This page will function as a personal theological notebook, much like Jonathan Edwards' Miscellanies. It's just a place for personal research notes that others may find interesting. If you want to look over my shoulder, as it were, and see what I am thinking about theologically, check here on a regular basis. My most recent thoughts will appear at the bottom.
- Dec. 6, 2014: Write posts on the following subjects: a) On gossip; b) The helpful first and second class essential distinctions in Nicholas Hunnius (a Lutheran), and problems in Richard Hooker (contra Walter Travers) and N. T. Wright on sola fide as an essential; c) Continue blogging Flavel's chapters on Christ Knocking; d) An extensive essay on the varieties of hyper-Calvinism (particularly the modern eclectic sort) with my detailed chart explaining the same; e) A primer on moderate Calvinism; f) On the contemporary misunderstandings of divine odium, and the evangelical reactions to the WBC's hyper-Calvinism; g) A detailed series on the problems with the TULIP acronym; h) The helpful William Twisse distinctions between unconditional election to faith and conditional election to salvation; i) An essay explaining my conference chart on 4 Views of the Will of God and the Cross; j) A chart showing and explaining the stronger and weaker terms to describe God's revealed will among Calvinists (delight when/delight that, wish, desire, seeks, begs, intends, purposes, etc.).
- Dec. 6, 2014: The EEBO-TCP tool is excellent for finding sources, but unfortunately page numbers are not given for the occurrences. This tool is also useful for Phase I searches in EEBO.
- Dec 6, 2014: Update Works Cited, Subject Index, and About pages, and create a Links page. Update page on the will of God language in Calvinists.
- Dec. 6, 2014: Think of a way to include the C&C name index links to my name index.
- Dec. 6, 2014: Create a distinct post on Phil Johnson's confusion on George Gillespie's seeming denial of God's universal love as stated in the Minutes of the Westminster Assembly (using John Knox and Samuel Rutherford as examples), and critique his Primer on Hyper-Calvinism.
- Dec. 6, 2014: Blog William Pinke's moderate statements on the extent of Christ's death.
- Dec. 6, 2014: Continue exhaustively searching through the Dictionary of National Biography for names of interest, using key terms such as "Puritan," "Calvinist," "Nonconformist," "divine," "presbyter," "Reformer," "ejected," "dissent(er)," etc. Update names to search pages on Wordpress.
- Dec. 6, 2014: Begin outlining, organizing sources, and writing a book on The Difficult Doctrine of the Hate of God to compliment Carson's book on divine love. Type out Elijah Norton's (1802) excellent work on divine hatred for a possible appendix, and perhaps Nathanael Emmons on the same.
- Dec. 6, 2014: The apocryphal work, The Book of Wisdom, is sometimes cited by Reformers and Puritans as containing some truth, though not as an authority. Read and mark the more interesting verses for future reference. Chapter 11 verse 24 is commonly quoted. The Book of Wisdom 11:23-26 says the following: "23. But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things; and you overlook the sins of men that they may repent. 24. For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made; for what you hated, you would not have fashioned. 25. And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it; or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you? 26. But you spare all things, because they are yours, O Lord and lover of souls," Chapter 12 verse nevertheless says, "the ancient inhabitants" in the holy land "whom you hated for deeds most odious..." And again, "equally odius to God are the evildoer and his evil deed" (14:9). The sense is that God loves (amor benevolentiae) all creatures as his creatures, but hates (odium abominationis) evil creatures in so far as they are sinful.
- Dec. 6, 2014: The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus is well-worth reading. Possibly blog the moderate-sounding portions on the death of Christ and the will of God. See "The Apostolic Fathers, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus: The Epistle to Diognetus," in Ante-Nicene Fathers, edited by Alexander Roberts, D.D. & James Donaldson, LL.D., rev. by A. Cleveland Coxe (1885; Peabody, Mass.: 2004), 1:27, 28.
- Dec. 6, 2014: John Robinson (in Of Religious Communion , p. 116) affirms God's common love towards all creatures as their Creator in distinction to redemptive love, but his affirmation is too embedded in theological nonsense to be worth blogging. The same goes for John Stalham (Vindiciae Redemptionis , p. 37.).
- Dec. 6, 2014: Now that my Hyper-Calvinism page is complete, I may write my own "Primer on Hyper-Calvinism" to replace Phil Johnson's out-of-date, subjective, overly qualified, and a-historical "Primer" with mostly dead links at the bottom. Dr. Curt Daniel is a much more stable, consistent, objective, and scholarly source on the topic.
- Dec. 6, 2014: Perhaps post my nearly exhaustive collection of George Whitefield statements from his Works that deal with the death of Christ, most of which seem universal in nature. Include his other rare statements to Wesley (with his appeal to a kind of double-payment argument) that seem inclined to some form of particularlism. Ultimately, there is not enough information to definitively prove Whitefield's views on the extent of Christ's satisfaction, but there is more evidence on the side of those who might think he is a moderate Calvinist. The evidence from the primary sources must be objectively and thoroughly documented.
- Dec. 6, 2014: The Puritans Oliver Heywood, George Swinnock, Nathaniel Vincent, James Janeway, Joseph Alleine, John Rogers and Thomas Barnes all speak to the lost in their audiences and tell them they are "well-offered" in the Gospel. I have blogged some of these in context already. I need to make sure they are all posted.
- Dec. 7, 2014: I love finding quotes by Puritans saying that God is "begging" perishing sinners to come to Him. Nothing will make a hyper-Calvinist gag more than this kind of language, especially when it is used in connection with well-meant offer teaching; yet is it mainstream Puritan teaching, as I have thoroughly documented now. Some modern eclectic hyper-Calvinists, as with the free offer and common grace, will try to re-define the idea of God "begging" so as to keep a veneer of orthodoxy, but none of them can really stand it. They know that no one "begs" for something they don't sincerely want, so hyper-Calvinists see that the Augustinian predestinarians using the God-begging language must mean that God truly desires all men to repent, and therefore desires the salvation of all men in the revealed will. As John Murray, Iain Murray, Curt Daniel and others have said, this issue is the very heart of the free offer debate. The denial of God's desire for the salvation of all men is the one thing that all varieties of hyper-Calvinism have in common, though they differ on other topics.
- Dec. 7, 2014: Compile a name list of all the moderate Calvinists we have discovered so far on the extent of the atonement.
- Dec. 7, 2014: Many names of interest, such as certain Puritan authors, are not easily found on EEBO, since they are listed by initials. For example, the Roger Drake (1608-1669) is listed under R. D. with his dates. I have seen many other Puritan authors listed this way on EEBO. Be sure to check for initials during searches.
