Infralapsarian/Supralapsarianism

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Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Dan, it boils down to whether the decree to elect and reprobate came before (supra), or after (infra), the decree to ordain the fall. (logically as opposed to temporally)

Since Paul refers to "vessels created for destruction", I take it to imply that God has no obligation to save anyone, fall or not. Therefore the fall is a logical way to introduce the plan of redemtion through history.

But on the infra side, election seems to me like God is logically responding to the fall, as if it was an afterthought.


[Edited on 1-5-2006 by Saiph]
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Dan,

You could start by running a search on supralapsarian(ism) or infralapsarianism, and you would see that this is not a new topic. That does not mean that there can be no new discussions of items - quite the contrary.

What has been unique about your raising of the issue is that you do not come within a country mile of describing the differences between supralapsarians and infralapsarians (or either position) accurately. To suggest that infralapsarians are "basically Arminian" is laughable at best. Calvin an Arminian? Owen? Thomas Boston? Dozens of Puritans? Virtually all of Princeton? Machen? Come on.

Instead of entering into serious discussion, you through out conclusiary statements, and conclusions that no reputable theology would give the time of day:

true infralapsarian runs the risk of becoming almost Arminian as he/she views the order of God's decrees.
overemphasis of the permissive will of God based on brute foreknowledge, rather than the fall being planned
I thought that it was infralapsarians who penned "This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man"

Arminius didn't take issue with Calvin
Well, I guess if you count chronology instead of theology (Calvin being dead). But there sure were a ton of infralapsarians at Dordt.

What is the difference between election from fallen man and foreseen faith? Both are based on Actual sin as opposed to Original sin
Well, the difference is that between Biblical Calvinism and Arminianism. But since you see 95% of Calvinists (including Calvin) as being "almost" or "basically" Arminian, I guess you could say that. But anyone else examining the issue would not.

Can you explain the origin of sin in relation to God's justice based on the infra position?
See WCF 6

I believe that scripture teaches that original sin condemns.
So does every infra.

So far, I have seen no interest on your part in dialog, which requires at least an understanding of the opponent's position, or at least a willingness not to have falsehood shoved down his throat.
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by Saiph
Dan, it boils down to whether the decree to elect and reprobate came before (supra), or after (infra), the decree to ordain the fall. (logically as opposed to temporally)

Since Paul refers to "vessels created for destruction", I take it to imply that God has no obligation to save anyone, fall or not. Therefore the fall is a logical way to introduce the plan of redemtion through history.

But on the infra side, election seems to me like God is logically responding to the fall, as if it was an afterthought.
:ditto:

I would highly recommend Robert Reymond's treatment of the Supra/Infra discussion in his systematic.

The modified supra position is the only way to go In my humble opinion.
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Fred already answered most of your questions better than I could, but I'll answer the one you directed at me as well as your first statement that I think reveals confusion at the most basic heart of the issue, and thus could most likely (and hopefully) lead to a better understanding, and thus mutual discussion, if clarified.

Originally posted by Dan Dufek
Arminian is the sense of the overemphasis of the permissive will of God based on brute foreknowledge, rather than the fall being planned.
The infra position has always held that the Fall was actively and sovereignly (rather than passively or based on mere foreknowledge) ordained. It simply sees the election of men to life and death as ontologically (meaning in a logical sense rather than a temporal one) happening after or in light of that ordination, so that death is never planned except as the consequence of sin, even though the ordination of the latter was just as active and sovereign in God's mind as was the former.

Originally posted by Dan Dufek
How does the Infra position do full justice to the biblical place of sin?
Can you explain the origin of sin in relation to God's justice based on the infra position?

In light of being dead in sin, is this Actual or Original sin?
It does justice to the biblical place of sin because sin is the biblical cause of death (Rom. 6:23), but the supra position essentially switches that around, making sin no more than the necessary means or vehicle for God to carry out His already-existing purpose of death. So technically you could say the supra position does in a sense fulfill Romans 6:23 - since it still makes sin the means to death - but not without a significant stretch, for it says, "The wages of sin is death," not "The chosen vehicle for bringing about death will be...sin." Thus, in putting death and condemnation in their proper places in relation to sin, the infra position does justice to God's justice because He does not arbitrarily assign death apart from sin.

