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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

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Theologian

The Theologian: David Broughton Knox Reviews, Kept By the Power of God

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with Calvin on many issues relating to election. But on the basis of God's Word I have to agree with the great monergistic theologians--Augustine and Luther--not to mention the English Reformers--that in God's Sovereign Will, some who have received saving grace through faith alone, have been ordained to return back to a dead or false faith and to the unregenerate nature of their old man (and this Scriptural truth applies irregardless of the position one takes on such things as the efficacy of Baptism, etc).

These reformers (as Latimer) saw, and attested to this happening with some who had come to see the Gospel, as it was made clear in teachings of the Reformation (embracing the truth by faith and for a time bearing the fruit of the Spirit), who later rejected these truths for their old beliefs and practices.

This is from another post I wrote:
It would seem, though, that AA’s reformed positions are so strict that even the leaders of the English Reformation and the Anglican Formularies are not in good standing.

Just one example—the issue of falling from Salvation. Leading English Reformers state the Augustinian notion that it is possible for those who have been joined to Christ to be separated through “deadly sin” (Article 16) although the Elect Good Ground (or, “vessels of honor”) will undoubtedly persevere to the end(Article 17).
[Sermon preached during the period that the 1552 BCP and Articles 16 and 17 were being completed and confirmed]:
THE SIXTH SERMON, PREACHED ON THE FIRST SUNDAY
“IN ADVENT, 1552, BY MASTER HUGH LATIMER.
But I say there be two manner of men: some there be that be not justified, not regenerate, nor yet in the state of salvation; that is to say, not God’s servants : they lack the renovation or regeneration ; they be not come yet to Christ. Now these persons who be they that be not come yet to Christ, or if they were come to Christ, be fallen again from him, and so lost their justification,(as there be many of us, which when we fall willingly into sin against conscience, we lose the favour of God, our salvation, and finally the Holy Ghost;)...”
The whole sermon can be read here:
http://books.google.com/books?id=EFoJAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA8&dq=latimer&ei=Y-tOSeCdM6TCMYOenY0M#PPR5,M1

Or, as the Anglican Homily against Fornication notes even more graphically regarding the loss of Salvation which occurs through “deadly sin” (in this case fornication): He declares also that our bodies are the members of Christ. How unseemly a thing is it then to cease to be incorporated or embodied and made one with Christ, and through whoredom to be enjoined and made all one with a whore?
http://www.geocities.com/curtis_caldwell/bk1hom11_mod.html

[btw I’m not FV or New Perspective in my own beliefs—but just a radically monergistic predestinarian who agrees with Augustine—that the Scriptures teach that according to God’s Sovereign Will those who are non-elect/reprobate may partake in a limited and temporary sense in the salvation of the elect even as the elect may partake in a temporary sense in the condemnation of the
non-elect/reprobate].

God Bless,
William Scott

Anonymous said...

Hello--I realize I made a statement that might be unclear in the last post:
"These reformers (as Latimer) saw, and attested to this happening with some who had come to see the Gospel, as it was made clear in teachings of the Reformation (embracing the truth by faith and for a time bearing the fruit of the Spirit), who later rejected these truths for their old beliefs and practices."

When I say "embracing the truth by faith and for a time bearing the fruit of the Spirit"--I mean embracing by faith the Scriptural truth that we are saved through Christ alone, by faith alone, through grace alone, etc.--and consequently bearing the fruit of the Spirit which comes from this true faith.

God Bless,
William Scott

Charlie J. Ray said...

Since justification comes through faith, to walk away from faith is apostasy. That would not mean that an elect person is no longer elect but rather fell from grace and lost his faith (i.e. the means by which we are justified). Latimer's view is not opposed to Calvin's view, who also taught that apostasy is possible. All of the elect will be brought to repentance and repentance itself is a gift of God. Salvation is all of grace.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Your problem, William, is that you have misrepresented Calvin. Obviously Calvin did teach the possibility of apostasy. He says:

Wherefore, in regard to the whole process of regeneration,D65 it is not without cause we are called God’s “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them,” (Eph. 2:10)324 Those whom God is pleased to rescue from death, he quickens by the Spirit of regeneration; not that repentance is properly the cause of salvation, but because, as already seen, it is inseparable from the faith and mercy of God; for, as Isaiah declares, “The Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob.” This, indeed, is a standing truth, that wherever the fear of God is in vigor, the Spirit has been carrying on his saving work. Hence, in Isaiah, while believers complain and lament that they have been forsaken of God, they set down the supernatural hardening of the heart as a sign of reprobation. The Apostle, also, intending to exclude apostates from the hope of salvation, states, as the reason, that it is impossible to renew them to repentance (Heb. 6:6); that is, God by renewing those whom he wills not to perish, gives them a sign of paternal favor, and in a manner attracts them to himself, by the beams of a calm and reconciled countenance; on the other hand, by hardening the reprobate, whose impiety is not to be forgiven, he thunders against them. This kind of vengeance the Apostle denounces against voluntary apostates (Heb. 10:29), who, in falling away from the faith of the gospel, mock God, insultingly reject his favor, profane and trample under foot the blood of Christ, nay, as far as in them lies, crucify him afresh. Still, he does not, as some austere persons preposterously insist, leave no hope of pardon to voluntary sins, but shows that apostasy being altogether without excuse, it is not strange that God is inexorably rigorous in punishing sacrilegious contempt thus shown to himself. For, in the same Epistle, he says, that “it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away to renew them again to repentance, seeing they crucify the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame,” (Heb. 7:4–6). And in another passage, “If we sin willingly, after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment,” &c. (Heb. 11:25, 26). There are other passages, from a misinterpretation of which the Novatians of old extracted materials for their heresy; so much so, that some good men taking offense at their harshness, have deemed the Epistle altogether spurious, though it truly savors in every part of it of the apostolic spirit. But as our dispute is only with those who receive the Epistle, it is easy to show that those passages give no support to their error. First, the Apostle must of necessity agree with his Master, who declares, that “all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men, but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men,” “neither in this world, neither in the world to come,” (Mt. 12:31; Luke 12:10). We must hold that this was the only exception which the Apostle recognized, unless we would set him in opposition to the grace of God. Hence it follows, that to no sin is pardon denied save to one, which proceeding from desperate fury cannot be ascribed to infirmity, and plainly shows that the man guilty of it is possessed by the devil. Book III, iii, 21.

