Infra or Supralapsarianism

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MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Robert, I am having difficulty identifying what you mean by "this" in "this could not even be regarded as a christian statement or part of the christian religion." Does this refer to the voluntarist argument or to the position it argues against?

For John Owen's earlier view one may consult Death of Death, Works, 10:205:

The foundation of this whole assertion seems to me to be false and erroneous, — namely, that God could not have mercy on mankind unless satisfaction were made by his Son. It is true, indeed, supposing the decree, purpose, and constitution of God that so it should be, that so he would manifest his glory, by the way of vindicative justice, it was impossible that it should otherwise be; for with the Lord there is "no variableness, neither shadow of turning," James i. 17; 1 Sam. xv. 29: but to assert positively, that absolutely and antecedently to his constitution he could not have done it, is to me an unwritten tradition, the Scripture affirming no such thing, neither can it be gathered from thence in any good consequence. If any one shall deny this, we will try what the Lord will enable us to say unto it, and in the meantime rest contented in that of Augustine: "Though other ways of saving us were not wanting to his infinite wisdom, yet certainly the way which he did proceed in was the most convenient, because we find he proceeded therein."

It might also be observed that although Owen changed his mind on this particular point, he did not alter his fundamental belief that all goodness towards the creature comes from a voluntary act of God's will. As he wrote in Christologia, Works, 1:59:

As wisdom is the directive principle of all divine operations, so goodness is the communicative principle that is effectual in them. He is good, and he doth good — yea, he doth good because he is good, and for no other reason — not by the necessity of nature, but by the intervention of a free act of his will. His goodness is absolutely infinite, essentially perfect in itself; which it could not be if it belonged unto it, naturally and necessarily, to act and communicate itself unto any thing without God himself. The divine nature is eternally satisfied in and with its own goodness; but it is that principle which is the immediate fountain of all the communications of good unto others, by a free act of the will of God.
 

One Little Nail

Puritan Board Sophomore
Who are the voluntarists?, this view would seem to deny the Atonement, even the arminians wouldn't espouse this,
this could not even be regarded as a christian statement or part of the christian religion.

The following are some of those who have expressed voluntarist sentiments:
Aurelius Augustine
John Calvin
Amandus Polanus
William Ames
Thomas Goodwin
Samuel Rutherford
William Twisse
Matthew Henry
John Owen (in his early days)

Thanks Ruben, I think I have misunderstood Matthews quote.
 
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One Little Nail

Puritan Board Sophomore
The voluntarists maintained that if justice absolutely demands it the soul that sins must die and there is no place for a Surety or for any equivalent payment.

Who are the voluntarists?, this view would seem to deny the Atonement, even the arminians wouldn't espouse this,
this could not even be regarded as a christian statement or part of the christian religion.

Robert, I am having difficulty identifying what you mean by "this" in "this could not even be regarded as a christian statement or part of the christian religion." Does this refer to the voluntarist argument or to the position it argues against?


My apologies Matthew, I misunderstood the post, I thought you wrote that voluntarists denied the necessity of the Atonement in an ABSOLUTE sense, please disregard my statement. could you elaborate on that statement that
"The voluntarists maintained that if justice absolutely demands it the soul that sins must die and there is no place for a Surety or for any equivalent payment." regards
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
My apologies Matthew, I misunderstood the post, I thought you wrote that voluntarists denied the necessity of the Atonement in an ABSOLUTE sense, please disregard my statement. could you elaborate on that statement that
"The voluntarists maintained that if justice absolutely demands it the soul that sins must die and there is no place for a Surety or for any equivalent payment." regards

Robert, no problem.

Basically, the covenant of works required perfect, personal, and perpetual obedience. The death which it threatened was personal death. So justice demands the soul that sinneth it shall die. If justice absolutely demands satisfaction it absolutely demands such satisfaction from the individual person who is guilty. Divine grace provides and accepts the satisfaction from a Surety. This fact in and of itself demonstrates that the necessity of satisfaction does not arise from the nature of strict justice. It is the decree of God which purposes how justice will be satisfied and grace manifested according to the good pleasure of His will.
 

chatwithstumac

Puritan Board Freshman
Other than a theological dispute, what difference is there in actual practice as to whether or not someone is infra or supra? Historically, is there a significant difference in practice that impacted the Reformed church from those holding the supralapsarian view?

If you can find it, pick up R.B. Kuiper's "As To Being Reformed."

I don't think this book directly speaks of the infra/supra debate but it does speak about his reasoning for flip flopping from CRC to Reformed Church of America back to CRC in the early 1920's. R.B. Kuiper was at one time President of Calvin College.

In Christ,
Stu
 
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