12 March, 2018

Canons of Dordt, I:5—“The cause or guilt of this unbelief … is no wise in God, but in man himself”

The cause or guilt of this unbelief as well as of all other sins, is no wise in God, but in man himself; whereas faith in Jesus Christ, and salvation through him is the free gift of God, as it is written: “By grace ye are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God,” Ephesians 2:8. “And unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him,” etc. Philippians 1:29 (Canons, I:5).


Q. 1. “Surely to say that the gospel does not convey God’s mercy when it comes to the non-elect is a way of putting the ‘cause or blame’ of unbelief on God? In Canons I:5 it says the cause of unbelief is in humanity, and ‘no wise in God.’”

(a) Prof. David J. Engelsma:

The blame of the unbelief of those who reject the gospel is their own, first, because as members of the race fallen in Adam they are themselves responsible for their depraved condition that renders them unable to believe. In addition, they themselves consciously and deliberately refuse the Christ presented to them in the gospel. They abide in unbelief because they themselves choose to do so, foolishly despising the Savior. The cause of unbelief is the sinner himself. God’s withholding of the gift of faith is not His causing them to be unbelieving. It is His just decision not to give certain unbelievers faith. My choice not to give a poverty-stricken wretch money, who is poor because of his own choice not to work, but to drink himself into poverty, is not the cause of his poverty. With regard to God’s eternal decision not to give them faith, He owes faith and salvation to no one. It is pure grace that He gives faith and salvation to any. To teach otherwise is to say that salvation is owed to sinners by God. This would be the perversion of the gospel of grace. (Source: Private Correspondence, November 20, 2017)



More to come! (DV)

No comments:

Post a Comment