In the chapter on “Unconditional Election” Boettner considers the “State of the Heathens”:
“The fact that, in the providential working of God, some men are left without the Gospel…virtually involves the principle set forth in the Calvinistic doctrine of Predestination. …For centuries the Jews, who were very few in number, were the only people to whom God was pleased to make any special revelation of Himself. Jesus confined His public ministry almost exclusively to them and forbade his disciples to go among others until after the day of Pentecost (Matthew 10:5, 6; 28:19; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:4). Multitudes were left with no chance to hear the Gospel, and consequently died in their sins. If God had intended to save them undoubtedly he would have sent them the means of salvation. If he had chosen to Christianize India and China a thousand years ago, He most certainly could have accomplished His purpose. Instead, they were left in gross darkness and unbelief” (p. 117; emphasis mine–CD).
The “principle set forth in the Calvinistic doctrine of Predestination” is that since God (“ordinarily”) uses the means of the gospel to save sinners, it follows that God does not intend to save those whom He denies this means of salvation. Clearly this doesn’t follow in their scheme since they readily acknowledge “extraordinary cases” in which the gospel must be DENIED as the power of God to salvation for EVERYONE BELIEVING. Therefore the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination does NOT VIRTUALLY INVOLVE, but ACTUALLY INVOLVES the pernicious principle that Romans 1:16 is NOT TRUE in “extraordinary cases.” To adapt the language of Westminster: Since God the Holy Spirit worketh when, and where, and how He pleaseth, Romans 1:16 is ordinarily true. And thus, Boettner’s statement would have been more accurate had he NOT said this:
“If God had intended to save them undoubtedly he would have sent them the means of salvation” (p. 117).
But had INSTEAD said this:
“If God had intended to save them [most likely, but not necessarily undoubtedly] he would have sent them the [ordinary] means of salvation.”
Behold the travesty of those who denigrate and deny God’s desire to glorify Himself in the hearts of His people (cf. John 16:13-14; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6):
“The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, and is ORDINARILY wrought by the ministry of the Word” (WCF, Of Saving Faith, 14.1; emphasis mine–CD).
For Scriptural proof of this “ORDINARILY wrought by the ministry of the Word” they actually dared to cite Romans 10:14, 17. These men at Westminster Abbey actually had the GALL to use Paul’s “NO EXCEPTIONS” argument to MAKE AN EXCEPTION. WOW. What audacity. It’s as if these men looked right at that text and said: “WE DON’T BELIEVE THIS.”
As if we needed to further enhance our nausea:
“Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit, who worketh when, and where, and how he pleaseth. So also are all other elect persons who are uncapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word” (WCF, Of Effectual Calling, 10.3).
Those who adhere in full to WCF 10.3 and 14.1 have the temerity, the unmitigated gall to deny the irresistible regenerating purpose of God the Holy Spirit to magnify and make known the redemptive work of Jesus Christ in the hearts of ALL His people without exception (cf. John 16:13-14; Romans 1:16; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6). Contrary to Romans 10:1-4 said WCF adherents further blaspheme by stating that in extraordinary cases God the Holy Spirit leaves some of His elect people who are supposedly “uncapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word” ignorant of the righteousness of God that is revealed in the gospel.
In light of WCF 10.3 and 14.1 it ought to be abundantly clear why Boettner need NOT have used the term “virtually” since it’s NOT “virtually,” but ACTUALLY and REALLY part and parcel of “the Calvinistic doctrine of Predestination” to make exceptions to the Romans 1:16 rule and to completely undercut and vitiate Paul’s argument in Romans 10:14.
The cavalier men of Westminster Abbey did NOT believe what God said through the apostle Paul in Romans 10:14-15. Evidently it’s not ALWAYS the case, but only “ORDINARILY” the case that those who are ignorant of God’s righteousness are seeking to establish their own righteousness. Apparently there are “extraordinary instances” in which people are able to submit to a righteous they are ignorant of (cf. Romans 10:1-4). Next Page (18)