This is also why you will hear people speak of the Westminster Confession as implicitly infra: In section III.V, with my emphasis, "Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen in Christ, unto everlasting glory, out of his free grace and love alone, without any foresight of faith or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving him thereunto; and all to the praise of his glorious grace." Here the Divines stated that God's sovereign, pre-temporal election of some people to glory was done out of his free grace, and we know that while men may be loved apart from already being in sin, men cannot be shown grace apart from already being in sin (unless of course we take the path of the Federal Vision crowd in speaking of grace apart from sin, thus distorting the Covenant of Works and thus Christ's meritorious work). Thus, since God's eternal election of some to glory was done out of grace, it must have been done in light of their already-decreed state of sin.

Likewise, in secton VII of the same chapter, men's ordination to dishonor and wrath is never spoken of apart from their sin.
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Originally posted by Saiph
Dan, it boils down to whether the decree to elect and reprobate came before (supra), or after (infra), the decree to ordain the fall. (logically as opposed to temporally)
:up:

Originally posted by Saiph
Since Paul refers to "vessels created for destruction", I take it to imply that God has no obligation to save anyone, fall or not. Therefore the fall is a logical way to introduce the plan of redemtion through history.
Of course God had no obligation to save anyone before or after He ordained the Fall - but before He ordained the Fall, what He also did not have was a reason to condemn anyone. Would you really tell an unbeliever who asked why in his current state he is on his way to hell that it was not ultimately because of his sin?

Originally posted by Saiph
But on the infra side, election seems to me like God is logically responding to the fall, as if it was an afterthought.
But remember that infralapsarians understand the Fall to be actively and sovereignly ordained by God alone just as much as supralapsarians. But on the supra side, sin seems to me like God is logically responding to His desire for death, as if sin was a mere afterthought to that desire - as opposed to the most natural reading of Romans 6:23 as well as Westminster's chapter on election, particularly in light of it being done in grace, and grace being impossible without sin, as I discussed above.
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Chris, was Job being punished ? Yet it pleased God to cause him to suffer for some higher purpose. Now, of course, in a sublapsarian state we are under condemnation.
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Originally posted by Saiph
Chris, was Job being punished ? Yet it pleased God to cause him to suffer for some higher purpose. Now, of course, in a sublapsarian state we are under condemnation.
I would say your last sentence essentially holds the answer to your question. God using suffering and death in an already-fallen, sublapsarian world to accomplish secondary purposes along the way in addition to its ultimate purpose of judgment on sin is quite a different thing from death and condemnation existing without any notion of this thing called sin or its existence at all.
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Romans implies to me that God could create a vessel for destruction, without disclosing to us the reason, and we would have no right to question it.
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Originally posted by Saiph
Romans implies to me that God could create a vessel for destruction, without disclosing to us the reason, and we would have no right to question it.
But the more relevant question is whether or not He has in fact disclosed it in any sense - which infralapsarians would answer in the affirmative, especially because of Romans 6:23 and God's election of us to glory being done in grace.
 

ChristopherPaul

Puritan Board Senior
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Originally posted by Saiph
Dan, it boils down to whether the decree to elect and reprobate came before (supra), or after (infra), the decree to ordain the fall. (logically as opposed to temporally)

Since Paul refers to "vessels created for destruction", I take it to imply that God has no obligation to save anyone, fall or not. Therefore the fall is a logical way to introduce the plan of redemtion through history.

But on the infra side, election seems to me like God is logically responding to the fall, as if it was an afterthought.
:ditto:

I would highly recommend Robert Reymond's treatment of the Supra/Infra discussion in his systematic.

The modified supra position is the only way to go In my humble opinion.
:ditto:

Reymond convinced me.
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by ChristopherPaul
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Originally posted by Saiph
Dan, it boils down to whether the decree to elect and reprobate came before (supra), or after (infra), the decree to ordain the fall. (logically as opposed to temporally)

Since Paul refers to "vessels created for destruction", I take it to imply that God has no obligation to save anyone, fall or not. Therefore the fall is a logical way to introduce the plan of redemtion through history.

