Interesting calvinist reading

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Timtoolman, Apr 19, 2005.

  1. Timtoolman

    Timtoolman
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    Bishop Davenant was one of the English delegates to the Synod of Dort.

    "And here it is the be shewn, not from human reason or fancy, but from the holy Scriptures, that the death of Christ, according to the will of God, is an universal remedy, by the Divine appointment, and the nature of the thing itself, applicable for salvation to all and every individual of mankind. From many testimonies I shall select a few:

    1. The principle is that of John iii. 16, God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish but have everlasting life. It is not difficult to deduce every particular of the aforementioned proposition from these words. For, in the first place, Christ given up by the Father to death, is here proposed as an universal remedy provided for the whole world. Then this panacea of the death of Christ is declared applicable for salvation to every man, and the manner or condition of the application is at the same time shewn in those words, that whosoever believeth in his should not perish. From this testimony we incontrovertibly conclude, that the death of Christ by the ordination of God is applicable to every man, and would be applied if he should believe in Christ. Shew me an individual of the human race to whom the minister of the Gospel may not truly say; God hath so loved thee, that he gave his only begotten Son, that if thou shouldest believe in him, thou shalt not perish but have everlasting life. This, on the certainty of his believing, might be announced to any individual. Therefore the death of Christ is applicable to every man according to this will and ordination of God. I know that some learned and pious Divines, by the world here understand the world, or whole body of the elect, and rely on this argument, that it is said, the Son of God was given, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish: and the elect alone are they who so believe in Christ that they should not perish, but have everlasting life. But I answer, that nothing else can be inferred from hence, than that the death of Christ brings salvation eventually to the elect alone, and is actually applied by means of faith: but it cannot be inferred that it was not a remedy applicable to others, and by the ordination of God to be applied, if they should believe. We will illustrate this by a case in some measure parallel. Suppose that all the inhabitants of a certain city laboured under some epidemic and mortal disease; that the King sent to them an eminent physician furnished with a most efficacious medicine, and caused it to be publicly proclaimed, that all should be cured that were willing to make used of this medicine. Doubtless we might truly say of this kind, that he so loved that city, as to send his own most skilful physician to it; that all who were willing to attend to his advice, and take his medicine, should not die, but recover their former health. But if any should object that this physician was sent only to those who should follow his prescriptions, and that his medicine was applicable by the appointment of the king only to those who were willing to take it, he would in reality not only make the beneficence of the king appear less illustrious, but affirm what was evidently false. For medical assistance was offered to all, without any previous condition on the part of the person sent, or of the sick; healing medicine applicable to all without exception was provided. The willingness to receive the physician and take the medicine had no connexion with the intention of the Sovereign in sending the medical assistance, but with the certain restoration of health.

    The ancient Fathers seem to have been much pleased with this similitude. Prosper has respect to it, when Vincentius objected, That according to the opinion of Augustine, our Lord Jesus Christ did not suffer for the salvation and redemption of all men, he replies, For the disease of original sin, by which the nature of all men is corrupted, the death of the Son if God is a remedy. And a little after, This cup of immortality has indeed in itself this virtue that it may benefit all men, but if it be not taken it will not heal. Our faith therefore is required not merely to assent to the proposition, that God has given or ordained his Son to be a remedy for us, but that being given and ordained, He should be received by us to the obtaining of eternal life. Rhemi and Haimo enlarge the aforesaid similitude on those words Hebrews ii. That he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. Whom, if you please, you may consult.