- Dec. 7, 2014: For the dispute on whether Judas was at the Lord's supper, see G. Gillespie, Aaron’s Rod Blossoming (London: Printed by E. G. for Richard Whitaker, 1646), 436-460; R. Drake, A Boundary to the Holy Mount (London: Abraham Miller, 1653), 7; and Daniel, “Hyper-Calvinism and John Gill,” 517, 557-578, and 823. Among past authors who did not believe Judas received the Lord's Supper, Drake (a high Calvinist and Presbyterian) includes the following: "Clemens, Dionysius, Areopagita, Hilarius, Maximus, Pachymeres, Ammonius Alexandrius, Tatianus, Innocent 3, Theophylactus, Rupertus Tuitiensis, & Victor Antiochenus, Among the Schoolmen, Salmeron, Turrianus, Durandus, Barraditis, and of Protestants, Daneus, Kleinwitzius, Piscator, Beza, Tossanus, Musculus, Zanchius, Gomarus, Diodati, Grotius, &c. See [Gillespie's] Aaron's Rod Blossoming, 1.3.c.8." -- A Boundary to the Holy Mount (1653), 7. Of course he cannot include Calvin and Augustine, among others that we have found. Moreover, Luke 22:20-21 makes it clear (as Prynne says) that Judas was indeed at the table, though Drake attempts to argue the contrary (pp. 8-11). Hincmar of Reims (AD 806–882), in a letter to Egilo (Archbishop of Sens), used the presence of Judas at the first Lord’s Supper to refute Gottschalk’s (AD 808–867) limited view of Christ’s redemption. See Gottschalk & A Medieval Predestination Controversy, ed. Genke and Gumerlock (Milwauke, WI: Marquette University Press, 2010), 182.
- Dec. 7, 2014: Even though William Ames was a high Calvinist, holding a strict view of Christ's death, he said: "As for the intention of application, it is rightly said that Christ made satisfaction only for those whom he saved, though in regard to the sufficiency in the mediation of Christ it may also rightly be said that Christ made satisfaction for each and all." (XXIV.8) The Marrow of Theology, trans. John Dykstra Eusden (Durham, NC: The Labyrinth Press, 1968), 150. Similar statements can be found in William Perkins, where Perkins appears to affirm a kind of "universal redemption," but in a very confused way, as if he can hold to a bare sufficiency view and label it "universal redemption" for the sake of catholicity, as if he is in agreement with "the testimonies of the ancient every where" (or "all the testimonies of the Doctors and School-men"). Perkins says, "I do willingly acknowledge and teach universal redemption and grace, so far as it is possible by the word." William Perkins, "Master Perkinses Epistle to the Reader," in A Christian and Plaine Treatise of the Manner and Order of Predestination (London: Printed for William Welby and Martin Clarke, 1606), iv. [no pagination; pages numbered manually from the beginning of the Preface] Perkins also said: "...we do acknowledge with glad minds that Christ died for all (the scripture averring so much): but we utterly deny, that he died for all and ever[y] one alike in respect of God, or, as well for the damned as elect, and that effectually on God's part." William Perkins, A Christian and Plaine Treatise of the Manner and Order of Predestination, and of the Largeness of God's Grace (London: Printed for William Welby, and Martin Clarke, 1606), 82. See also page 86 where he calls Christ only the "half redeemer" of some. Page 105-106 speak of Prosper's sense of sufficiency.
- Dec. 7, 2014: John Stoughton (in "The heauenly conuersation and the naturall mans condition," 1640), Nathaniel Hardy (in "The first general epistle of St. John the Apostle, unfolded & applied," 1659), and Matthew Mead (in "The good of early obedience," 1683) also distinguish between odium abominationis and odium inimicitiae, just as Thomas Manton does (in "A second volume of sermons preached," 1684). Add these to the collection of quotes.
- Dec. 7, 2014: Patrick Gillespie, in The Ark of the Covenant Opened (1677), says that, "Christ paid not the idem, but the tantundem; not the same that was due, but the value: for he suffered not the same pain, numero in number, but specie in kind. Yet its one and the same satisfaction in the Laws sense, which Christ paid, and which we owed, in respect of that Law doth not require of the Surety to pay the same sum in number, which the Debtor borrowed: 'tis satisfaction, if the same in specie, in kind, or in value be paid" (p. 406). Polhill, in his Speculum theologiae in Christo, also makes the distinction in several places.
- Dec. 9, 2014: "Chrysostome would have informed you [John Goodwin], that those of whom Christ is Redeemer in respect of the sufficiency of the price, may perish, though not those to whom the price is applied." -- William Jenkyn, ΟΔΗΓΟΣ ΤΥΦΟΣ, The Blinde Guide, or the Doting Doctor (Printed at London by M. B. for Christopher Merideth, and are to be sold at his Shop at the signe of the Crane in Pauls Church-yard, 1648), 107.
- Dec. 9, 2014: "I find[?] that Master John Goodwin hath alledged some passages in my book, as if I did concur with him, or favor his opinion. I have hereupon considered and weighed well what I have there written, and find nothing tending to the maintaenance of his error; but something expressly against free will to good. I declaring, That notwithstanding Christ may be said to give himself a ransome for all, &c. yet this doth not argue universal Redemption, nor that all men may be saved if they will. I appeal to any judicious and impartial Reader, whether in any thing I have there written, I have justified his opinion; which I am utterly against." Henry Scudder's letter contained in William Jenkyn's ΟΔΗΓΟΣ ΤΥΦΟΣ, The Blinde Guide, or the Doting Doctor (Printed at London by M. B. for Christopher Merideth, and are to be sold at his Shop at the signe of the Crane in Pauls Church-yard, 1648), 112-113.
- Dec. 9, 2014: Beza wrote: "But lest thou exclaim that I do wrangle, I confess that the Lord doth do[?] an incredible favor and leniency, even towards the vessels of wrath, ordained to destruction. When is it that he should not destroy Cain by and by? Whence is it that he should protract the flood so many years? Whence is it that he should bless Esau with the plentifulness of the earth? That Ishmael should grow to a great kindred? That he should suffer the Caananites and the Amalachites so long? That he should not take away Saul by and by, but suffer him so long to enjoy the benefit of this life, and also the renown and benefits of the Kingdom of Israel? Finally, that we prosecute antiquities, whence is it that he so nourisheth, and so favorably suffereth so many wicked Turkes, such tyranny of Antichrist, and finally thyself with so many false Prophets, who cease not to seduce whomsoever they may from God's truth. Great, yea great and incomprehensible is this goodness of God towards his enemies, which would God they could once acknowledge, whosoever are elect among them, and be not known, that they might at the last return to him, who truly showeth himself favorable, and slow to wrath even to his adversaries." -- Theodore Beza, An Evident Display of Popish Practices, or Patched Pelagianism, trans. William Hopkinson (London: Imprinted by Ralph Newberie, and Henry Bynnyman, 1578), 62-63. William Strong also says that both Beza and Calvin taught that God had a "fatherly love" for all. This is contrary to Hoeksemian teaching.
- Dec. 9, 2014: Menzeis (1624-1684), a high Calvinist, said: "The [Popish] Pamphleter might have known that Protestants do not exclude from the Reformed Churches, the learned Camero, Amyrald, Capellus, Dallaeus who with many others especially in the French Church assert universal redemption." John Menzeis, Roma Mendax (London: Printed for Abel Roper, at the sign of the Sun over against St. Dunstanes Church in Fleet-street, 1675), 190.
