Sean Gerety Tries to Buttress His Hyper-Calvinism Thursday, Dec 1 2011 

In his blog  Calvin the Hyper-Calvinist Gerety celebrates his ad extra economia with quotation from Calvin.

Calvin the Hyper-Calvinist

“Hugh McCann recently sent me a few selected quotes from Calvin’s Calvinism : Treatises on ‘The Eternal Predestination of God’ and ‘The Secret Providence of God’ that were so good that I decided to post virtually the entire passage from page 157 through 167.  It has been quite a few years since I’ve read this book, but it is an invaluable resource to anyone still debating the completely discredited and irrational doctrine of the so-called “well meant offer” where God is said to ineffectually wish for, or desire, the salvation of all men universally considered through the preaching of the gospel.  Ineffectually simply because the reprobate, the non-elect, never come to saving faith and is why defenders of the WMO, like John Murray, posit in God “an ardent desire for the fulfillment of certain things [i.e., the salvation of the reprobate] which he has not decreed in his inscrutable counsel to come to pass…”

What Gerety and Co. still refuse to deal with is John Owen’s Dissertation on Divine Justice where he clearly refutes the ad extra economia of Calvin and Rutherford. Trueman, in his essay John Owen’s Dissertation on Divine Justice admits that Calvin made the same mistake as Rutherford’s ad extra economia when he says,

“Thus, Calvin, in commenting on John 15:13, makes the following comment:

God could have redeemed us by a word or a wish, save that another way seemed to him best for our sakes: that by not sparing His own and only-begotten Son, he might testify in His person how much he cares for our salvation. And those hearts must be harder than  iron or stone which are not softened  by  the incomparable sweetness of the divine love.

Here, it is clear that Calvin  grounds the necessity  of Christ’s death in  an  act of God’s will, not in his vindicatory justice. This view was not found to be at all unacceptable amongst the Reformed  orthodox  in  seventeenth-century  Britain, and  the Westminster Confession, not surprisingly, makes no explicit ruling on this issue. As noted above, it is found in the writings of such  impeccably  Orthodox  figures as Twisse and  Rutherford  and  is thus scarcely  a peculiar position for a Reformed theologian to hold.” (pg. 90-91)

The Hyper Calvinists deny volition at the level of precept/nature to deny the Free Offer while the East denies volition at the level of nature to deny Vindicating Justice; Two sides and extremes of the same error. Does Gerety escape the Hyper- Calvinist accusation? No.

Is Grace Alien to Man’s Original State or Was the Covenant of Works Itself Gracious? The former I deny the later I affirm. Thursday, Nov 24 2011 

Most apologetical works of the Eastern Orthodox against Calvinism are aimed at a Hyper-Calvinist straw man. The Eastern Orthodox apologists try to make grace something alien to nature in Reformed Theology so that they can corner it in an accusation that the entire system is Pelagian.  InAmerica, since the rejection of nationally established Protestant nations a view of the covenant of grace has been taken to buttress the idea of pluralism and it is loaded with Hyper-Calvinism. It is the system of Thomas Boston which shares many similarities with the Reformed Baptist system which is Hyper-Calvinism Par Excellence. In opposition to these errors I affirm  with Rutherford that the  Covenant of Works was ITSELF a gracious covenant.

Samuel Rutherford says,

“In all pactions between the Lord and man, even in a Law-Covenant there is some outbreakings of grace. It is true, there was no Gospel-Grace, that is a fruit of Christ’s merit in this Covenant. But yet if grace be taken for undeserved goodness: There are these respects of grace. 1. That God might have given to Adam something inferior to the glorious image of God, that consists in true righteousness, knowledge of God, and holiness, Gen 1:26, Eph 4:24, Col 3:10 … 2. Being and dominion over the creatures is of undeserved goodness … 3. The Covenant of Works itself, that God out of sovereignty does not command, is undeserved condescending; that God bargains for hire, do this and live, whereas he may … [as] Sovereign Lawgiver … charge and command us, is overcoming goodness. Law is honeyed with love, and hire; it is mercy that for our penny of obedience, so rich a wage as communion with God is given…”

Samuel Rutherford, The Covenant of Life Opened: Or, A Treatise on the Covenant of Grace (Edinburgh: Robert Broun for Andrew Anderson), 35.

Where is the Doctrine of Justification by Faith Alone Before Luther? Saturday, Oct 22 2011 

Where is the Doctrine of Justification by Faith Alone Before Luther?

1 Cor 11:19 For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you.

Anchoretic Christians often complain that Protestants have no historical basis (Outside of the New Testament) for their principles of justification by faith alone, that is, forensic imputed righteousness. First, they fail to remember that God already settled this issue very clearly in Romans and Galatians. Second, they fail to remember that God perfects his Church through allowing erroneous teachers to come in so the true flock may be perfected through theological controversy as Paul makes clear in 1 Corinthians 11. Remember, much of the New Testament was written in response to theological error and practical error that needed to be corrected. With the doctrine of Justification by faith alone, the Papist errors were the very things that God used to bring Christians back to the original apostolic teaching on this issue.

James R.Willson, says in his Prince Messiah’s Claims To Dominion Over All Governments,

“To the doctrine of his priestly office, his servants bore witness in the 16th century, when justification through faith, without the works of the law, was taught and illustrated. The conflict then was between the heresies of the Papists respecting pardon by indulgences, penances, pilgrimages and purity, on the one side; and the meritorious offering of the son of God for sinners on the other. Then was the second great article of the church’s creed settled. For the truth of the priesthood of Christ, many thousand of saints laid down their lives, not counting them dear.”

Efficient and Permissive Decrees; A Clarification Monday, Sep 12 2011 

Carl Henry wrote the introduction to Dr. Clark’s Festschrift   “A Wide and Deep Swath”. On page 16 of the Festschrift  Henry says, “It was Clark’s refusal (following Calvin) to distinguish, as have some evangelical theologians, between God’s efficient will and his permissive will, that enlivened discussions over Calvinism and Arminianism on the Wheaton campus. ”

In the context he seemed to be operating off of Dr. Clark’s article Determinism and Responsibility. The problem I see for Henry is that the two aspects of God’s will are referred to as his perceptive and his decretive will.  Clark clearly affirmed this distinction. Clark says,

“The Ten Commandments are God’s perceptive will. They command men to do this and to refrain from that. They state what ought to be done; but they neither state nor cause what is done. God’s decretive will, however, as contrasted with his precepts, causes every even…These two are different things, and what looks like an opposition between them is not a self-contradiction.”

Dr. Clark, Religion, Reason and Revelation, pg 222

Does Henry mean efficient and permissive DECREES?

Jack Cottrell says, “Contrary to Calvinism, however, the Bible itself clearly shows that God’s purposive (efficacious) will does not include all things. It is not comprehensive; it does not include ‘whatsoever comes to pass.” Perspectives, pg 98 He says again on page 100 that Calvinism posits “the comprehensive, efficacious decree.” But is this what the Calvinist position teaches? Let’s look at a few quotes from the Westminster Confession,

CHAPTER III. Of God’s Eternal Decree

I. God from all eternity did by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby neither is God the author of sin; nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.

CHAPTER VI. Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the Punishment thereof.

I. Our first parents, begin seduced by the subtlety and temptations of Satan, sinned in eating the forbidden fruit. This their sin God was pleased, according to his wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to his own glory.

Girardeau says of God’s Sovereignty in Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism

“It may be conceived as that aspect of the divine will which is expressed in both his efficient and permissive decrees. Accordingly it may be apprehended as in some instances absolutely pre-determining events, and as in others bounding ordering and governing events which are not absolutely predetermined, but permitted to occur.” (396-397)

You see not all of God’s purpose and decree is efficacious as Cottrell asserts. Some are  permissive but God still governs those events with an element of causality.

Historically, the efficient and permissive distinction concerns God’s decrees, not his will as a whole. The efficient and permissive distinction falls under the decretive will.

What is Grace? In Jonathan Edwards Saturday, Aug 6 2011 

Treatise on Grace by Jonathan Edwards

I have had some folks ask me questions on the nature of Grace. Edwards does a great job in explaining this difficult topic.

Here are some important portions of this treatise:

“SUCH phrases as common grace, and special or saving grace, may be understood as signifying either diverse kinds of influence of God’s Spirit on the hearts of men, or diverse fruits and effects of that influence….[Chapter 2] ‘Tis common for us to speak of various graces of the Spirit of God as though they were so many different principles of holiness, and to call them by distinct names as such, — repentance, humility, resignation, thankfulness, etc. But we err if we imagine that these in their first source and root in the heart are properly distinct principles. They all come from the same fountain, and are, indeed, the various exertions and conditions of the same thing, only different denominations according to the various occasions, objects, and manners, attendants and circumstances of its exercise. There is some one holy principle in the heart that is the essence and sum of all grace, the root and source of all holy acts of every kind, and the fountain of every good stream, into which all Christian virtues may ultimately be resolved, and in which all duty and [all] holiness is fulfilled.

