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.]

Daily Bible Verse

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Gordon H. Clark: Sanctification Depends Solely on God's Good Pleasure

. . . this divine working depends solely on God's good pleasure.  --  Gordon H. Clark.  

For those who think Gordon H. Clark advocated sanctification as synergistic, this quote should balance things out.  Of course, Clark did say that we must cooperate in the progressive sanctification which is always imperfect in this life.  And he did say that sanctification is synergistic on one occasion in his lecture on sanctification.  But Clark does not and never could agree with the Arminian view of synergism--not even in regards to sanctification.  Sanctification is not rooted in "libertarian" free will since "free will" does not exist.  There is accountability, responsibility and moral agency in regards to individual men and women.  But given the sovereignty of God, the Arminian view is illogical and irrational.  In his commentary on Ephesians Dr. Clark clearly says that even our sanctification is totally a result of God's work in the elect believer:

As so often in the epistles, here too Paul completely rules out all human claims to merit.   Salvation is a free gift.  It originates entirely from God and not at all from the will or actions of man.  If indeed the Christian voluntarily corrects his conduct and advances in sanctification, it is because God gives him the ability and the will.  True enough, we work out our salvation in fear and trembling, but we do so because God works in us both to will and to do, and this divine working depends solely on God's good pleasure.  --  Gordon H. Clark.  

Commentaries on Paul's Epistles:  Ephesians.  (Unicoi:  Trinity Foundation, 1985), page 27.  [Cf. Ephesians 1:6 KJV].


Dead Theologian said...

I was listening to Clark on the topic of the Holy Spirit and he was covering Sanctification in a lecture format. The message was downloaded off the Trinity folks, but in the lecture Clark clearly states that Sanctification is synergistic. I do not agree with that as I see the believer in more of a response mode to God's direction. Clark also discusses the HS and the authors (Moses as an example) working together to produce Scripture. He was using that as a synergistic example, whereas I would describe it as monergistic guidance with a response by Moses. To me it is no different than repentance or expression of faith in Christ - both require man's participation but we do not call them synergistic.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Clark's view of synergism simply means that there is volition involved. In regeneration the will does not cooperate. In sanctification, the will does cooperate. Clark did not advocate prevenient grace in the Wesleyan scheme. He Also rejected libertarian free will. His views were in complete agreement with the WCF.

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