- Dec. 11, 2014: Check Augustine's De Diversis Quaestionibus Ad Simplicianum (the second question) for different senses of love and hate. He qualifies in this work, unlike elsewhere.
- Dec. 22, 2014: Check Twitter for past research notes to add here.
- Dec. 31, 2014: "Many well-meaning men may err; be
not too severe with them, lest prejudice make them obstinate, and so
from ‘erring brethren,’ they become heretical." -- Thomas Manton (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/manton/manton05.xx.html). See Manton in this same section on distinguishing between kinds of men and sinners:
"That ministers had need be wise, to know how to suit their doctrine, to distinguish between persons, actions, circumstances."
"2. That ministers should give every one their portion. Zwinglius, when he had flashed terrors in the face of the hardened sinner, would add, Bone Christiane, haec niliil ad te—tender conscience! this is not for thee. We must ‘rightly divide the word of truth,’ 2 Tim. ii. 15; that is, not by crumbling and mincing a text of scripture, but giving every one their portion. Terror to whom terror belongeth, and comfort to whom comfort belongeth."
- Dec. 31, 2014: "St. Augustine hath said, "Errare possum, haereticus esse nolo." [I may be mistaken, but I have not the will to be heretical. or I may fall into error, but I will not plunge into heresy.] And except we put a difference between them that err and them that obstinately persist in error, how is it possible that ever any man should hope to be saved?" -- Hooker (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/hooker/just.xiv.html)
- Jan. 11, 2015: "Therefore Augustine, Prosper and Fulgentius, still make this difference, That the decree of Damnation goeth on foresight of sin, but the Decree of Salvation containeth a Decree to give that Grace that shall certainly Save us." -- Richard Baxter, An End of Doctrinal Controversies Which Have Lately Troubled the Churches, by Reconciling Explication Without Much Disputing (London: Printed for John Salusbury at the Rising Sun in Cornhil, 1691), 45.
- Jan. 12, 2015: Thomas Hall (1610-1665) affirms that "God loves all His creatures" in An Exposition By Way of Supplement, on the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Chapters of the Prophecy of Amos (London: Printed for Henry Mortlock, at the Phoenix in St. Pauls Church-yard, near the Little North-door, 1661), 326.
- Jan. 13, 2015: "They [the elect] have the comfort of God's special love, and that is more than what arises but from a general love, which is no more than a reprobate may have." -- John Stalham, Vindiciae Redemptionis (London: Printed by A. M. for Christopher Meredith, at the Sign of the Crane in Pauls Church-yard, 1647), 35. See also page 37. Stalham was a high Calvinist.
- Jan. 15, 2015: "For a while now, I've thought that a lot of so-called 'Calvinists' in the broader North American church are, unwittingly, hyper-Calvinists (doctrinally speaking)." -- Mark Jones
- Jan. 15, 2015: Gordon Clark's rejection of God's universal saving will is explicit: "If this verse [Deut. 5:29] or any verse speaks of God as wishing the salvation of someone whom he has rejected as reprobate, there would be an inconsistency implying hypocrisy." See Gordon H. Clark, Biblical Predestination (Nutley, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 1974), 130. In this book, Clark follows John Gill's interpretation of every controversial passage used to argue for God's universal saving will. John Gill, Gordon Clark, Herman Hoeksema, David Engelsma, and Robert Reymond are all on the same page in their denial that God wishes the salvation of any who are non-elect or "reprobate," though they differ on other points involved in hyper-Calvinism.
- Jan. 16, 2015: "Augustine saith, he hardeneth not, impertiendo malitiam, sed non impertiendo gratiam, not by imparting malice, but by not imparting his mercie and grace: epistol. 105" -- Andrew Willet, Hexapla, that is, A six-fold commentarie vpon the most diuine Epistle of the holy apostle S. Paul to the Romanes wherein according to the authors former method, sixe things are obserued in euery chapter (Printed by Cantrell Legge, printer to the Vniuersitie of Cambridge, 1611), 420.
- Jan. 20, 2015: Here are two interesting quotes related to John Owen: 1) "I am very slow to judge of men's acceptation with God, by the apprehension of their understandings." -- John Owen, "Vindiciae Evangelicae: Or, the Mystery of the Gospel Vindicated," in The Works of John Owen, ed. by Thomas Russell (London: Printed by J. F. Dove, St. John's Square; for Richard Baynes, 1823), vol. 8, p. ix. 2) "John Rogers, in his singular work, 'The Heavenly Nymph,' records the cases of two individuals, Dorothy Emett and Major Mainwaring, who ascribed their conversion to the preaching of Owen when he was in Dublin. Mr Orme remarks, that the circumstance confutes a saying attributed to Owen, that he never knew an instance of a sinner converted through his instrumentality; though the saying might so far be true, that he himself might be ignorant of the extent of his own usefulness." -- From William H. Goold's "Preface," to The Works of John Owen, ed. by William H. Goold (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1851), 8:viii.
- Jan. 20, 2015: "Sin is a practical blasphemy to all the attributes of God. It is the dare of his justice, the rape of his mercy, the geer of his patience, the sleight of his power, the contempt of his love." -- Samuel Bolton, ᾺΜΑΡΤΩΛΟΣ ᾺΜΑΡΤΙΑ: Or, the Sinfulness of Sin (London: Printed by G. M. for Andrew Kemb, and are to be sold at his Shop at the Talbut gate in Southwark, 1646), 9. "there is more good in God, then there is evil in ten thousand hells of sin." Ibid., 10. "His love it runs in divers rivulets and streams, it is dispensed throughout the whole creation, he loves everything he hath made, but now his hatred it runs in one chanel, all against sin." Ibid., 12.
- Jan. 20, 2015: "Because man could not be won by God's leniency and patience by which he tried to win him, he would no longer withhold his vengeance."—Geneva Bible on Genesis 6:3 This comment in the GB, Jonathan Edwards, D. M. Lloyd-Jones, R. M. McCheyne, and Thomas Watson all speak of God "trying" to save some who ultimately perish.
- Jan. 22, 2015: "How few consider how they harden wicked men, by an intimacy with them, Whereas withdrawment from them, might be a means to make them ashamed! Whilst we are merry and jovial with them, we make them believe their condition is not deplorable, their danger is not great; whereas, if we shunned them, as we would a Bowed-Wall, whilst they remain enemies to the Lord, this might do them good, for the startling of them, and rousing of them, out of their unhappy security, and strong delusions, wherein they are held."--Lewis Stuckley, A Gospel-Glass (London: Printed for the Author, and are to be sold by Giles Widdows at the Maiden-head in Aldersgate-street, near Jewen-street, 1670), p. 406. Spurgeon quotes this in his exposition of Psalm 26:5.
