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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

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.

Daily Bible Verse

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The 39 Articles teach double predestination: Article 17

Article XVII



Of Predestination and Election


Predestination to life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby, before the foundations of the world were laid, He hath constantly decreed by His counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom He hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation as vessels made to honour. Wherefore they which be endued with so excellent a benefit of God be called according to God's purpose by His Spirit working in due season; they through grace obey the calling; they be justified freely; they be made sons of God by adoption; they be made like the image of His only-begotten Son Jesus Christ; they walk religiously in good works; and at length by God's mercy they attain to everlasting felicity.


As the godly consideration of Predestination and our Election in Christ is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons and such as feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh and their earthly members and drawing up their mind to high and heavenly things, as well because it doth greatly establish and confirm their faith of eternal salvation to be enjoyed through Christ, as because it doth fervently kindle their love towards God: so for curious and carnal persons, lacking the Spirit of Christ, to have continually before their eyes the sentence of God's Predestination is a most dangerous downfall, whereby the devil doth thrust them either into desperation or into wretchlessness of most unclean living no less perilous than desperation.


Furthermore, we must receive God's promises in such wise as they be generally set forth in Holy Scripture; and in our doings that will of God is to be followed which we have expressly declared unto us in the word of God.


Obviously the Anglican Church was not Puritan in 1571 when the 39 Articles were adopted as its confession of faith.  The Augustinian doctrine of double predestination was adopted by the Lutherans and the Calvinist Reformers because it was the doctrine of the Bible.  Lutherans later rejected the predestination of the reprobate, although it is logical that if God chooses the elect then He most certainly chose to pass over the reprobate as well.  In short, the decree to election implies the opposite as well:  the decree to reprobation.


For God has not destined us (Christians in Thessalonica) for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Thessalonians 5:9 ESV)

and "A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense." They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. (1 Peter 2:8 ESV)

"Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. (Acts 1:16 ESV)


[The Scriptures predicted that Judas would betray Christ and it happened exactly as predicted.  Only God could providentially guide historical events that way.  Coincidence, accident, or happenstance?  Or is prophecy fulfilled because God decreed it that way?]



"For it is written in the Book of Psalms, "'May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it'; and "'Let another take his office.' (Acts 1:20 ESV)


this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. (Acts 2:23 ESV)


What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory-- (Romans 9:22-23 ESV)


  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;

    Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.


7 comments:

Philip Wainwright said...

I don't see how your comments support the idea that Article XVII teaches double predestination. It doesn't contradict it, but most commentators over the years have only found predestination to salvation in it, I think.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Philip,

The idea that God predestines some men logically means that God predestined the rest. It's so simple even a child can understand it. If God elects, then God also passes over the reprobate. To choose one is the reject the other. How you cannot see this is beyond me.

Scripture teaches double predestination over and over again:

Acts 1:16,20; Acts 2:23; 1 Thessalonians 3:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:9; 1 Peter 2:8; Romans 9:10-18.

Martin Luther believed in double predestination and the 39 Articles were directly influenced by the Confession of Wurtemberg. Luther says:

"All things whatever arise from, and depend on, the divine appointment; whereby it was foreordained who should receive the word of life, and who should disbelieve it; who should be delivered from their sins, and who should be hardened in them; and who should be justified and who should be condemned." - Martin Luther From Double or Nothing: Luther's Doctrine of Predestination.

Also, Article 17 clearly says that those who have no faith face the "sentence of predestination" and are given over to their own wickedness. This reflects the theology of Romans 1:18-32. They are "destined to stumble. 1 Peter 2:8.

No, Scripture clearly teaches that God is absolutely sovereign in salvation. He elects and reprobates based on His own justice and sovereign mercy.

Anglicans love "tolerance" and man centered theology rather than God centered theology and Christ centered theology. Judging from the open apostasy of the Anglican Communion in the liberal wing AND in the so-called "conservative" and "orthodox" wing (read conservative Anglo-Catholic), it seems to me that tolerance is the root of the problem. But even this is God's judgment against the reprobates who "think" they are doing God's will.

Romans 9:19-23

The fact that you concede that Article 17 does not reject double predestination shows that Cranmer had in mind double predestination since the English Reformers were well aware of the teaching of Scripture on this as well as the Augustinian doctrine of double predestination. It would be quite odd for the English Reformers to adopt either Amyraldianism or Arminianism since neither of these views came about until after the Synod of Dort in 1618-1619.

part 1

Charlie J. Ray said...

part 2

Quite frankly, anyone who rejects double predestination is not Reformed nor is he Protestant. Rather, he is some sort of heretic who has departed from the biblical doctrine.

Ashley Null says that Cranmer's doctrine of predestination is meant to emphasize the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Since he also emphasizes repentance and since that might be misunderstood as a "human contribution to salvation sine qua non", Cranmer want to make sure that everyone understood that justification is by grace alone. "To ensure that justification was also sola gratia, he adopted the doctrine of God's predestination off his elect and shaped his writings accordingly. Repentance as the expression of a loving faith was interpreted as a sign of justification and election which assured the believer of his salvation. Just as important, however, repentance as turning to God and away from sin was presented as a concrete task toward which all sinners were to strive. In this way, repentance was also the pastoral, practical expression of predestination, enabling Cranmer to offer assurance of election to the saints and at the same time to encourage all people to be obedient to the laws of God and the king." From Cranmer's Doctrine of Repentance.

Charlie J. Ray said...

part 3

The 17th Article clearly says that those who are given over to their own wickedness face the "sentence" of God's predestination. In other words, they were destined to stumble and yet are without excuse since they are acting freely. (1 Peter 2:8; Acts 1:16, 20)

Null goes on to say that, "The loss of salvation was only a hypothetical threat to the elect, but not the temporary loss of their state of grace." Ibid. I fail to see how those who are unconverted at their death are not destined for hell, particularly since God gives life and takes life and that God can spare the elect from death until He can grant them the gift of repentance. (Hebrews 9:27; Psalm 139:16).

You might want to reconsider, since Augustine and Aquinas both taught double predestination. Thus, the doctrine does not originate with Calvin but with Augustine who drew it from Scripture.

See: Augustine's Framing of the Predestination Debate.

and:

Double Predestination

Moreover, God hardens the reprobate not by a positive working of evil in their hearts but by passing over them and leaving them to act in accordance with their own wicked nature. This is a divine decree made before the foundation of the world.

Charlie

Reformation said...

It is "what it is."

Romans 9 is fiat.

The problem is "us," to Jesus or St. Paul. Let's leave it at that and bend the knee.

Charlie J. Ray said...

God's decrees are a fiat but not capricious or arbitrary. God has reasons which we do not see for the choices He made in election and reprobation. (Deuteronomy 29:29).

Charlie J. Ray said...

Philip,

If God only predestines the elect, let me ask you, "Do the wicked have the power to make themselves elect?" If your answer is no, then logically you must say that they have no free will and they are "destined" to fail, particularly since God withholds election, regeneration, and effectual calling from them.

So the Amyraldian position rejects two of the 5 points of Calvinism so far: Unconditional election (particular election) and particular atonement (substitutionary atonement).
Reprobation is as much determined by God as election.

Now if you say I'm being too logical, what is your "logical" basis for saying my logic is too logical? Unless of course, your argument is illogical, irrational, and anti-intellectual?

Does Scripture present revelation in the form of propositional truth claims (logical arguments) OR does Scripture simply present Christ in relationship, example, and morality? If so, I would suggest that you have more in common with liberalism than you're willing to admit.


Charlie

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