7 Comments

  1. Hi Bob;

    I just have one question; Do you believe Christ died for everyone in the entire human race?

    If not… how can God “desire” something that is absolutely impossible, namely the salvation of reprobates?

    Jim

    • James,

      Do you believe God wants reprobates to keep his commandments? How can God “want” that when He has decreed otherwise? What about yourself? When you disobey, which is every day, is it still the case that God wants you to keep his commandments?

      Your question to Bob is the same as the above, i.e. How can Christ die for (and therein express a desire to save) those God has not decreed to save? It’s the same as asking how God can desire us to keep his commandments when He has decreed otherwise.

      If you wish to pose a defeater to Bob, then face your own defeater. You’re faced with the mirror idea that, given your assumptions, God does not want us to comply with his commandments when we do not.

      So, once you can explain to us how God can desire our compliance to His commands when He has decreed otherwise, then perhaps some of us can explain to you how Christ has died for those God has not decreed to save, seeing they are two sides of the same coin.

    • admin

      Jim,

      To answer your first question, “Yes,” in one sense, and “No,” in another sense. Christ’s death secured the restraint of eschatological judgment for all humanity and God’s bona fide offer of salvation to whosoever will believe. On the other hand, I’m inclined to believe that Christ’s death secured something more for the elect, namely, the remission of sins and imputed righteousness. This is my present understanding of the nature and scope of Christ’s death.

      I’ll answer your second question with another question: How can God “expect” something that is absolutely impossible, namely, the compliance of reprobates with the terms of his law and his gospel?

      I would answer the question as follows: God can expect reprobates to comply with the terms of his law and gospel as he views them in the capacity of being humans, i.e., images of God. Sinners have the God-given ability to trust and obey God vis-a-vis their humanity, but they do not have that ability vis-a-vis their moral depravity.

      Similarly, God can find an objective desirable (e.g., the absence of human sin and misery; the universal obedience and happiness of humans) as a thing considered by itself and as consonant with God’s moral order (which is a reflection of his moral character). Simultaneously, God can view that same objective as undesirable when it’s considered in relation to his decretive design for the whole of redemptive history.

      God’s ways are mysterious to be sure. But not contradictory.

      Grace and peace!

  2. Excellent. Clear and concise.
    Although if I may, I would personally find it more helpful if you had subtitled your post into: Paul, Christ, God, common ground conclusion; rather than break them out into paragraph ideas. Just a thought.

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