January 7, 2010

Robert A. Peterson on the Well-Intentioned Offer and Hyper-Calvinism

We need to invite people to trust Christ. The Gospel call invites all, it really does. There is no doubt in my mind, biblically, about when we read in the book of Acts that God has commanded people everywhere to repent. Also, when He told the apostles in the great commission to take the Gospel to all the nations, there is not only the intention of God for us to take the Gospel call to everyone, but this is a well meant offer of the Gospel. Who would ever say the Gospel call is not a well meant offer? Hyper-Calvinists. And here we get into some history with the Protestant Reformed Church breaking with the Christian Reformed Church, because it was not considered to be reformed enough. One of the issues was that God does not sincerely offer the Gospel to the reprobate. In brief, I agree with [Anthony] Hoekema [click] that the Gospel offer is well-intentioned, not only on the part of the less-than-omniscient preacher or witness, but on the part of Almighty God Himself.
Robert A. Peterson, Humanity, Christ & Redemption (Covenant Theological Seminary, 2006), Lecture 29, The Application of Salvation: Calling, II, 1–2.
Hyper-Calvinism...begins with sovereignty of God passages, and there are plenty of those, and it correctly affirms God's absolute sovereign sway is human affairs. But it becomes hyper when it feels threatened with affirming genuine human responsibility alongside of sovereignty. So human freedom is squelched, and among other things, the well-meant offer of the Gospel is denied. You cannot do that; there are many biblical passages that affirm the well intentioned offer of the Gospel.
Ibid., 2.

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Brief Bio:

Robert A. Peterson (Ph.D., Drew University) is professor of systematic theology at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He was formerly professor of New Testament and theology at Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield, Pennsylvania.

Educational Background
BS, Philadelphia College of Bible, Langhorne, PA
MDiv, Biblical Theological Seminary, Hatfield, PA
MPhil and PhD (both in historical theology), Drew University, Madison, NJ

Presbytery and Denominational Service
Licensed and Ordained, Philadelphia Presbytery (PCA) (1981)
Teaching Elder, Missouri Presbytery (PCA) (1990-present)

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