Calvin, J., & Beveridge, H. (1996). Institutes of the Christian religion (electronic ed.) (III, iii, 21). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.

Charlie J. Ray said...

William, you should register an ID so you don't have to post anonymously.

Charlie J. Ray said...

I might add that Luther makes clear in The Bondage of the Will that absolutely nothing takes place by contingency and everything is under God's direct control, including apostasy. The idea that the elect "lost" their salvation is a non sequitur since God is in control of both reprobation and temporary falls from grace.

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD.

Sect. 9.—THIS, therefore, is also essentially necessary and wholesome for Christians to know: That God foreknows nothing by contingency, but that He foresees, purposes, and does all things according to His immutable, eternal, and infallible will. By this thunderbolt, "Free-will" is thrown prostrate, and utterly dashed to pieces. Those, therefore, who would assert "Free-will," must either deny this thunderbolt, or pretend not to see it, or push it from them. But, however, before I establish this point by any arguments of my own, and by the authority of Scripture, I will first set it forth in your words.

Are you not then the person, friend Erasmus, who just now asserted, that God is by nature just, and by nature most merciful? If this be true, does it not follow that He is immutably just and merciful? That, as His nature is not changed to all eternity, so neither His justice nor His mercy? And what is said concerning His justice and His mercy, must be said also concerning His knowledge, His wisdom, His goodness, His will, and His other Attributes. If therefore these things are asserted religiously, piously, and wholesomely concerning God, as you say yourself, what has come to you, that, contrary to your own self, you now assert, that it is irreligious, curious, and vain, to say, that God foreknows of necessity? You openly declare that the immutable will of God is to be known, but you forbid the knowledge of His immutable prescience. Do you believe that He foreknows against His will, or that He wills in ignorance? If then, He foreknows, willing, His will is eternal and immovable, because His nature is so: and, if He wills, foreknowing, His knowledge is eternal and immovable, because His nature is so.

From which it follows unalterably, that all things which we do, although they may appear to us to be done mutably and contingently, and even may be done thus contingently by us, are yet, in reality, done necessarily and immutably, with respect to the will of God. For the will of God is effective and cannot be hindered; because the very power of God is natural to Him, and His wisdom is such that He cannot be deceived. And as His will cannot be hindered, the work itself cannot be hindered from being done in the place, at the time, in the measure, and by whom He foresees and wills.

--Martin Luther, The Bondage of the Will

Charlie J. Ray said...

I think your problem, William, is that you are attending an Anglo-Catholic church where the doctrines of grace have been filtered through the Tractarian lens.

The fact is nothing you quoted above is out of line with Calvinist teaching or Reformed teaching. Predestination includes both reprobation and election.

That is not to say that the Reformed view does not allow for apostasy. It most certainly does. But those who fall finally and never return show themselves to have never participated fully in the divine nature. They only partook of the outward sacraments to their own damnation.

The 1552 Book of Common Prayer and it's successor, the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, are not High Church or Arminian but rather fully Reformed. The Baptismal Service for infants does not teach baptismal regeneration. That's a Lutheran doctrine. What it does teach is that the child is by faith presumed to be regenerate until proven otherwise. The words of the service clearly indicate the possibility of apostasy for the child. That's why there are god parents there for a "surety" until the child can be confirmed.

We've been through all this before. But you've been less than honest about your church affiliation and who your pastor is. Those things will most certainly affect your views.

I would highly recommend that you spend some time over at the Church Society website and read through some of the Church Association Tracts published between 1860-1918. These tracts thoroughly refute the compromises and dissimulations of the Anglo-Papists.

Charlie

Anonymous said...

Hello Charlie,

Calvin believed in apostasy. But he did not believe (contra what many FV have claimed) that those who have been regenerated by the Spirit and given the gift of true faith and received the imputed righteousness of Christ can ever lose this grace. Augustine, Luther, and the English Reformers did believe this (and I believe firmly that God's Word teaches it).
And Calvin did not believe one could fall into a "deadly" state of sin (either in life or doctrine) that would fatally choke a saving faith and drive out the Holy Spirit--and thus cause one who was previously united to Christ by faith and the Spirit to cease to partake in the imputation of Christ's Alien active and passive righteousness/merits (which belong to all who are united to Christ). Augustine, Luther, and the English Reformers did believe in apostasy in this sense (I am convinced with these great theologians that this is the teaching of God's Word).

There is nothing contingent (in the semi-pelagian/arminian sense) in this monergistic predestinarian position. God Sovereignly ordains some who are reprobate (according to election) to receive the gift of a true faith but does not Sovereignly ordain for them to persevere therein to the end. He Sovereignly Ordains for these to be hardened in their fleshly nature and turn away from saving faith, although they previously were partakers with the Elect in the infinite merits of Christ. The Elect on the other hand, are Ordained (apart from any foreseen faith or merit) to not only receive faith, but to continue therein (despite the raging and deserving of their fleshly nature) to the end.