Thus the Scripture represents it. Grace in the soul is one fountain of water of life, (John 4:14,) and not various distinct fountains. So God, in the work of regeneration, implants one heavenly seed in the soul, and not various different seeds. 1 John 3:9–“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him.” … The Day [that] has arisen on the soul is but one. The oil in the vessel is simple and pure, conferred by one holy anointing. All is “wrought” by one individual work of the Spirit of God. And thus it is there is a consentanation of graces. Not only is one grace in some way allied to another, and so tends to help and promote one another, but one is really implied in the other. The nature of one involves the nature of another. And the great reason of it is, that all graces have one common essence, the original principle of all, and is but one. Strip the various parts of the Christian soul of their circumstances, concomitants, appendages, means, and occasions, and consider that which is, as it were, their soul and essence, and all appears to be the same. [Chapter 1] …It is possible that natural men, without the addition of any further principle than they have by nature, may be affected with gratitude by some remarkable kindness of God to them, as that they should be so affected with some great act of kindness of a neighbour. A principle of self-love is all that is necessary to both. But Divine Love is a principle distinct from self-love, and from all that arises from it. Indeed, after a man is come to relish the sweetness of the supreme good there is in the nature of God, self-love may have a hand in an appetite after the enjoyment of that good. For self-love will necessarily make a man desire to enjoy that which is sweet to him. But God’s perfections must first savour appetite and [be] sweet to men, or they must first have a taste to relish sweetness in the perfection of God, before self-love can have any influence upon them to cause an appetite after the enjoyment of that sweetness. And therefore that divine taste or relish of the soul, wherein Divine Love doth most fundamentally consist, is prior to all influence that self-love can have to incline us to God; and so must be a principle quite distinct from it, and independent of it. [Chapter 2]…There are many things in the minds of some natural men that are from the influence of the Spirit, but yet are by no means spiritual things in the scriptural sense of the word. The Spirit of God convinces natural men of sin, (John 16:8.) Natural men may have common grace, common illuminations, and common affections that are from the Spirit of God, as appears by Hebrews 6:4. Natural men have sometimes the influences of the Spirit of God in His common operations and gifts, and therefore God’s Spirit is said to be striving with them, and they are said to resist the Spirit, (Acts 7:51;) to grieve and vex God’s Holy Spirit, (Eph. 4:30; Isaiah 63:10;) and God is said to depart from them even as the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul: 1 Sam. 16:14– “But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.”… Hence also we may more easily receive and understand a doctrine that seems to be taught us in the Sacred Scripture concerning grace in the heart–viz., that it is no other than the Spirit of God itself dwelling and acting in the heart of a saint,– which the consideration of these things will make manifest:–

(1.) That the Sacred Scriptures don’t only call grace spiritual, but “spirit.”

(2.) That when the Sacred Scriptures call grace spirit, the Spirit of God is intended; and that grace is called “Spirit” no otherwise than as the name of the Holy Ghost, the Third Person in the Trinity is ascribed to it… This is yet more abundantly clear by the next words, which are, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Here these two things that in the preceding verse are called “flesh and spirit,” are in this verse called “the law of the Spirit of life” and “the law of sin and death,” evidently speaking still of the same law of our mind and the law of sin spoken of in the last verse of the preceding chapter. The Apostle goes on in the 8th chapter to call aversation and grace by the names of flesh and Spirit, (verses 4-9, and again verses 12,13.) These two principles are called by the same names in Matt. 26:41– “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” There can be no doubt but that the same thing is intended here by the flesh and spirit as (compare what is said of the flesh and spirit here and in these places) in the 7th and 8th chapters of Romans, and Gal. 5. Again, these two principles are called by the same words in Gal. 6:8. If this be compared with the 18th verse of the foregoing chapter, and with Romans 8:6 and 13, none can doubt but the same is meant in each place.

2. If the Sacred Scriptures be duly observed, where grace is called by the name of “spirit,” it will appear that ’tis so called by an ascription of the Holy Ghost, even the third person in the Trinity, to that Divine principle in the hearts of the saints, as though that principle in them were no other than the Spirit of God itself, united to the soul, and living and acting in it, and exerting itself in the use and improvement of its faculties… So that true saving grace is no other than that very love of God– that is, God, in one of the persons of the Trinity, uniting Himself to the soul of a creature, as a vital principle, dwelling there and exerting Himself by the faculties of the soul of man, in His own proper nature, after the manner of a principle of nature… We often, in our common language about things of this nature, speak of a principle of grace. I suppose there is no other principle of grace in the soul than the very Holy Ghost dwelling in the soul and acting there as a vital principle. To speak of a habit of grace as a natural disposition to act grace, as begotten in the soul by the first communication of Divine light, and as the natural and necessary consequence of the first light, it seems in some respects to carry a wrong idea with it. Indeed the first exercise of grace in the first light has a tendency to future acts, as from an abiding principle, by grace and by the covenant of God; but not by any natural force. The giving one gracious discovery or act of grace, or a thousand, has no proper natural tendency to cause an abiding habit of grace for the future; nor any otherwise than by Divine constitution and covenant. But all succeeding acts of grace must be as immediately, and, to all intents and purposes, as much from the immediate acting of the Spirit of God on the soul, as the first; and if God should take away His Spirit out of the soul– all habits and acts of grace would of themselves cease as immediately as light ceases in a room when a candle is carried out. And no man has a habit of grace dwelling in him any otherwise than as he has the Holy Spirit dwelling in him in his temple, and acting in union with his natural faculties, after the manner of a vital principle. So that when they act grace, ’tis, in the language of the apostle, “not they, but Christ living in them.” Indeed the Spirit of God, united to human faculties, acts very much after the manner of a natural principle or habit… Hence the Spirit of God seems in Sacred Scripture to be spoken of as a quality of the persons in whom it resided. So that they are called spiritual persons; as when we say a virtuous man, we speak of virtue as the quality of the man.” [Chapter 3]

In this treatise Edwards points out that this immediate relationship between God and man is how man participates in God and he quotes 2 Peter 1:3-5. In light of this Scriptural definition of grace I must deny the traditional Scholastic doctrine of created grace.

A Scripturalist Proposal of Union with Christ Wednesday, Jul 13 2011 

Vladimir Lossky criticizes Western Trinitarianism by saying,

“The personal relationship of man to the living God is no longer a relationship to the Trinity, but rather has as its object the person of Christ, who reveals to us the divine nature. Christian life and thought become christocentric, relying primarily upon the humanity of the incarnate Word; one might almost say that it is” this which becomes their anchor of salvation.” (Lossky, Vladamir, The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church Chapter 3 (St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press: Crestwood, NY, 1976) [I accessed this here: http://jbburnett.com/resources/lossky/lossky_myst1-trinity.pdf%5D pg. 64-65)

Perry Robinson, a popular Eastern Apologist made the complaint on the Called to Communion Blog:

“I realize that union is not foreign to the Reformers, but there are many notions of union. For example, Cyril and Nestorius both believe in a union in and with Christ, but they differed on what constituted the union. So my question is, what constitutes the union? Saying it is “mystical” doesn’t really do that work. I am aware of the debate with Osiander and a denial of a union to the divine essence. but then to what is one united that is deity if there is nothing more to God for the Reformers than the divine essence?”

Imputation and Infusion: A Reply to R.C. Sproul Jr. by Bryan Cross, comment 31

So what does it mean to be united to Christ? First, it means that the Ideas in the Logos are directly and univocally impressed upon the mind of a man. Isa 53:11 By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many. This is a real participation in God. In this sense salvation is not a metaphysical issue in the sense that human nature was being sucked down into annihilation by sin and Christ ontologically raised the human genus to immortality. It is metaphysical at the level of hypostasis that men really participate in God; in specific the Logos.  These Ideas are not just general propositions that all men receive but the propositions of special revelation. When man believes these things revealed by God there is a real union made between that man and Christ. The Scriptures speak of this as having the law written on the heart. (2 Cor 3:3)  No doubt the Scholastic and the Easterner will flip the script when they read this so I have provided articles here and here in reply regarding the Logos and Saving Faith.Secondly, union with Christ  means that Christ represents you in the Covenant of Redemption. This is a Representational Union. See Samuel Rutherford, Covenant of Life Opened and my article concerning it here.

This is not to remove the agency of the Holy Spirit. Calvin says,

“Paul, in the Epistle to the Romans (Rom. 8:9-11), shows that the only way in which Christ dwells in us is by his Spirit. By this, however, he does not take away that communion of flesh and blood of which we now speak, but shows that it is owing to the Spirit alone that we possess Christ wholly, and have him abiding in us.” Inst. 4.17.12

Just as 2 Cor 3:3, in fulfillment of OT prophecy describes those who have the law of God written on their hearts, it explains the agency of the Holy Spirit as the one who writes it. Therefore, Christ, the Logos, the Wisdom of God  (1 Cor 1:24), is written univocally in the heart of man by the Holy Spirit. This is a real union and provides the basis of a hypostatic union between God and man in Christ.  Now can the Traditional Thomistic Western Philosophy or the Eastern Hesychast philosophy produce a view of God and Man that provides real participation?  

