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Posts Tagged ‘Against Arminianism’

A Display of Arminianism Pt 36

December 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Of The Providence Of God In Governing The World Diversely, Thrust From This Pre-Eminence By The Arminian Idol Of Free-Will.

First, they deny that God (in whom we live, and move, and have our being) doth any thing by his providence, “whereby the creature should be stirred up, or helped in any of his actions.” That is, God wholly leaves a man in the hand of his own counsel, to the disposal of his own absolute independent power, without any respect to his providence at all; whence, as they do, they may well conclude, “that those things which God would have to be done of us freely” (such as are all human actions), “he cannot himself will or work more powerfully and effectually than by the way of wishing or desiring,” as Vorstius speaks; which is no more than one man can do concerning another, perhaps far less than an angel. I can wish or desire that another man would do what I have a mind he should; but, truly, to describe the providence of God by such expressions seems to me intolerable blasphemy. But thus it must be; without such helps as these, Dagon cannot keep on his head, nor the idol of uncontrollable free-will enjoy his dominion.

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An Antidote Against Arminianism by Christopher Ness Pt 49

December 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Of Conditional Predestination
Having stated the doctrine of Divine predestination, as revealed in the Scriptures, and having, from the same source, proved that it is possessed of various distinguishing properties, such as eternal, unchangeable, absolute, free, discriminating, and extensive; I come now, secondly, to consider the Arminians’ view of it, viz.: “That it is conditional, upon the foresight of faith, works, perseverance,” etc.
 Objection 2. Of cruelty; as if God were worse to His creatures than tigers to their young: than rat-catchers who stop up all holes, and then hunt them with their dogs, etc. etc.
3. It is a false hypothesis to suppose that God, in the decree of reprobation, doth by an effectual means intend to bring men to damnation as in the decree of election to bring others to salvation: for salvation is a favour not due any, so God may absolutely give or deny it; but damnation is a punishment, so hath relation to a fault. Means to salvation is the gift of free grace, but damnation comes of man’s own voluntary sin, and is the fruit or wages of it. “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). It is God that fitteth Peter for salvation; but Judas fits himself for damnation.

A Display of Arminianism Pt 35

December 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Of The Providence Of God In Governing The World Diversely, Thrust From This Pre-Eminence By The Arminian Idol Of Free-Will.

Let us now jointly apply these several acts to free agents, working according to choice, or relation, such as are the wills of men, and that will open the way to take a view of Arminian heterodoxies, concerning this article of Christian belief. And here two things must be premised: — First, That they be not deprived of their own radical or original internal liberty; secondly, That they be not exempt from the moving influence and gubernation of God’s providence; — the first whereof would leave no just room for rewards and punishments; the other, as I said before, is injurious to the majesty and power of God. St. Augustine judged Cicero worthy of special blame, even among the heathens, for so attempting to make men free that he made them sacrilegious, by denying them to be subject to an overruling providence: which gross error was directly maintained by Damascen, a learned Christian, teaching, “Things whereof we have any power, not to depend on providence, but on our own free will;” an opinion fitter for a hog of the Epicurus herd than for a scholar in the school of Christ. And yet this proud, prodigious error is now, though in other terms, stiffly maintained: for what do they else who ascribe such an absolute independent liberty to the will of man, that it should have in its own power every circumstance, every condition whatsoever, that belongs to operation, so that all things required on the part of God, or otherwise, to the performance of an action being accomplished, it remaineth solely in the power of a man’s own will whether he will do it or no? which supreme and plainly divine liberty, joined with such an absolute uncontrollable power and dominion over all his actions, would exempt and free the will of man, not only from all fore-determining to the production of such and such effects, but also from any effectual working or influence of the providence of God into the will itself, that should sustain, help, or cooperate with it in doing or willing any thing; and, therefore, the authors of this imaginary liberty have wisely framed an imaginary concurrence of God’s providence, answerable unto it, — namely, a general and indifferent influence, always waiting and expecting the will of man to determine itself to this or that effect, good or bad; God being, as it were, always ready at hand to do that small part which he hath in our actions, whensoever we please to use him, or, if we please to let him alone, he no way moveth us to the performance of any thing. Now, God forbid that we should give our consent to the choice of such a captain, under whose conduct we might go down again unto Paganism, — to the erecting of such an idol into the throne of the Almighty. No, doubtless, let us be most indulgent to our wills, and assign them all the liberty that is competent unto a created nature, to do all things freely according to election and foregoing counsel, being free from all natural necessity and outward compulsion; but for all this, let us not presume to deny God’s effectual assistance, his particular powerful influence into the wills and actions of his creatures, directing of them to a voluntary performance of what he hath determined: which the Arminians opposing in the behalf of their darling free-will, do work in the hearts of men an overweening of their own power, and an absolute independence of the providence of God; for, —
John Owen (1616-1683)

An Antidote Against Arminianism by Christopher Ness Pt 48

December 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Of Conditional Predestination
Having stated the doctrine of Divine predestination, as revealed in the Scriptures, and having, from the same source, proved that it is possessed of various distinguishing properties, such as eternal, unchangeable, absolute, free, discriminating, and extensive; I come now, secondly, to consider the Arminians’ view of it, viz.: “That it is conditional, upon the foresight of faith, works, perseverance,” etc.

