Tag Archive | Arminianism

Faith as a Condition for Salvation

Robert Shaw on the use of the term “condition” with respect to saving faith:

“That God “requires of sinners faith in Christ that they may be saved,” admits of no dispute. The part assigned to faith, however, has been much controverted. Many excellent divines, in consequence of the distinction which they made between the covenant of redemption and the covenant of grace, were led to speak of faith as the condition of the latter covenant. But the term, as used by them, signifies not a meritorious or procuring cause, but simply something which goes before, and without which the other cannot be obtained. They consider faith merely as a condition of order or connection, as it has been styled, and as an instrument or means of obtaining an interest in the salvation offered in the gospel. This is very different from the meaning attached to the term by Arminians and Neonomians, who represent faith as a condition on the fulfilment of which the promise is suspended.. The Westminster Assembly elsewhere affirm, that God requires of sinners faith in Christ, “as the condition to interest them in him.” But this is very different from affirming that faith is the condition of the covenant of grace. That faith is indispensably necessary as the instrument by which we are savingly interested in Christ, and personally instated in the covenant, is a most important truth, and this is all that is intended by the Westminster Divines. They seem to have used the term condition as synonymous with instrument; for, while in one place they speak of faith as the condition to interest sinners in the Mediator, in other places they affirm, that “faith is the alone instrument of justification,” and teach, that “faith justifies a sinner in the sight of God, only as it is an instrument by which he receiveth and applieth Christ and his righteousness.” As the word condition is ambiguous, apt to be misunderstood, and is frequently employed in an unsound and dangerous sense, it is now disused by evangelical divines.”

Source: http://www.reformed.org/documents/shaw/, referenced at https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/why-does-limited-atonement-matter.87650/page-6, Comment 163

The Unbeliever is Already Condemned in the Gospel-Court

Ebenezer Erskine, Works, 1:383:

The unbeliever is already condemned in the gospel-court. Now, do not mistake this way of speaking, as if, when I speak of the gospel-court, I meant, that the gospel, strictly considered, condemned any man: the gospel, like its glorious Author, “comes not into the world to condemn the world, but that the world, through” it, “might be saved.” Neither do I mean, as if there were new precepts and penalties in the gospel, considered in a strict sense, which were never found in the book or court of the law. This is an assertion which has laid the foundation for a train of damnable and soul-ruining errors; as of the Antinomian error, in discarding the whole moral law as a rule of obedience under the gospel; the Baxterian error, of an evangelical righteousness different from the imputed righteousness of Christ; the Pelagian and Arminian error, of a sufficient grace given to every man that hears the gospel, to believe and repent by his own power.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/why-does-limited-atonement-matter.87650/page-3, Comment 74

A Pathetic, Miserable Failure

Don Fortner on Arminianism’s God while quoting one “prophet’s” teachings on hell:

“What is hell? It is an infinite negation. And it is more than that: hell is a ghastly monument to the failures of the triune God to save the multitudes who are there … Sinners go to hell because God Almighty himself could not save them! He did all he could, he failed!” Such a god is a pathetic, miserable failure.

Source and read more: http://www.reformationireland.com/a/reformationireland.com/reformation-ireland/articles/modern-religion

The Damnation of Little Infants?

Spurgeon, “Misrepresentations of Calvinism:”

Larbert Old Church Graveyard, Baby Headstone“Among the gross falsehoods which have been uttered against the Calvinists proper, is the wicked calumny that we hold the damnation of little infants. A baser lie was never uttered. There may have existed somewhere, in some corner of the earth, a miscreant who would dare to say that there were infants in hell, but I have never met with him, nor have I met with a man who ever saw such a person. We say, with regard to infants, Scripture saith but little, and, therefore, where Scripture is confessedly scant, it is for no man to determine dogmatically. But I think I speak for the entire body, or certainly with exceedingly few exceptions, and those unknown to me, when I say, we hold that all infants are elect of God and are therefore saved, and we look to this as being the means by which Christ shall see of the travail of his soul to a great degree, and we do sometimes hope that thus the multitude of the saved shall be made to exceed the multitude of the lost. Whatever views our friends may hold upon the point, they are not necessarily connected with Calvinistic doctrine. I believe that the Lord Jesus, who said, “Of such is the kingdom of heaven,” doth daily and constantly receive into his loving arms those tender ones who are only shown, and then snatched away to heaven.”

Source: http://thecripplegate.com/theologians-on-infant-salvation/

Arminianism And Infant Salvation

Post mortem image baby cabinet card c.1885 courtesy Fawn Weir

BB Warfield:

“If only a single infant dying in irresponsible infancy be saved, the whole Arminian principle is traversed. If all infants dying such are saved, not only the majority of the saved, but doubtless the majority of the human race hitherto, have entered into life by a non-Arminian pathway”

~(Two Studies on the History of Doctrine, 230)

Source: http://thecripplegate.com/theologians-on-infant-salvation/

We Do Not Limit Christ’s Atonement

Historical mixed media figure of John Calvin by George S. Stuart“We are often told that we limit the atonement of Christ, because we say that Christ has not made a satisfaction for all men, or all men would be saved. Now, our reply to this is, that, on the other hand, our opponents limit it: we do not. The Arminians say, Christ died for all men. Ask them what they mean by it. Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of all men? They say, ‘No, certainly not.’ We ask them the next question—Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of any man in particular? They answer ‘No.’ They are obliged to admit this, if they are consistent. They say ‘No; Christ has died that any man may be saved *if’— and then follow certain conditions of salvation. Now, who is it that limits the death of Christ? Why, you. You say that Christ did not die so as to infallibly secure the salvation of anybody. We beg your pardon, when you say we limit Christ’s death; we say, *No, my dear sir, it is YOU that do it.’ We say Christ so died that He infallibly secured the salvation of a multitude that no man can number, who through Christ’s death not only may be saved, but ARE saved, MUST be saved, and cannot by any possibility run the hazard of being anything BUT saved. You are welcome to your atonement; you may keep it. We will never renounce ours for the sake of it.”

~Charles Spurgeon

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/87650-Why-does-Limited-Atonement-Matter, Comment #4

Not a Saving Mercy Indeed

David Clarkson (Select Works, 420-421):

Giovanni di Paolo 003They ascribe to him a will of universal salvation; when they discern it can be no other than a mere velleity, an incomplete intention, a weak, ineffectual desire, a faint and fruitless wishing of such general happiness, when he knows it will never be effected, and is resolved not to take the course to effect it. This is such a mercy, as jostles out and clashes with his other perfections, and is inconsistent with his knowledge, power, sincerity, wisdom, blessedness, and mercy itself in the true notion of it.

With his knowledge; for who will desire and design that, which he knows will never be effected? With his power; for who will not effect that, which he really intends and designs, if he be able? With his sincerity; for what ingenuous person will pretend to desire and design that which he never means to bring about? With his wisdom; for who will propose to himself an end, and never intend the means which are proper, and alone sufficient to obtain it? With his blessedness; for to fall short continually of what one desires and intends, is an unhappiness. With the nature of Divine mercy and goodness; for that is not real goodness, which does no good, or not the good it makes show of. That is not saving mercy indeed, which leaves the objects of it miserable, when it can relieve them; that wishes them well, but lets them perish eternally. But that which they ascribe to God, is such a mercy, as can well digest the everlasting misery of all mankind: such a love, such a goodness, as could be satisfied, if not one person in the world should be saved.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/f48/universal-will-salvation-destroys-mercy-83253/, Comment #1 (Thank You, Reverend Winzer!)