JULES GRISHAM in his FELLED BY “GOOD PLEASURE”. AN EXAMINATION OF THE CONDEMNATION OF THE GRAMMATICOHISTORICAL METHOD OF INTERPRETING SCRIPTURE, AS IT WAS DEVELOPED IN THE EXEGETICAL SCHOOL OF ANTIOCH says,

“Theodore, then, to his own thinking, was only being consistent when he taught  that the human nature of Jesus was essentially distinct from the divine nature of  the Son-Logos.  Because he understood hypostasis as referring to the concrete instance of a nature (in the sense that a person is a concrete instance, a particular expression, of human nature), and because, according to his fundamental understanding concerning the radical “other-ness” of God, he insisted that the divine and human natures could not be hypostatically joined without corruption of the divine, Theodore held that there is an inhering dualism in Christ’s person.  Accordingly, he taught that we must think of Christ’s union not as a hypostatic one (that is, of substance) but as a prosopic one (that is, of manifestation and benevolence).  Prosopon means “face,” “role” (referring to drama as well as to social status), or “person,” in the societal-functional sense –i.e., what one does.  And the concept he used to explain how this prosopic union came to be and remains intact is “assumption.” pg. 27

This is precisely the opposite of what Scripturalism teaches. We believe in a univocal participation in God and deny that God is totally other as the Van Tillians, the Scholastics  and the Neoplatonist East teaches. Gordon Clark says in Three Types of Religious Philosophy [(Jefferson Maryland, The Trinity Foundation, 1989) pg. 123 –Dogmatism-Realism]

“To be sure, Christian dogmatism does not accept the unaltered World of Platonic Ideas. The Philonic Interpretation is better. [By the way Philo’s construction posited the Ideas in the mind of God. DS] Still better is the replacement of Ideas (minus predicates) by propositions or truths…Christian dogmatism therefore must be realistic. The real object of knowledge is itself present to the mind…There are of course other thoughts, objects, or realities. Every Biblical Proposition is one. These never change nor go out of existence, FOR THEY ARE THE CONSTITUENTS OF GOD’S MIND…We know God directly for in him we live and move and have our being.”

Perry Robinson complains about the Scholastic Reformed view of Epistemology and its relation to participation in God,

“It is also interesting that McCormack recognizes that Chalcedonian Christology, the teaching of one of the four councils the Reformed have long claimed adherence to, is not fundamentally their own and was not meant to support their soteriological viewpoint, but rather one very different. His earlier comments about theosis make it obvious I think which soteriological model it was designed to support. The Reformed it seems are caught in a pickle as McCormack frames it. Either abandon their distinctive tradition, which requires them to adhere to Chalcedon, because it isn’t compatible with Chalcedon, or abandon their tradition because it isn’t compatible with Chalcedon and endorse Chalcedon. So either you can have orthodox Christology but not Reformed soteriological distinctives or you pledge fealty to a deformed Christ in order to maintain Reformed soteriological distinctives.

Here we have two traditions concerning Christ which frame the way we interpret the Bible at odds. Recall McCormack’s mentioning that the Lutherans and the Reformed are trying to find somthing like theosis “in their own church fathers.” The question is, which tradition will you choose? Because they frame the way we read the Bible there is no non-circular interpretative methodology we can appeal to to settle the matter. And neither can we simply appeal to the text of the Bible without such a method. There simply do not exist any Christologically neutral interpretative methodology to appeal to. So I ask my Reformed readers, which will you choose?

I’d bet on the Fathers of Chalcedon myself.”

Jay Dyer, commenting quotes Turretin,

“For the Son of God only is ‘the image of the invisible God’ (Col 1:15)-the essential and natural, and no mortal can attain to it because the finite cannot be a partaker of the infinite. And if we are said by grace to be ‘partakers of the divine nature’ (2 Pet 1:4), this is not to be understood of an essential, formal and instrinsic participation, but an analogical, accidental and extrinsic participation (by reason of the effects analogous to the divine perfections which are produced in us by the Spirit after the image of God).” Institutes of Eclenctic Theology vol. 1, p. 465″

Jay: This would necessitate that in the Incarnation there is only an extrinsic, accidental union. Total Nestorianism.”

We Scripturalists have abandoned the view of Epistemology and Saving Faith as the Reformed Scholastics. We posit a direct, univocal and real participation in God. Can the East’s Hesychasm  transport man’s nature this high? They will say: THE ENERGIES THE ENERGIES! But what are the energies? Do they support a real participation in God?  Lossky refers to the energies as

“another mode of the divine existence outside the essence of God, the mode of grace, in which God communicates Himself and manifests Himself….far from being a separation or division of God into two parts, communicable and incommunicable, is an inevitable theological postulate if we wish to maintain the real and not just the metaphorical character of deification, without suppressing created being within the divine essence (The Vision of God, pg. 166)… Farrell speaks of the Energies as “rational principles”, “around” God’s Essence.

Earlier Lossky said of the Energies,

“Divinity is manifested fully and is wholly present in the dunameis, but created beings participate in it in the proportion or analogy proper to each one, hence the hierarchical order of the universe, which develops in an order of decreasing participations, of decreasing analogies in created beings. Dionysius’ hierarchy definitely does not limit the plentitude of union; at every step of this ladder the union with God is realized fully, but the plentitude is not uniform, it is personal. In the analogy of each created nature there is an encounter, a synergy of two wills” (pg. 125)”

So on their view, the human nature of Christ analogically participated in a mode outside of God’s essence. Two problems: 1. The human nature never participates in the essence. 2. To posit participation in God as analogy is to posit no participation in God at all. See Clark, The Bible as Truth; Therefore, no hypostatic union. I am very aware that Clark, or at least Robbins constructed a two person view of Christ. I do not think they were aware of the huge Theological issues that Clark’s change in Reformed Philosophy implied. They were professional academicians not Theologians. Therefore, as comprehended as united to Christ univocally in faith, the elect are justified. For it is the Ideas in the mind of the Logos that are the objects of  justification (Isa 53:11). At this point the reader should refer to my articles on the Logos and Saving Faith.

The Nestorianism of Analogical Predication Thursday, Jul 7 2011 

Isaiah 53:11 By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many

 

FELLED BY “GOOD PLEASURE”. AN EXAMINATION OF THE CONDEMNATION OF THE GRAMMATICOHISTORICAL METHOD OF INTERPRETING SCRIPTURE, AS IT WAS DEVELOPED IN THE EXEGETICAL SCHOOL OF ANTIOCH

by JULES GRISHAM

“Theodore, then, to his own thinking, was only being consistent when he taught  that the human nature of Jesus was essentially distinct from the divine nature of  the Son-Logos.  Because he understood hypostasis as referring to the concrete instance of a nature (in the sense that a person is a concrete instance, a particular expression, of human nature), and because, according to his fundamental understanding concerning the radical “other-ness” of God, he insisted that the divine and human natures could not be hypostatically joined without corruption of the divine, Theodore held that there is an inhering dualism in Christ’s person.  Accordingly, he taught that we must think of Christ’s union not as a hypostatic one (that is, of substance) but as a prosopic one (that is, of manifestation and benevolence).  Prosopon means “face,” “role” (referring to drama as well as to social status), or “person,” in the societal-functional sense –i.e., what one does.  And the concept he used to explain how this prosopic union came to be and remains intact is “assumption.”

Pg. 27

This is precisely the opposite of what Scripturalism teaches. We believe in a univocal participation in God and deny that God is totally other as the Van Tillians, the Scholastics and Your  Neoplatonist East teaches.  Three Types of Religious Philosophy (Jefferson Maryland, The Trinity Foundation, 1989) by Gordon Clark pg. 123 –Dogmatism-Realism

“To be sure, Christian dogmatism does not accept the unaltered World of Platonic Ideas. The Philonic Interpretation is better. [By the way Philo’s construction posited the Ideas in the mind of God. DS] Still better is the replacement of Ideas (minus predicates) by propositions or truths…Christian dogmatism therefore must be realistic. The real object of knowledge is itself present to the mind…There are of course other thoughts, objects, or realities. Every Biblical Proposition is one. These never change nor go out of existence, FOR THEY ARE THE CONSTITUENTS OF GOD’S MIND…We know God directly for in him we live and move and have our being.”

Perry Robinson complains about the Reformed view of Epistemology and its relation to participation in God,

“It is also interesting that McCormack recognizes that Chalcedonian Christology, the teaching of one of the four councils the Reformed have long claimed adherence to, is not fundamentally their own and was not meant to support their soteriological viewpoint, but rather one very different. His earlier comments about theosis make it obvious I think which soteriological model it was designed to support. The Reformed it seems are caught in a pickle as McCormack frames it. Either abandon their distinctive tradition, which requires them to adhere to Chalcedon, because it isn’t compatible with Chalcedon, or abandon their tradition because it isn’t compatible with Chalcedon and endorse Chalcedon. So either you can have orthodox Christology but not Reformed soteriological distinctives or you pledge fealty to a deformed Christ in order to maintain Reformed soteriological distinctives.

Here we have two traditions concerning Christ which frame the way we interpret the Bible at odds. Recall McCormack’s mentioning that the Lutherans and the Reformed are trying to find somthing like theosis “in their own church fathers.” The question is, which tradition will you choose? Because they frame the way we read the Bible there is no non-circular interpretative methodology we can appeal to to settle the matter. And neither can we simply appeal to the text of the Bible without such a method. There simply do not exist any Christologically neutral interpretative methodology to appeal to. So I ask my Reformed readers, which will you choose?

I’d bet on the Fathers of Chalcedon myself.”

