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"Lapsarianism In Another Light"

Lapsarianism (from 'lapsa' the Fall of Mankind), supra- and infralapsarianism and other such isms all have in common that their adherents have been put on the wrong foot. They attempt to order and arrange the events of election, fall, salvation and so on; whereas they never seem to have been told that this is a fruitless endeavor.

First of all God has taken good care that matters of Salvation go beyond human logic and beyond the law of non-contradiction. One cannot equate not being elected with being predestined to hell. Nobody will be able to say before the great white throne that he could not help it, implying actually that God is to blame. And many hypercalvinists have just such an attitude in their hearts; which is nothing but a trick to keep them from answering the biblical call of 'Repent!' In fact they subconsciously shrug off their own responsibility with an exaggerated theology of monergism (everything comes only from God). And some even dare say that, when they go to hell: 'If only God will be honored in that.' But exactly then God is not honored, for in that case they miss the object of the divine will.

It is very dangerous and in fact wrong to overemphasize the biblical truth that 'faith is not out of you, it is the gift of God.' For the scriptures also say that 'God wants everybody to be saved and to come to the knowledge of truth.' And the bible clearly calls us up to 'stand up from the dead.' Does that mean that Calvin was wrong and Arminius right? No, such a question shows that you haven't understood the truth in this. These two gentlemen from the past both went wrong in that they attempted to harness Salvation under the yoke of their own logic. Both were partly wrong and both were partly right.

The bible is full of paradoxes that to our feeble hearts appear contradictions. So much so that Luther thought that the letter of the apostle James did not belong in the bible! But the bible elsewhere calls us up to 'work out our salvation with fear and trembling, for God is the one that is working both the willing and the working.' Now this is both monergism and synergism (we must also do something); (The security of eternal salvation is not meant here, but the process of sanctification here on earth). Again this seems to go against the law of non-contradiction. Algebra says a cannot be b. The bible teaches that both a and b talk about the same elevated matter of faith (not a question of a=not b, but a+b=c). Remember Pascal who stated that faith has higher reasons than the mind.

Both in the end and in the beginning God is to be honored. "He that boasts, let him boast in the Lord." "Boasting is excluded." "You are saved by grace through faith and that not out of you. It is God's gift." And it says that God has even predetermined our good works. But of course this does not mean that we must wait for the Holy Spirit to prompt us as if we are robots. a + b = c, God's election and human responsibility work together. That is the paradox. Perhaps we can put it this way. God accomplishes His monergy by using synergy to enact salvation. Where monergy is at a higher plan.

That this is so the bible makes clear again and again to the 'seeing eye and the hearing ear.' For example consider the fact that the one gospel states that Jesus shouted 'eli, eli' and the other one 'eloi, eloi.' Unless He shouted both this appears nonsense to us. This holds even for the ten commandments, for they differ in various passages (but in this case one can argue that Moses restated them in his own words). Did God speak twice then? Who knows He can speak double!?

To save us from this crisis the bible points us the way through the spiritual meanings of the sacrifices in Leviticus 4 and 5. The sin offering speaks of the fact that Christ 'was made sin for us' and so atoned for our sins (the results of sin, the old nature, the old Adam). The guilt offering speaks of the fact that the Lord bought all of us back and that all can and should come to Him. In other words the work of the cross is all-sufficient, but not all-atoning. Where Arminianism can lead to universalism (all will be saved, even the devil), there Calvinism can lead to blaspheming God in the face in babbling that He throws people in hell as if they were spiders. Hypercalvinism teaches a so-called double predestination. But then God is throwing with dice, determining a priori which aborted baby will go to hell and which goes to heaven (they all go to heaven of course, as they have not attained the age of responsibility yet). When Calvin stated that if nobody had been elected, then nobody would go to heaven and we all would be lost; he did not talk of double predestination and certainly not of babies.

Christ died for the sake of all, but only in the place of those that would believe (except in the case of those that have not yet attained the age of responsibility ((cf. Jonah 4, where the Lord speaks of people not knowing the difference between their right and left hand; consider also that the apostle Paul stated that children of a believing parent are sanctified)) Babies and foeti cannot believe yet and therefore are elected in a way. Also think of what the Lord said to the Pharisees, namely that God had prepared Him praise through the mouths of little children and sucklings. Seeing the death rate among infants throughout history and witnessing the number of abortions the last decennia, this is understandable). Both sides, both aspects are true. You see, a and b speak about the same thing. It is wrong to state that either a or b must be the truth. Hence stem the major divisions and schisms of Christendom.

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