But on the infra side, election seems to me like God is logically responding to the fall, as if it was an afterthought.
:ditto:

I would highly recommend Robert Reymond's treatment of the Supra/Infra discussion in his systematic.

The modified supra position is the only way to go In my humble opinion.
:ditto:

Reymond convinced me.
So what is the modified
supra position ?
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
A post of mine from the previous thread (listed by Fred above):

Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Robert Reymond has a "modified" supralapsarian view (also developed by Gordon Clark and others. A detailed explanation can be found in his systematic theology. It works like this, God has then end result in mind (his goal) and works this goal out by means. The means are carried out in reverse order that they happen in time. This makes the order of decrees look like this:

1: The election of some sinful men to salvation in Christ (and the reprobation of the rest of sinful mankind in order to make known the riches of God gracious mercy to the elect)
2: The Decree to apply Christ's redemptive benefits to the elect sinners
3: The decree to redeem the elect sinners by the cross work of Christ
4: The decree that men should fall
5: The decree to create the world and men.

This view still places the decree of election before the fall, but also allows God to view men as fallen in election and reprobation.

The reason I say it is the only logical view, is that it works in a logical fashion. It starts off with the end result in mind first. For example, if you woke up one morning and decided to buy a car. The LOGICAL thing to do, is to think of the perfect car for you, and then work through the means of obtaining such a car, but the means will be in reverse order that you actually go about executing them as exemplified below:

1) I would like a black BMW 5-series; BUT in order to get the car I need to:
2) pay the $40g's to a car-dealership; BUT in order to get the $40g's I need to:
3) go to the bank; BUT in order to go to the bank I need to;
4) get dressed; BUT in order to get dressed I need to;
5) get out of bed

This works out a PLAN in a logical DEDUCTIVE format. We know God is a logical God, and therfore his plan is perfectly logical. He doesn't think in trial and error like we often do. He deduces!
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
As I said before, Reymond's "modification" makes no sense at all, unless it is viewed as infra. How can one elect men who are sinful, without sin in view? The decree to permit the Fall is #4, logically consequent to the decree to elect. It is logically impossible then, to view men as "sinful," because there has been no sin.

It might make some of you more comfortable - but Reymond is logically inconsistent to the point of incoherency here. I think that the classic supra scheme has much more validity. (And I think that the supra scheme has a great deal of respected adherents). Why I would want to abandon that for mish-mash is beyond me.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Originally posted by Me Died Blue
I would say your last sentence essentially holds the answer to your question. God using suffering and death in an already-fallen, sublapsarian world to accomplish secondary purposes along the way in addition to its ultimate purpose of judgment on sin is quite a different thing from death and condemnation existing without any notion of this thing called sin or its existence at all.
This is the point which convinced me to abandon supra for infra. God cannot justly condemn someone without sin. The Scriptures are clear that His wrath is a holy response to sin. Sin is a violation of His law. If reprobation occurs logically before the fall, then God has condemned holy creatures to hell. With the infra scheme, God's soveriegn choice from sinful humanity is in complete harmony with His just wrath against sin or free grace in Christ. There can be no wrath logically before the Fall against men.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Fred,

Have you read Reymond for yourself?
I have, and I am completely unconvinced by his arguments.

Here is the problem for me: Reymond has a couple of odd views (this one, Eternal Sonship being two), but the vast bulk of his Systematic is extremely good, very helpful and a welcome modern edition.

I have to say that I am a bit annoyed with myself for always seeming to be so critical of Reymond because of these points that always come up. I find him usually careful and good and would recommend his Systematic with those cautions.
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by fredtgreco
As I said before, Reymond's "modification" makes no sense at all, unless it is viewed as infra. How can one elect men who are sinful, without sin in view? The decree to permit the Fall is #4, logically consequent to the decree to elect. It is logically impossible then, to view men as "sinful," because there has been no sin.