- Jan. 22, 2015: "People have not those clear thoughts of things, as they should have. An error in Theory must needs produce an error in practice. An error in the head will soon bring an error into the heart. Wrong apprehensions are not like to have right actions. The understanding is the leading faculty, and if that be out of frame, no wonder if the rest move not in their sphere. As our judgements are of things, so are our endeavors about them more, or less:"--James Votier, Vox Dei & hominis. God's Call from Heaven Echoed by Mans answer from Earth. Or A Survey of Effectual Calling (London: Printed by T. C. for Nathanael Webb, and William Grantham at the Bear in Paul's Church-yard, neer the little North door of Pauls, 1658), 206-207.
- Jan. 25, 2015: William Lane Craig quotes a philosopher as saying, "If the philosophical importance of a topic can be judged by the amount of nonsense written about it, then the concept of time comes somewhat ahead of the concept of space, and somewhat behind the concept of God."
- Jan. 25, 2015: Referring to Gottschalks teaching in his larger confession, Schaff says, "He [Gottschalk] spoke of two redemptions, one common to the elect and the reprobate, another proper and special for the elect only. In similar manner the Calvinists, in their controversy with the Arminians, maintained that Christ died efficiently only for the elect, although sufficiently for all men." -- Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers,), 4:531-532.
- Jan. 25, 2015: "In the ring of graces, Faith is the diamond, Joy the sparkle of the diamond." ~ John Arrowsmith on 1 Sam. 7:12 via Henry Jeanes
- Jan. 25, 2015: Speaking at the Shepherds 360 Conference during the first session (around 49:09-49:31), Al Mohler said: "That crucial word, 'Now.' Now, He commands; he doesn't suggest, he doesn't offer. He commands. The gospel is not an offer. Well, I mean it is a well-meant offer in terms of telling people the promise of the gospel, in that sense it is. But God doesn't present it to humanity as an offer, He presents it to humanity as a command to repent and to believe, and be saved." I can't make sense of any of that. No doubt the audience was left in confusion. Mohler 1) sets up a false dichotomy between command and offer, then 2) denies that the gospel is an offer. Then he 3) admits that the gospel is a well-meant offer "in terms of telling people the promise of the gospel." Who knows what that means. Then Mohler says 4) God doesn't present it to humanity as an offer, but as a command. One is therefore left with the impression that his 3rd admission merely pertains to human preachers, not to God. None of that makes any sense at all to me.
- Jan. 29, 2015: The Westminster Larger Catechism, in the answer to question #67, speaks of a "special love" of God to his elect. To speak of a "special" love implies that there is a non-special or common love.
- Jan. 31, 2015: Wolfgang Musculus cites Lactantius approvingly, who "gave unto him [God] a certain commotion [of mind] also which we do call anger." See Common Places (London: Imprinted by Henry Bynneman, 1578), 1038. Lactantius, contrary to the Stoics, "doth not take from God the commotion and stir of anger, but that only which is joined with fault, and is unseemly also for man." Ibid. After some exposition of the subject, Musculus says, "However the matter goeth, the godly person must assure himself in this, that God is not moved nor changed, after that sort as man is moved and changed." Ibid., 1039. That last qualifying statement seems to suggest that some sense of change occurs, but not after that sort which is in man.
- Feb. 7, 2015: Augustine seems to equate the term the true "children of God" with the whole class of the elect in the abstract, not just with the believing elect or the existing elect who do not yet believe: "Whosoever, therefore, in God's most providential ordering, are foreknown, predestinated, called, justified, glorified—I say not, even although not yet born again, but even although not yet born at all, are already children of God, and absolutely cannot perish." -- Augustine, "On Rebuke and Grace (chap. 23)," NPNF, 1st Series, ed. by Philip Schaff (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 2004), 5:481. The translation of this part of Augustine in Gottschalk reads: "Whosoever have been foreknown, predestined, called, justified, and glorified in God's most providential ordering, are foreknown, predestined, called, justified, glorified--I do not mean just those not yet reborn, but also those not yet born--are already children of God and absolutely cannot perish." -- Gottschalk & A Medieval Predestination Controversy: Texts Translated from the Latin. Mediaeval Philosophical Texts in Translation, Volume 47., edited and translated by Victor Genke & Francis X. Gumerlock (Milwauke, WI: Marquette University Press, 2010), 137.
- Feb. 9, 2015: Schaff wrote: "He [Gottschalk] spoke of two redemptions, one common to the elect and the reprobate, another proper and special for the elect only. In similar manner the Calvinists, in their controversy with the Arminians, maintained that Christ died efficiently only for the elect, although sufficiently for all men." -- Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 2002), 5:531-532. This statement by Schaff is misleading for several reasons. First, the "common redemption" that Gottschalk teaches only concerns baptized reprobates, not pagan reprobates. Second, Gottschalk thinks that the "redemption" that baptized reprobates have is only one of water baptism the cleanses from past sins, not a redemption in any way related to Christ's death. Last, there is no hint of the sufficiency/efficiency formula in Gottschalk, so comparing him to later Calvinists on that subject has no basis. Moreover, unlike the vast majority of the Reformed, Gottschalk thought that God does not love the reprobate and in no way wills their salvation. In his thought, Christ's death does not relate to the reprobate, and God has no love or evangelical saving will for them. One might think of him as a proto hyper-Calvinist (to use the term anachronistically) on the subject of predestination, not a forerunner to what would later become Reformed orthodoxy. One more problem with Schaff is that he leaves the impression that Gottschalk's remarks about a "common redemption" are in his Larger Confession (Ibid.). That particular confession mainly concerns his views on the predestination of the reprobate to destruction (contra Hincmar of Reims and others). There's nothing in that particular writing (or prayer) regarding the redemption of baptized reprobates. Gottschalk's comments about redemption are rather in his "On Different Ways of Speaking about Redemption," and "On Predestination," with bits and pieces elsewhere, but not in either the shorter or longer (contra Schaff) confessions.
- Feb. 13, 2015: John Gill, in The Cause of God and Truth, lists Jerome as a particularist on the atonement, and so Michael A. G. Haykin tries to suggest the same in From Heaven He Came and Sought Her. Gottschalk, on the other hand, associates Jerome with Origen on the subject of universal redemption, and says: "But Saint Jerome, who rightly execrated this most false revolving, equally believed, as that one [Origen], that Christ suffered for the reprobate, and conjectured that we are called, become, and are holy not according to the purpose of God, but according to that of each of us, and according to our own will." -- Gottschalk, "On Predestination," in Gottschalk & A Medieval Predestination Controversy: Texts Translated from the Latin. Mediaeval Philosophical Texts in Translation No. 47, edited & translated by Victor Genke & Francis Gumerlock (Milwaukee, Wisc.: Marquette University Press, 2010), 152.