    2. The second testimony is derived from two passages conjointly considered and compared. The first is John iii. 17, 18, God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth in him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. Let us annex to these words those of John xii. 47, 48, If any man hear my words and believe not, I judge him not, for I came not to judge the world but to save the world. He that rejecteth me and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him; the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. In these words we learn that the Son of God was sent by the Father, that he might bring an universal remedy applicable to the whole world. Nor can the sense be restrained to the world of the elect. For, first, this world, to save which Christ was sent is divided into believers and unbelievers. But the world of the elect consists only of believers, or at least, of those who shall ultimately believe. Secondly, because some will be condemned, to save whom it is here affirmed Christ was sent. But none of the elect shall be damned. Thirdly, because those who are here declared to be condemned, are said to have come under condemnation because they have not believed in the only begotten Son of God, or, because they have rejected him. In which manner of speaking, it is implied in a way sufficiently perspicuous, that he was offered to them by God, and sent to save them. But how, or in what sense can we rightly understand that Christ was sent to save those who perish by their own fault, that is, through their own unbelief? Not otherwise than is expressed in our proposition; namely, that the death of Christ is an universal cause of salvation appointed by God and applicable to every man on the condition of faith, which condition these by their own voluntary wickedness have despised. Thus did Calvin understand these words; for on John iii. He has observed, That the word WORLD is repeated again and again, that no one might suppose that he should be driven away, if he kept the way of faith. And on John xii. 47, he has observed, In order that the minds of all men might be inclined to repentance, salvation is here offered to all men without distinction. It appears, therefore, from these passages, that the death of Christ is to be proposed and considered as a remedy, applicable to all men for salvation, by the appointment of God, although it may be rejected by the unbelieving."

    A Dissertation on the Death of Christ, John Davenant pages 343-346
    London: Hamilton, Adams, And Co. An Exposition of the Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians. 1832.
    _________________
     
  2. Timtoolman

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    J. C. Ryle on John 3:16

    16 – [For God so loved the world, &c.] Our Lord, in this verse, shows Nicodemus another "heavenly thing." – Nicodemus probably thought, like many Jews, that God’s purposes of mercy were entirely confined to His chosen people Israel, and that when Messiah appeared, He would appear only for the special benefit of the Jewish nation. Our Lord here declares to him that God loves all the world without any exception, that the Messiah, the only begotten Son of God, is the Father’s gift to the whole family of Adam, and that every one, whether Jew or Gentile, who believes on Him for salvation, may have eternal life. – A more startling declaration to the ears of a rigid Pharisee it is impossible to conceive! A more wonderful verse is not to be found in the Bible! That God should love such a wicked world as this and not hate it, - that He should love it so as to provide salvation – that in order to provide salvation He should give, not an angel, or any created being, but such a priceless gift as His only begotten Son, - that this great salvation should be freely offered to ever one that believeth, - all, all this is wonderful indeed! This was indeed a "heavenly thing."

    The words, "God loved the world," have received two very different interpretations. The importance of the subject in the present day makes it desirable to state both views fully.

    Some think, as Hutcheson, Lampe, and Gill, that the "world" here means God’s elect out of every nation, whether Jews or Gentiles, and that the "love" with which God is said to love them is that eternal love with which the elect were loved before creation began, and by which their calling, justification, preservation and final salvation are completely secured. – This view, though supported by many and great divines, does not appear to me to be our Lord’s meaning. For one thing, it seems to me a violent straining of language to confine the word "world" to the elect. "The world" is undoubtedly a name sometimes given to the wicked exclusively. But I cannot see that it is a name ever given to the saints. – For another thing, to interpret the word "world" of the elect only is to ignore the distinction which, to my eyes, is plainly drawn in the text between the whole of mankind and those out of mankind who "believe." If the "world" means only the believing portion of mankind, it would have been quite enough to say, "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that the world should not perish." But our Lord does not say so. He says, "that whosoever believeth, i.e., that whosoever out of the world believeth." – Lastly, to confine God’s love to the elect, is taking a harsh and narrow view of God’s character, and fairly lays Christianity open to the modern charges brought against it as cruel and unjust to the ungodly. If God takes no thought for any but his elect, and cares for none beside, how shall God judge the world? – I believe in the electing love of God the Father as strongly as any one. I regard the special love with which God loves the sheep whom He has given to Christ from all eternity, as a most blessed and comfortable truth, and one most cheering and profitable to believers. I only say, that it is not the truth of this text.