Objection 2. Of cruelty; as if God were worse to His creatures than tigers to their young: than rat-catchers who stop up all holes, and then hunt them with their dogs, etc. etc.

2. ‘Tis a mere fallacy: as if the decree of non-election was the procuring cause of man’s damnation. Sin is the cause of damnation, but reprobation is not the cause of sin. David’s order to Solomon concerning Joab and Shimei was not the cause why either the one or the other came to an untimely end; but it was treason against Solomon in Joab, and running from Jerusalem in Shimei, which procured their deaths (see 1Ki 2:5,28,40,42).

A Display of Arminianism Pt 34

December 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Of The Providence Of God In Governing The World Diversely, Thrust From This Pre-Eminence By The Arminian Idol Of Free-Will.

Fourthly, God’s predetermination of second causes (which I name not last as though it were the last act of God’s providence about his creatures, for indeed it is the first that concerneth their operation) is that effectual working of his, according to his eternal purpose, whereby, though some agents, as the wills of men, are causes most free and indefinite, or unlimited lords of their own actions, in respect of their internal principle of operation (that is, their own nature), [they] are yet all, in respect of his decree, and by his powerful working, determined to this or that effect in particular; not that they are compelled to do this, or hindered from doing that, but are inclined and disposed to do this or that, according to their proper manner of working, that is, most freely: for truly such testimonies are everywhere obvious in Scripture, of the stirring up of men’s wills and minds, of bending and inclining them to divers things, of the governing of the secret thoughts and motions of the heart, as cannot by any means be referred to a naked permission, with a government of external actions, or to a general influence, whereby they should have power to do this or that, or any thing else; wherein, as some suppose, his whole providence consisteth.
John Owen (1616-1683)

An Antidote Against Arminianism by Christopher Ness Pt 47

December 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Of Conditional Predestination
Having stated the doctrine of Divine predestination, as revealed in the Scriptures, and having, from the same source, proved that it is possessed of various distinguishing properties, such as eternal, unchangeable, absolute, free, discriminating, and extensive; I come now, secondly, to consider the Arminians’ view of it, viz.: “That it is conditional, upon the foresight of faith, works, perseverance,” etc.

Objection 2. Of cruelty; as if God were worse to His creatures than tigers to their young: than rat-catchers who stop up all holes, and then hunt them with their dogs, etc. etc.

Answer 1. This is charging God foolishly, seeing no act of God can be a means to damn men. Men’s own acts are the cause of it; to wit, the fulfilling their own lusts. As reprobation gives not such a grace as infallibly to make them better, so it works nothing in them by which they are made worse.

A Display of Arminianism Pt 33

December 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Of The Providence Of God In Governing The World Diversely, Thrust From This Pre-Eminence By The Arminian Idol Of Free-Will.

Thirdly, His supreme dominion exerciseth itself in disposing of all things to certain and determinate ends for his own glory, and is chiefly discerned advancing itself over those things which are most contingent, and making them in some sort necessary, inasmuch as they are certainly disposed of to some proposed ends. Between the birth and death of a man, how many things merely contingent do occur! how many chances! how many diseases! in their own nature all evitable, and, in regard of the event, not one of them but to some proves mortal; yet, certain it is that a man’s “days are determined, the number of his months are with the Lord, he hath appointed his bounds that he cannot pass,” Job 14:5. And oftentimes by things purely contingent and accidental he executeth his purposes, — bestoweth rewards, inflicteth punishments, and accomplisheth his judgments; as when he delivereth a man to be slain by the head of an axe, flying from the helve in the hand of a man cutting a tree by the way. But in nothing is this more evident than in the ancient casting of lots, a thing as casual and accidental as can be imagined, huddled in the cap at a venture. Yet God overruleth them to the declaring of his purpose, freeing truth from doubts, and manifestation of his power: Proverbs 16:33, “The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD;” — as you may see in the examples of Achan, Joshua 7:16-18; Saul, 1 Samuel 10:20,21; Jonathan, 1 Samuel 14:41,42; Jonah, Jonah 1:7; Matthias, Acts 1:26. And yet this overruling act of God’s providence (as no other decree or act of his) doth not rob things contingent of their proper nature; for cannot he who effectually causeth that they shall come to pass, cause also that they shall come to pass contingently?
John Owen (1616-1683)