Jay Dyer, commenting quotes Turretin,

“For the Son of God only is ‘the image of the invisible God’ (Col 1:15)-the essential and natural, and no mortal can attain to it because the finite cannot be a partaker of the infinite. And if we are said by grace to be ‘partakers of the divine nature’ (2 Pet 1:4), this is not to be understood of an essential, formal and instrinsic participation, but an analogical, accidental and extrinsic participation (by reason of the effects analogous to the divine perfections which are produced in us by the Spirit after the image of God).” Institutes of Eclenctic Theology vol. 1, p. 465″

Jay: This would necessitate that in the Incarnation there is only an extrinsic, accidental union. Total Nestorianism.”

We Scripturalists have abandoned the view of Epistemology and Saving Faith as the Reformed Scholastics. We posit a direct, univocal and real participation in God. We are made in God’s real image and were given language structures that in category are uncreated.   Obviously English, Spanish and German are created but Language itself is not created. Neither is logic. What is the East’s superiority? They will say: THE ENERGIES THE ENERGIES! But what are the energies? Do they support a real participation in God?  Lossky refers to the energies as

“another mode of the divine existence outside the essence of God, the mode of grace, in which God communicates Himself and manifests Himself….far from being a separation or division of God into two parts, communicable and incommunicable, is an inevitable theological postulate if we wish to maintain the real and not just the metaphorical character of deification, without suppressing created being within the divine essence (The Vision of God, pg. 166)… Farrell speaks of the Energies as “rational principles”, “around” God’s Essence.

Earlier Lossky said of the Energies,

“Divinity is manifested fully and is wholly present in the dunameis, but created beings participate in it in the proportion or analogy proper to each one, hence the hierarchical order of the universe, which develops in an order of decreasing participations, of decreasing analogies in created beings. Dionysius’ hierarchy definitely does not limit the plentitude of union; at every step of this ladder the union with God is realized fully, but the plentitude is not uniform, it is personal. In the analogy of each created nature there is an encounter, a synergy of two wills” (pg. 125)”

So on their view, the human nature of Christ analogically participated in a mode outside of God’s essence. Two problems: 1. The human nature never participates in the essence. 2. To posit participation in God as analogy is to posit no participation in God at all. See Clark, The Bible as Truth; Therefore, no hypostatic union. I am very aware that Clark, or at least Robbins constructed a two person view of Christ. I do not think they were aware of the huge Theological issues that Clark’s change in Reformed Philosophy implied. They were professional academicians not Theologians. I affirm, therefore, a real union between human and the divine essence in Christ as in all those sinful men who have faith in Christ and are united to Him univocally and directly.  As comprehended as united to Christ univocally in faith, they are justified. For it is the Ideas in the mind of the Logos that are the objects of  justification (Isa 53:11).

The Free Offer of the Gospel; A Non-Paradoxical and Rational Construction by Drake Thursday, Jun 30 2011 

The link for the entire article will be at the end of this post. For brevity sake I will only quote my definition and my arguments against the Hyper-Calvinist rejection of the Free Offer:

“The Free Offer emphasizes preaching that does not center on the work of the Spirit in those who are called by grace but on the “fullness and freeness and suitableness of the Son of God as a Saviour for those that are lost.” (ST, pg. 142) The Free Offer emphasizes winning sinners to the “obedience of faith.” (ST, 142) The Free Offer does not emphasize preaching that turns the attention of the hearer inward but turns the hearer toward Christ. John Macleod defines the Free Offer, “in the Gospel Christ is held forth to the hearer, and that the hearer is thus bound, as he is called upon, to accept Him as his own.” (ST, 166)…

So as a summary the definition is as follows:

“God desires that such and such should be done by man, not that God desires that such and such shall be done” (Winzer) , yet by the first desire here mentioned I assert a real volition, Winzer rejects it. God hates evil and always punishes evil. God does not will to punish evil as an ad extra decree but punishes as something he essentially hates.  This asserts a clear perceptive will to God. “God wills good things because he is good” (Muller), “God’s will is regulated, not indeed extrinsically but intrinsically…BY HIS MOST HOLY NATURE” (Turretin).  God is free from external compulsions and from internal necessities in some things like creation. In all things the divine nature directs and regulates the divine will. In some things, not all things, it necessitates the will to will this or that, as in the generation of the Son and the Spiration of the Spirit.  In some other things it merely regulates and directs as in Creation and Redemption.  God has only one will, the will of the decree. However, this will has parts and aspects to it: one major part being the perceptive aspect. This is just one more reason to reject divine simplicity. “God does not intend the salvation of the reprobate by calling them, still he acts most seriously and sincerely…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…bestows it according to his promise…the offer of salvation is not made to them absolutely, but under a condition [For the definition of condition see The Conditionality of the Covenant of Grace in Samuel Rutherford, by Drake] and thus it posits nothing unless the condition is fulfilled… [By “posits nothing”  Turretin is not denying God’s volition at the level of precept for he asserts this will many times and calls it “the will of precept…as to approbation and command” and distinguishes it from the decree.]  [This] calling shows what God wills man should do, but not what he himself had decreed to do…to will reprobates to come (i.e., to command them to come and to desire it); …according to the approving will of God” (Turretin).  This Free Offer to the Reprobate “comes to them, 1. Not from Christ as their Surety, since he prays not for any Mediation of his own towards them: But 2. For the Elect’s sake..intended in the Preached gospel to none but to the elect” (Rutherford). This Free Offer affirms a love for all men that gives them, “being, to conserve them in being as long as he [God] pleaseth… He created them out of the womb of love and out of goodness, and keeps them in being. He can hate nothing that he made” (Rutherford). This is a provisional love and a desire for their eternal being.  This love comes from God’s nature and is natural to him to hate evil and love good. This love to the reprobate and all men even considered as sinners is not the love of election as the Arminians assert for this love is reserved only for the elect…

IV. Concluding Arguments Against Those Who Deny the Free Offer I.E. Hyper-Calvinists (HC)

1. When Winzer says “The will of precept has no volitional content, for it simply states what God has commanded ought to be done by man”, this is a direct denial of the hatred that God has for evil, which is the basis for penal substitutionary atonement. Hab 1:13 Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, And You can not look on wickedness with favor; Psalm 5:4-6 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells with You. The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity. You destroy those who speak falsehood; The LORD abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit. God has no emotions (See God’s Emotivity by Drake). Therefore, words predicated of God, that refer to human faculties are anthropopathic. These anthropopathisms are said to refer to volitions in God not emotions. But Winzer just denied volition at the level of precept. He has no basis for God’s hatred of evil.

2. The HC view asserts that all of God’s desires must come to fruition in only efficacious decrees. But doesn’t that imply that what God does not desire to be does not have reference to the will of decree? So he has a choice: Either admit that God desires sin and the mutilation of his Son which is why he decreed it; or admit that all of God’s desires are not coextensive with his efficacious decrees and do something that Hyper-Calvinists hate: acknowledge a permissive decree.

3. Winzer asserts that what God is in nature is separate from the creation, which is correct. Yet, the West uses God’s interaction with the creature to promote the Filioque clause. This is hypocrisy. If he admits that the Ontological Trinity is what God is irrespective of creation then he cannot use Economical actions of the Holy Spirit to prove the Filioque which is a doctrine respecting the Ontological Trinity. Yet that is all the West has to prove this doctrine.

4. Rutherford says “He desires the eternal being of damned angels and men”. This is exactly the opposite of what Winzer said. Winzer said that God’s provisional action to all men was to men as creatures, not men as reprobated sinners.

5. Methinks Winzer is great at distinguishing between divine nature and will but drives too strong a division between them. Moreover, his wedge is even more devastatingly problematic in light of the Scholastic Doctrine of Divine Simplicity which allows no real distinction between nature and will in God. Thomas Aquinas said in Summa Contra Gentiles,

Moreover, since every agent acts so far as it is in act, God, Who is pure act, must act through His essence. Willing, however, is a certain operation of God. Therefore God must be endowed with will through his essence. Therefore His will is His essence…From this it appears that God’s will is not other than His essence.” I:73:4 and I, pp. 243, 242- From Free Choice in Maximus the Confessor by Joseph P Farrell.

6. The HC view denies the Free Offer because the offer implies a condition that depraved man  cannot fulfill and must be entirely passive in the economy of salvation. They cannot vindicate their  use of the word “passive.” Here is Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary on passive:
“(1) : acted upon by an external agency (2) : receptive to outside impressions or influencesb (1) : asserting that the grammatical subject of a verb is subjected to or affected by the action represented by that verb (2) : containing or yielding a passive verb formc (1) : lacking in energy or will : LETHARGIC (2) : tending not to take an active or dominant part: induced by an outside agency …“Hits” in “She hits the ball” is active, while “hit” in “The ball was hit” is passive….In “He was hit by the ball,” “hit” is a passive verb.”