- Feb. 26, 2015: Hincmar of Reims (806-882), in his letter to Egilo (the archbishop of Sens), used the presence of Judas at the first Lord's supper to refute Gottschalk's limited view of Christ's redemption. See Gottschalk & A Medieval Predestination Controversy: Texts Translated from the Latin. Mediaeval Philosophical Texts in Translation, Volume 47., edited and translated by Victor Genke & Francis X. Gumerlock (Milwauke, WI: Marquette University Press, 2010), 182. See Misc. #18 above. Hincmar says, after quoting Luke 22:19, that "Judas was also present among those to whom he gave them, having the role of the reprobate, while the other disciples had the role of the elect. For he of course did not say "for all" but "for many" because all were not going to believe. For the shedding of the blood of Christ, of the just for the unjust (1 Pt. 3:18), was of so rich a price that if the universe of those held captive believed in their redeemer, the chains of the devil would have retained no one." Note Hincmar's classical sense of the sufficiency of Christ's death when he speaks of "so rich a price."
- Feb. 27, 2015: "(2) In another place, I said: "God does not seek the death of anyone." This should be interpreted as follows: man brought death on himself by abandoning God and he who does not return to God brings it on himself according to what is written: "For God made not death" (Wis. 1:13). But the following, too, is no less true: "Life and death . . . are from the Lord God," (Ecclus. 11:14) that is, life is from the giver, death from the avenger." -- Augustine, The Retractations, trans. by Sister Mary Inez Bogan (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1968), 91.
- Feb. 27, 2015: James Denny understands objective reconciliation in his exposition of 2 Cor. 5:18-21.
- March 20, 2015: John Forbes (c.1568-1634), a Puritan who argues for a strict atonement in the context, nevertheless affirms Christ's "common love, which he carrieth to all flesh" in A Treatise Tending to Clear the Doctrine of Justification (At Middelburgh: Printed by Richard Schilders, 1616), 48.
- March 29, 2015: "He [Gottschalk] measured the extent of the purpose by the extent of the effect. God is absolutely unchangeable, and his will must be fulfilled. What does not happen, cannot have been intended by him." Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church: Mediaeval Christianity A.D. 590-1073 (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2002), 4:528.
- March 30, 2015: "Andrew Fuller opposed Gill's hypercalvinism and, in a letter to Jonathan Edwards' pupil Samuel Hopkins (1721-1803) dated 17 Mar. 1798, he lamented the continuing influence of Owen. (see Fuller's letter in the Angus Library, Regent's Park College, Oxford)." -- Alan Clifford, Atonement and Justification, p. 122, note #13. Clifford says he got the information about this letter from Dr. Robert Oliver.
- Apr. 3, 2015: Peter Toon quotes this in his work on The Emergence of Hyper-Calvinism under the heading on the free offer of the gospel: "Expounding Hebrews 3.3, John Owen wrote: 'They who are judged at the last day (for not receiving the Gospel) will be speechless and have nothing to reply.... Because they despise an overture of a treaty about peace and reconciliation between God and their souls. God who hath no need of them, nor their obedience or friendship, tenders them a treaty upon terms of peace. What greater condescension, love or grace could be conceived or desired? This is tendered in the Gospel, 2 Cor. 5.19. Now what greater indignity can be offered unto him than to reject his tenders? Is not this plainly to tell him that they despise his love and scorn his offers of reconciliation? It is life and salvation that he tenders, on whose neglect he complains that men will not come unto him that they might have life. Certainly there can be no want of righteousness in the ruin of such persons.'" -- from Owen, Works (ed. Goold), Vol. XX, p. 308.
- April 19, 2015: For Recto and Verso page numbering, see here in Wikipedia (click).
- April 21, 2015: B. M. Palmer notes that R. L. Dabney accepted the sense of the moral/natural ability distinction in “The Proposed Plan of Union Between the General Assembly and the United Synod of the South,” Southern Presbyterian Review 16:3 (April, 1864), 293. Palmer says that “Dr. Dabney attempts at length to show that, whilst the committee rejected these terms as ambiguous and unhappy, the distinction which they express must be retained--that it is indispensable, in order to make out the responsibility of the sinner, and is implied in all the efforts of the preacher in dealing practically with the conscience.” Palmer also quotes J. H. Thornwell at length (see pp. 294-296) from an unpublished manuscript where he makes some interesting distinctions, and seems critical some versions of the moral vs. natural ability distinctions. Palmer also mentions that some “slippery opponents” (i.e. those following Talleyrand--Boyd and possibly Dabney) say that “the sufferings of Christ were not inflicted as the penalty threatened to the transgressor, but what was an equivalent in effect for it...” Ibid., 298.
- April 30, 2015: John Gill rejects the suffiency-efficiency distinction in The Cause of God and Truth (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1980), 98.
- May 7, 2015: For Jean Daillé’s citations of Martin Bucer’s moderate statements, see Joannis Dallæi, Apologia Pro duabus Ecclesiarum in Gallia Protestantium Synodis Nationalibus (Amstelaedami: Ravesteynius, 1655), 2:998-1008. He cites Bucer’s comments on Matt 23:37, 39; Rom 11; Rom 1:18, 19, 20, 21, 2:4, 1:14; and John 1:4, 5, 3:19, 20 in that order.
- May 8, 2015: "...while the Reformed churches excluded the views of Jacob Arminius and Simon Episcopius at Dordt, later synods only scolded the Hypothetical Universalism of Moïse Amyraut. Thus there was no such thing as 'the Amyraut heresy' (contra Armstrong)." -- Raymond A. Blacketer, "Blaming Beza: The Development of Definite Atonement in the Reformed Tradition," in From Heaven He Came and Sought Her: Definite Atonement in Historical, Biblical, Theological, and Pastoral Perspective, edited by David Gibson & Jonathan Gibson (Wheaton: Crossway, 2013), 122. As footnote #6 on the same page indicates, Blacketer agrees with and cites Muller, Sinnema, and Godfrey to substantiate what he says.
- May 14, 2015: Baxter cited Musculus, Bullinger Calvin, Amyraut, J. Bergius, C. Bergius, Crocius, Calixtus, Camero, Testard, Daille, Blondel, Davenant, Preston, Whately, Fenner, Twisse, Paraeus, Zanchi, Ussher, R. Abbot, for universal redemption. (p. 2:50-53) In the middle of this, Baxter portrays his Arminian critic as saying, “You may spare your labour of citing Bullinger and Musculus, or Melanchthon, or Bucer, or such moderate men: But what are they to the rigid Calvinists?” (p. 2:51) Baxter thought Bucer was a “moderate man.” -- Richard Baxter, Catholick Theologie (London: Printed for Nevil Simmons, at the Princes Arms in St. Pauls Church-Yard, 1675), 2:50-53. Baxter thought Bucer (along with many others) was among the “moderate men” and “for universal redemption.”
- May 14, 2015: “When we lack the will to see things as they really are, there is nothing so mystifying as the obvious.” -- Irving Kristol, “‘When Virtue Loses All her Loveliness’—Some Reflections on Capitalism and ‘The Free Society’ (1970),” in Classics of American Political and Constitutional Thought: Reconstruction to the Present, eds. S. J. Hammond, K. R. Hardwich and H. L. Lubert, vol. 2 (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company, 2007), 758.
- May 15, 2015: “It is then, as appears, the greatest of all lessons to know one's self. For if one knows himself, he will know God; and knowing God, he will be made like God...” -- Clement, The Instructor (Paedagogus), Book III, chap. 1.