I agree, the 1552 BCP is not arminian (whether or not it teaches baptismal regeneration is another topic which would be great to discuss at a later time (I don't have time to discuss it now)--btw I think unbaptized believing adults are regenerated and are justified at the moment of faith, prior to being baptized, and my assumption is that Covenant children are likely regenerated prior to Baptism (I may not have made my beliefs on those matters clear in prior posts))

[Continued]

God Bless,
William Scott

Anonymous said...

[Continued]

Although I'm "reformed Augustinian" in my own beliefs--I'm actually a member of a fully 5 points/strongly anti-FV OPC Church. I joined the Church recently (since coming back to Florida)--ultimately b/c of such things as its excellent and faithful preaching and its solid Biblical worship (and OPC only requires affirmation by lay members of basic evangelical truths--rather than adherence to the Westminister Confession). I agree with almost everything taught--and the few comparatively tangential areas where I disagree (in siding with Augustine rather than Calvin on a couple of points) I don't raise at all.

Although I disagree on the basis of God's Word with certain points in the WCF I don't believe that it's my place to try to mold the OPC Church into what I think it should look like, contra its own doctrinal standards. But no matter how much I may admire a Church or the teachings of Calvin or the WCF, I am determined to never compromise or deviate from what I believe is laid out in God's Word for the teaching of men (that said, I realize many of my fellow believers have different positions on what God's Word teaches, and I respect their positions).

I do know an excellent "Anglo-Catholic" minister who is a 5 point Calvinist (who hates FV and New Perspective and does not believe in "baptismal regeneration") and who would certainly disagree with my "reformed Augustinian" position (b/c it's not Calvinistic enough), but I don't argue the issue with him.

The Church Tracts are very good at times--but they are also wrong at times (for example, Ryle once claimed that the English Reformers (Latimer, Cranmer, etc) rejected "mortal sin"* (which they interchangeably called "deadly sin")--whereas, in reality, they were preaching it as the truth of God's Word at the time that the Articles and 1552 BCP were being written).

*Of course, they did not teach it in the mechanistic unbiblical "Papist" sense--but rather in the Biblical sense--namely that all sins/states of sin are worthy or eternal damnation and that all are equally forgiven by the Blood of Christ through faith alone, but when sin gains the dominion over us it becomes "deadly"/"mortal" inasmuch as it kills faith (i.e. causes it to become an ineffectual instrument) and drives the Holy Spirit from us.

[Continued]

Anonymous said...

[Continued]

The following was preaching of God's Word occurred at the time that the Articles and 1552 BCP were being written and confirmed.

[THE SIXTH SERMON, PREACHED ON THE FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT, 1552, BY MASTER HUGH LATIMER.]
Which be venial sins? Every sin that is committed against God not wittingly, nor willingly ; not
consenting unto it : those be venial sins. As for an ensample : I see a fair woman, I am moved in my heart to sin with her, to commit the act of lechery with her : such thoughts rise out of my heart, but I consent not unto them ; I withstand these ill motions, I follow the ensample of that godly young man, Joseph ; I consider in what estate I am, namely, a temple of God, and that I should lose the Holy Ghost; on such wise I withstand my ill lusts and appetites, yet this motion in my heart is sin ; this ill lust which riseth up ; but it is a venial sin, it is not a mortal sin, because I consent not unto it, I withstand it ; and such venial sins the just man committeth daily. For scripture saith, Septiea cadit Justus, ” The righteous man falleth seven times;” that is, oftentimes: for his works are not so perfect as they ought to be. For I pray you, who is he that loveth his neighbour so perfectly and vehemently as he ought to do? Now this imperfection is sin, but it is a venial sin, not a mortal : therefore he that feeleth his imperfections, feeleth the ill1 motions in his heart, but followeth them not, consenteth not unto the wickedness are to do them ; these be venial sins, which shall not be unto us to our damnation…I put the case, Joseph had not resisted the temptations of his master’s wife, but had followed her, and fulfilled the act of lechery with her ; had weighed the matter after a worldly fashion, thinking, “I have my mistress’s favour already, and so by that mean I shall have my master’s favour too ; nobody knowing of it.” Now if he had done so, this act had been a deadly sin ; for any act that is done against the law of God willingly and if sin have wittingly, is a deadly sin. And that man or woman that committeth such an act, loseth the Holy Ghost and the remission of sins ; and so becometh the child of the devil, being before the child of God. For a regenerate man or woman, that believeth, ought to have dominion over sin ; but as soon as sin hath rule over him, he is gone: for she leadeth him to delectation of it, and from delectation to consenting, and so from consenting to the act itself. Now he that is led so with sin, he is in the state of damnation, and sinneth damnably. And so ye may perceive which be they that sin deadly, and what is the deadly sin; namely, that he sinneth deadly that wittingly falleth in sin: therefore it is a perilous thing to be in such an estate, to be in the state of damnation and everlasting perdition.”
The entire Sermon can be read here:
http://books.google.com/books?id=EFoJAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA8&dq=latimer&ei=Y-tOSeCdM6TCMYOenY0M#PPR5,M1

Also, I have been completely honest about my church affiliation and pastor (last time we spoke I was between churches inasmuch as I had not at that time finalized Church membership in a Florida Church). I realize you may have wanted more info in the past (and probably at present)--but I prefer to keep some anonymity on blogs, which I'm sure you can understand.

In closing, I appreciate your strong commitment to God and His Word.

God Bless and have a great day,
William Scott

p.s. It may be a while before I have time to make any further serious responses

Anonymous said...

btw I registered for Google but I always seem to have a hard time getting in.

Charlie J. Ray said...

William, the fact that the OPC does not require everyone to adhere to its doctrinal standards for membership shows that it has no real commitment to its doctrinal standards. Either you believe the standards or you don't.

I would never admit anyone into membership of a church where I was pastor unless they were willing to subscribe to the Anglican Formularies and either the Westminster Standards or the Three Forms of Unity.

