Sunday, October 30, 2005

Re: A short and incomplete defense of Steve Wilkins [a Federal Vision leader]

"“This certainty is . . . an infallible assurance of faith founded upon the divine truth of the promises of salvation, the inward evidence of those graces unto which these promises are made, [and] the testimony of the Spirit of adoption witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God” (WCF 18.2)... "

The above post asserts that seeking assurance in word and sacrament, apart from evidence of inward sincerity, is consistent with the Westminster Confession, but the above quote proves the contradiction: the promises are seen in the Confession as conditional on the presence of "the inward evidence of those graces." That is what it means when it says the promises are made to the inward graces. If you do not have evidence of the inward graces, the promises do not apply to you. The Westminster Confession expresses consistent Calvinism: the promises of word and sacrament are only made to the elect. If you want to know whether or not those promises apply to you, you must first determine whether or not something in you provides evidence that you are elect, according to consistent Calvinism.

Seeking assurance in the promises of word and sacrament alone is only possible if those promises are unconditional, that is, only if by them Jesus sincerely offers forgiveness to all penitent sinners who hear the general call of the good news. That contradicts the Calvinistic doctrine of limited atonement, that he does not want all to be saved, and thus is in conflict with all Calvinistic confessions of faith. For a consistent Calvinist to say he has assurance from the facts that he has the gospel, baptism, and the Lord's Supper is to use Luther's terminology without the biblical content. Whenever the terminology is used in its original sense, limited atonement is thereby abandoned.

You can't have your Calvinism and your objective assurance, too!


L P Cruz said...

I am enjoying your post being a former Calvinist myself.

Thursday, February 02, 2006  

<< forum home