Continuing with Chapter X (“Total Inability”), Boettner writes the following concerning “the fall of man”:
“Only Calvinists seem to take the doctrine of the fall very seriously” (p. 72).
Fashionable Calvinist doctrines such as “common grace” and “common operations of the spirit” prove this statement to be utterly laughable. See the article “Common Grace?” for evidence of how ridiculous that statement by Boettner truly is:
Earlier Boettner asserted that the WCF was “the most perfect expression of the Reformed Faith” (p. 13). So let’s see how “seriously” the Calvinists at Westminster Abbey took the doctrine of the fall:
“Our first parents, being seduced by the subtilty and temptation of Satan, sinned in eating the forbidden fruit. This their sin God was pleased, according to his wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to his own glory” (6.6.1).
Calvinists like Boettner and the WCF men evidently find the extreme simplicity of Paul’s razor-sharp Creator/creature distinction quite mysterious, inscrutable, and perplexing (Romans 9:19-21). So perplexing is this distinction that they are compelled to dream up concepts that can only be applied to idols and not to the True and Living God. The WCF men and those like-minded with them (e.g., Boettner) are afraid of, and in rebellion against, God’s sovereign causing of the fall of man. So they make up things that are absolutely unbiblical and anti-God in order to make God more palatable to their own and others’ depraved minds. To “permit, having purposed to order it to his own glory” means that, at times the creature is “permitted” to do things apart from God’s active controlling sovereignty. This is idolatrous blasphemy.
“Dr. A. A. Hodge has given us a very good statement of the doctrine of the fall which we shall take the privilege of quoting:
‘As a fair probation could not, in the nature of the case, be given to every new member in person as it comes into existence a undeveloped infant, God, as guardian of the race and for its best interests, gave all its members a trial in the person of Adam under the most favorable circumstances — making him for that end the representative and personal substitute of each one of his natural descendants. He formed with him a covenant of works and of life; i. e., He gave to him for himself, and in behalf of all whom he represented, a promise of eternal life, conditioned upon perfect obedience, — that is, upon works. The obedience demanded was a specific test for a temporary period, which period of trial must necessarily be closed either by the reward consequent upon obedience, or the death consequent upon disobedience. The ‘reward’ promised was eternal life, which was a grace including far more than was originally bestowed upon Adam at his creation, the grant of which would have elevated the race into a condition of indefeasible holiness and happiness for ever. The ‘penalty’ threatened and executed was death; ‘The day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.’ The nature of the death threatened can be determined only from a consideration of all that was involved in the curse actually inflicted. This we know to have included the instant withdrawal of the divine favor and spiritual intercommunion upon which man’s life depended. Hence the alienation and curse of God; the sense of guilt and corruption of nature; consequent actual transgressions, the miseries of life, the dissolution of the body, the pains of hell’1″ (p. 72-73).
1 A. A. Hodge, pamphlet, Presbyterian Doctrine, pp. 19, 20.
The necessary implication of what Hodge says is that “as a fair probation” and with “the most favorable circumstances,” God gave Adam an opportunity to thwart His eternal purpose in Christ Jesus. According to A.A. Hodge, God promised to grant Adam eternal life on condition that Adam vitiate Christ’s cross, rob His redemptive glory, and impugn His imputed righteousness. What self-righteous, anti-christian dung spewed out by Hodge.
“We live in a lost world, a world which if left to itself would fester in its corruption from eternity to eternity, — a world reeking with iniquity and blasphemy. The effects of the fall are such that man’s will in itself tends only downward to sets of sin and folly. As a matter of fact God does not permit the race to become as corrupt as it naturally would if left to itself. He exercises restraining influences, inciting men to love one another, to be honest, philanthropic, and considerate of each others welfare. Unless God exercised these influences, wicked men would become worse and worse, overlapping conventions and social barriers, until the very zenith of lawlessness would soon be reached, and the earth would become so utterly corrupt that the elect could not live on it” (pp. 74-75).
At the time Boettner penned this he was NOT being left to himself, but was being efficiently caused by God’s powerful wrath to reveal himself as a festering potsherd who reeks of cosmic mutiny. By a holy demonstration of power and wrath God actively caused Boettner in this paragraph to be as corrupt as God desired Boettner to be (cf. Romans 9:22).
There is no such mutinous monstrosity as the “restraining influences” of which Boettner speaks. For God is the Sovereign Controller of the universe who actively and efficiently turns the hearts of men to do His will (i.e., decree). One reason why God powerfully and wrathfully causes lost men to be “honest, philanthropic, and considerate of each others welfare” is to benefit the elect (Romans 8:28).
“In the next world the wicked, with all restraint removed, will go headlong into sin, blaspheming and cursing God, growing worse and worse as they sink deeper and deeper into the bottomless pit” (p. 79).
This pernicious pablum that Boettner regurgitates from atop his impudent high-chair was probably fed to him with the spoon of Jonathan Edwards. This wickedness teaches that God totally “lets go” of His sovereignty in hell — and thus in hell, man is COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY SOVEREIGN (he shall be as God; cf. Genesis 3:4-5). Next Page (12)