The trouble with your view is that you are confusing the Roman Catholic doctrine of "mortal sin" with the Reformed doctrine of "apostasy". The two are not the same thing whatsoever.

There are sins that would constitute apostasy and there are sins which are lesser, no doubt. However, at no point is the Christian EVER sustained in the Christian faith OTHER than by justification by faith alone. This is why no sin is beyond God's forgiveness EXCEPT out and out apostasy.

Those who truly repent are forgiven from that moment on and all without auricular confession, the sacrament of penance or any other such nonsense.

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

If you agree with Augustine, would you also agree that men are unable to obey God's commands?

"Lord, command what You will, and grant us the grace to do what You command."

Pelagians and Arminians hate that line.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Also, you do not know ANY Anglo-Catholic minister who is a 5 point Calvinist. Whoever you are referring to is a Papist. There is no such thing as a Papist who is also a Protestant. The man is a liar and a dissimulator.

Give me his name and number.

I'll set him straight.

As for the OPC, it's a troubled denomination. One cannot tell from one congregation to the next if it is a sellout to FV or theonomy or what not.

Charlie J. Ray said...

I might add that if you have something to hide you really shouldn't be posting here. I have my name and my reputation up front for all to see.

It's called "integrity", William. Do you have any integrity to back up your tendentious reading of the Homilies?

Charlie J. Ray said...

Calvin believed in apostasy. But he did not believe (contra what many FV have claimed) that those who have been regenerated by the Spirit and given the gift of true faith and received the imputed righteousness of Christ can ever lose this grace.

Election is before the foundation of the world. If God intends to save them, then they will be saved. Ephesians 1:4, 11.



Augustine, Luther, and the English Reformers did believe this (and I believe firmly that God's Word teaches it).

Now you're conflating Luther and the English Reformers with Augustine's view. The fact is Augustine's view is debatable and that neither Luther nor the Reformers taught conditional election as you suggest. Either the elect will persevere to the end or they won't. The Bible clearly teaches the perseverance of the saints, not that salvation is a crap shoot.



And Calvin did not believe one could fall into a "deadly" state of sin (either in life or doctrine) that would fatally choke a saving faith and drive out the Holy Spirit--and thus cause one who was previously united to Christ by faith and the Spirit to cease to partake in the imputation of Christ's Alien active and passive righteousness/merits (which belong to all who are united to Christ). Augustine, Luther, and the English Reformers did believe in apostasy in this sense (I am convinced with these great theologians that this is the teaching of God's Word).

In that case you don't understand Calvin or Luther and you've adopted Arminianism and you are therefore a heretic. In which case, we have nothing further to discuss.

In fact, you should be excommunicated at your church. You would not be welcome whatsoever in any church in which I was a pastor or a member. You would probably be happier at your local Anglo-Papist church.

The Reformed Confessions are binding doctrine. The Anglican Formularies teach the doctrine of the predestination of the elect and not one of God's elect can be lost, contrary to your semi-pelagian heresy:

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 feeling 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.


Article 17

Charlie

Anonymous said...

I wish, since you said I was being dishonest about my church membership, that you would allow me to defend myself by not omitting the last post that I sent.

Besides if you should post the quote I gave from Latimer so that others have the ability to determine whether or not I am being deceptive or wrong headed in my comments on the English Reformers and "deadly/mortal sin."
I believe Latimer is teaching the Scriptural truth on the issue--I believe that as Latimer says, if Joseph had committed adultery he would have lost the Holy Spirit.

God Bless,
William Scott

Charlie J. Ray said...

I welcome any feeble attempt you might make to prooftext Latimer or any other Reformed Anglican. Nowhere does Latimer teach "conditional" election. That's an Arminian doctrine and it is semi-pelagian.

Charlie J. Ray said...

I did post your cut from Latimer's sermon.

Unfortunately, you have not given a proper link since it only goes to the table of contents.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Basically, Latimer says that sins in the thoughts are venial sins and acting on those sinful thoughts is "deadly sin". But if Latimer meant "mortal sin" maybe he should have used that term?

The fact is the Reformed position does not dispute the fact that those who are in open sin have no assurance of salvation. They have in that sense lost their "salvation and their justification" but they cannot lose their election IF they are elect. Election is unconditional.

Grace is not a license to sin. The Bible, however, teaches the doctrine of election. Why did God choose David and reject Saul? Or Jacob and not Esau? It most certainly was NOT because election depends on perseverance or obedience. Assurance of salvation might be lost but election is God's choice and therefore cannot be revoked.

First Head of Doctrine, Canons of Dort

Article 6
God's Eternal Decree

That some receive the gift of faith from God, and others do not receive it proceeds from God's eternal decree, "For known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world," (Acts 15:18)."Who worketh all things after the counsel of his will," (Ephesians 1:11).According to which decree, he graciously softens the hearts of the elect, however obstinate, and inclines them to believe, while he leaves the non-elect in his just judgment to their own wickedness and obduracy. And herein is especially displayed the profound, and merciful, and at the same time the righteous discrimination between men, equally involved in ruin; or that decree of election and reprobation, revealed in the Word of God, which though men of perverse, impure and unstable minds wrest to their own destruction, yet to holy and pious souls affords unspeakable consolation.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Again, William, you have yet to produce anything that Latimer said which would prove that election is conditional to perseverance. I'm still waiting.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Clearly, Article 17 blows your position right out of the water.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Hugh Latimer on Law and Gospel and Justification by Faith alone:

Ye may not then, I say, be offended with my similitude, for because I liken preaching to a ploughman's labour, and a prelate to a ploughman. But now you will ask me, whom I call a prelate? A prelate is that man, whatsoever he be, that hath a flock to be taught of him; whosoever hath any spiritual charge in the faithful congregation, and whosoever he be that hath cure of souls. And well may the preacher and the ploughman be likened together: first, for their labour of all seasons of the year; for there is no time of the year in which the ploughman hath not some special work to do: as in my country in Leicestershire, the ploughman hath a time to set forth, and to assay his plough, and other times for other necessary works to be done. And then they also maybe likened together for the diversity of works and variety of offices that they have to do. For as the ploughman first setteth forth his plough, and then tilleth his land, and breaketh it in furrows, and sometime ridgeth it up again; and at another time harroweth it and clotteth it, and sometime dungeth it and hedgeth it, diggeth it and weedeth it, purgeth and maketh it clean: so the prelate, the preacher, hath many diverse offices to do. He hath first a busy work to bring his parishioners to a right faith, as Paul calleth it, and not a swerving faith; but to a faith that embraceth Christ, and trusteth to his merits; a lively faith, a justifying faith; a faith that maketh a man righteous, without respect of works: as ye have it very well declared and set forth in the Homily. He hath then a busy work, I say, to bring his flock to a right faith, and then to confirm them in the same faith: now casting them down with the law, and with threatenings of God for sin; now ridging them up again with the gospel, and with the promises of God's favour: now weeding them, by telling them their faults, and making them forsake sin; now clotting them, by breaking their stony hearts, and by making them supplehearted, and making them to have hearts of flesh; that is, soft hearts, and apt for doctrine to enter in: now teaching to know God rightly, and to know their duty to God and their neighbours: now exhorting them, when they know their duty, that they do it, and be diligent in it; so that they have a continual work to do. Great is their business, and therefore great should be their hire. They have great labours, and therefore they ought to have good livings, that they may commodiously feed their flock; for the preaching of the word of God unto the people is called meat: scripture calleth it meat; not strawberries, that come but once a year, and tarry not long, but are soon gone: but it is meat, it is no dainties. The people must have meat that must be familiar and continual, and daily given unto them to feed upon.



From: Sermon on the card.

Anonymous said...

Hello Charlie, I apologize--I just don't know how to get the link to go to the actual Sermon I quoted from--that's one of the reasons I cited which Sermon it is, so anyone can use the Table of Contents to find it. It is on page 7-9 of the book I linked to. I'd encourage you to read the Sermon--it's good stuff.

I guess with the above info you'll let the post go through this time, b/c of its importance to the discussion:
The following preaching of God's Word occurred at the time that the Articles and 1552 BCP were being written and confirmed.

[THE SIXTH SERMON, PREACHED ON THE FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT, 1552, BY MASTER HUGH
LATIMER.]
Which be venial sins? Every sin that is committed against God not wittingly, nor willingly ; not consenting unto it : those be venial sins. As for an ensample : I see a fair woman, I am moved in my heart to sin with her, to commit the act of lechery with her : such thoughts rise out of my heart, but I consent not unto them ; I withstand these ill motions, I follow the ensample of that godly young man, Joseph ; I consider in what estate I am, namely, a temple of God, and that I should lose the Holy Ghost; on such wise I withstand my ill lusts and appetites, yet this motion in my heart is sin ; this ill lust which riseth up ; but it is a venial sin, it is not a mortal sin, because I consent not unto it, I withstand it ; and such venial sins the just man committeth daily. For scripture saith, Septiea cadit Justus, ” The righteous man falleth seven times;” that is, oftentimes: for his works are not so perfect as they ought to be. For I pray you, who is he that loveth his neighbour so perfectly and vehemently as he ought to do? Now this imperfection is sin, but it is a venial sin, not a mortal: therefore he that feeleth his imperfections, feeleth the ill1 motions in his heart, but followeth them not, consenteth not unto the wickedness are to do them; these be venial sins, which shall not be unto us to our damnation…I put the case, Joseph had not resisted the temptations of his master’s wife, but had followed her, and fulfilled the act of lechery with her ; had weighed the matter after a worldly fashion, thinking, “I have my mistress’s favour already, and so by that mean I shall have my master’s favour too ; nobody knowing of it.” Now if he had done so, this act had been a deadly sin ; for any act that is done against the law of God willingly and if sin have wittingly, is a deadly sin. And that man or woman that committeth such an act, loseth the Holy Ghost and the remission of sins ; and so becometh the child of the devil, being before the child of God. For a regenerate man or woman, that believeth, ought to have dominion over sin ; but as soon as sin hath rule over him, he is gone: for she leadeth him to delectation of it, and from delectation to consenting, and so
from consenting to the act itself. Now he that is led so with sin, he is in the state of damnation, and sinneth damnably. And so ye may perceive which be they that sin deadly, and what is the deadly sin; namely, that he sinneth deadly that wittingly falleth in sin: therefore it is a perilous thing to be in such an estate, to be in the state of damnation and everlasting perdition.”
The entire Sermon can be read here:
http://books.google.com/books?id=EFoJAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA8&dq=latimer&ei=Y-tOSeCdM6TCMYOenY0M#PPR5,M1

Also, I have been completely honest about my church affiliation and pastor (last time we spoke I was between churches inasmuch as I had not at that time finalized Church membership in a Florida Church). I realize you may have wanted more info in the past (and probably at present)--but I prefer to keep some anonymity on blogs, which I'm sure you can understand.


In closing, I appreciate your strong commitment to God and His Word.

God Bless and have a great day,
William Scott

Anonymous said...

Amen to Article 17 and the quote on justification by faith alone from Latimer and . Note that Latimer specifies "mortal"/"deadly" sins (versus "venial" sins) as "witting or willing sins" that cause us to "lose the Holy Ghost" and "the remission of sins."

