07 May, 2018

A. C. De Jong’s “Well-Meant Gospel Offer” and “Critique” of the Views of Hoeksema and Schilder

Rev. Herman Hoeksema

[Source: The Standard Bearer, vol. 30, no. 19 (Aug. 1, 1954), p. 439]

The Well-Meant Gospel Offer, by Dr. A. C. De Jong, published by T. Wever, Franeker, The Netherlands. Distributed here by Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Mich.

In this book, the views of Hoeksema and Schilder, particularly in regard to so-called “common grace” and, more particularly still, to the well-meaning offer of grace and salvation to all men, are set forth and criticised.

On the whole, Dr. De Jong presents (not criticises) my views rather fairly and honestly. This is not true of my conception of the relation between election and reprobation. Dr. De Jong ought to know, is in a position to know, that the way he presents it is not my view.

The book is not entirely negative, as is that of Dr. Daane. The author also defends his own view of the “well-meant” offer. Nevertheless, in this he develops nothing new.

That I cannot agree with the views expressed in this book is so well-known that I would but have to fall into endless repetition if I should criticise the book in this respect. Dr. De Jong’s view is not Reformed, any more than that of Heyns and of the “Three Points.” Fundamentally, he must have nothing of the Reformed truth of reprobation. This, to my mind, is very serious.

In this conviction I am rather unexpectedly supported by J. Kamphuis in the Reformatie, number 38, 1954, a liberated theologian. May I refer Dr. De Jong to what he writes on this subject in connection with his book?

Dr. De Jong’s exegesis of Romans 9 is clearly a distortion, not an explanation of the text.

Finally, I would ask Dr. De Jong to give an answer to the question which we, in 1924, sent all over the Reformed church world, and to several Reformed theologians: What grace do the reprobate receive in and through the preaching of the gospel?


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