Walk Not In The Counsel Of The Wicked

The second to last chapter (XXVII) of Boettner’s book is called The Practical Importance Of The Doctrine. He writes:

“The doctrine of Predestination is a doctrine for genuine Christians. Considerable caution should be exercised in preaching it to the unconverted. It is almost impossible to convince a non-Christian of its truthfulness, and in fact the heart of the unregenerate man usually revolts against it. If it is stressed before the simpler truths of the Christian system are mastered, it will likely be misunderstood and in that case it may only drive the person into deeper despair. In preaching to the unconverted or to those who are just beginning the Christian life, our part consists mainly in presenting and stressing man’s part in the work of salvation,– faith, repentance, moral reform, etc. These are the elementary steps so far as man’s consciousness extends. At that early stage little need be said about the deeper truths which relate to God’s part. As in the study of Mathematics we do not begin with algebra and calculus but with the simple problems of arithmetic, so here the better way is to first present the more elementary truths. Then after the person is saved and has traveled some distance in the Christian way he comes to see that in his salvation God’s work was primary and his was only secondary, that he was saved through grace and not by his own works” (pp. 348-349).

Not one apostle, nor Jesus Himself “exercised considerable caution” when presenting the broad BIBLICAL doctrine (NOT the Reformed doctrine) of predestination (e.g., providence, election, reprobation):

“But I said to you that you also have seen Me and did not believe. All that the Father gives to Me shall come to Me, and the one coming to Me I will in no way cast out. For I have come down out of Heaven, not that I should do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me. And this is the will of the Father sending Me, that of all that He has given Me, I shall not lose any of it, but shall raise it up in the last day…Then the Jews murmured about Him…Then Jesus answered and said to them, Do not murmur with one another. No one is able to come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up in the last day…But there are some of you who are not believing. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were, the ones not believing, and who was the one betraying Him. And He said, Because of this, I have told you that no one is able to come to Me except it is given to him from My Father. From this time many of His disciples went away into the things behind, and no longer walked with Him” (John 6:36-39, 41, 43-44, 64-66).

Oops. Jesus failed to follow Boettner’s sagacious guidance. And this was no hasty “slip-up” on the part of Jesus. Not at all. Jesus “throws Boettner’s caution to the wind” by taking His relentless hammer to the sensibilities of unregenerate men. Boettner’s shrewd “evangelistic” strategy is to get the sinner to first believe in the “essential doctrine” of election by works, and then only later to believe in the “optional doctrine” of the election of grace (cf. Romans 11:5-6). For Boettner the sanest course of action is to encourage initial belief in the “essential doctrine” that salvation IS of the one willing or running, and then only later to “come into” the “optional doctrine” that salvation is actually of the God who shows mercy to whom He wills (cf. Romans 9:16-18).

To Boettner and those similarly minded with him:

Keep your self-righteous, prejudicial, God-hating advice to yourself (cf. Psalm 1:1-2).

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