- May 17, 2015: “It should not be forgotten, however, that the question of the extent of the atonement had already been touched on in the wake of the controversy between Augustine and Pelagius and in the debates connected with Gottschalk, and had been addressed by the medieval scholastics. Calvin would have known something of this background, and, having worked alongside Bucer in Strasbourg between 1538 and 1541, would have been aware that the issue had figured in the disputes there in 1533.” -- G. Michael Thomas, The Extent of the Atonement: A Dilemma for Reformed Theology from Calvin to the Consensus (1536–1675) (Carlisle: Paternoster, 1997), 12.
- June 9, 2015: Rudolph Gwalther, John Howe, George Swinnock and Richard Baxter (among many others) all appeal to Acts 3:26 to support their moderate atonement views.
- Nov. 10, 2015: “They that say, That all the Mercies of the Non-elect, are no Mercies, because through mens Sin, they end in their Misery, do perversely extentuate Gods Mercies and Man’s Sin, and teach Sinners falsely to plead in Judgment, That they never abused, or sinned against Mercy, which God and their own Consciences will easily confute.” -- Richard Baxter, An End of Doctrinal Controversies, p.156.
- Nov. 10, 2015: When objectively describing Baxter’s views on justification, one must qualify to be fair. It is not as though he did not change or modify his views later on, to an extent. In fact, he acknowledges that he learned a lot from those orthodox divines that wrote against his early Aphorisms. In his preface to Catholick Theologie, Baxter wrote:
In this case I wrote my first Book called Aphorisms of Justification and the Covenants, &c. And being young, and unexercised in writing, and my thoughts yet undigested, I put into it many uncautelous words (as young Writers used to do,) though I think the main doctrine of it sound. I intended it only against the Antinomians; But it sounded as new and strange to many. Upon whose dissent or doubtings, I printed my desire of my friends Animadversions, and my suspension of the Book, as not owned by me, nor any more to be printed, till further considered and corrected: Hereupon I had the great benefit of Animadversions from many, whom I accounted the most judicious and worthy persons that I had heard of: First my friend Mr. John Warren began: next came Mr. G. [George] Lawson’s, (the most judicious Divine that ever I was acquainted with, in my judgement, yet living), and from Mr. Christopher Cartwright’s (then of York; the Author of the Rabbinical Comment on Gen. chap. 1, 2, 3, and of the Defence of King Charles against the Marquess of Worchester). Answers and Rejoinders to these took me up much time: next came a most judicious and friendly MC. from Dr. John Wallis; and Mr. Burgess: the answers to which two last are published. To all these Learned men I owe very great thanks: and I never more owned or published by Aphorisms (but the Cambridge Printer stole an Impression without my knowledge). And though most of these differed as much from one another (at least) as from me; yet the great Learning of their various Writings, and the long Study which I was thereby engaged in, in answering and rejoining to the most, was a greater advantage to me, to receive accurate and digested conceptions on these subjects, than private Students can expect.Richard Baxter, Catholick Theologie (London: Printed by Robert White, for Nevill Simmons at the Princes Arms in St. Pauls Church-yard, 1675), xii–xiii. [no pagination; pages numbered manually from the beginning of the title page]
- Feb. 20, 2016: The argument that no where in the NT is the phrase "Christ died for you" is bad for a couple of reasons. First, it is debatable since 1 Cor. 15 says that Paul's initial gospel message to the Corinthians involved his statement "Christ died for *our* sins according to the scriptures." And again, Christ at the table said in the presence of Judas that his blood was shed for "you," which included Judas, a reprobate. Other such arguments from various texts can be made, such as with Acts 3:26, where Christ was sent to turn all Israelites from their iniquity and to save them. Second, the argument is a double-edged sword. Neither is it explicitly said in NT scriptures by any evangelist to a lost person that "God loves you," even though orthodox Calvinists affirm that the idea is implied. Shall we conclude that the Apostles and inspired authors did not believe in God's universal benevolent love since they no where said to the lost, "God loves you"? Hyper-Calvinists use that sort of argument against the universal love of God, and high Calvinists use a parallel sort of argument when they appeal to the absence of explicit "Christ died for you" language in the NT.
- Mar. 2, 2016: One could write on the importance of nothing (i.e. non-being) as a concept in systematic theology. It seems that no object that God creates ever becomes non-being; it merely changes form. Everything in our universe was created by the word of God alone, not out of pre-existent matter (creation ex nihilo).
- Mar. 7, 2016: Polhill distinguishes between a constitutive justification and sentential justification. He wrote:
There is a double justification, whereby God maketh us just in this life; sentential justification, whereby God pronounces us just at death and judgment. Constitutive justification is the foundation of sentential, for the true God will not pronouce us just unless we are such; and sentential justification is the completure of constitutive: for here there is sententia judicis, crowning us as righteous...Edward Polhill, “Precious Faith Considered in its Nature, Working, and Growth,” in The Works of Edward Polhill (Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1998), 264.
- Mar. 12, 2016: “If the doctrine be not taught in the oracles of God, we have nothing to do with it; but if it be, whether can comprehend it or not, we are required humbly to believe it, and to endeavour to understand so much as God has revealed concerning it.” – Andrew Fuller
- Mar. 13, 2016: Theophilus Gale refers to "that famose Axiome of Augustin: There is nothing done, which the Omnipotent doth not wil, either by permitting that it be done, or by doing of it."
- Mar. 16, 2016: "There is no Sin so great, but the Redeemer’s Merit can countervail it. And no Man shall perish for the want of the Payment of his Ransom, or an Expiatory Sacrifice for his Sins. He may perish for his Impenitency and Unbelief, but not merely for the Greatness of his Sin; for what Sin is so great, that it is not, or cannot be expiated by the Blood of Christ? Christ’s Satisfaction maketh the Salvation of the worst possible; you may have Peace with God if you will."
Thomas Manton, A fourth volume containing one hundred and fifty sermons on several texts of Scripture in two parts : part the first containing LXXIV sermons: part the second containing LXXVI sermons : with an alphabetical table to the whole (London: Printed by J. D. and are to be sold by Jonathon Robinson, 1693), 1153?
- Mar. 22, 2016: Here is another quote on God begging, but I can't find historical information by this man. He is not to be confused with the Thomas Ford at Westminster.
Motives to move us to Humiliation.Thomas Ford (d.1656), Grace and Mercy to a Sinner, in a Time of Afflictions (London: Printed by Joseph Moxon, for Francis Cossinett, and sold as his shop in Tower street, at the sign of the golden Anchor at Minisin lane end, 1657), 23–24.