Their view must make Acts 16 say that Lydia “was believed by the Lord” or something like that. Belief is a volition in which man is active. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines volition: “an act of making a choice or decision; also : a choice or decision made 2: the power of choosing or determining : WILL”

Shedd says in Dogmatic Theology, Third Edition by W.G.T. Shedd, ed. Alan Gomes (P&R Publishing: Phillipsburg, NJ, 2003),

“Evangelical faith is an act of man. The active nature of faith in Christ is indicated in the scriptural phraseology, which describes it as ‘coming to Christ’ (Matt. 11:28), ‘looking to Christ’ (John 1:29), ‘receiving Christ’ (3:11), and ‘following Christ’ (8:12). The object of the Epistle of James is to teach that faith is an active principle (pg. 788)…That faith is an affectionate and voluntary act is proved by the following: ‘Faith works by love’ (Gal 5:6); peace be to the brethren, and love, with faith from God the Father’ (Eph. 6.23; 3:17; 4:16; 5:2 Col 2:2; 1 Thess. 3:12; 5:8; 1 Tim. 1:14); ‘hold fast the form of sound words, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus’ (2 Tim. 1:13).” (pg. 789)

The point is faith is not passive it is active. Moreover, the word “passive” implies a lack of energy or will. This is the exact thing I have been saying for some time now. If man has no will neither Christ’s human nature for they are consubstantial. Ergo, HC is Monothelete.

7. HC has made the Spirit’s work the condition which removes the objective commands of God from any conditional obligation on them, making the Spirit (now divorced from the Letter) the standard of obedience. That is Antinomianism par excellence.

8. The HC position on faith is “that faith is not a condition for justification, but an evidence of it; again, which God unilaterally, sovereignly gives the elect sinner”. The problem is faith is the point at which the elect are untied to Christ. Union to Christ is the basis of justification. God does not justify us as we are in our sins. He justifies us as he sees us in Christ. If you make faith an effect of justification then there is no basis for it and the whole is a fiat form or morality and redemption.

9. John Macleod says,

“The Hyper-Calvinistic…maintained that Christ is held forth or offered as Savior to those only whom God effectually calls. To such positions they came because they reasoned that man, as a bankrupt in spiritual resources, cannot be called upon to do what is out of the compass of his power. He can neither repent nor believe. So it was out of place to call upon him to do what he cannot do. In this, when we look into it, we find the common Arminian position that man’s responsibility is limited by his ability. The Arminian holds to the presence of a certain ability in those that are called; otherwise sinners could not be called; otherwise sinners could not be called upon to repent and believe the Gospel. Each side takes up the principle from its own end. They fail together to recognize that the sinner is responsible for his spiritual impotence.ST, pg. 140-141. See also Martin Luther’s Bondage of the Will, DISCUSSION. FIRST PART. Sec. 65

http://www.truecovenanter.com/truelutheran/luther_bow.html#pt1

10. The HC does not understand that there is a difference between a promise and the objects that are promised. In Rutherford’s COG one may have unconditional promises given to them while receiving the objects of what is promised is conditional. ”

http://olivianus.thekingsparlor.com/soteriology/the-free-offer-of-the-gospel-a-non-paradoxical-and-rational-construction-by-drake


Dialogue with a Hyper Calvinist on the Free Offer of the Gospel Monday, Jun 20 2011 

This is an exchange I had with a Hyper-Calvinist (HC) on a facebook page. This answers many questions that I get from Hypers frequently so I thought I would post it.

HC: God does NOT sincerely offer the Gospel to reprobates…that’s just illogical and unbiblical and retarded

This is what you have God saying “hey reprobate! yeah you who I have NOT chosen to be saved, I really want you to be saved but naaah” LMBO!!! come on guys…..Clarkinian to the fullest

Riley Fraas: The free offer doesn’t say that God wants the reprobate to be saved. It just sets before the sinner his duty to believe in Christ, and the reward promised to those who do, I. E. the universal terms of salvation.

HC: Then that’s a command not a sincere free offer…apples and oranges

Riley Fraas: It is sincere. All those who believe will sincerely be saved, no exceptions. It is an offer, I. E. setting before =”offering” them the terms of salvation.

Drake: Sean Gerety at God’s Hammer in his article Janus Alive and Well says,

“While at times “well meant offer” defenders appear to be Calvinistic in their belief in God’s sovereign election and particular atonement, they also maintain a belief in the universal desire of God for the salvation of those God predestined to perdition; the reprobate.  It is this combination of particularism and pluralism, or simply Calvinism and Arminianism, that make up the two faces of Janus.”

This is a typical misrepresentation of the Puritan view. The Free Church of Scotland (cont.) has a great reference section on this issue called “The Will of God and the Gospel Offer”. You can reference this here: I would like to draw your attention to the article titled: The Will of God and the Gospel Offer: Samuel Rutherford and Francis Turretin.Though Sean thinks reading  John Murray, Bahnsen, Van Til,  Hoeksema , James Anderson and (Janus man) Professor Clark is sufficient to understand the Puritans  I would rather keep my nose in the 17th century and read their own unfiltered words. A few juicy quotes for you from Turretin:

“(Institutes of Elenctic Theology, topic XV, question II, paragraphs XIV-XVI and XXI, trans. George Musgrave Giger, ed. James T. Dennison, Jr., Phillipsburg, N.J.: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1992-97, vol. 2, pp. 507-09, reproduced with kind permission of the publishers*)”

“XIV. Although God does not intend the salvation of the reprobate by calling them, still he acts most seriously and sincerely; nor can any hypocrisy and 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 [to wit, believers and penitents]; nor does he only promise, but actually bestows it according to his promise); nor as to men because the offer 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. Hence we cordially embrace what is said on this subject by the fathers of the Synod of Dort: “As many as are called through the gospel are seriously called. For God shows seriously and most truly in his word, what is pleasing to him, to wit, that the called should come to him. He also seriously promises to all who come to him and believe rest to their souls and eternal life” (“Tertium et Quartum: De Hominis Corruptione et Conversione,” 8 Acta Synodi Nationalis . . . Dordrechti[1619-20], 1:[302]).”

So I reject Sean’s gloss that we assert that God desires the salvation of the reprobate. Read the rest of the article. No doubt the issue of the Divine Will will be requested and I have prepared an article here. The solution to these debates is a denial of the Neo-Platonic doctrine of Divine Simplicity so we can even see parts/real distinctions in God’s will. The free offer in Turretin is no paradox, it makes perfect sense.

Sean and Co.’s rejection of this is yet again the Origenism and  Monothelitism that I have been writing on. Remember folks, in Monothelitism, the Divine Will is the only will in Christ which is heresy! Our Salvation on the Monothelite view was UNCONDITIONAL whether the human will, willed to die for our sins or not he was compelled and forced by the Divine Will.  On the Orthodox view the human will of Christ submitted itself freely to the Divine Will  and it did so with great agony. In Gethsemane Christ sweats drops of blood and says, “Not my will, but thine be done”. TWO WILLS! Sean’s Hypercalvinism makes salvation unconditional, the Covenant of Grace unconditional, allows no Permissive Decrees (directly contrary to WCF 6.1), and no Free Offer of the Gospel contingent on Man’s Agency. Why? Because Sean, though he may not want to believe it, at least implies a Monthelitism. Monothelitism means “One Will”, and this is the Divine Will. That sounds pious doesn’t it? At first glimpse there seems to be a wisdom to it, a submission to God’s plan, but underneath that thin veil of piety is a viper. People leave so called “Reformed” Churches for Eastern Orthodoxy  because of this issue quite frequently and I am about sick of having to re-eductate x-Hyper Calvinists in Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Concerning an Orthodox view of the Will and Permissive Decrees from a Calvinist position see Girardeau here and here.

By the way, I have pointed out to Sean numerous times that Scripturalism requires numerous exceptions to the confession. He just sears his conscience. He is a bureaucrat. The Westminster confession mentions common sense, it uses Aristotle’s matter and form to explain theology, it teaches an infallible assurance of salvation which Clark clearly rejected in his book on sanctification, it mentions second causes which Clark clearly rejected in his book Lord God of Truth .

Drake: Edgar, you don’t have to convince me that the Scripturalist movement here and now has serious issues. It does. I simply don’t see how you can have a Christian doctrine of revelation God, and the Trinity without Dr. Clark’s rejection of the influences of Dionysius the Areopagite in its application to Revelation, Theology Proper and Triadology. Dr. Clark’s view of knowledge and God is IMO irrefutable.

HC: yes Riley, a sincere command.

 

HC:  All those who sincerely respond to the gospel call are the elect, period. To affirm a view that teaches that God sincerely wants all men to be saved and sincerely OFFERS reprobates salvation is semi-pelagian aka Arminianism not to mention unbiblical and irrational.

Drake: The issue is, the offer is a conditional offer. On the Hoeksemite and Gill’s view which is in essence the same thing, everything is unconditional. Turretin’s point is that the offer can be real to the reprobate because IT IS CONDITIONAL. On Sean G’s view of the Covenant of Grace everything is UNCONDITIONAL. Trace this back to John Gill. His view of Eternal Justification is the fountain of all this nonsense.

Drake: Our Salvation on the heretical Monothelite view was UNCONDITIONAL whether the human will, willed to die for our sins or not he was compelled and forced by the Divine Will. On the Orthodox view the human will of Christ submitted itself freely to the Divine Will and it did so with great agony. In Gethsemane Christ sweats drops of blood and says, “Not my will, but thine be done”. TWO WILLS! Sean’s and HC’s Hypercalvinism makes salvation unconditional, the Covenant of Grace unconditional, allows no Permissive Decrees (directly contrary to WCF 6.1), and no Free Offer of the Gospel contingent on Man’s Agency, and no condition in justification per John Gill. Why? Because they, though they may not want to believe it, at least imply a Monthelitism. Monothelitism means “One Will”, and this is the Divine Will. That sounds pious doesn’t it? At first glimpse there seems to be a wisdom to it, a submission to God’s plan, but underneath that thin veil of piety is a viper. People leave so called “Reformed” Churches for Eastern Orthodoxy because of this issue quite frequently and I am about sick of having to re-educate X-Hyper Calvinists in Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Drake: Where is your synergy in your plan of salvation HC? WCF 10.2

“This effectual call is of God’s free and special grace alone, not from anything 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 and conveyed in it.”

