God's Hatred

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Romans 8 Verse 28

Puritan Board Freshman
Much of the disagreement here is over the use of the term "grace" when discussing what has come to be called "common grace." While I agree whole-heartedly with the concept (as stated above by brothers Josh and Jim) of God's general and providential goodness, the term "grace" itself is misleading and I would shy away from its usage because it can imply something that was not intended by the term. A term such as "common goodness" might actually be more helpful.

:agree:

I've seen the term "common grace" used numerous times to promote man-centred theology (and that's one of the reasons I shy away from using it).

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Common Grace anyone?
If, by Common Grace, you mean that God brings rain on the just and the unjust alike, that He grants temporal gifts to the reprobate as well as the elect, so on and so forth, I can agree with you (though I wouldn't call it grace). However, all of those "gifts" simply serve to fit the reprobate for destruction and make them all the riper for judgment. So I believe Common Grace is an insufficient term to describe the temporal "good things of the earth" God gives to all creatures made in His image.

If you're interested, there's a very good article that touches upon this briefly by our very own Rev. Winzer (armourbearer):

http://www.puritanboard.com/f71/there-free-offer-just-command-repent-believe-46402/#post588587


Well said, In my humble opinion. I'd also side with Pastor Winzer against Professors Murray and Stonehouse on this subject.

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Here's an audio debate on the subject. Is the Doctrine of Common Grace Reformed?

Dr. Richard Mouw is an example of someone that has used the term "common grace" to promote un-Biblical teachings, In my humble opinion.
 
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Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Are we trying to put God's love/hate in theological boxes?

Mr. Tallach,

1. Have you read Rev. Winzer's review of John Murray's The Free Offer of the Gospel? I think it touches upon your questions here in a most adequate manner.

2. In response to the quoted question above. No, I'm not trying to do any such thing. God has been pleased to reveal to us His attributes concerning His love for the elect and His hatred for the reprobate. There is simply nothing in Scripture indicating an inner conflict within God that He has decreed something He does not also desire, intend, want. God is pleased with all His does, and He does all His good purpose, and His good purpose is an act borne from what He desires, wants, etc.

So we're not here talking about what's possible, we're here saying what the Scriptures have said. And nowhere have the Scriptures ever shown God showing grace, in the biblical definition of the term, to the reprobate.

Dear Joshua,
Feel free to call me Richard.

I don't think there is any inner conflict within God, along with the many Reformed theologians who believe/have believed in Common Grace.

I haven't read Rev. Winzer's review, and will be interested to do so.

Regarding Common Grace being gifts of God's hate to fatten the reprobate for the slaughter, I think if the reprobate abuse/misuse gifts of God's grace some of which were designed for the salvation of sinners e.g. the preaching of the Gospel, they are then more truly fattened for the slaughter.

"Some prefer to say that they are expressions of His goodness, kindness, benevolence, mecy, or longsuffering, but seem to forget that He could not be good, kind or benevolent to the sinner unless He were first of all gracious." -Berkhof

If you want to challenge that and say how can God be gracious to those he doesn't intend to save, I'd say I don't know.

Common grace is undeserved favour e.g. sparing a reprobate to live on this earth for seventy years and letting him hear the gospel many times. If it does not result in that person's conversion we learn that it was not intended to lead to that person's and God did not have an eternal saving love for that person. If what God showers on someone is blessed by the Spirit to their salvation then we learn that God had an eternal saving love for that person.

You seem to be positing that God can only have one type of love/grace for the sinner, and it has to be saving love. This leads you to redefine gifts of God's grace so portrayed in Scripture e.g. long life, food, etc, as "gifts" of God's hate. Since the reprobate could be/should be cast immediately into Hell, however long they are on Earth is of God's grace (not saving grace unless it results in salvation, and then they wouldn't be reprobate).

Re Arminianism, we know that they have a different doctrine of Common Grace, whereby the sinner can co-operate with the Holy Spirit's common operations in the soul to manufacture his/her salvation. This is completely erroneous, and the Reformed should make clear that they are talking about something different.
 

TeachingTulip

Puritan Board Sophomore
Common grace is undeserved favour e.g. sparing a reprobate to live on this earth for seventy years and letting him hear the gospel many times.

