28 May, 2016

Canons of Dordt, III/IV: 3—Incapable of "Saving" Good

Therefore all men are conceived in sin, and by nature children of wrath, incapable of saving good, prone to evil, dead in sin, and in bondage thereto, and without the regenerating grace of the Holy Spirit they are neither able nor willing to return to God, to reform the depravity of their nature, nor to dispose themselves to reformation (Canons of Dordt, III/IV, 3)


Prof. Homer C. Hoeksema

This [part of the Canons] is similar language to that of the Heidelberg Catechism and the Belgic Confession. Some [who believe in common grace] draw the conclusion from the expression “saving good” that the Canons teach that the natural man is capable of some other good, namely, good before God in the sphere of things natural and civil. This inference is false, as is plain from the rest of the article. This is not the language of the fathers. (The original has “every” saving good). How is it possible for one who is prone to evil, dead in sins, and a slave of sin to be capable of any good? There is in these expressions absolutely no room for any good on the part of the natural man.


More to come! (DV)

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