago but was unware of who published them. I just sold them all a couple months ago and have just recently come to find out that they were published by the strict baptists. I'm wishing I had held onto them so I could look into this a bit more.

I recently came across a webpage with a review of a review of a book promoting duty faith. The name of the book is Today's Gospel and Apostolic Exhortations. The author is A G Randalls. The reviewer of the book turned out to be Prof. David Engelsma in an issue before I started reading the Standard Bearer. The reviewer of the review is A G Randalls.

Anyhow here's Engelsma's review of the book: http://www.prca.org/standard_bearer/volume74/1997dec01.html#TodaysGospel

Here's Randalls' review of the review: http://www.theparsons.freeserve.co.uk/areview.htm

Engelsma only briefly touches on Simon Magnus, but if all you read was the review of the review you would think it was the topic of the whole article. I don't understand either how Randalls can say that denying common grace leads to denying providence. I've heard from people that the Huntingtonian press removes the word offer from Saltmarsh's writings, which is unfortunate because they seem to be the only one publishing it and I would like to read some Saltmarsh as well.

harald
06-27-04, 12:45 PM
Wildboar. I think Good Books, run by Curt Daniel, reprints some work of Saltmarsh. I do not believe they have touched the text of the man. I have the book Free Grace by Saltmarsh published by Huntingtonian Press. Back when I got it I read a bit in it, and Saltmarsh said some good things. I believe he is not far from Crisp in his thoughts, but I believe Crisp was more orthodox. Among other things it seems Saltmarsh repudiated and/or despised the ordinance of water baptism. Good Books have also reprinted John Eaton's work Honeycombe of Free Justification by Christ. As you know he is often named in connection with Crisp and Saltmarsh. I recall you once mentioned his name. GB also reprints a work by Chauncey, Neonomianism Unmask'd. Myself is not familiar with Eaton's and Chauncey's works, but have sometime thought to get them from GB.

Harald

whs1
06-27-04, 02:39 PM
Disciple said:

"ok so he has proven that it doesn't mean "every individual who ever lived." but what does this prove? are we to imagine that paul had everyone submit a questionarre to find out which were elect or were really interested and then only spoke to them? or do we conclude from this that since it doesn't mean all people everywhere in the world (that it just means all in terms of more than jews, etc.) that it then only applies to the elect who come under the hearing of the command and who are the only ones with the ability to respond to the command? this individual has proved nothing at all."


Yes, [As opposed to the Duty-Faith side]...He has proved that there is no "well-meant, free offer of the gospel" and that there is no "duty" for those who cannot [unable to come and repent and believe on Christ] to do so who would be included in this "Universal "well-meant offer".

He, disproving that it (Acts 17) was every person who ever lived, I believe has wrecked the "Hypothetical Universalism's" claim that Christ offers salvation to all if only they repent and believe. Now, I am mixed up with what is unregenerate man going to judged based upon, "sin" (breach of God's law) only
OR "unbelief in the gospel". Which is it? Is it because they are born sinners and that is the basis of judgment [Like the heathen tribal member who never saw God's word] or is it because they heard the gospel [which not everyone has heard on earth] and then reject the gospel???

Which is it? Upon what basis does God judge the world of the reprobate???

Is is upon
1. Being Sinners
2. Rejecting the gospel and not having faith and repentance?


I also agree with Bill Twisse that the words: "Responsibility and Accountability" are NOT the same.

There is no doctrine called: "The responsibilty of man" It is :

"The ACCOUNTABILITY of man".

I [now] am anti-duty faith. I do not believe that God looks at faith as a "work" that God requires out of man. That would mean that Faith is something we "do" to earn salvation...so

"Faith is NOT a work" (W.H.S.)



Bill

Bob Higby
06-27-04, 09:00 PM
This issue is closely related to the 'free offer' controversy, it seems to me. If Christ is to be offered to all, then all have a responsibility and duty to believe. If Christ is not to be offered but preached, with the the simple declaration that all who believe in his person and work ARE justified, then faith is strictly what God does in the elect as a part of declaring them righteous. The fact that the non-elect laugh at the gospel in disbelief is what God does in them to harden their hearts and declare them reprobate.

tomas1
06-28-04, 04:42 AM
This is exactly how I see it. We are merely to proclaim the Gospel. To the elect it will be the sound of freedom and life. To the reprobate it will be the sound of slavery and death.

wildboar
06-28-04, 06:39 AM
Harald:

Good Books publishes one of Saltmarsh's works but they don't put out Free Grace which is the one I'm most interested in reading. The books at Good Books are facsimiles so I don't think there would be any editing of the content. However, I still have access to Early English books online with my Calvin ID and all these books are on there. I was just hoping to find them somewhere in a modern font. I've downloaded quite a few in .pdf format and printed them off. Some of the writing gets small and it gives me a bit of a headache. I've gotten used to the "s's" that look like "f's" though. I've ordered a facsimile edition of a book from Still Waters Revival Books in the past and parts of it were completely unreadable. I have yet to see the work of Good Books.

Chauncy is one of the authors I have printed off. He's excellent. I've read much of Alexipharmacon. I hope at some point his works are made more widely available. He was Owens successor and from what I've read seems to excel him in many ways. The section of his book written in response to the Presbyterian Articles written against the antineonomians is superb and the issue of the conditional covenant is addressed very well.