Robert Robert Shaw Commenting on this says,

“7. That in this calling the sinner is altogether passive, until he is quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit. Here it is proper to distinguish between regeneration and conversion; in the former the sinner is passive – in the latter he is ACTIVE, or CO-OPERATES [SYNERGY]with the grace of God. In regeneration a principle of grace is implanted in the soul, and previous to this the sinner is incapable of moral activity; for, in the language of inspiration, he is “dead in trespasses and sins.” In conversion the soul turns to God, which imports activity; but still the sinner only acts as he is acted upon by God, who “worketh in him both to will and to do.”

Drake: The human will of Christ acted in a synergy with the divine will in Gethsemane to will to die. This is an essential principle of Christianity: two wills and two natures in Christ. You have to have a synergy in your theology in order for it to be Christian. The Monothelete view was that the human nature of Christ was completely passive in his choice to save men, no activity, no embracing, no answering the call.

Drake: Riley we may have some differences on the conditionality of the COG. I take Rutherford’s view of the Covenant of Grace (COG) and the Covenant of Redemption (COR). To be represented by Christ in the COR is unconditional to receive that which is promised by the COG and to be a member of the COG is conditional. The perspective of God that you are talking about is a completely different covenant called the COR on my view. That is the position of the Free Church of Scotland (cont) that I am technically still a member of but I live in a different state now: Methinks, they nailed that.

Riley Fraas: The COR and COG are not different covenants, but one covenant viewed from the perspective of the Redeemer on the one hand, and the beneficiaries on the other hand.

Drake: Here are my reasons why I think the Covenant of Redemption is a Covenant Distinct from the Covenant of Grace

1. Since there is already a temporal and eternal aspect to this covenant, this eliminates the Bostonian argument that redemption and grace are merely two different aspects of the same covenant, one eternal one temporal.
2. The actions in the covenants differ. In the Covenant of Redemption the action required is perfect obedience to God’s law. The action in the Covenant of Grace is faith in the messiah.
3. The Covenant of Redemption is monophrastic, unconditional, and cannot be broken. The Covenant of Grace is conditional and can be broken.
4. Bostonians will say that the condition or action of the Covenant of Grace is upon Christ and not man. If this is so, then there cannot be a conditional covenant between God and men because men have no condition to fulfill. There is therefore no Covenant of Grace between God and men.
5. Christ is not obligated to fulfill the condition of the Covenant of Grace, namely faith in the Messiah.
6. Christ is in need of no promises in the Covenant of Grace, namely, adoption, forgiveness of sins, etc.
7. Christ is the mediator between the two parties in the Covenant of Grace. It is impossible therefore, ipso facto, for Christ to be both the mediator and a mediated party in the same covenant. Therefore, redemption and grace are different covenants.
8. The promises of the Covenant of Redemption (sitting at the right hand of God, divine Kingship over all nations Psalm 2, etc.) are not given to the elect but to Christ.

Summary: The Covenant of Redemption has different parties, a difference of mediation, different actions required, different promises, and is made in eternity while the Covenant of Grace is made in time. Therefore, these are different covenants though the Covenant of Redemption is the basis and fountain of the promises of the Covenant of Grace.

Obj. The Covenant of Grace is called an everlasting covenant in Heb 13:20
Ans. This refers to everlasting directed to the future not the past.

Riley Fraas: Drake, this goes back to my statement that the Covenant of Grace is either conditional or unconditional, depending on how you view it. At its roots it is essentially unconditional. God decides to save man by a Redeemer. Reference the Shorter Catechism, question 19. However, it is administered or proclaimed as conditioned upon faith in the Redeemer. But really the covenant of grace is unconditional: God saves his elect by a redeemer.

HC: Nope no synergy in my theology or in reformed theology period……sounds like neo-calvinism to me.

Riley Fraas: HC, without synergy, you don’t have Christianity, you have Greek fatalism. Without synergy, it makes no difference what you or I do, think, or believe, so we should just stop debating and the churches should stop preaching.

Drake: HC, I am in no way rejecting monergism in regeneration. I understand that man’s will is bound with no ability to do sanctified works or to believe in Christ before regeneration. However, in conversion man is active in a synergy with God. I am glad that you admit you have no synergy anywhere in your theology. I am trying to get a couple other friends that believe like you to admit this.

Drake: Gill’s theology posits faith as an effect of justification not a condition of it. Here is the issue: The WSC Q30: How doth the Spirit apply to us the redemption purchased by Christ?
A30: The Spirit applieth to us the redemption purchased by Christ, by working faith in us, and thereby uniting us to Christ in our effectual calling. Faith unites to Christ. So what is the basis of justification? WCF 11:4 IV. God did, from all eternity, decree to justify the elect; and Christ did, in the fullness of time, die for their sins and rise again for their justification; nevertheless they are not justified ********until the Holy Spirit doth, in due time, actually apply Christ unto them.*****

WLC Question 69: What is the communion in grace which the members of the invisible church have with Christ?

Answer: The communion in grace which the members of the invisible church have with Christ, is their partaking of the virtue of his mediation, in their justification, adoption, sanctification, and: Whatever else, in this life, **************manifests their union with him. ***************** So the basis of the justification is union with Christ. When does union with Christ happen? At the moment of faith. So then faith must come before justification. Yet Gill says it comes after justification as an effect. This should settle the issue that Gill was wrong and his whole hyper-determinist theology should get the flush.

HC:  Well, I’m not here to debate monergism vs synergism my only contention is with Reformed folk being inconsistent in their theology by attempting to claim that God actually sincerely offers salvation to those he hasn’t chosen to save….that’s Vantilianism for you, the acceptance of paradox.

HC: no Drake I affirm the historical reformed position that faith is the instrumental cause of Justification but that faith is monergistically given to the elect as a gift therefore in essence all aspects of soteriology is monergistic.

Riley Fraas: The Reformed position is a monergistic salvation administered synergistically. And regarding the free offer, the sincere offer of the gospel made to the sinner does not obligate God any further or imply that he must also be willing to supply the condition wanting, which is faith in Christ.

Drake: HC,”attempting to claim that God actually sincerely offers salvation to those he hasn’t chosen to save….that’s Vantilianism for you, the acceptance of paradox.” The offer though is conditional. That is why it is not a paradox. I can’t stand Van Til and I will have nothing to do with his theology and I will have nothing to do with paradoxes.

Drake: HC,  ‎”no Drake I affirm the historical reformed position that faith is the instrumental cause of Justification” This implies a condition and a synergy.

Drake: ‎” faith is monergistically given to the elect as a gift therefore in essence all aspects of sotoriology is monergistic.” This comes from my article W.G.T. Shedd and Robert Shaw on Conversion and the Order of Salvation: Shedd says,

Dogmatic Theology, Third Edition by W.G.T. Shedd, ed. Alan Gomes (P&R Publishing: Phillipsburg, NJ, 2003)

“Faith unites with Christ, and union with Christ results in justification.” (pg. 793)… “faith is the instrumental, not the procuring or meritorious cause of his justification: ‘God justifies, not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ [WCF 11.1]. The reasons are…1. Because faith is an internal act or work of man. If the sinner’s act of faith merited the pardon of his sin and earned for him a title to life, he would be pronounced righteous because of his own righteousness. Faith is denominated a work: ‘This is the work of God, that you believe’ (John 6:29). It is the activity of the man, like hope and charity, and can no more be meritorious of reward or atoning for disobedience than these acts can be” Now these things are extremely important to those Calvinists who are under the influence of hyper-Calvinism, and a form of determinism that is not compatible with Christianity. These folks are usually in Reformed Baptist Churches or under the influence or Herman Hoeksema and co. In order to be Christian you must posit a synergy somewhere between God and man. My Reformed Baptist friend said,

“Isn’t a circumcision of the heart necessary for faith to exist? If so, then how can the promise of a circumcised heart be conditioned upon an individual’s faith (supplied by God or not)?…Isn’t faith a gift? Doesn’t the Holy Spirit cause our belief?”

