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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « The Wonderful Cross By Isaac Watts | Main | Should we say...? »

    The Reformed Faith (Quote) Loraine Boettner

    There are in reality only two types of religious thought. There is the religion of faith, and there is the religion of works. We believe that what has been known in Church History as Calvinism is the purest and most consistent embodiment of the religion of faith, while that which has been known as Arminianism has been diluted to a dangerous degree by the religion of works and that it is therefore an inconsistent and unstable form of Christianity. In other words, we believe that Christianity comes to its fullest and purest expression in the Reformed Faith.

    The basic principle of Calvinism is the sovereignty of God. This represents the purpose of the Triune God as absolute and unconditional, independent of the whole finite creation, and originating solely in the eternal counsel of His will. He appoints the course of nature and directs the course of history down to the minutest details. His decrees therefore are eternal, unchangeable, holy, wise and sovereign. They are represented in the Bible as being the basis of the divine foreknowledge of all future events, and not conditioned by that foreknowledge or by anything originating in the events themselves.

    All of this brings out the basic principle of the Reformed Faith - the sovereignty of God. God created this world in which we find ourselves, He owns it, and He is running it according to His own sovereign good pleasure. God has lost none of His power, and it is highly dishonoring to Him to suppose that He is struggling along with the human race, doing the best He can to persuade men to do right, but unable to accomplish His eternal, unchangeable, holy, wise, and sovereign purpose.

    Any system which teaches that the serious intentions of God can in some cases be defeated, and that man, who is not only a creature but a sinful creature, can exercise veto power over the plans of Almighty God, is in striking contrast to the biblical idea of his immeasurable exaltation by which He is removed from all weaknesses of humanity. That the plans of men are not always executed is due to a lack of power, or a lack of wisdom, or both. But since God is unlimited in these and in all other resources, no unforeseen emergencies can arise. To Him the causes for change have no existence. To assume that His plan fails and that he strives to no effect is to reduce Him to the level of His creatures and make Him no God at all. - Loraine Boettner

    Posted by John Samson on April 22, 2006 01:42 PM

    Comments

    Boettner says, "The basic principle of Calvinism is the sovereignty of God."

    We might add, "The basic principle of Calvinism is the sovereignty of God ...as worked out through His eternal purpose in Jesus Christ, effectuated by the Holy Spirit."

    Amen!

    "while that which has been known as Arminianism has been diluted to a dangerous degree by the religion of works and that it is therefore an inconsistent and unstable form of Christianity."

    Try telling those of the Free Grace movement that theirs is a religion of works and listen to them howl. However, isn't any belief system which relies on Man's own faith, nothing more than works?

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

    "The basic principle of Calvinism is the sovereignty of God."

    Actually, I think Calvinism isn't alone here. I think most doctrines, if not all, trace back in some way to the sovereignty of God.

    God's sovereignty is not just one of the basic principles of Calvinism, it is one of the basic principles, I think, of Christianity.

    Just my thoughts. Of course, Mr. Boettner hit every nail on the head.

    "To assume that His plan fails and that he strives to no effect is to reduce Him to the level of His creatures and make Him no God at all."

    So true.

    God be with you,

    A. Shepherd
    The Aspiring Theologian

    The Aspiring Theologian Blog: A Reformed Theology Blog

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