Frances Turretin. Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 1. George Musgrave Giger, translator. James T. Dennison, Jr., ed. (Phillipsburg: Baker, 1997). Pp. 117-118.VI. It is one thing to allow some knowledge of God as Creator and preserver however imperfect, corrupt and obscure; another to have a full, entire and clear knowledge of God as Redeemer and of the lawful worship due to him. Natural theology has the former in that which may be known of God (gnosto tou Theou). Revelation alone has the latter in the faith (to pisto) which is gained only from the word. Nor (if God has not left himself without witness [amartyron] in nature by doing good to men as to temporal things [ta biotika, Acts 14:17] which he often bestows upon those whom he hates and has devoted to destruction) does it follow that the external calling is objectively sufficient for salvation because it is said "he suffered the nations to walk in their own ways" (Acts 14:16) and it is called that "time of ignorance" (Acts 17:30, referring plainly to a defect in the external calling because he opposes it to the time of the New Testament in which he calls men to repentance by the word).
Collect of the Day
O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Monday, July 11, 2016
I find it strange that the promoters of semi-Arminianism and common grace try to quote Frances Turretin in their favor. I read him just the opposite. In his remarks on natural theology Turretin says the following:
Turretin wrote in Latin so his sentences are often long and convoluted. The editor put some of the incomplete sentences into parentheses to indicate the sentence fragment or incomplete clause. In an earlier section Turretin says that natural revelation leads to natural religion because there is an innate knowledge of God in man due to the image of God in all men. But this innate knowledge is insufficient to lead to saving faith. Although Turretin does not say this, it follows that even atheists have some knowledge of God though they suppress the truth in unrighteousness. (Romans 1:18-21). Getting the atheist to admit this is another matter.
The reader will also note that Turretin nowhere refers to common grace in this passage. What he does say is that God's goodness to men is temporal but their final destiny is certain because God hates them and has "devoted" them "to destruction." In short, providence means that any gifts God gives to mankind through natural revelation is meant to harden them because they are vessels of destruction.