Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we bessech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Monday, April 27, 2015

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Dr. Gordon H. Clark Quote of the Day: Is God Sovereign or Is God Subject to the Law?

"God establishes moral norms by sovereign decree."  --  Dr. Gordon H. Clark

In a recent exchange with another so-called Calvinist, I was challenged to show how God is not subject to His own nature as God.  The presupposition being that the law of God is superior to God because God is by nature subject to a moral law.  But as the late Dr. Gordon H. Clark pointed out, this is really the view of Plato who said that the demiurge is subject to the World of Ideas.  Calvin himself upheld the view that whatever God does is right because God is sovereign.  In my reading of Dr. Clark's book, Essays on Ethics and Politics, I came across the appropriate passage where Clark quotes Calvin to show that he did indeed embrace the ex-lex or apart from law view of God's sovereignty:

The Jewish Philosopher Philo, who lived at the time of Christ, though profoundly influenced by Plato, made an alteration that completely reversed Platonic and Liebnizian theology.  This alteration consisted in making God supreme and in placing the World of Ideas in God's mind.  Philo wrote, "God has been ranked according to the one and the unit; or rather, even the unit has been ranked according to the one God, for all number, like time, is younger than the cosmos."  In this quotation, Philo subjects mathematics to the thinking activity of God.  Similarly, God does not will the good because it is independently good, but on the contrary the good is good because God wills it.
To the same effect Calvin (Institutes, I, xvi, 1) wrote, "Augustine justly complains that it is an offense against God to inquire for any cause of things higher than his will."  Later (III, xxii, 2) he says, "how exceedingly presumptuous it is only to inquire into the causes of the Divine Will, which is in fact and is justly entitled to be cause of everything that exists.  For if it has any cause, then there must be something antecedent, on which it depends; which it is impious to suppose.  For the will of God is the highest rule of justice; so that what he wills must be considered just, for this very reason, because he wills it."
The sovereignty of God is the key to the basic problem of ethics.  Why is anything good, right, or obligatory?  Neither utilitarianism, nor pragmatism, nor emotionalism can give a rational answer.  Calvin has given the answer in very precise language:  "the will of God is the highest rule of justice; so that what he wills must be considered just, for this very reason, because he wills it."  God establishes moral norms by sovereign decree.
Dr. Gordon H. Clark.  "Ethics," in Essays on Ethics and Politics.  (Jefferson:  Trinity Foundation, 1992).  Page 92.

See also:  Essays on Ethics and Politics.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Can the Unconverted Elect Respond to the Gospel Call with Confidence?

Here's another example of the brilliant arguments against Calvinism that Arminians endorse:
"Without realizing it, the Calvinist is finally saying that repentance and faith (as the gift of God in the salvation “package”) are being offered to all who will repent and believe, when in fact none can do so. This reduces to pure tautology and is no offer at all. (Grace, Faith, Free Will, pp. 117, 118, emphasis his)"

But this is really strange because the Calvinist does realize that no one can believe. That's why without irresistible grace no one actually does believe.  (John 6:44, 65; John 3:3-8). And since Calvinism does not "offer" salvation to the reprobate, I fail to see how this constitutes a tautology. God's purposes are always accomplished through His appointed means and even the Arminian allegedly believes in the preaching of the Gospel to all indiscriminately.   (Matthew 22:14).
The article is arguing against a straw man since consistent Calvinism does not teach that salvation is offered. No, Calvinism distinguishes between the general call of the Gospel and the effectual call.  And non sequiturs abound as well:

"If not all who hear can respond to the gospel, as the Calvinist insists, then only those given repentance and faith can do so. In consequence, no person who hears the gospel can do so with any confidence that he can respond."

This does not follow since the Calvinist position is that God keeps His promises to save those who are given the grace to believe. The person who believes responds precisely because God works faith in his heart in the first place:

NKJ Proverbs 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes. (Pro 21:1 NKJ)

If the person has no confidence that he can respond and in fact does not respond, that person is placing himself in the reprobate camp by default. He is without excuse according to Romans 1:18-32. A person who does respond can be confident that God always keeps His promises to save those who believe:

9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."
12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.
13 For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." (Rom 10:9-13 NKJ)

The text does not express contingency. It does not say that whoever believes might or could possibly be saved. That's the Arminian view! No, it says they "shall be saved." What part of shall be saved does the Arminian not understand?

Here's the link to the Arminian page in question:

Does the Gospel According to Calvinism Offer Salvation to Anyone At All?

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