Just a few points:
1. I'm certainly not claiming that God's eternal election is conditional. God has ordained from all eternity (apart from all foreseen faith or merits) an
unchangeable number of elect (vessels of mercy/honor) and a unchangeable number of non-elect/reprobate (vessels of wrath).


2. I believe that the elect (vessels of mercy) are always elect (vessels of mercy) from all eternity, and that nothing can change their election. Therefore,

I believe that they are the elect (vessels of mercy) even during a period of their life that they are unbelievers/outside of Christ (such as the time in the elect's life prior to repenting and believing in Christ alone for Salvation).

In other words, there can be a period of life that the elect (vessels of mercy)TEMPORARILY partake in the condemnation which belongs ETERNALLY to the non-elect (vessels of wrath).


2. I believe God Sovereingly gives the "gift of faith" and the "gift of perseverance to the end" to All the Elect(i.e. the Vessels of Mercy) and ONLY to the Elect. Therefore, I affirm Article 17 fully (I cited it in the initial
passage), which affirms the clear Scriptural truth that it is impossible for the Elect (or, the vessels of mercy/honor) not to persevere to the end.


3. I believe that the reprobate/non-elect (vessels of wrath) are the reprobate/non-elect from all eternity and that nothing can change that.

Therefore, I believe that those reprobate/non-elect that temporarily partake in Christ never cease to remain the reprobate/non-elect (vessels of wrath), even as the elect (vessels of mercy) that temporarily partake in the condemnation outside of Christ, while in unbelief (e.g. before coming to Christ), never cease to be the elect vessels of mercy.

4. I believe that in the case of many of the reprobate/non-elect (vessels of wrath) God Sovereignly Ordains to give the "gift of faith" without giving the
"gift of perseverance to the end"--and thus they ALL will fall away. (Of course, in the case of many of the reprobate/non-elect (vessels of wrath), God Sovereignly ordains that they will not even receive the "gift of faith").

5. No non-elect (vessel of wrath) will EVER be one of the elect (vessels of mercy) and vice-versa--even though both the elect and the non-elect may in a
LIMITED or TEMPORARY sense partake in the blessings or condemnation which pertains eternally to the other.

In other words, despite TEMPORARY partaking by the elect vessels of mercy in WRATH (outside of Christ) and TEMPORARY partaking by the non-elect vessels of wrath in MERCY (in Christ):
A. MERCY belongs ETERNALLY only to the elect vessels of mercy
B. WRATH belongs ETERNALLY only to the non-elect vessels of wrath

Again, have a great day and God Bless,
William Scott

p.s. I may not be able to post responses for the foreseeable future b/c of my schedule

Anonymous said...

p.p.s. Latimer does use the term "mortal" sin twice (in reference to "witting and willing" sin, which he elsewhere calls "deadly" sins--contracting these "deadly" or "mortal" sins with "venial" sins).

Charlie J. Ray said...

I don't believe that the reprobate ever truly have a genuine faith and therefore never have the "gift of faith." They partake of the divine nature only in the sense that they partake of the outward and visible means of grace like Baptism and the Lord's Supper.

Charlie J. Ray said...

At the time Latimer wrote these sermons the English church was still the process of reforming. It would not be strange that he would use a term like "deadly sin" in a similar way that the Roman Catholics used it but with a different meaning.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Calvin, in his commentary on Hebrews 6:4 make it abundantly clear that there are two senses in which we may discuss "falling away" or "apostasy". A temporary falling away is not necessarily a permanent falling away, which the writer of Hebrews describes above. In fact, Calvin relates that those who sin against their neighbor in the Second Tablet of the Decalogue have not committed final apostasy, which is attributed to the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit:

The knot of the question is in the word, fall away. Whosoever then understands its meaning, can easily extricate himself from every difficulty. But it must be noticed, that there is a twofold falling away, one particular, and the other general. He who has in anything, or in any ways offended, has fallen away from his state as a Christian; therefore all sins are so many fallings. But the Apostle speaks not here of theft, or perjury, or murder, or drunkenness, or adultery; but he refers to a total defection or falling away from the Gospel, when a sinner offends not God in some one thing, but entirely renounces his grace.



And that this may be better understood, let us suppose a contrast between the gifts of God, which he has mentioned, and this falling away. For he falls away who forsakes the word of God, who extinguishes its light, who deprives himself of the taste of the heavens or gift, who relinquishes the participation of the Spirit. Now this is wholly to renounce God. We now see whom he excluded from the hope of pardon, even the apostates who alienated themselves from the Gospel of Christ, which they had previously embraced, and from the grace of God; and this happens to no one but to him who sins against the Holy Spirit. For he who violates the second table of the Law, or transgresses the first through ignorance, is not guilty of this defection; nor does God surely deprive any of his grace in such a way as to leave them none remaining except the reprobate.
Calvin's Commentary on Hebrews 6:4

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

I don't know what your disagreement with Calvin is. However, it is clear that Calvin does say that those who commit apostasy in the final since were never saved and that they are reprobates.

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

You said, "Calvin believed in apostasy. But he did not believe (contra what many FV have claimed) that those who have been regenerated by the Spirit and given the gift of true faith and received the imputed righteousness of Christ can ever lose this grace. Augustine, Luther, and the English Reformers did believe this (and I believe firmly that God's Word teaches it)."

I have no idea where you're getting your information. Luther, however, never taught that the reprobate are genuinely regenerated and neither did Calvin. I would point you to Scripture. WHERE does Scripture suggest such a vile idea?

The Scriptures and ALL the Reformed confessions specifically state that only the elect are regenerated.

"Ye must be born again..." Those who fall away prove they were never regenerated to begin with--especially if they are never given the gift of repentance to return to Christ and His church.

