Re: Ex members of John MacArthur's church
Date: March 28, 2013 06:37AM
Ok -I thought I would enlighten folks with the
incessant caterwauling Calvinist do over
completely useless doctrines.
They had to make up their own vocabulary
to slice hairs over how God Selects people
for heaven or Hell, now it may seem laughable
to normal people, even boring, but I assure you
they are constantly arguing over these things.
They think THIS arguing is walking in faith in God.
What a joke.
Karl Barth felt supralapsarianism was more nearly correct than infralapsarianism.
Robert Reymond's Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith takes the supralapsarian view and includes a lengthy defense of supralapsarianism.
Turretin says supralapsarianism is "harsher and less suitable" than infralapsarianism. He believes it "does not appear to agree sufficiently with [God's] unspeakable goodness" (Elenctic Theology, vol. 1, 418).
Herman Hoeksema and the entire leadership of the Protestant Reformed Churches (including Homer Hoeksema, Herman Hanko, and David Engelsma) are determined supralapsarians—often arguing both implicitly and explicitly that supralapsarianism is the only logically consistent scheme. This presumption clearly contributes to the PRC's rejection of common grace.
In fact, the same arguments used in favor of Supralapsarianism have been employed against common grace. So supralapsarianism may have in it a tendency that is hostile to the idea of common grace. (It is a fact that virtually all who deny "common grace" are supralapsarians.)
Supralapsarianism is the position of all who hold to the harshest sort of "double predestination."
It is hard to find exponents of supralapsarianism among the major systematic theologians. But the tide among some of the more modern authors may be turning toward the supra- view. Berkhof was sympathetic to the view; Reymond expressly defends it.
R. A. Webb says supralapsarianism is "abhorrent to metaphysics, to ethics, and to the scriptures. It is propounded in no Calvinistic creed and can be charged only upon some extremists" ( Christian Salvation, 16). While I am sympathetic to Webb's infra- convictions, I think he grossly exaggerates the case against supralapsarianism. [Webb is a 19th-cent. southern Presbyterian.]
This view is also called "sublapsarianism."
John Calvin said some things that seem to indicate he would have been in sympathy with this view, though the debate did not occur in his lifetime (see Calvin's Calvinism, trans. by Henry Cole, 89ff; also William Cunningham, The Reformers and the Theology of the Reformation, 364ff)
W. G. T. Shedd, Charles Hodge, L. Boettner, and Anthony Hoekema held this view.
Both R. L. Dabney and William Cunningham lean decidedly to this view but resist arguing the point. They believe the whole debate goes beyond scripture and is therefore unnecessary. Dabney, for example, says "This is a question which ought never to have been raised" (Systematic Theology, 233). Twisse, the supralapsarian, virtually agreed with this. He called the difference "merely apex logicus, a point of logic. And were it not a mere madness to make a breach of unity or charity in the church merely upon a point of logic?" (cited in Cunningham, The Reformers, 363). G.C. Berkouwer also agrees: "We face here a controversy which owes its existence to a trespassing of the boundaries set by revelation." Berkouwer wonders aloud whether we are "obeying the teaching of Scripture if we refuse to make a choice here" (Divine Election, 254-55).
Thornwell does not agree that the issue is moot. He says the issue "involves something more than a question of logical method. It is really a question of the highest moral significance. . . . Conviction and hanging are parts of the same process, but it is something more than a question of arrangement whether a man shall be hung before he is convicted" (Collected Writings, 2:20). Thornwell is vehemently infralapsarian.
Infralapsarianism was affirmed by the synod of Dordt but only implied in the Westminster standards. Twisse, a supralapsarian, was the first president of the Westminster Assembly, which evidently decided the wisest course was to ignore the controversy altogether (though Westminster's bias was arguably infralapsarian) . The Westminster Confession, therefore, along with most of the Reformed Creeds, implicitly affirmed what the Synod of Utrecht (1905) would later explicitly declare: "That our confessions, certainly with respect to the doctrine of election, follow the infralapsarian presentation, [but] this does not at all imply an exclusion or condemnation of the supralapsarian presentation."
Amyraldism (is the preferred spelling, not AmyraldIANism).
Amyraldism is the doctrine formulated by Moise Amyraut, a French theologian from the Saumur school. (This same school spawned another aggravating deviation from Reformed orthodoxy: Placaeus' view involving the mediate imputation of Adam's guilt).
By making the decree to atone for sin logically antecedent to the decree of election, Amyraut could view the atonement as hypothetically universal, but efficacious for the elect alone. Therefore the view is sometimes called "hypothetical universalism."
Puritan Richard Baxter embraced this view, or one very nearly like it. He seems to have been the only major Puritan leader who was not a thoroughgoing Calvinist. Some would dispute whether Baxter was a true Amyraldian. (See, e.g. George Smeaton, The Apostles' Doctrine of the Atonement [Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1991 reprint], Appendix, 542.) But Baxter seemed to regard himself as Amyraldian.
This is a sophisticated way of formulating "four-point Calvinism," while still accounting for an eternal decree of election.
But Amyraldism probably should not be equated with all brands of so-called "four-point Calvinism." In my own experience, most self-styled four-pointers are unable to articulate any coherent explanation of how the atonement can be universal but election unconditional. So I wouldn't glorify their position by labeling it Amyraldism. (Would that they were as committed to the doctrine of divine sovereignty as Moise Amyraut! Most who call themselves four-pointers are actually crypto-Arminians.)
A. H.Strong held this view (Systematic Theology, 778). He called it (incorrectly) "sublapsarianism."
Henry Thiessen, evidently following Strong, also mislabeled this view "sublapsarianism" (and contrasted it with "infralapsarianism") in the original edition of his Lectures in Systematic Theology (343). His discussion in this edition is very confusing and patently wrong at points. In later editions of his book this section was completely rewritten.