15 comments on “The Well-meant Offer and Reprobation

  1. The seeds of the confusion appear to be sown right within Belgic & Westminster:

    The former weakly states, “God …hath decreed TO LEAVE in the common misery into which THEY HAVE WILLFULLY plunged themselves, and NOT TO BESTOW upon them saving faith and the grace of conversion; but LEAVING them in his just judgement TO FOLLOW THEIR OWN WAYS…

    “And this is the decree of reprobation, which by no means makes God the author of sin (the very thought of which is blasphemy), but declares him to be an awful, irreprehensible, and righteous judge and avenger thereof.” ~ As well as rather negligent!

    The latter confesses: “By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.” {3:3} ~ Hear, hear!

    But then in 3:7, “The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His will, whereby he extendeth or withholdeth mercy as he pleaseth, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to PASS BY; and to ORDAIN them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice.” ~ Not exactly contradictory, but weak compared to Scripture, Dordt, & the PRCA.

    Away with sickly, mild Calvinism!

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  2. If God is sovereign and all-love, why doesn’t he elect and save the reprobate instead of watching them tumble into hell?

    The examples of Esau, Pharaoh, & Judas demolish that silliness. As do the Psalms, the epistles, and the doctrine of creation ex nihilo.

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  3. I don’t see how the Belgic or WCF could possibly affirm the WMO, but if you mean they’re not explicitly supralapsarian, of course you’re correct. But one doesn’t have to affirm supralapsarianism to affirm reprobation or reject the WMO.

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  4. Hi Pat – Yes, BC & WCF are weak here, and the weasely language of “leaving” folks in their sins, “not bestowing” grace or faith, etc. is almost duplicitous, since Scripture is clear on supralapsarianism and God’s active hardening of wicked men who were eternally ordained to such not b/c of their sins, but b/c of God’s perfect & free will.

    Men go the hell for their sins, but they are not ordained to go to hell because of their sins.

    They don’t affirm the WMO, but they help us understand how some Presbies & Reformeds can go there. I agree with your final sentence, but one wonders how one can affirm biblical reprobation and reject the WMO while denying supralapsarianism. At least, logically and consistently.

    Again: Away with sickly,mild Calvinism!

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  5. “… the weasely [sic] language of “leaving” folks in their sins, “not bestowing” grace or faith, etc. is almost duplicitous…”

    That’s a big “almost.” God doesn’t leave folks in their sins? Does he bestow grace & faith to all?

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  6. ‘Weaselly’ is it? Thank you.

    No, he does not “leave folks in their sins.” But bestowing grace and faith on them is not the only alternative. There is active hardening, which the Bible thus describes. Not the weaselly “leaving” them to their own devices.

    The reformed docs are nearly duplicitous and certainly lend themselves to WMO and other sublapsarian folly when they don’t share the counsel of God in its fullness or with complete accuracy.

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  7. ” “God …hath decreed TO LEAVE in the common misery into which THEY HAVE WILLFULLY plunged themselves, and NOT TO BESTOW upon them saving faith and the grace of conversion; but LEAVING them in his just judgement TO FOLLOW THEIR OWN WAYS…”

    That’s weak compared to Dort? I hate to tell you this, but that IS Dort (1.15)…

    Here’s a weak one: “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts…” That weaselly Scripture, speaking of God giving men up to follow their own lusts! 😉

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  8. You rock, Patrick! Faithful wounding 101!

    Now, Dordt has fallen, has fallen! 😦

    Of course, St Paul is saying that God gave them up to fresh evil, not that he “left” them in something into which they’d “plunged themselves,” for goodness’ sake!

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  9. God hardens sinners, not “leaves” them,
    per Romans 9: 18 ~ “whom He wills He hardens.”

    He raises the reprobate to show his power in them,
    and that his name may be declared in all the earth, per 9:17.

    He makes them for dishonor, per 9:21.

    He has prepared the wicked for destruction (eternal torment in hell)
    to show his wrath and to make his power known, Rom. 9:22.

    And, The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan,
    with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception
    among those who perish,
    because they did not receive the love of the truth,
    that they might be saved.

    And for this reason God will send them strong delusion,
    that they should believe the lie,
    that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth
    but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

    ~ St Paul, 2 Thes. 2:9ff (NKJV) ~

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  10. All true enough, although the confession’s statement concerning election to salvation is absolutely correct in that he passes over some in his selection of chosen individuals. These individuals are left in the state of sin to which they were ordained, never being brought to faith in the course of their lives.

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  11. But it fails when it says “he passes over some…” in giving us an unbiblical portrayal. This by reason of the Scripture’s plain & clear declarations on the matter! The Bible portrays God as active, not merely letting folks go about their damnable business.

    The Scriptures more clearly tell us of God’s active sovereignty in reprobation, as above.

    More than being “left in the state of sin to which they were ordained [etc.],” they were ordained to this destruction.

    It is more accurate to paint the whole picture. God forbid the confessionalists thought their statement gave the complete story! A half-truth, masquerading as a whole truth is a complete untruth, as I think I heard Packer once quote.

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  12. You earlier quoted the WCF as clearly stating God ordains them to wrath. Doesn’t sound like they were afraid of the doctrine, let alone “duplicitous.” One sees what he wants to, I suppose.

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  13. Plus, to say that he passes over some in his selection of others is not the Bible’s language.

    He doesn’t choose in time, & he doesn’t pass over anyone.

    Where did that COME from?!

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