I have been taught that allowing reprobates their earthly lives, is a matter of patience and long-suffering on the part of God, not grace. (Romans 9:22)

For the very definition of "reprobate" is one rejected by God, and one that is consigned to death and hell without hope of grace or favor at all. For this strong reason, a Christian should be very careful about judging others as "reprobate," for it is terribley serious, and really not in our province to judge the eternal fate of others. Only God knows these things . . .

(Entering the fray, here, being the wife of Jim, aka REFORMED RUSH, along with whom I have fought a battle lasting several years against the teachings of a supposed "common grace." Together, we have been accused of hyper-calvinism for doing so, more times than we can count.)
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
"Some prefer to say that they are expressions of His goodness, kindness, benevolence, mecy, or longsuffering, but seem to forget that He could not be good, kind or benevolent to the sinner unless He were first of all gracious." -Berkhof

This in my opinion is the one chance that common grace has to stand as a doctrine.

But in my opinion the argument is flawed, for it is built off a human notion. Humans cannot legitimately and truly give gifts and act kindly without also intending another human's good. But God can. And I say that if God has intended from all eternity to give gifts to reprobates for the purpose of heaping more condemnation upon them (and only God is capable of giving gifts for the purpose of destruction), then certainly no well-meant grace is involved.

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I have been taught that allowing reprobates their earthly lives, is a matter of patience and long-suffering on the part of God, not grace. (Romans 9:22)

The argument is whether longsuffering necessitates true graciousness. (See his Berkhof quote.) I deny this, BTW.

(Entering the fray, here, being the wife of Jim, aka REFORMED RUSH, along with whom I have fought a battle lasting several years, against the teachings of a supposed "common grace." Together, we have been accused of hyper-calvinism for doing so, more times than we can count.)

Praise God for your fortitude! It's also nice to see that you got your own profile on the PB.
 

TeachingTulip

Puritan Board Sophomore
The argument is whether longsuffering necessitates true graciousness. (See his Berkhof quote.) I deny this, BTW.


Peter taught that the long-suffering of God, is purposed to work salvation . . .God allows the wicked to continuing living, while all His elect are being born and gathered into the kingdom. (II Peter 3:15-18)

It is the same spiritual principle of Genesis 50:20 and Romans 8:28.
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.

I hope no one would argue that a sinner is not part of creation, or that this is an inaccurate description of the Creator.

Surely God is very good to many unregenerate people in keeping them from the outer limits of sin, for which they would have greater punishment. If His goodness to the reprobate were only a means of fattening for destruction, then its a bit ineffectual as the reprobate would often be more fattened for destruction without it.
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
Surely God is very good to many unregenerate people in keeping them from the outer limits of sin, for which they would have greater punishment. If His goodness to the reprobate were only a means of fattening for destruction, then its a bit ineffectual as the reprobate would often be more fattened for destruction without it.

I don't think it's ineffectual at all. A reprobate whom God has providentially prospered will use that prosperity to augment his own pride and rebellion, and therefore he will be more condemned than otherwise (as one example). Every gift a reprobate receives from God is used against Him and therefore heaps more condemnation upon the reprobate.

Second, the fact that the Lord is good to all does not mean He intends good for all.
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Ben, I wasn't speaking of material prosperity. I was speaking of the fact that not all unregenerate people are allowed morally to degenerate to states in which they would receive even greater damnation. If God's goodness to the reprobate can only fit into the terms you are willing to accept, then it is ineffectual in its intent that regard.
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
That's a good point; reprobates will receive less punishment if and when their moral characters are augmented by God.

I'll have to think about this more. I keep going through all these thoughts in my head and I need to sort this out.

Thanks for bringing up the idea. :)
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Ben, I certainly haven't worked through all of this either. I wonder if there may be a distinction to be made between the way God interacts with man as Creator, because man is a work of His Hands (someone asked, what is there for God to love in the reprobate? -- what is there for God to love in a Zebra? He made it; He cares for it; it displays His glory even in a ruined state. So Beethoven can write incredible music because He is one of God's amazing creations) and the way God interacts with men under the covenant of works? (I don't believe that creation is covenant)
Calvin seems to support such a distinction being able to to be made in the way He deals with the doctrine of God, first as Creator and only afterwards in the sphere of sin and redemption?
And Scripture seems to be speaking of God more as Creator in passages about His goodness to the non-elect.
 