It might make some of you more comfortable - but Reymond is logically inconsistent to the point of incoherency here. I think that the classic supra scheme has much more validity. (And I think that the supra scheme has a great deal of respected adherents). Why I would want to abandon that for mish-mash is beyond me.

:ditto:
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by puritansailor
Originally posted by Me Died Blue
I would say your last sentence essentially holds the answer to your question. God using suffering and death in an already-fallen, sublapsarian world to accomplish secondary purposes along the way in addition to its ultimate purpose of judgment on sin is quite a different thing from death and condemnation existing without any notion of this thing called sin or its existence at all.
This is the point which convinced me to abandon supra for infra. God cannot justly condemn someone without sin. The Scriptures are clear that His wrath is a holy response to sin. Sin is a violation of His law. If reprobation occurs logically before the fall, then God has condemned holy creatures to hell. With the infra scheme, God's soveriegn choice from sinful humanity is in complete harmony with His just wrath against sin or free grace in Christ. There can be no wrath logically before the Fall against men.
hmmm.. . . . very good.

I must admit, this idea makes my view of supra questionable, and God out to be a transcendent Vlad Tepes who would make human torches to light His table feast for mere utility, and not reserve wrath for just condemnation.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Originally posted by Saiph
Originally posted by puritansailor
Originally posted by Me Died Blue
I would say your last sentence essentially holds the answer to your question. God using suffering and death in an already-fallen, sublapsarian world to accomplish secondary purposes along the way in addition to its ultimate purpose of judgment on sin is quite a different thing from death and condemnation existing without any notion of this thing called sin or its existence at all.
This is the point which convinced me to abandon supra for infra. God cannot justly condemn someone without sin. The Scriptures are clear that His wrath is a holy response to sin. Sin is a violation of His law. If reprobation occurs logically before the fall, then God has condemned holy creatures to hell. With the infra scheme, God's soveriegn choice from sinful humanity is in complete harmony with His just wrath against sin or free grace in Christ. There can be no wrath logically before the Fall against men.
hmmm.. . . . very good.

I must admit, this idea makes my view of supra questionable, and God out to be a transcendent Vlad Tepes who would make human torches to light His table feast for mere utility, and not reserve wrath for just condemnation.
Actually I must give credit to Fred for my "conversion." His simple question "reprobated to what?" forced me to change.

[Edited on 1-6-2006 by puritansailor]
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
I typed out a portion of Robert Reymond\'s treatment for this thread:

THE PURPOSING PRINCIPLE GOVERNING THE RATIONAL MIND

ROBERT REYMOND

All supralapsarians aver as a second consideration (though only thso who affirm the revised scheme offer an order of the decrees consistent with this consideration) that in all purposive planning the rational mind is governed by the principle of determining first the end to be accomplished and then the several appropriate means to attain that end; and in the case of the means in the plan, each of which becomes an "œend" of the immediately following means, the rational mind determines them in retrograde order from the end or goal back through all the means necessary to the accomplishment of that ultimate end. The rational mind recognizes that only in this way is each element of the plan purposive and contributory to the coherence of the entire plan. And God is a purposing planner!
To illustrate: suppose a rational planner decides to buy a car. This is the end that he will pursue. With his end determined, only then does he determine the appropriate means to achieve it. (A rational mind is actually capable of doing both instantaneously; by the phrase "œonly then" we intend a logical or teleological, not a chronological, order.) Never would a rational car buyer first leave home with twenty thousand dollars in his pocket, understanding his action to be means to something, and only then determine the end which his action was intended to be a means to. The end always precedes the means in a rational mind.
The rational planner also realizes, if he would achieve his end, that he must actually execute the means he determines are essential to that end in a particular order. For example, suppose the car buyer has determined that between the point where he finds himself-in bed at home and carless-and his determined end of purchasing a car stand five means necessary to his becoming a car owner: (1)getting out of bed, (2) leaving home, (3) arriving at the car dealership, (4) agreeing with the car salesman on the purchase price of the car, and (5) arranging a loan through his bank for that sum. The rational car buyer realizes that he cannot first arrange with the bank for the agreed-upon sum, then agree with the car salesman on the purchase price of the car, then get to the car dealership in order to speak with the car salesman, then leave home, and then get out of bed. Never would a rational car buyer even try to execute the means to his end in a manner that would frustrate his plan and lead to failure.
But there is another aspect to rational planning which is not always taken into account. How does the rational mind go about determining the means that are necessary to reach a determined end? Because it recognizes that each means in any purposive chain of means, except for the last one (last, viewed from the point of the determined end), of necessity is the "œend" of the means that follows it, and because it is necessary always to pass from the end to the means to the end, the rational mind will not begin from the point where it finds itself and determine first from that point the last means to the end. Rather, the rational mind (in the case of men, it may do this at times without even realizing it; at other times it will be very conscious that it is doing so) will begin from the determined end and in a retro-grade movement work back in its planning to the point where it finds itself at the moment. Only in this way does each means answer purposively to the need of the former means. To use our car buyer illustration one more time: The car buyer has determined that he will purchase a car (his ultimate end). But in order to do that (given his present circumstance), he determines, as the first means to his ultimate end (which means becomes the "œend" of any second means that he determines would be necessary), that he must arrange a loan with his bank for the agreed-upon sum. But in order to do that, he determines, as the second means to his ultimate end (which second means becomes the "œend" of any third means that he determines would be necessary), that he must agree with the car salesman on the purchase price of the car. But in order to do that, he determines, as the third means to his ultimate end (which third means becomes the "œend" of any fourth means that he determines would be necessary), that he must get to the car dealership. But in order to do that, he determines, as the fourth means to his ultimate end (which fourth means becomes the "œend" of any fifth means that he determines would be necessary), that he must leave home. But in order to do that, he determines, as the fifth means to his ultimate end (which becomes the "œend" of any sixth means that he determines would be necessary, but since in our illustration it is the last means it does not become an "œend"), that he must get out of bed. In purposive planning, each element of the plan necessarily answers the need of the preceding element, so that there is purpose in each member and purposive coherence governing the whole plan. This is actually the way the truly rational mind purposes or plans, and one will have no trouble accepting this as so if he will recognize (1) that the purposing mind always determines the end before it determines the means to achieve it, and (2) that each means in any plan necessarily is the "œend" of the means that follows it in the plan.
One final point: It is exceedingly important to note that when he finally carries out his plan, the rational planner executes the means (if he acts purposively) in the precise inverse order to the order in which the means he determined upon appear in the plan. That which is last in design is first in accomplishment and that which is first in design is last in accomplishment.
All supralapsarians take seriously the biblical truth that God, as a rational God of purpose, must necessarily do all that he does purposively. It is inconceivable to them that God would decree to create the world for no purpose or would decree to create it for some purpose unrelated to his one final purpose. Accordingly, in light of their perception of the manner in which the rational mind plans and then executes its plan (and who will deny that God is rational, since the only alternative consistent with such a denial is that he is irrational), the more consistent supralapsarians urge that the order of God´s eternal plan is the precise inverse to the order in which he executes it. Since God initiated the execution of his eternal purpose by first creating the world, the decree to create the world is the last in design, and since God´s eternal purpose culminates with redeemed sinners praising him in the Eschaton for the glory of his particularizing grace made theirs through the cross work of Christ (see 2 Thess. 1:7-10; Rev. 19:1-8; 21:9-27; 22:1-5), the decree to bring that to pass (the end) is the first in design. In other words, while the execution of the divine purpose is indeed "œinfralapsarian" in the sense that God´s historical redemptive activity necessarily follows the historical Fall, the plan itself is supralapsarian. But while all supralapsarians share the same basic perception of the principles which govern the order of the decrees, many have failed to work out the order of the decrees in a manner consistent with their own perception of things and have done a disservice to their cause as a result. By placing the discriminating decree first and then simply arranging the remaining decrees in the historical order, they abandon the purposing principle of arrangement which alone relates the discriminating decree to the Fall of man, and accordingly they represent God as discriminating among men as men-since they may be regarded as sinners only after the decree concerning the Fall-leaving themselves open thereby to the infralapsarian charge that we have already noted. The consistent supralapsarian, however, submits the following order of the decrees, which reflects, it must be emphasized again, not a chronological but a teleological order within the divine plan:

1. For the praise for the glory of his grace God elected some sinful men (note: in order to reveal the glory of his grace, he views these men as transgressors of his law from the outset; how it is that they may be so viewed is determined by the fourth decree) to salvation in Christ (Eph. 1:3-4) and for the praise of his glorious justice reprobated the rest of sinful mankind.