    The true view of the words, "God loved the world," I believe to be this. The "world" means the whole race of mankind, both saints and sinners, without any exception. The word, in my opinion, is so used in John i. 10, 29; vi. 33, 51; viii. 12. – Rom. iii. 19. – 2 Cor. v. 19. – 1 John ii. 2; iv. 14. The "love" spoken of is that love of pity and compassion with which God regards all His creatures, and specially regards mankind. It is the same feeling of "love" which appears in Psalm cxlv. 9. – Ezek. xxxiii. 11. – John vi. 32. – Titus iii. 4. – 1 John iv. 10. – 2 Pet. iii. 9. – 1 Tim. ii. 4. It is a love unquestionably distinct and separate from the special love with which God regards His saints. It is a love of pity and not of approbation or complaisance. But it is not the less a real love. It is a love which clears God of injustice in judging the world.

    I am quite familiar with the objections commonly brought against the theory I have just propounded. I find no weight in them, and am not careful to answer them. Those who confine God’s love exclusively to the elect appear to me to take a narrow and contracted view of God’s character and attributes. They refuse to God that attribute of compassion with which even an earthly father can regard a profligate son, and can offer to him pardon, even though his compassion is despised and his offers refused. I have long come to the conclusion that men may be more systematic in their statements than the Bible, and may be led into grave error by idolatrous veneration of a system. The following quotation from one whom for convenience sake I must call a thorough Calvinist, I mean Bishop Davenant, will show that the view I advocate is not new.
    Those who confine God’s love exclusively to the elect appear to me to take a narrow and contracted view of God’s character and attributes. They refuse to God that attribute of compassion with which even an earthly father can regard a profligate son, and can offer to him pardon, even though his compassion is despised and his offers refused. I have long come to the conclusion that men may be more systematic in their statements than the Bible, and may be led into grave error by idolatrous veneration of a system.
     
  3. icthus

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    Good. But watch out for the Calvinistic "spin" by some on this board
     
  4. icthus

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    Yes, even Dabney, in his theology which I have posted elsewhere, has criticised Calvinists for the misuse of "world" in John 3:15-17, and 1 John 2:2. But, the hardliners are not interested in the Truth.
     
  5. Timtoolman

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    I have been reading and reading all I can on calvinism. Calvinism is whatever way you think calvin taught and then put your own spin on it. Thus so many different sects or types of calvinism. All claiming they are misunderstood.
     
  6. TCassidy

    TCassidy
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    Have you read the Canons of the Synod of Dort? They outline the 5 Heads of Doctrine that have become known as TULIP.

    It matters not what some Calvinist says, but what does matter is the Canons of Dort and the scriptures given in support of those 5 Heads of Doctrine.
     
  7. TCassidy

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    Actually we are more interested in truth than you are. I posted a rather lengthy exegesis of "world" as it is used in John's writings but you conveniently ignored it. Here it is again:
     
  8. RodnStaff

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  9. ILUVLIGHT

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    cassidy;
    What matters are the scriptures. The canons of dort doesn't have any authority and are not supported by scripture. Not even one.
    May Christ Shine His Light On Us all;
    Mike
     
  10. StefanM

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    What matters are the scriptures. The canons of dort doesn't have any authority and are not supported by scripture. Not even one.
    May Christ Shine His Light On Us all;
    Mike
    </font>[/QUOTE]TCassidy is not saying that the Canons of Dort are authoritative, but to address Calvinism, you have to address the system to refute the system, and the Canons of Dort express the system. If you want to refute and individual scholar, you do not refute the system, you refute the scholar. Basically, to cook a pizza, you don't put a chicken in the oven.
     
  11. TCassidy

    TCassidy
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    LOL! Well said! You certainly can turn a phrase! :D :D :D
     

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