TeachingTulip

Puritan Board Sophomore
Ben, I wasn't speaking of material prosperity. I was speaking of the fact that not all unregenerate people are allowed morally to degenerate to states in which they would receive even greater damnation. If God's goodness to the reprobate can only fit into the terms you are willing to accept, then it is ineffectual in its intent that regard.

Heidi,

The fact that God restrains sin in this world, is not a matter of grace towards the reprobate; lessening their sentence of death or consignment to hell, in any degree, but is a matter of grace towards His elect.

God restrains sin from reaching its uttermost on this earth, for the protection, well-being, and survival of His elect.

God's truth and providential workings are like a two-edged sword; at the same time wielding judgment against the wicked non-elect, and blessings for the elect.

This is seen throughout the O.T. in the prophets' warnings to ungodly peoples about suffering the wrath of God for their unbelief, through punishments and judgments, while always including promises of perseverance, blessings, and salvation to the faithful, spiritual seed.
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Thanks for the response Ronda.

I think the problem still remains though that they do experience the goodness of God in restraint of their sin, and this experience is one that actually leaves them less fattened for destruction.

I also don't think that the view does justice to verses like Psalm 145:9. I think there are probably more distinctions involved in that the sinner experiences God as a good Creator (and creation - even of himself - as a good).
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
Josh,

How would you respond to Heidi's earlier point that God restrains the moral rebellion of reprobates and thereby lightens their punishment?
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
I won't quibble about terms. Not with Josh. I never quibble about terms with my friends.

(However, if I were to accidentally unbefriend Josh by merest accident . . .)

By the way Josh, you can call me 'Mrs. Zartman'. :p
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
I ask in fear and trepidation, for I do not want you to lose any friendships. :cool:

But if God is restraining them as a means to heap less condemnation on them, then what is it if not grace?
 

TeachingTulip

Puritan Board Sophomore
In reality, though, that's all it is: restraint. It's a part of God's decree. It's not grace. :2cents:

The words "restraint" and "grace" are not synonomous terms, nor to be taken lightly.

If God's temporal restraint of the wickedness of ungodly men does not alter their eternal destiny, where is the "grace?"

"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" Mark 8:36
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
But the question then is, What exactly did God want when He decreed to restrain the rebellion of a reprobate? Did He do it to ultimately punish the reprobate less? If so, then how is it not grace?

Actually, I think I've got it: first, we can distinguish between restraint and actual gifts. The gifts are used to "fatten" reprobates, while restraint is not. Seeing as both are used ultimately for God to punish reprobates eternally with perfect justice, it follows that it's not grace.

So, then, to answer Heidi's objection earlier: she is right that not all divine benevolence goes towards "fattening" the reprobates -- only divine benevolence that is not restraint does. The restraint is still used by God so that He may punish the reprobates in hell exactly as He wants to.

There, I think that does it. :cool:
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
In reality, though, that's all it is: restraint. It's a part of God's decree. It's not grace. :2cents:

The words "restraint" and "grace" are not synonomous terms, nor to be taken lightly.

If God's temporal restraint of the wickedness of ungodly men does not alter their eternal destiny, where is the "grace?"

"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" Mark 8:36

The point is that it does alter a reprobate's destiny to some extent; there is less condemnation on him than there would be otherwise.

But otherwise, I think I solved this wee dilemma above.
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
I don't actually think that's the distinction that does most justice to all the biblical statements, Ben. I think the reprobate experiences God goodness not just for purposes of fattening up, but because he is the creation of a good Creator.
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
I don't actually think that's the distinction that does most justice to all the biblical statements, Ben. I think the reprobate experiences God goodness not just for purposes of fattening up, but because he is the creation of a good Creator.

Are you referring to benevolences of good other than moral restraint?
 

TeachingTulip

Puritan Board Sophomore
In reality, though, that's all it is: restraint. It's a part of God's decree. It's not grace. :2cents:

The words "restraint" and "grace" are not synonomous terms, nor to be taken lightly.

If God's temporal restraint of the wickedness of ungodly men does not alter their eternal destiny, where is the "grace?"

"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" Mark 8:36

The point is that it does alter a reprobate's destiny to some extent; there is less condemnation on him than there would be otherwise.

But otherwise, I think I solved this wee dilemma above.

What is "less condemnation?"

