09 February, 2017

Raymond A. Blacketer on Ezekiel 18:23 and 33:11

Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? (Ezek. 18:23 KJV).


[“The Three Points in Most Parts Reformed: A Reexamination of the So-Called Well-Meant Offer of Salvation,” pp. 64, 65.]

The substantial error committed by [Christian Reformed Church’s] 1924 synod [which cited Ezekiel 18:23 and 33:11] was its acceptance of the Arminian definition of the sincere call—a definition that is clearly rejected by Canons III/IV:8 ... The concept of a well-meant offer of salvation may have its origin in the teachings of William Heyns and Jan Karel van Baalen—an issue that deserves further study. Heyns, who taught Practical Theology at Calvin Theological Seminary, proposed a view of the covenant and of divine grace that was clearly out of step with the Reformed confessions. Heyns spoke of a subjective covenant grace that, because it also imparted an intrinsic capacity (innerlijke vatbaarheid), was sufficient to bring covenant children to salvation if they made good use of the means of grace. Even A. C. DeJong, who defends the well-meant offer, recognizes that ‘Heyn's view of an innerlijke vatbaarheid can scarcely be distinguished from the Remonstrant Limborch’s concept of some sinners as being very receptive to the working of saving grace.’ This fact, combined with the acceptance of the Remonstrant definition of the serious call, adds weight to the charge that the 1924 synod added Arminian elements to Reformed soteriology ... There was a rush to judgment in the case of Hoeksema and Danhof that contributed to a serious ecclesiastical schism as well as the introduction of the rather dubious doctrine of the well-meant offer of salvation. Berkhof, and later Hoekema, seem to realize that it is not logically compatible with the doctrines of limited atonement and divine election and reprobation, but they feel compelled to affirm it nonetheless. In so doing, however, they are saying something quite different from what our confessional standards affirm.



More to come! (DV)

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