In order to accomplish this end, he determined that

2. the Holy Spirit would apply Christ´s accomplished redemptive benefits to elect sinners of the New Testament age and those same redemptive benefits anticipatively to elect sinners of the Old Testament age, the necessary first condition to the consummation of the original determined end.

In order to accomplish this means (which necessarily becomes a second "œend"), he determined that

3. Christ would actually redeem elect sinners of both the New and Old Testament ages by his cross work, the necessary second condition if the Holy Spirit was to have Christ´s redemptive benefits to apply.

In order to accomplish this means and to provide the context which makes Christ´s cross work meaningful (which necessarily becomes a third "œend"), he determined that

4. men would fall in Adam, their federal head, the necessary third condition if Christ´s redemptive benefits were to have an elect referents needing redemption.

In order to accomplish this means (which necessarily becomes a fourth "œend"), he determined that

5. he would enter into a covenant of works with the first man "œwherein life was promised to Adam; and in him to his posterity, upon condition of perfect and personal obedience" (Confession, VII/ii), making him thereby the race´s federal head as well, and then providentially "œpermit" the federal head to fall, but this "œnot by a bare permission, but such [permission] as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding, and otherwise ordering, and governing"¦, in a manifold dispensation, to his own holy ends" (Confession, V/iv; see also VI/i), and yet to bind, order, and govern the entire Adamic temptation in such a way that "œthe sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin" (Confession, V/iv; see also III/i), all these features of the plan comprising the necessary fifth condition if men were to experience a moral and eithical fall.

In order to accomplish this means (which necessarily becomes a fifth "œend"), that is, in order that a moral "œlapse" on man´s part could occur, he determined that

6. he would create Adam in a condition of holiness (status integritatis) but also in a mutable condition (posse pecarre et posse non pecarre) "œso that he might fall from it" (Westminster Confession of Faith, IX/ii).

In order to accomplish this means (which necessarily becomes a sixth "œend"), that is, to provide the necessary arena in which all this could take place, and to do so with such an evident display of his attributes as to leave fallen men who woud deny his existence without excuse, he determined that

7. he would create a universe (since this is the last means in the plan, it does not become a seventh "œend" requiring a following means).

This revision of the more common supralapsarian arrangement, since the first part of the one eternal purpose is teleologically integrated with every aspect following it, allows God from the first to discriminate among men viewed as sinners.
Then, whe n he put his plan into execution-in inverse order to the order in which the several parts appear in his plan-he created the world and Adam and entered into covenant with Adam, making him the race´s federal head. Then Adam fell and all men descending from him by ordinary generation fell in him. Then Christ redeemed the Old Testament elect by his (for them) anticipated cross work and the New Testament elect by his accomplished cross work, with the Holy Spirit applying anticipatively his redemptive benefits to the Old Testament elect and applying his accomplished redemptive benefits to the New Testament elect, all leading to God´s finally achieving his determined end-enhanced by the reprobation of the nonelect-even the praise of his glorious electing grace in Christ toward undeserving sinners. Each historical occurrence is purposive becaue it is the execution of an aspect of God´s one eternal purpose which answers not chronologically but teleoglogically to the need of the immediately preceding aspect of the plan.
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by fredtgreco
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Fred,

Have you read Reymond for yourself?
I have, and I am completely unconvinced by his arguments.

Here is the problem for me: Reymond has a couple of odd views (this one, Eternal Sonship being two), but the vast bulk of his Systematic is extremely good, very helpful and a welcome modern edition.

