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Johannes Wollebius on Reprobation

September 17, 2008

Wollebius:

XI. Those who teach the doctrine of election in such a way as to deny reprobation, are clearly wrong.

Scripture teaches reprobation no less than election. Isaiah 41:9 “I chose you and do not abandon you.” Malachi 1:2-3: “I loved Jacob; I hated Esau.” Romans 9: 18: “He has mercy on whom he will, and he hardens whom he will.” Romans 11:7: “The elect attained it; the others were hardened.” I Thessalonians 5:9: “God has not destined us for wrath, but for salvation.” 2 Timothy 2: 20: “Vessels for noble use, and for ignoble.” Jude 4: “Some men long destined for damnation came in secretly.” XII. Just as Christ is the cause not of election but of salvation, so faithlessness is the cause not of reprobation but of damnation.

Damnation differs from reprobation as the means of carrying out a decree differs from the decree itself.

XIII. Not damnation, but the revelation of the glory of the justice of God, is the purpose of reprobation.

Therefore man cannot properly be said to have been created in order to be damned; for damnation, by which the person who has been rejected brings about evil for himself, is not the purpose but the means of achieving the purpose of God.

XIV. For purposes of instruction, two acts of reprobation may be assumed: the denial of unmerited grace, which is called preterition, and deliverance to merited punishment, which is called precondemnation.

Johannes Wollebius, “Compendium Theologiae Christianae,” in John W. Beardslee III, Reformed Dogmatics (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker, 1977), 52-53. [Originally published in 1626.]

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