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Archive for November, 2010

Hodge replied on behalf of “two General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church in the USA, explaining why the Pope’s invitation to Protestants to send delegates to the first Vatican Council of 1869-70 was being declined.” The text of it is available here. Many fascinating features to the reply, I think. (HT: DT)

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No Use For Such Drivel

Over at Theology Forum, Bavinck is quoted on a topic more recently called “horrendous evils,” a topic I’ve been working on for a couple of years. In this subject area, we have ultimately to do with what constitutes a robust realism in the face of the extremities of pain, horror, and suffering. As usual, the Dutch theologian is memorably brilliant, and I particularly appreciate how Bavinck pairs the cry of the suffering for mercy with the refusal by Calvinists to be “hoodwinked” in the way non-Calvinist paradigms must always be:

“Present in this world there is so much that is irrational, so much undeserved suffering, so many inexplicable disasters, such unequal and incomprehensible apportionment of good and bad fortune, such a heartbreaking contrast between joy and sorrow, that any thinking person has to choose between interpreting it – as pessimism does – in terms of the blind will of some misbegotten deity, or on the basis of Scripture believingly trusting in the absolute, sovereign, and yet – however incomprehensible – wise and holy will of him who will some day cause the full light of heaven to shine on those riddles of our existence….Pelagianism scatters flowers over graves, turns death into an angel, regards sin as mere weakness, lectures on the uses of adversity, and considers this the best possible world.  Calvinism has no use for such drivel.  It refuses to be hoodwinked.  It tolerates no delusion, takes full account of the seriousness of life, champions the rights of the Lord of lords, and humbly bows in adoration before the inexplicable sovereign will of God Almighty.  As a result, it proves to be fundamentally more merciful than Pelagianism (RD, 2:394).”

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