Monday, August 17, 2009

Westminster Confession of Faith (Attempt Two) - Chapter 3

Here's the link:

If you want to skip over my bread and butter critique based on a common Arminian Prooftext, just go on to "what I liked"

I tried really hard to find things we agreed upon here. But 1 Timothy 2

" I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings should be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For
there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind,
Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all" - 1 Tim 2:1-6a

Now Catholics are the first people to bring philosophy into exegesis and an understanding of the faith. We see Scripture, Tradition, and Reason to be complimentary. However, the Reformed do not share this belief with us. Thus Reformed attempts to logically rationalize/attack this passage by asking about how the non-elect can call Christ Saviour while being intelligent, are outside their own recognized authority. Limited Atonement and God's active reprobation are based on logic rather than "the clear word of God" which says here that God wills that everyone be saved. And if the Reformed were true to the claim that everything infallibly proceeds from God's will, then they should be universalists.

This is my contention. Instead of starting a debate here (as if anyone reads this blog or would like to defend me in it, lol) just look at Calvinism and Arminianism debates and Jansenist and Catholic debates.

There can actually be alot of agreement between Calvinists and Thomists in Catholicism on predestination, so I'm making it clear here that the two issues only in contention are predestination unto damnation (rather than mere passing over, which is strangely alluded to in article VII after being contradicted by article V), and limited versus unlimited atonement.

What I liked:

"The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men, attending the will of God revealed in His Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election. So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God; and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the Gospel." - Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter III, Article VIII

replace "Certainty" with "hope" and it's Thomistic.


  1. Considering Aquinas taught (the scriptural position of) the damnation and reprobation of some, I think he would agree that God does not "will" the salvation of "all". :)

    I had to start an argument. But you did mention that there can be area's of agreement, so you may choose to simply ignore this.

    Andrew what I want to know is the Catholic teaching on propitiation, I assume it involves the remission of sins upwards of baptism, but I still dont see a consistent understanding of it in light of what "propitiation" actually teaches with Christ's work on the cross.

  2. ah but Aquinas taught passive reprobation and more of a neglect than active reprobation which Calvin taught. Aquinas also defended the resistibility of grace, etc. So that's my argument there.

    I think Catholicism teaches even more than Calvinism the propitiation of Christ (I tend to side with Barth though in that it's more of an expiation than propitiation). Because Christ actually atoned for EVERY sin ever committed, BUT the application of the sacrifice / forgiveness of sins was left to the Church to decide upon (Matt 16, Jn 20:23), and the fathers teach us that it is through (to quote Pelikan) "Faith, Love, and the sacraments"