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Some good links on Common Grace and the Free Offer

July 20, 2007

I was browsing Theological Meditations (finally he posts something again ;-) ) and I saw his latest entry and so I followed the links.

Check these out, Silversides and my old friend Ken Stebbins compared.

Also browse the Calvin and common grace categories on the side.

Stebbins’ book was the key work that got me out of my old Australian Evangelical Presbyterian Church, which was and is completely hypercalvinist in the Hoeksemian sense. This church has nothing to do with the American EPC. Where I disagree with Stebbins, now, is that in his book he does not accept that in some sense the revealed will has a volitional dynamic. Stebbins, in the book, adopted the Protestant Scholastic tendency of reducing the “volitional” import of God’s revealed will to a mere constitutional delight or complacency. This is what John Howe and then later Dabney (building on Howe) rejected.

When I talked to Ken after I had left the EPC he did say that he totally agreed with Dabney’s benevolent propensions (following Howe) expressions. But I don’t know if Ken ever made it to the original idea that the revealed will is described as a “desire”. It was Phil Johnson, who years ago, blew away the idea that the revealed will is an inactive delight. He asked me the simplist of questions: “Does God want husbands to be faithful to their wives?”

I wrestled with that for months, trying to make, what clearly is obviously true, “YES, he does,” fit the idea that the revealed will is only a passive delight. I gave up. I realised that if God himself can express his own desire in the revealed will, well so can I. It was at that point that I came back to Murray’s work on this and really and truly appreciated its truth and depth. It changed my complete perception of God. Bad systematic theology finally surrendered to good biblical theology.

Oh yes, re: Durham, naaa, still pretty sterile stuff. :-) Ditto for Rutherford. :-) It would take a lot for me to warm up to Durham and Rutherford again. Don’t get me wrong, I have intended to blog excepts from Durham’s comments on common grace (cos there is another EPC story behind that).


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