Johann Gerhard on the WMO and hypothetical universalism

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
I am not an advocate of the well-meant offer nor of hypothetical universalism, but, for those of you who are (and for those interested in historical theology more generally), you may appreciate the below extract from the Lutheran scholastic, Johann Gerhard. Does anyone know where exactly Gerhard sat on the monergism-synergism debates? I thought that he came across as a moderate to soft "Calvinist" (totally the wrong term when referring to a Lutheran, I know) in his chapter on predestination, though said somethings to which synergists might have appealed. Anyway, here is the quote relating to the WMO and HU:

76 But the question is, Whether the promises of the Gospel, of themselves, and in themselves are universal, or else so restrained that by the counsel and decree of God they belong not but to some certain men absolutely chosen, by the good will and pleasure of God, before others.

77 For answer hereto we say, That God doth seriously desire the salvation of all; That Christ made full satisfaction for all; and therefore That God doth by the Gospel seriously offer the benefits of Christ unto all.

78 Christ commandeth his Apostles to go and preach the Gospel to every creature. Mark 16.15. Therefore it is his will, that they preach the Gospel every where all abroad unto all, and offer it unto all; and in the Gospel, the benefits of his death and passion; and in them, remission of sins; and in remission of sins, the grace of God; and in the grace of God, salvation, and everlasting life.

Johann Gerhard, The Sum of Christian Doctrine, trans. Ralph Winterton (Cambridge: Roger Daniel, 1640), pp 128-29.
 

Shanny01

Puritan Board Freshman
I think men like Robert Preus have said he gave some level of ammunition to synergists. All this mainly because of his views of election being "intuitu fidei" or on with a view of faith instead of 'to faith'. Given that Walther, Pieper, Hoenecke, and other American Confessional Lutherans were heavy on stressing the gratuitous nature of election, the Lutherans with whom they combatted latched onto statements of Gerhard so as to argue against what they saw as incipient Calvinism among Walther and company. However, per his treatments on repentance/regeneration, faith, and the effects of original sin, I've seen nothing broaching synergism and he's very monergistic still. Given that election "intuitu fidei" is somewhat ambiguous and can be interpreted in an orthodox sense, and the general tenor of his theology, I think its safe to say he was no synergist/Arminian-tending theologian though he gave an odd explication of election especially per Reformed thought but even to earlier Lutherans.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
I think men like Robert Preus have said he gave some level of ammunition to synergists. All this mainly because of his views of election being "intuitu fidei" or on with a view of faith instead of 'to faith'. Given that Walther, Pieper, Hoenecke, and other American Confessional Lutherans were heavy on stressing the gratuitous nature of election, the Lutherans with whom they combatted latched onto statements of Gerhard so as to argue against what they saw as incipient Calvinism among Walther and company. However, per his treatments on repentance/regeneration, faith, and the effects of original sin, I've seen nothing broaching synergism and he's very monergistic still. Given that election "intuitu fidei" is somewhat ambiguous and can be interpreted in an orthodox sense, and the general tenor of his theology, I think its safe to say he was no synergist/Arminian-tending theologian though he gave an odd explication of election especially per Reformed thought but even to earlier Lutherans.

From what I have read of Johann Gerhard, this assessment seems accurate. It was his section on election and faith that made me wonder if he was throwing a bone to the synergists.
 
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