I would simply see the circumcision of the heart to be a synonym for the effectual call. The effectual call has two parts as Shaw stated regeneration and conversion. In regeneration we are passive but in conversion we are active and exercise faith (synergy). As WCF 11.1 earlier stated the ability to believe is a gift but God does not impute the action of faith to us. We have to do that in our conversion. God causes it, sure but that doesn’t exclude our agency. This is the exact nominalism I was just criticizing Hugh about the other day. This is the version of Monergism that I get criticized by my Eastern friends all the time. Now I see their point clear as day. The Reformed Baptist or Hoeksemite view basically asserts that God is the only willing and active agent in the universe. If that is the case then Christ’s human nature had no free agency. Therefore, he did not have a will but the only will in Christ is then the divine will that compels the human. That is the Monothelete heresy that the 6th ecumenical council was convened to refute. The point that I am making is that if Christ’s human nature has no free agency then it is not truly human. It is a logical consequence from scripture that Christ has two wills from the definition of human nature that the Bible gives us and from the passage in Gethsemane when Christ says “not my will but thine be done.” There are two wills in Christ. The human will of Christ freely chose to lay its life down for the elect. That was not forced on him by the divine will. The human will was not passive while the divine will forced it to die for us.[That was the Monothelete position] The human will made an active volition to do this in a synergy with the divine will. You have to have synergy somewhere in your theology for it to be Christian. I am a Calvinist and I believe that man’s will is bound to sin pre-effectual call. But after regeneration man now has the ability to chose salvation and sanctified works as God has given grace to do so [That is Biblical Monergism]. This activity on elect man’s part that follows immediately from regeneration is called conversion. Conversion is synergistic. Regeneration is Monergistic.

So the order of redemption goes like this:

1.Effectual Calling

a. Regeneration

b.Conversion

i. Faith – United to Christ
ii. Repentance
2. Justification-Basis is union with Christ

3. Sanctification

4. Glorification

To supplement the Shedd quote, “Conversion is that action of man which results from regeneration. As the etymology implies, it is turning toward (converto) a certain point. Conversion consists of two acts: faith and repentance…Faith and repentance are converting acts; the first having principal reference to justification, the second to sanctification; the first to the guilt of sin, the second to its corruption.”(pg. 787)

Drake: Shedd says,

“Faith is the effect of which regeneration is the cause. This is taught in the following: ‘Whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God’ (1 John 5:1); ‘unto you it is given, in behalf of Christ, to believe on him’ (Phil. 1:29); we pray that God would fulfill [in you] all the good pleasure of his goodness and the work of faith with power’ (2 Thess. 1:11); ‘that you faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God’ (1 Cor 2:5); ‘no man can come to me except the Father which has sent me draw him; no man can come unto me, except it were given him of my Father’ (John 6:44,65); ‘by him do you believe in God, that raised him up from the dead and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God’ (1 Pet. 1:21)…Saving faith in the person and work of the Redeemer follows regeneration and always presupposes it…Evangelical faith is an act of man. The active nature of faith in Christ is indicated in the scriptural phraseology, which describes it as ‘coming to Christ’ (Matt. 11:28), ‘looking to Christ’ (John 1:29), ‘receiving Christ’ (3:11), and ‘following Christ’ (8:12). The object of the Epistle of James is to teach that faith is an active principle.”(pg. 788) The point is faith is not a totally monergistic event.

HC:  drake….semantics my brotha….ultimately our cooperation is monergistic….

Drake: Don’t let me mislead you. Clark did not hold to the free offer. Methinks mostly because of misrepresentations of it as most people who reject the free offer think that we are saying that God desires the salvation of the reprobate. I have met people who hold to the free offer who say this and think there is some great merit in being paradoxical and irrational. If those were the only people I knew that held to free offer I wouldn’t believe it either. Methinks the free church (cont) has done a great service in their website. The quotes from the puritans there are simply overwhelming.

Drake: It’s not semantics HC. Our cooperation is real. God in regeneration does not force our faith. I personally do not like the language of irresistible grace but I like effectual call. In regeneration God’s operation is in convincing the conscience not forcing it. Robert Shaw commenting on chap 10 of the confession states: “4. That in this calling no violence is offered to the will. While the Spirit effectually draws sinners to Christ, he deals with them in a way agreeable to their rational nature, “so as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace.” The liberty of the will is not invaded, for that would destroy its very nature; but its obstinacy is overcome, its perverseness taken away, and the whole soul powerfully, yet sweetly, attracted to the Saviour. The compliance of the soul is voluntary, while the energy of the Spirit is efficient and almighty: “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.”—Ps. cx. 3.” See that. Thy people shall be willing. Not, “thou shalt will them.”

Methinks that to avoid any accusation of a paradox one must 1. Assert that the COR and the COG are distinct covenants. 2. Understand the fact that the COG is Conditional. 3. Understand the two distinct parts of effectual calling: the first part being regeneration where man is passive and God’s activity is infallible; the second part conversion where man is active.

HC:  no reformed teaches forcing but being made willing and effectually come….i think you are misunderstanding irresistible grace.

Drake: Asserting that I misunderstand doesn’t help and is simply asserting your opinion. Is man active in his salvation at any point?

HC: of course man is active but only because God activates mans activity through regeneration so again in the final analysis it is monergistic….i agree with you that man cooperates with the effectual call but why is it effectual if not because God monergistically and sovereignly gives man the ability and want to cooperate so i reiterate monergism is the only logical conclusion….therefore i agree in synergy it THAT sense but again in the final analysis it is totally monergistic at its core… as Scripture clearly teaches “For it is God who works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure” Monergism

Drake: God activates man’s faculty of activity. Saying that God activates man’s activity is indistinguishable from the monothelete view. Acts 16:14 A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; [fn]and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul. God activated her faculty of operation so SHE could respond.

Drake:  ‎” if not because God monergistically and sovereignly gives man the ability and want to cooperate so i reiterate monergism is the only logical conclusion” In regeneration sure. But Shedd’s point above is that effectual call includes conversion.

Drake: “For it is God who works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure” This does not refer to God acting for us. God activates our faculties so we can act. Not so he acts for us.

HC: Drake…I am aware of all that but you are not getting my point apparently. the ONLY reason the Elect act is because of Grace by God through the Holy Spirit giving us the WANT to please Him therefore AGAIN, in the final analysis all Glory goes to God alone even for the good works that I do because it is only because He has given me the the free gift of regeneration changing my heart and will to WANT to please Him. When I get to heaven I don’t tell God “hey thanks for the push through the Holy Spirit that I was able to do good works to please you so now you God must let me in because I earned it”. I am fully aware that we are not Robots and have a will of our own but this will that I have to love God was given to me by God and He continues to preserve me until the end so that He alone gets the honor and Glory…….Monergism

Drake:  Above I quoted robert shaw’s commentary on WCF 10,

‎”Robert Robert Shaw Commenting on this says,

“7. That in this calling the sinner is altogether passive, until he is quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit. Here it is proper to distinguish between regeneration and conversion; in the former the sinner is passive – in the latter he is ACTIVE, or CO-OPERATES [SYNERGY]with the grace of God. In regeneration a principle of grace is implanted in the soul, and previous to this the sinner is incapable of moral activity; for, in the language of inspiration, he is “dead in trespasses and sins.” In conversion the soul turns to God, which imports activity; but still the sinner only acts as he is acted upon by God, who “worketh in him both to will and to do.”

Drake: He clearly asserts , “the sinner only acts as he is acted upon by God, who “worketh in him both to will and to do.” Your last few posts have simply asserted what I have already admitted. Getting your point (?), friend I asserted this point a while ago. It is you who are not getting the point. The monergism is in Regeneration NOT CONVERSION. Conversion is the 2nd part of the effectual call where man acts in a synergy with God. You cannot say you believe that the effectual call includes co-operation with God but the whole thing is monergistic. The whole idea behind co-operation is two operations, two energies, i.e. synergy.

Drake: “When I get to heaven I don’t tell God “hey thanks for the push through the Holy Spirit that I was able to do good works to please you so now you God must let me in because I earned it”. ” Are you even reading my posts? I( will quote Shedd again: Shedd says,
Dogmatic Theology, Third Edition by W.G.T. Shedd, ed. Alan Gomes (P&R Publishing: Phillipsburg, NJ, 2003)

“Faith unites with Christ, and union with Christ results in justification.” (pg. 793)… “faith is the instrumental, not the procuring or meritorious cause of his justification: ‘God justifies, not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ [WCF 11.1]. The reasons are…1. Because faith is an internal act or work of man. If the sinner’s act of faith merited the pardon of his sin and earned for him a title to life, he would be pronounced righteous because of his own righteousness. Faith is denominated a work: ‘This is the work of God, that you believe’ (John 6:29). It is the activity of the man, like hope and charity, and can no more be meritorious of reward or atoning for disobedience than these acts can be” I ma not saying that man’s activity is meriting anything that he earns as Shedd makes very clear. However, it is the necessary instrument, THAT IS A CONDITION. The COG has a condition. Your theology does not say that. It says that everything is unconditional.

Drake: “I am fully aware that we are not Robots and have a will of own” You are asserting this but I don’t think you understand what you are saying. Monergism means one operation, one energy. Co-operation means two operations, two energies. You said, “i agree with you that man cooperates with the effectual call”. This is where I think your misunderstanding is. You are still not seeing that the effectual call has two parts. You want regeneration to be the only part of the effectual call. If that is what you mean by effectual call then our disagreement is over the issue of how effectual call is defined.

HC:  Dude, I totally get what you are saying……thats why I said in the final analysis sanctification is Monergistic, God alone, but that the mere fact that man responds at all makes them responsible choosing to obey or not therefore synergistic but God willing what He has ordained preserves His own ensuring progress in sanctification of His elect, therefore Monergistic……feel me………on the flip side, the mere fact that we still sin implicates choice…Monergistic in the final analysis…synergystic in reference to Mans Responsibility.

