April 6, 2009

John Frame on God's Favor and Saving Desire

Favor can refer to a kindly disposition, or it can refer to advocacy, as in "I favor the Republican candidates." God never favors the wicked in the sense of advocating their purposes or desiring them to accomplish their goals. God does, however, have a kindly disposition toward all his creatures, as is plain in Psalm 145:9 and Matthew 5:43-48. These passages do not refer only to divine gifts; they also refer to the divine disposition underlying the gifts. And, as we have seen, God does have a genuine desire that the wicked be saved.
John Frame, Cornelius Van Til: An Analysis of His Thought (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 1995), 229.

I have interacted with several people who fail to see this vital point. While they believe that God gives gifts that are good to all, they try to evade the point that Frame is making regarding God's own disposition in giving those gifts. They equivocate on the biblical teaching with respect to God's "goodness," as if it is only referencing the intrinsic quality of the things God gives, without it also pointing to the Father's loving disposition toward all. And, in connection with all of this, they are especially hostile to the idea that God desires all men to be saved.

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