I have to say that I am a bit annoyed with myself for always seeming to be so critical of Reymond because of these points that always come up. I find him usually careful and good and would recommend his Systematic with those cautions.
Fred,

I agree with your cautions for Reymond. However, I believe he is right on with his view of supra.

Interestingly enough, he states that others in history have adopted this modified view:

Jermoe Zanchius (possibly)
Johannes Piscator
Herman Hoeksema
Gordon H. Clark

I wouldn't generally put too much stock in material from Hoeksema, but he wasn't all bad!

Good discussion all. :handshake:
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Jeff,

1. For the praise for the glory of his grace God elected some sinful men (note: in order to reveal the glory of his grace, he views these men as transgressors of his law from the outset; how it is that they may be so viewed is determined by the fourth decree) to salvation in Christ (Eph. 1:3-4) and for the praise of his glorious justice reprobated the rest of sinful mankind.
Temporally, God did not create anything evil, He created all things Good, and ordained the fall. So, now that I have thought about this more, why would that order be different logically ?

If He purposed to create sinful men first, regardless of the fall, then that is condemnation before and without disobedience to His law. All the reprobate are indeed human torches to light His feast. And the fall seems like God is covering His tracks to make it seem excusable to us . .. .

Even Satan was created good.

I am seriously considering Infra now unless you can answer this.

[Edited on 1-6-2006 by Saiph]
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by Saiph
Temporally, God did not create anything evil, He created all things Good, and ordained the fall.
It seems (correct me if I'm wrong) that you are confusing decree with creation here. God did not ordaing the fall after he created, he ordained them both before the foundation of the world.

In the supra/infra debate, we must be extremely careful to remain the the "decree" and not confuse the execution of that decree.

Originally posted by Saiph
So, now that I have thought about this more, why would that order be different logically ?
Because a logical mind plans in a strictly logical fashion. We must be able to place a purpose behind the end, a reason for the madness (so to speak).

If we were to do this with the infra scheme, it would look something like this:

to create;
but in order to do that, God must
to permit the fall;
but in order to do that, God must
elect to eternal life and blessedness a great multitude out of this mass of fallen men, and to leave the others, as He left the Devil and the fallen angels, to suffer the just punishment of their sins;
but in order to do that, God must
to give His Son, Jesus Christ, for the redemption of the elect;
but in order to do that, God must
to send the Holy Spirit to apply to the elect the redemption which was purchased by Christ.

There seems to be no logical fashion for why God creates in this scheme, a topic the Bible is very clear on.

Originally posted by Saiph
If He purposed to create sinful men first, regardless of the fall, then that is condemnation before and without disobedience to His law.
This is a valid critique of the original version of supralapsarianism, but not the modified version as supported by Clark, Hoeksema, and Reymond. Again, the modified version looks like this:

1: The election of some sinful men to salvation in Christ (and the reprobation of the rest of sinful mankind in order to make known the riches of God gracious mercy to the elect)
2: The Decree to apply Christ's redemptive benefits to the elect sinners
3: The decree to redeem the elect sinners by the cross work of Christ
4: The decree that men should fall
5: The decree to create the world and men.

Originally posted by Saiph
All the reprobate are indeed human torches to light His feast. And the fall seems like God is covering His tracks to make it seem excusable to us . .. .
Again, we cannot view this in time (which I think the old supra form is guilty of), but STRICTLY a logical form. God's thoughts are not chronological, they are ONLY logical. To put God's plan in a chronological form destroys God's immutability.

A logical form is based upon "In order to do that, I must do this, and in order to do that, I must do this...and on and on" Only when we use this method do we take the decree of God out of a chronological order and place it in the logical order.

Originally posted by Saiph
I am seriously considering Infra now unless you can answer this.
I understand your concerns, but I truely believe that all of the infralapsarians critiques are answered in the modified supra form, not to mention that it does something that both supralapsarians and infralapsarians all admit needs to be done, and that is look at the decree of Godwithout respect to chronology, but only logically.

Reymond also gives some devestating critiques of the infra form, but I have already spent a good deal of time typing out the previous section from his systematic.