First may be from God’s Command, O Israel return unto me; turn you from your evil ways, For why will ye die, O house of Israel? Repent and turn you from all your evil ways, so iniquity shall not be your ruin: there [may] be an universal turning from all sins, [and?] a turning to God with the whole heart, My son give me thy heart: It is God’s complaint against the children of Israel after he had brought them out of the land of Egypt, into a land flowing with Milk and Honey, the joy of all Land. Then God said unto them, Obey my voice, turn from the evil of your doings, fo I am the Lord your God: but they rebelled against me and would not hear. Shall God call us to come unto him and shall we reject his call? shall our Saviour Jesus Christ beg of us to be reconciled unto him, to come unto him to take his yoke? his yoke is easy to those that will lie under it. Hath he promised to satiate the hungry soul? salvation to the repentant soul? doth he command us to come unto him and drink it? we thirst; not to sip but drink? and shall we reject this cup of Salvation? O let the mercies of God constrain us, and let his kindness draw us unto him.
- Mar. 23, 2016: Jonathan Edwards said, "If ever I should publish anything concerning universal and particular redemption, remember to read [James] Fraser's Treatise on Justifying Faith, from p. 84 to p. 270.
- Mar. 25, 2016: “Books may speak when men are speechless; yea, when men are lifeless.”--Richard Mayhew, ΧΑΡΙΣΜΑ ΠΑΤΡΙΚΟΝ; A Paternal Gift; Or, The Legacie of a (Dying) Father, to His (Living) Children (London: Printed for John Hancock at the three Bibles in Popes-Head Alley, Cornhill, 1676), A7ᵛ. Recorded elsewhere as: "As one of the Pastor's [Spurgeon's] favorite Puritans declared, 'Books may speak when the author cannot, and what is more, when he is not.'" See Spurgeon's Autobiography, 2:416.
- Mar. 26, 2016: In the case of some Puritans, they spoke more broadly about the extent of Christ’s death in their sermons and gospel appeals than they did in their formal doctrinal or theoretical statements, so one must be careful. Obadiah Sedgwick (c.1600–1658), a high Calvinist and Westminster divine, is a classic example. See his strong gospel offer language with reference to the death of Christ in The Humbled Sinner Resolved what He Should Do to be Saved: Or, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (London: T.R. & E.M. for A. Byfield, 1656), 88–89, 161–63, 166, 167, 181; along with similar statements in The Riches of Grace Displayed in the Offer and Tender of Salvation to Poor Sinners (London: Printed by T. R. & E. M. for A. Byfield, 1657); and The Fountain Opened: And the Water of Life Flowing Forth, for the Refreshing of Thirsty Sinners (London: Printed by T. R. and E. M. for A. Byfield, 1657). For his arguments against universal redemption, see The Bowels of Tender Mercy Sealed in the Everlasting Convenant (London: E. Mottershed, for A. Byfield, 1661), 280–312.
- April 1, 2016:
ART. 6. We believe that Christ died for sinners, and that the sacrifice which he has made, has so honored the divine law that a way of salvation is consistently opened up to every sinner to whom the Gospel is sent, and that nothing but their voluntary rejection of the Gospel prevents their salvation.Minutes of the First Session of the Union Baptist Association (Houston: Telegraph Press, 1840), 8.
- April 4, 2016: David Blondel (1591–1655) approved of Daille’s work advocating for universal redemption. A prefatory remark in Owen’s Works (v. 10) says, “Amyraut had the support of Daille and Blondell.” Blondel’s students included Francis Turretin and Johann Georg Graevius.
- April 4, 2016: Henry Hickman (bap.1629-1692), in Historia Quinq-Articularis Exarticulata; or Animadversions on Doctor Heylin's Quinquarticular History (London: Printed for Robert Boulter, 1674), considered Calvin to be sublapsarian.
- April 16, 2016: It is interesting that the original 1644 LBC in article XXV spoke of the "tenders of the gospel," whereas the revised 1646 version and those after refer to the "preaching of the gospel."
- April 24, 2016: “We must know, Evil is twofold. There is the Evil of sin, which is called, malum flagitii: and the Evil of punishment, called, malum flagelli. No Evil but God doth it: Then understand it [Amos 3:6] of penal Evils, not of sinful Evils.” See Francis Warham, Freegrace Alone Exalted in Man’s Conversion (London: Printed by J. C. for Edw. Archer, 1658), 3. This distinction would also apply to the sense of “evil” in Isa. 45:7 according to the KJV.
- April 30, 2016: Ralph Erskine: The Free Offer of the Gospel – Who is it for?
- June 29, 2016: “Volumes of nominally historical theology are actually covert justifications for the grinding of modern theological axes. This becomes clear when instead of speaking of ‘development’ the word ‘betrayal’ slips in; when differences are construed as ‘unfaithfulness’ and ‘distortion’. We need to be brave enough to face what is there: a complex interaction between continuities and discontinuities within a wide spectrum of diversity and development in the Reformed tradition, a tradition committed to Scripture alone.” -- Jonathan D. Moore, “Calvin Versus the Calvinists? The Case of John Preston (1587–1628),” Reformation and Renaissance Review 6.3 (2004): 348.
- July 11, 2016: Thomas Gataker mentions “common grace” by name in True Contentment in the Gaine of Godliness (London: Printed for Edward Griffin for William Bladen, and are to be sold at his shop at the signe of the Bible, neere the great north dore of Paules, 1620), 29.
- July 29, 2016: David F. Wright, senior lecturer in church history at New College, Edinburgh, very ignorantly said that Augustine and even Prosper denied that God willed all people to be saved. See D. F. Wright, “Semi-Pelagianism,” in New Dictionary of Theology, eds. S. B. Ferguson, D. F. Wright, and J. I. Packer (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 1988), 636. He said, “Objection was also taken to Augustine’s denial that God ‘willed all people to be saved’, which even Prosper eventually abandoned” (ibid.). R. G. Clouse, however, correctly described Gottschalk as holding the view that “God does not will that all shall be saved, [and] that Christ died only for the elect” (R. G. Clouse, “Gottschalk (c. 803–69),” New Dictionary of Theology, 279).
- August 10, 2016:
Some Protestant Divines urge this Scripture [Heb. 2:9] to shew that Christ dyed for all, though not equally for Judas, as for Peter. Some distinguish thus, they say Christ is sufficiens remedium, there is vertue enough in Christ, but not sufficiens medium, because besides the work of Christ, there is required faith to apply it, Mark 16.16.Edward Leigh, Annotations Upon All the New Testament Philologicall and Theologicall (Printed by W. W. and EG. for William Lee, and are to be sold at his Shop at the Turks-Head in Fleetstreet next to the Miter and Phoenix. Anno Dom. 1650), 345.
- August 11, 2016: "God seems to reckon the instances of his goodness to be more pregnant, cogent proofs of his title to our homage and adoration than the evidences of his greatness; for his goodness is his glory." -- Matthew Henry on Acts 14:17
- September 15, 2016: “Calvin clearly articulated a universal saving will of God that was conditional on faith, which consisted of the universal offer of the gospel through preaching.”
Jonathan H. Rainbow, The Will of God and the Cross: An Historical and Theological Study of John Calvin’s Doctrine of Limited Redemption. Princeton Theological Monograph Series 22, ed. Dikran Y. Hadidian (Allison Park, PA: Pickwick, 1990), 149.
