Westminster Session 520-524: Christ Died for All

Discussion in 'Theological Forum' started by Andrew P.C., Jan 10, 2017.

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  1. Andrew P.C.

    Andrew P.C. Puritan Board Junior

    Reading through the Westminster Assembly minutes (archive.org), I came across the session meetings of 520-524 where they are going over a "debate about permission of man's fall about 'the same decree.'" In there, Mr. Calamy (Edmund?) argues a following point (that is confusing):

    "I hold...the sense of our divines in the Synod of Dort, that Christ did pay a price for all, -- absolute intention for the elect, conditional intention for the reprobate in case they do believe,-- that all men should be salvabiles, non obstante lapsu Adami... that Jesus Christ did not only die sufficiently for all, but God did intend, in giving of Christ, and Christ in giving Himself, did intend to put all men in a state of salvation in case they do believe." (Session 522, Oct. 22 1645 Wednesday Morning)

    Can someone help me out here? It seems Calamy is making a distinction from the Arminians as Mr. Palmer says in the minutes. Mr. Reynolds states "This opinion cannot be asserted by any that can say he is not of the Remonstrants' opinion... Upon a condition that they cannot perform, and God never intends to give." Gillespie and Rutherford also argue against this opinion.

    It seems that Calamy is saying all men are "savable", due to the death of Christ. That what Christ has done, has now made all men savable. At least this is what it seems.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

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  3. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    As Chris noted, this is one of the tenets of "hypothetical universalism" which was floating around the English church at the time and came in different shades and colours.

    Some argue that Calamy's view entailed an accommodation in the Confession for hypothetical universalism. There is no evidence for this. There are numerous cases where the opinions of individual divines were left unaccommodated by the wording of the Westminster documents; and there are particularist expressions in the Confession and Catechisms which work against the hypothetical view. As Warfield noted, "there was denied, to be sure, the right to modify the statement of the ordo decretorum so as to make room for their 'hypothetical universalism' in the saving work of Christ (cf. the Confession, iii. 6, viii. 5, 8)."
     
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  4. Andrew P.C.

    Andrew P.C. Puritan Board Junior

    Thank you gentlemen. That helped tremendously. I am curious if there are any other sources available on this subject?
     
  5. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    I would imagine there is. There is the below chapter in Drawn into controversie : Reformed theological diversity and debates within seventeenth-century British Puritanism ed. Haykin and Jones.
    The extent of the atonement: English hypothetical universalism versus particular redemption / Jonathan D. Moore --
     
  6. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Sophomore

  7. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Sophomore

    This book is great! Wonderful research of primary sources and objective treatment.
     
  8. Andrew P.C.

    Andrew P.C. Puritan Board Junior

    Tim, I would really appreciate that!
     
  9. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    A response which echoes the judgment of Warfield may be found here:

    http://booksandjournals.brillonline...FTTab=true&isFastTrackArticle=#introduction-1

    The treatment in Fesko's book is all over the place from an historical point of view. He helpfully incorporates recent studies which distinguish different forms of hypothetical universalism, but his taxonomy is amiss and his use of divines' writings is decontextualised, especially William Twisse.
     
  10. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Sophomore

    Here it is:

     
  11. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Sophomore

    con't:

     
  12. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Murray et al argued from the actual words of the Westminster Standards. Fesko seeks to bring in diversity by appealing to the individual views of theologians. At the end of the day the Westminster Standards are the subordinate standard, not the individual views of different theologians. The Standards should be permitted to speak for themselves without having variant views thrust upon them from the time in which it was written.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
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