A soul is either consigned to everlasting punishment, or a soul is saved by faith in Jesus Christ and inherits everlasting life.

How can a sentence imposing death be lessened? Or hell lightened? Or condemnation altered, if the guilt and curse remains upon the reprobate soul?

Whose interest is central to God's purposes and intents? The elect or the non-elect?
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
Ronda,

There are degrees of punishment in hell and reward in heaven. Hitler will be punished more than a reprobate dying in infancy.
 

TeachingTulip

Puritan Board Sophomore
I don't actually think that's the distinction that does most justice to all the biblical statements, Ben. I think the reprobate experiences God goodness not just for purposes of fattening up, but because he is the creation of a good Creator.

"The Lord has made all for Himself, yes, even the wicked for the day of doom." Proverbs 16:4

"The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright." Proverbs 21:18


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Ronda,

There are degrees of punishment in hell and reward in heaven. Hitler will be punished more than a reprobate dying in infancy.


Sorry, Ben, but you just introduced "works" into the discussion . . .which will take you down a rabbit trail.
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
Ronda,

There are degrees of punishment in hell and reward in heaven. Hitler will be punished more than a reprobate dying in infancy.

Sorry, Ben, but you just introduced "works" into the discussion . . .which will take you down a rabbit trail.

Are you honestly disagreeing with the fact that we have degrees of reward and punishment?

Luke 12:47-48 - That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows.

Matthew 11:21-24 - Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.

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Also...

Matthew 16:27 - For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Ben, I think the unbeliever experiences God's goodness manifested in various ways as true goodness, that is, that God is good not for ulterior motives but because He IS, the fountain of life, ulterior goodness. The unbeliever will be responsible for not worshipping God aright for what he has truly experienced in this regard, but God's goodness does in many instances really lessen his damnation, and keep his heart from being hardened; and I see no biblical evidence that would say that God's purpose in sending the rain on the unjust is the same as God's purpose in sending the plagues on Pharoah (or that I have to look at the rain today and think of it as so much fire and brimstone later).

God is not at cross purposes with regard to the wicked certainly. But the verses Ronda quoted do not lessen the fact that the creations of God do all experience His tender mercies as a Creator, and I would like to understand more of whatever distinctions may be able to be made along those lines.

I'm going to bow out though as I've put forward my objection to views I think do not account for all the biblical data, as best as I can.
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
Ben, I think the unbeliever experiences God's goodness manifested in various ways as true goodness, that is, that God is good not for ulterior motives but because He IS the fountain of life, of ulterior goodness. The unbeliever will be responsible for not worshipping God aright for what he has truly experienced in this regard, but God's goodness does in many instances really lessen his damnation, and keep his heart from being hardened; and I see no biblical evidence that would say that God's purpose in sending the rain on the unjust is the same as God's purpose in sending the plagues on Pharoah (or that I have to look at the rain today and think of it as so much more fire and brimstone later).

Well, the fact is that any benevolence from God that lessens their damnation is only restraint. And God uses restraint only for His elect's good. Seeing as God would not punish someone more than they deserve, it lessens their punishment. But God does not restrain people's rebellion for the purpose of lessening their punishment; it is only because of His love for His elect.

Lastly, I'm not trying to say that God has ulterior motives. It is hard to conceive, since we are humans, that God can be kind to someone without intending their good. But that is only because humans must intend someone's good in order to be kind to that person. The rule does not apply to our sovereign God. God is the only being who can be legitimately kind for the purpose of destruction, without showing grace.
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
If I can be permitted to jump into this conversation quickly and piggy-back off of Heidi's posts, I would recommend reading this post by Matthew Winzer on Samuel Rutherford, which addresses a love which God has toward all creatures which is not ineffectual in its purpose. A parallel would be the usage of our scholastics of a three-fold love of God: 1.) Love of the creature; 2.) Love of man; 3.) The special love toward the elect.
 

jandrusk

Puritan Board Sophomore
Here are three scriptures that shows how God hates the reprobate. I think it's also important to note that you cannot separate the sinner from the sin. The object that is referenced is the acting agent, which is the sinner. He certainly loves the elect and knows that they will repent and come to salvation at the appointed time.

1. Psalm 11:5 "The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence."

2. Deu 12:31 You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.

3. "Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. "
 
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