God is the primary cause being that He ordained it to be, but that which He has ordained comes to pass by the use of human choices or actions AKA secondary causes. In Reformed Theology salvation in all its process is monergistic…..maybe I’m not making my point clear. Also it seems that you are not understanding what is meant by secondary causes…..man cooperates only because God enables us to and though God has ordained my steps I choose what God has ordained for me to choose because I WANT to OR my will desired it….We freely choose what God has purposed for us to choose, that’s my point and that is the Reformed position.

I am fully aware that the regenerate person is ACTIVE in his response to the inward call and effectually come, I am not even disputing that. I guess we are talking past each other or something. The bottom line is that the only reason I respond or co-operate is because I have been given a desire to and this desire is effectual and irresistible, that’s it. So that in the FINAL analysis me entire salvific process from Regeneration to my Sanctification to my final Glorification is all the Work of God and therefore ultimately Monergy. I know you insist on using the word “synergy” but for theological purposes I don’t think that term is wise to use lest we confuse our hearers.

HC: By the way I am not a Shedd fan myself……I can appreciate his insights but I think there are better Reformed cats to turn to IMO…But anywho, I’m still waiting on the Biblical passages that teach or even imply that God SINCERELY OFFERS Salvation to all……let me know when you guys find at least one. And please don’t use the Arminian artillery like the Peter passage and the Timothy passage lol

Drake Shelton I have some problems with shedd too but those passages I quoted are spot on

Drake Shelton Deut. 5:29. O that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep my commandments.

Ps. 81:13. O that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel walked in my ways

Ezek. 18:31. Why will ye die, O house of Israel? Verse 32. For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies.

Prov. 1:20. Wisdom cries, she uttereth her voice in the streets.

HC:  no doubt Drake Shedd was most def on point in that regard

HC: Brotha Drake, I don’t see the relevance or import of the passages you provided as positive proof for the “sincere offer” position.

Actually I will add a verse for you as well in Matt 23:

Matt 23:37
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.

But what do all these passages have in common? I firmly believe being consistently Reformed that Romans reveals to us God Ordained purposes concerning Israel especially Romans 11….

Romans 11

2 God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” 4 But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

7 What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, 8 as it is written,

“God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear,
down to this very day.”

So why are they unwilling? What does that passage in Romans say is the reason why? God purposely blinded them and is the case with all born in sin totally depraved and unwilling to come until grace is given.

Do you guys have at least ONE NT passage that even remotely implies a “sincere offer” view?

Drake:  I have never used Mat 23 as a proof for free offer. Mat 23 is a rebuke to the Jewish leadership that rejected Christ. “So why are they unwilling? What does that passage in Romans say is the reason why? God purposely blinded them and is the case with all born in sin totally depraved and unwilling to come until grace is given.”…Agreed.

1 Cor 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

Prov. 1:20. Wisdom cries, she uttereth her voice in the streets

HC:  yes God has elected from both Jews and Gentiles…..still don’t see the sincere offer

HC:  Also I know you didn’t use Matt 23 as a proof text but I had a reformed brotha use that one with me so I thought I would also bring it up just in case

Drake: Rom 10:21 But as for Israel He says, “ALL THE DAY LONG I HAVE STRETCHED OUT MY HANDS TO A DISOBEDIENT AND OBSTINATE PEOPLE.”

Isa 65:2 “I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts

51 Items Regarding the Hyper-Calvinism/Neoplatonism/Origen/Divine Simplicity/Filioque/Hyper Determinist Package Monday, Jun 13 2011 

Before I begin I want to stimulate interest in this issue by a couple quotes from Clark:

Clark says,

“The Christian view of things also seems to resemble a dualism: At least the world and God may be called two ‘substances’ ; neither one is the substance of the other. But actually Christianity is more successfully monistic than Neoplatonism was. God alone is the eternal substance, the independent principle’ apart from creation of the world nothing exists besides him. This underlines the essential and controversial elements of the Hebrew-Christian doctrine. First, as Creator, God is viewed, not as an undifferentiated One that produces a world by necessity, but as a living mind who with foreknowledge created voluntarily. Plotinus explicitly denied will to his One; but will is one of the most prominent aspects of the Biblical Deity.” Thales to Dewey, pg. 189

Yet Dr. Clark, in his book on The Atonement, pg 133 (The Trinity Foundation, Jefferson Maryland, 1987) says, “God had to create-not because there was some power external to him, but because he is God. A God who might not create, or would not have created, is simply not the Biblical God.”

Why the drastic change? What happened? My argument is that Hyper-Calvinism happened. The consequences were a denial of the free offer, a denial of permissive decrees, a denial of a free creation and a collapsing of the nature and the will into the exact Monad God that he spent his life fighting against and he originally rejected.

A Theological Introduction to the Mystagogy of Saint Photios by Joseph Farrell

‘Free Choice in Maximus the Confessor’ by Joseph P Farrell Reviewed by Drake Shelton

My Debate with the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics on Monergism

Origen’s Mistake and One of Dr. Clark’s Mistakes

Jay Dyer’s “If You’re a Serious Calvinist, to be Consistent, You Must Also Be” Refuted by Drake Shelton

Divine Simplicity 1

Divine Simplicity 2

Carl Trueman’s John Owen’s Dissertation on Divine Justice (Hyper-Calvinism holds a Nominalist view of God)

Jules Grisham’s  EUTHYPHRO, GOD’S NATURE, AND THE QUESTION OF DIVINE ATTRIBUTES part 2  (Hyper-Calvinism holds a Nominalist view of God)

A Scripturalist Construction of Greek and Nicean Triadology Part 1

A Scripturalist Construction of Greek and Nicean Triadology Part 2 Eternal Generation

A Scripturalist Construction of Greek and Nicean Triadology Part 3; The Procession of the Spirit 

Augustine on the Unipersonality of God, ed. Drake

The Triads; Palamas vs. Calabria; Uncreated light vs. Thomism and Van Tilism

The Triads 2; Gregory Palamas on Sensation

The Triads 3; Essence and Energies; Theophany

The Triads 4; Uncreated Powers; Appeal to Rationality and Unity

Philosophy of Gordon Clark, ed. Nash part 1; Divine Simplicity; Participation in God

Do You Know What You Believe? Part 3 What is God? Part A

Do You Know What You Believe Part 4; What is God? Part B The Trump Argument for Scripturalism

Do You Know What You Believe? Part 5; What is God? Part C Procession of the Spirit

Creation Ex Nihilo

Aquinas’ Created Light vs. The Scripturalists’ Uncreated Propositions by Drake Shelton

Aquinas and Augustine on Divine Simplicity, ed. Drake

The Scholastics and the Van-Tilians Have Only Created Light

Scripturalism’s Immediate Knowledge Related to Infant Salvation by Drake

Object Lessons on the Difference Between Election and Actual Salvation: Conditional or Unconditional?: To My Reformed Baptist and Hoeksemite Friends by Drake

Saving Faith

What You See at the Bottom of the Clark-Van Til Rabbit Hole; Scripturalist Christianity vs Neo-Platonism

W.G.T. Shedd and Robert Shaw on Conversion and the Order of Salvation

Samuel Rutherford and Joseph P Farrell vs. John Gill and God’s Hammer on Eternal Justification. Is God’s Hammer a Think-Tank for a Revitalized Origenism?

Having Trouble Understanding Aquinas? Divine Simplicity and Participation in God, by Drake

Sean Gerety’s Monothelitism Exposed in the Free Offer from The Free Church by Drake

Cyril Lucaris and the Synod of Jerusalem

The Economical and Ontological Trinity; What is it?, by Drake

Another Problem for the Scholastics: Eternal Generation or Simplicity, Take Your Pick; You Cannot Have It Both Ways, by Drake –

Cyril Lucaris’ Rejection of the Filioque, by Drake

Francis Turretin’s Neo-Platonism in Divine Simplicity, by Drake

Saving Faith and Truth as Encounter in Plotinus, by Drake

Time and Eternity in Gordon Clark and Georges Florovsky; Hyper Determinism Refuted; More Problems for Sean Gerety’s “God’s Hammer” by Drake

Emanation, Eternal Generation and Creation: What’s the Difference? by Drake

Hyper-Calvinism and Neoplatonism Connected, by Drake

Reprobation, Free Will of Man Related to Effectual Calling, Responsibility and the Justice of Receiving the Imputed Guilt of Adam in John L Girardeau’s “Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism” by Drake Shelton

Lapsarianism by Drake

Creation Ex Nihilo-Early Clark vs. Later Hyper-Calvinist Clark

Clark & Calvin on Determinism & Responsibility by Pat T McWilliams (See the comment section)

The Conditionality of the Covenant of Grace in Samuel Rutherford, by Drake

The Free Offer of the Gospel; A Non-Paradoxical and Rational Construction by Drake

The Free Offer of the Gospel in the Westminster Standards and the Hypocrisy of Sean Gerety’s God’s Hammer

My exchange with TFAN on these issues 

#48 The Covenant of Redemption is something referring to the Economy of Salvation and therefore cannot depend on some ontological procession of the Spirit from Father and Son as from a single source. Personally, I like the Eastern view better because it gives more ground for saying that the Holy Spirit is not a party in the Covenant of Redemption. The Western view always affirms that when one person is referred to all three must be referred to. In the Eastern system Rutherford’s Covenant of Life Opened gets couched in a much more compatible system.

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