“This demonstrates that God’s desire for the salvation of all men, the fact of which Calvin clearly accepts, is not the only factor in the equation of man’s salvation.”
Paul N. Archibald, A Comparative Study of John Calvin and Theodore Beza on the Doctrine of the Extent of the Atonement (PhD diss. Westminster Theological Seminary, 1998), 316.
“So, too, in Matthew 23:37, Calvin presses the distinction between the secret and revealed will of God, noting that the indiscriminate and universal call of the gospel expresses the revealed will of God that all ought to be saved, not the secret will or purpose of God to save his elect.”
Richard Muller, Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics: The Rise and Development of Reformed Orthodoxy, ca. 1520 to ca. 1725 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003), 3:440.
- September 15, 2016: Among his many other mistakes, Troxel said that Edward Reynolds (1599–1676), the Westminster divine, was a hypothetical universalist. See A. Craig Troxel, “Amyraut ‘At’ the Assembly: The Westminster Confession of Faith and the Extent of the Atonement,” Presbyterion 22.1 (1996): 49.
- December 14, 2016: “It is clear that a well-meant, sincere offer of salvation as an element in the revealed will of God was a basic part of Reformed thinking at this time [i.e. in the early 1600’s at the time of the Irish Articles and the Canons of Dort].” David McKay, “Review of James Durham (1622–1658) and the Gospel Offer in its Seventeenth-Century Context, Donald John MacLean, Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 2015, hbk., 317 pages, €79.99.” Reformed Theological Journal 32 (November 2016): 64.
- January 12, 2017: “God never elects someone unto salvation absolutely, if ‘absolutely’ excludes the means which God has appointed to attain that salvation.” – Synopsis of a Purer Theology, 2:33.
- March 2, 2017: Appealing to Wisdom 11:24 and commenting on the “Generalis seu communis amor Dei” (the general or common love of God), Amandus Polanus said, “there is no one among men, or even of the demons, that can say that he is not loved by God” (nemo est vel hominum vel etiam daemoniorum, qui dicere queat, se non amaria Deo). See Syntagma theologiae christianae (Hanau: Wechel, 1609), 1095.Heinrich Heppe translates Polanus this way: “no one either of men or even of demons may say that he is not loved by God” (Reformed Dogmatics, rev. and ed. Ernst Bizer, trans. G.T. Thomson [1950; repr. London: Wakemen Great Reprints, 2000], 95). Girolamo Zanchi, Thomas Larkham, John Cotton and even John Gill also said that God loved even the fallen angels in a sense. Samuel Rutherford affirmed that there is a general "love that God beareth to the Reprobate, yea, and to the fallen angels." See Samuel Rutherford, Christ Dying and Drawing Sinners to Himself (London: Printed by J.D. for Andrew Crooke, 1647), 410.
- March 15, 2017: “I would be cautious and tender, in limiting, restraining, or stinting the death of Christ, and the efficacy of his merits, or in censuring such as hold and teach universal redemption (if they do it out of a desire, and conscience to exalt Christ, in the riches of his grace) yet to me it appears that Christ hath not taken away the sins of those that believe not, but die in unbelief...”
Vavasor Powell, Christ and Moses’ Excellency, or Sion and Sinai’s Glory (London: Printed by R. I. for Hannah Allen, at the Crown in Popes-head-Alley, 1650), 109.
- March 18, 2017: At the 2017 Ligonier conference, Derek W. H. Thomas affirmed that Christ on the cross desired the salvation of those who ultimately perish.
- March, 26, 2017: As one of "The genuine Hypotheses of of the Predeterminants," Theophilus Gale affirms this proposition:
21. All God's invitations, comminations, exhortations, and promises argue in God a real will of approbation, and Evangelic intention that Sinners repent and live, albeit they never repent.
Theophilus Gale, The court of the gentiles. Part IV, Of reformed philosophie. Book III, Of divine predetermination, wherein the nature of divine predetermination is fully explicated and demonstrated, both in the general, as also more particularly, as to the substrate mater [sic] or entitative act of sin (London: Printed for John Hill and Samuel Tidmarsh, 1678), 214.
- April 1, 2017: Thomas Stoughton spoke of a twofold redemption in a unique way, and affirmed common grace. See Thomas Stoughton, The Dignitie of God’s Children (London: printed by Thomas Haueland, for Thomas Man, and are to be sold at his shop in Paternoster Row, at the signe of the Talbot, 1610), 160–163, 425. He also affirmed the universal fatherhood of God, in a sense: “By creation of substance the wicked and reprobate, yea, the devils themselves are the children of God, but the elect only are the children of God by regeneration.” Ibid, 6.
- April 2, 2017: A. A. Hodge calls Tobais Crisp a hyper-Calvinist in his Outlines of Theology (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1999), 404.
- May 1, 2017: The Rev. Allan W. MacColl (a minister in the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland), in defending the free offer, maintains that God desires the salvation of all men in His revealed will. See A. W. MacColl, “The Free Offer of the Gospel: The Biblical Grounds for the Gospel Offer,” The Free Presbyterian Magazine 122.4 (April 2017): 118–120. He cites David Silversides as a source for his arguments.
- May 7, 2017: “The Puritan Federalists claimed that God, in the revealed will, wills the salvation of all men, though God does not intend universal salvation in the secret will” (Curt Daniel, Hyper-Calvinism and John Gill [PhD diss., University of Edinburgh, 1983], 140).
- May 14, 2017: Even though the perspective of Briggs (one charged with liberalism) won’t be respected by the orthodox Reformed today, what he says in this instance is still true:
“The Westminster divines debated long and keenly the doctrine of the redemption of the elect only; and the final result of that debate, in the definition of the Confession on reprobation, was such that Calamy, Marshall, Vines, Seaman, Arrowsmith, Harris, and many others who advocated the doctrine of Davenant and Amyraut, could subscribe to them.”
Charles Augustus Briggs, Whither? A Theological Question for the Times (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1889), 103. Interestingly, he also said:
“Presbyterianism is not responsible for the abuse of the doctrine of election and reprobation. The burden of that sin rests on the dogmaticians more than upon the Confession. Their limitation of the divine grace to a few is not sustained by the Confession or by the Scriptures. It is rather an inheritance from the mediaeval scholasticism, and is based upon the apocalypse of Ezra.” Ibid., 101.
- May 15, 2017: “God does not willingly strike mankind, except, as a just God, he be constrained thereunto; but, having no pleasure in unrighteousness and ungodliness, he must therefore suffer the punishment to go on. As I sometimes look through the fingers, when the tutor whips my son John, so it is with God; when we are unthankful and disobedient to his Word, and commandments, he suffers us, through the devil, to be soundly lashed with pestilence, famine, and such like whips; not that he is our enemy, and to destroy us, but that through such scourgings, he may call us to repentance and amendment, and so allure us to seek him, run to him, and call upon him for help.”—Martin Luther, “Of God’s Works: #79,” in Martin Luther’s Tabletalk: Luther’s Comments on Life, the Church and the Bible (Ross-shire, UK: Christian Focus Publications, 2003), 123–124.