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

Calvin on temporary faith and that the reprobate do not receive regeneration:

11. I am aware it seems unaccountable to some how faith is attributed to the reprobate, seeing that it is declared by Paul to be one of the fruits of election;28 [86 286 Thess. 1:3, 4; 2 Thess. 2:13; Tit. 1.] and yet the difficulty is easily solved: for though none are enlightened into faith, and truly feel the efficacy of the Gospel, with the exception of those who are fore-ordained to salvation, yet experience shows that the reprobate are sometimes affected in a way so similar to the elect, that even in their own judgment there is no difference between them. Hence it is not strange, that by the Apostle a taste of heavenly gifts, and by Christ himself a temporary faith, is ascribed to them. Not that they truly perceive the power of spiritual grace and the sure light of faith; but the Lord, the better to convict them, and leave them without excuse, instills into their minds such a sense of his goodness as can be felt without the Spirit of adoption. Should it be objected, that believers have no stronger testimony to assure them of their adoption, I answer, that though there is a great resemblance and affinity between the elect of God and those who are impressed for a time with a fading faith, yet the elect alone have that full assurance which is extolled by Paul, and by which they are enabled to cry, Abba, Father. Therefore, as God regenerates the elect only for ever by incorruptible seed, as the seed of life once sown in their hearts never perishes, so he effectually seals in them the grace of his adoption, that it may be sure and steadfast. But in this there is nothing to prevent an inferior operation of the Spirit from taking its course in the reprobate. Meanwhile, believers are taught to examine themselves carefully and humbly, lest carnal security creep in and take the place of assurance of faith. We may add, that the reprobate never have any other than a confused sense of grace, laying hold of the shadow rather than the substance, because the Spirit properly seals the forgiveness of sins in the elect only, applying it by special faith to their use. Still it is correctly said, that the reprobate believe God to be propitious to them, inasmuch as they accept the gift of reconciliation, though confusedly and without due discernment; not that they are partakers of the same faith or regeneration with the children of God; but because, under a covering of hypocrisy, they seem to have a principle of faith in common with them. Nor do I even deny that God illumines their minds to this extent, that they recognize his grace; but that conviction he distinguishes from the peculiar testimony which he gives to his elect in this respect, that the reprobate never attain to the full result or to fruition. When he shows himself propitious to them, it is not as if he had truly rescued them from death, and taken them under his protection. He only gives them a manifestation of his present mercy.28 [87 287 The French adds, “Comme par une bouffee,”—as by fits and starts.] In the elect alone he implants the living root of faith, so that they persevere even to the end. Thus we dispose of the objection, that if God truly displays his grace, it must endure for ever. There is nothing inconsistent in this with the fact of his enlightening some with a present sense of grace, which afterwards proves evanescent. Institutes Book III, Chapter 3, Section 11.

Anonymous said...

Here's a short follow up post--I don't know when I'll be able to do any follow up posts.

"Luther, however, never taught that the reprobate are genuinely regenerated and neither did Calvin."

I agree that Calvin didn't hold this. To my knowledge, though, it is universally affirmed by scholars that Luther held that those who are not of the Elect may
temporarily partake in a saving faith. Of course, for Luther, such a faith is never the individual's own work, but rather it is given to him (whether elect or non-elect) through the monergistic working of a Sovereign God.

What I have read of Luther has affirmed this view of the scholars. In other words, temporary saving faith in the non-elect (reprobate) is part of the original or traditional understanding of that blessed [monergistic] doctrine of justification by faith alone.

God Bless,
Ashton

Anonymous said...

I apologize ahead of time for the lack of citations in the post I just sent. It would be great to delve into the Word of God on this issue (esp. given that it is, of course, the true foundational reason for me coming to the positions I have, and more importantly for men such as Augustine and Luther (who, unlike myself, are actually great theologians) coming to the positions they did).

Unfortunately, with my schedule I don't believe it would be wise or godly for me to take the time to get into that discussion or even to take the time to continue our present discussion further. Perhaps we can continue this discussion at some point in the future. Thank you for your strong commitment to follow God's Word completely in life and doctrine. Have a blessed night in our Lord.

Will Scott

1 Peter 1:7,8 "...Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, you love; in Whom, though now you see Him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory"

Charlie J. Ray said...

That would be odd since Scripture does not say that the reprobate were ever regenerated. It flies in the face of John 3:3-8, which equates spiritual birth with natural birth, both of which are outside our control. And unless someone is "born again" they "will not see the kingdom of God." A temporary partaking followed by apostasy is not the same thing as regeneration. They were never of us (1 Peter 2:8; 1 John 2:19; Romans 9:13-16).

Just from the Scriptures alone we can see that your position is untenable. The idea that election or salvation is defectible is just ridiculous. Those who fall were "destined to stumble" and "hated" by God (1 Peter 2:8; Romans 9:13).

But just to make it more certain, Luther says in The Bondage of the Will that only a born again person can understand the Scriptures in their mind and heart:

But to be brief. The clearness of the Scripture is twofold; even as the obscurity is twofold also. The one is external, placed in the ministry of the word; the other internal, placed in the understanding of the heart. If you speak of the internal clearness, no man sees one iota in the Scriptures, but he that hath the Spirit of God. All have a darkened heart; so that, even if they know how to speak of, and set forth, all things in the Scripture, yet, they cannot feel them nor know them: nor do they believe that they are the creatures of God, nor any thing else: according to that of Psalm 14:1. "The fool hath said in his heart, God is nothing." For the Spirit is required to understand the whole of the Scripture and every part of it. If you speak of the external clearness, nothing whatever is left obscure or ambiguous; but all things that are in the Scriptures, are by the Word brought forth into the clearest light, and proclaimed to the whole world.

