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Thread: Is Denial of the "Well-Meant Offer" Hyper-Calvinism?

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    Is Denial of the "Well-Meant Offer" Hyper-Calvinism?

    http://www.prca.org/pamphlets/pamphlet_35.html

    In his paper "Is Denial of the "Well-Meant Offer" Hyper-Calvinism?", David J. Engelsma paints a picture of history I didn't know:

    The formulation of the doctrinal issue of the call of the gospel in the question, \\\\\"Is denial of the 'well-meant offer' hyper-Calvinism?\\\\\" demands some historical background. In the 1920s, controversy erupted in the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) over the doctrine of the grace of God --the \\\\\"common grace\\\\\" controversy. In adopting the doctrine of common grace, the CRC committed itself to the doctrine that God is gracious in the preaching of the gospel to all who hear. It denied that God is gracious in the gospel only to the elect. The preaching of the gospel is a \\\\\"general offer\\\\\" of grace to all. Several CR ministers dissented from this dogma that the preaching is a gracious offer to all, holding that the grace of God in the preaching is particular -- for the elect only. The insistence by the CRC that these men subscribe to the doctrine of common grace and the subsequent discipline of them resulted in the formation of the Protestant Reformed Churches (PRC).

    Because of their objection to the \\\\\"well-meant offer of the gospel,\\\\\" the PRC are widely regarded within the Reformed and Presbyterian community as hyper-Calvinists.1

    A similar controversy occurred in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) in the 1940s. This controversy centered in the person and theology of the well-known philosopher and theologian, Gordon H. Clark. Among the charges brought against Clark by the leading lights in the OPC was that of denying the free offer of the gospel. At that time, the OPC virtually adopted the view of the preaching of the gospel set forth in the report of John Murray and Ned Stonehouse presented to the Fifteenth General Assembly of the OPC in 1948. This view, like the doctrine adopted by the CRC, maintains that the gospel call is a gracious offer on the part of God to every hearer. The report states that \\\\\"the full and free offer of the gospel is a grace bestowed upon all.\\\\"
    It makes perfect sense to me that problems such as the new perspective and Federal Vision have risen out of this quagmire of arminianism within the reformed chuurch.

    What isn't brought up is telling also, should infralapsarianism be considered a part of the arminian heresy?
    I say yes, what say you?

    He also states:

    Far more important for our defense is the appeal to the creeds. The Reformed faith is a confessional religion. The creeds are authoritative.
    Do you agree with this statement?
    Why or why not?
    Isaiah 45:7, (KJV), I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

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    Re: Is Denial of the "Well-Meant Offer" Hyper-Calvinism?

    A church I had been attending recently, noted for its 'independent Reformed' perspective (F.I.R.E.), has the free offer as a part of its doctrinal statement. I heard it preached from the pulpit that the free offer is the equivalent of the 'Reformed' position on the implications of the gospel.

    So this doctrine is as well-entrenched in 'Reformed' churchianity as the Deity and atonement of Jesus Christ.

    Yes, infralapsarianism is a subtle re-arrangement of the Arminian furniture! No church accepting any of this doctrine will be free of the New Perspective forever! The end will be the Federal Vision, sooner or later.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Is Denial of the "Well-Meant Offer" Hyper-Calvinism?

    "Far more important for our defense is the appeal to the creeds. The Reformed faith is a confessional religion. The creeds are authoritative."

    I do not agree with the above statement.

    We know and believe that Jesus Christ is the truth. The "Word" ie Jesus Christ is the truth. Creeds may contain truth, but also error. So a creed cannot be authoritative. If a creed was 100% truthful and contained no error, then that truth would be authoritative. But then again, all truth must be revealed by the Holy Spirit. Hence if no one believed in the truth, so be it. The truth although would still be truth and remain.

    Nicholas
    My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand..........John 10:27,28

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    Re: Is Denial of the "Well-Meant Offer" Hyper-Calvinism?

    2 Timothy 3: 1-7


    1But this know, that in [the] last days difficult times shall be there;
    2for men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, evil speakers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, profane,
    3without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, of unsubdued passions, savage, having no love for what is good,
    4traitors, headlong, of vain pretensions, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God;
    5having a form of piety but denying the power of it: and from these turn away.
    6For of these are they who are getting into houses, and leading captive silly women, laden with sins, led by various lusts, 7always learning, and never able to come to [the] knowledge of [the] truth.

    Sadly today, this is pretty much the climate in most organized professed Christian denominations and groups throughout the world. Joyfully speaking, this is God's plan to further decieve the world and especially people who claim to uphold the name of Jesus Christ.

    Nicholas
    My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand..........John 10:27,28

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