Before changing views, I would recommend reading his treatment, and others. I have read most treatments I can get my hands on, and still think that the modified version is the only one that stands up to scrutiny.

As a side note, I long to purchase
Twisse, William. The Riches of God´s Love unto the Vessells of Mercy, Consistent with His Absolute Hatred or Reprobation of the Vessells of Wrath. 1653. 2 vols: 300, 262 large pp. Moderator of the Westminster Assembly. The largest presentation of Supralapsarianism. 1748. $75.

It is available form Curt Daniel's bookstore called Scholarly Reprints.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
How can you logically have sin and sinners before the Fall is even contemplated/decreed?

Answer: you can't!

Before God decreed the Fall, the concept of sin was not even in existence.

[Edited on 1/6/2006 by fredtgreco]
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
Hmmm I think Jeff is right at this point. We mustn't confuse how God works out His purposes *in time* with His decrees of *eternity past*. In other words when looking at this issue from the perspective of time we have infra. But looking at God's decrees before time we have supra. That why I opt for revised supra. God decrees all that will come to pass for the purpose of His self-glorfication. This included the plan of sin occuring *in time* so that His mercy and grace could be revealed through His Son.

VanVos
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Originally posted by VanVos
Hmmm I think Jeff is right at this point. We mustn't confuse how God works out His purposes *in time* with His decrees of *eternity past*. In other words when looking at this issue from the perspective of time we have infra. But looking at God's decrees before time we have supra. That why I opt for revised supra. God decrees all that will come to pass for the purpose of His self-glorfication. This included the plan of sin occuring *in time* so that His mercy and grace could be revealed through His Son.

VanVos
I'm not refering to time at all but logical order. Logically, you cannot have condemnation/wrath before sin. It's completely contrary to the holy nature of God. And as Fred pointed out, sin isn't even a factor until God decrees the Fall. Logically, there can be no decree of wrath against sin before a decree to allow sin to have wrath against.
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by VanVos
Hmmm I think Jeff is right at this point. We mustn't confuse how God works out His purposes *in time* with His decrees of *eternity past*. In other words when looking at this issue from the perspective of time we have infra. But looking at God's decrees before time we have supra. That why I opt for revised supra. God decrees all that will come to pass for the purpose of His self-glorfication. This included the plan of sin occuring *in time* so that His mercy and grace could be revealed through His Son.

VanVos
infralapsarians would affirm the bolded statement as well.


And honestly, thinking too hard about atemporal logical order unhinges my mind . . . cause I only know linear thought (discursive).

Wheels withis wheels.
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by puritansailor
Originally posted by VanVos
Hmmm I think Jeff is right at this point. We mustn't confuse how God works out His purposes *in time* with His decrees of *eternity past*. In other words when looking at this issue from the perspective of time we have infra. But looking at God's decrees before time we have supra. That why I opt for revised supra. God decrees all that will come to pass for the purpose of His self-glorfication. This included the plan of sin occuring *in time* so that His mercy and grace could be revealed through His Son.

VanVos
I'm not refering to time at all but logical order. Logically, you cannot have condemnation/wrath before sin. It's completely contrary to the holy nature of God. And as Fred pointed out, sin isn't even a factor until God decrees the Fall. Logically, there can be no decree of wrath against sin before a decree to allow sin to have wrath against.
Yes when viewed as sequential *events*. But in God's mind He can plan to create such a situation, Yes?
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by Saiph
Originally posted by VanVos
Hmmm I think Jeff is right at this point. We mustn't confuse how God works out His purposes *in time* with His decrees of *eternity past*. In other words when looking at this issue from the perspective of time we have infra. But looking at God's decrees before time we have supra. That why I opt for revised supra. God decrees all that will come to pass for the purpose of His self-glorfication. This included the plan of sin occuring *in time* so that His mercy and grace could be revealed through His Son.

VanVos
infralapsarians would affirm the bolded statement as well.
Yes, and as long as both sides keep affirming that statement there's not too much to worry about. I guess in my understanding the revised supra position best safeguards that statement. But I don't want to get too dogmatic about it.


[Edited on 1-6-2006 by VanVos]
 
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