Furthermore, nothing is contingent in God's mind or His decrees:

Sect. 9.—THIS, therefore, is also essentially necessary and wholesome for Christians to know: That God foreknows nothing by contingency, but that He foresees, purposes, and does all things according to His immutable, eternal, and infallible will. By this thunderbolt, "Free-will" is thrown prostrate, and utterly dashed to pieces. Those, therefore, who would assert "Free-will," must either deny this thunderbolt, or pretend not to see it, or push it from them. But, however, before I establish this point by any arguments of my own, and by the authority of Scripture, I will first set it forth in your words.

The Sovereignty of God

The short of it is that your deliberate obfuscation of the teaching of Scripture only shows you to be disingenuous. Scripture certainly contains warnings against apostasy and Gospel promises to those who are believing and elect. The warnings do not indicate a possibility of falling away for the elect but are there to keep the elect focused on the promises so that they continue and persevere to the end. Even then the perseverance and obedience of the elect is in fact a gift of God (Philippians 2:12-13).

The imperatives tell us what we ought to do and the indicates tell us what God has promised to do for us. The fact that you think "justification" can be "lost" shows that you do not understand the sovereignty of God or the Scriptures.

Only the elect are justified since only the elect are born again, have the gift of faith, and are justified by a true faith, not a temporary faith.

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

Your quote from Latimer shows that Latimer likewise understands regeneration as the deciding factor:

But I say there be two manner of men: some there be that be not justified, not regenerate, nor yet in the state of salvation; that is to say, not God’s servants : they lack the renovation or regeneration ; they be not come yet to Christ. Now these persons who be they that be not come yet to Christ, or if they were come to Christ, be fallen again from him, and so lost their justification,(as there be many of us, which when we fall willingly into sin against conscience, we lose the favour of God, our salvation, and finally the Holy Ghost;)...”

Obviously, Latimer says that those who fall away were never regenerate. Read it again. Now, if he says they lost their justification he obviously means they lost their faith, which was only temporary and so in that sense they "lost salvation". I don't like the way Latimer described it but it is nevertheless true that those who "appear" to be saved and not actually saved unless they persevere.

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

Obviously, Augustine himself taught that election is indefectible:

I Have now to consider the subject of perseverance with greater care; for in the former book also I said some things on this subject when I was discussing the beginning of faith. I assert, therefore, that the perseverance by which we persevere in Christ even to the end is the gift of God; and I call that the end by which is finished that life wherein alone there is peril of falling. Therefore it is uncertain whether any one has received this gift so long as he is still alive. For if he fall before he dies, he is, of course, said not to have persevered; and most truly is it said. How, then, should he be said to have received or to have had perseverance who has not persevered? For if any one have continence, and fall away from that virtue and become incontinent,--or, in like manner, if he have righteousness, if patience, if even faith, and fall away, he is rightly said to have had these virtues and to have them no longer; for he was continent, or he was righteous, or he was patient, or he was believing, as long as he was so; but when he ceased to be so, he no longer is what he was. But how should he who has not persevered have ever been persevering, since it is only by persevering that any one shows himself persevering,--and this he has not done? But lest any one should object to this, and say, If from the time at which any one became a believer he has lived--for the sake of argument--ten years, and in the midst of them has fallen from the faith, has he not persevered for five years? I am not contending about words. If it be thought that this also should be called perseverance, as it were for so long as it lasts, assuredly he is not to be said to have had in any degree that perseverance of which we are now discoursing, by which one perseveres in Christ even to the end. And the believer of one year, or of a period as much shorter as may be conceived of, if he has lived faithfully until he died, has rather had this perseverance than the believer of many years’ standing, if a little time before his death he has fallen away from the stedfastness of his faith.

From The Gift of Perseverance. Augustine of Hippo.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Chapter 21.--Instances of the Unsearchable Judgments of God.



Therefore, of two infants, equally bound by original sin, why the one is taken and the other left; and of two wicked men of already mature years, why this one should be so called as to follow Him that calleth, while that one is either not called at all, or is not called in such a manner,--the judgments of God are unsearchable. But of two pious men, why to the one should be given perseverance unto the end, and to the other it should not be given, God’s judgments are even more unsearchable. Yet to believers it ought to be a most certain fact that the former is of the predestinated, the latter is not. “For if they had been of us,” says one of the predestinated, who had drunk this secret from the breast of the Lord, “certainly they would have continued with us.” [1 John ii. 19] What, I ask, is the meaning of, “They were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would certainly have continued with us”? Were not both created by God--both born of Adam--both made from the earth, and given from Him who said, “I have created all breath,” [Isaiah 47:16 (see LXX/Septuagint)] souls of one and the same nature? Lastly, had not both been called, and followed Him that called them? and had not both become, from wicked men, justified men, and both been renewed by the laver of regeneration? But if he were to hear this who beyond all doubt knew what he was saying, he might answer and say: These things are true. In respect of all these things, they were of us. Nevertheless, in respect of a certain other distinction, they were not of us, for if they had been of us, they certainly would have continued with us. What then is this distinction? God’s books lie open, let us not turn away our view; the divine Scripture cries aloud, let us give it a hearing. They were not of them, because they had not been “called according to the purpose;” they had not been chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world; they had not gained a lot in Him; they had not been predestinated according to His purpose who worketh all things. For if they had been this, they would have been of them, and without doubt they would have continued with them.

The Gift of Perseverance. Augustine of Hippo.

Charlie J. Ray said...

In other words, it is a moot point to say that Augustine or anyone else says they "lost justification" or they "lost regeneration", etc. The fact is they were destined to fall and were never effectually called. It is easy to see how Calvin and Luther would have understood Augustine on this point. It's not that they "lost their salvation" but that they were NEVER EFFECTUALLY CALLED NOR DID GOD EVER INTEND TO SAVE THEM.

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