We come to the final chapter (XXVIII) AND final post of this review of Loraine Boettner’s heretically-saturated book, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination: “Calvinism In History”:
“It may occasion some surprise to discover that the doctrine of Predestination was not made a matter of special study until near the end of the fourth century. The earlier church fathers placed chief emphasis on good works such as faith, repentance, almsgiving, prayers, submission to baptism, etc., as the basis of salvation. They of course taught that salvation was through Christ; yet they assumed that man had full power to accept or reject the gospel. Some of their writings contain passages in which the sovereignty of God is recognized; yet along side of those are others which teach the absolute freedom of the human will. Since they could not reconcile the two they would have denied the doctrine of Predestination and perhaps also that of God’s absolute Foreknowledge. They taught a kind of synergism in which there was a co-operation between grace and free will. It was hard for man to give up the idea that he could work out his own salvation. But at last, as a result of a long, slow process, he came to the great truth that salvation is a sovereign gift which has been bestowed irrespective of merit; that it was fixed in eternity; and that God is the author in all of its stages” (p. 365).
Boettner’s recounting of the beginnings of the “post-Apostolic early church” consisted of zealous individuals whose ignorance of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel of Jesus Christ necessarily led them to seek to establish a righteousness of their own (Romans 10:2-3). It involved persons who were NOT submitted to the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel, and then “as a result of a long, slow process” they came to understand the popularly held Augustino-Calvinist doctrine of salvation conditioned on the supposedly “non-meritorious efforts” of the sinner (contra Romans 4:4 and Romans 11:6).
Jesus Christ WILL build His assembly and the gates of hades will NOT prevail against her (Matthew 16:18). Where two or three are gathered together in Christ’s name, He IS in their midst (Matthew 18:20). God will NOT thrust away His people whom He foreknew:
“I say then, Did not God thrust away His people? Let it not be! For I also am an Israelite, out of Abraham’s seed, of the tribe of Benjamin. God did not thrust away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture said in Elijah, how he pleaded with God against Israel, saying, Lord, they killed Your prophets, and they dug down Your altars, and only I am left, and they seek my life (Romans 11:1-3).
He WILL preserve, protect, and deliver His people from this present evil age:
“…I reserved to Myself seven thousand men who did not bow a knee to Baal. So then, also in the present time a remnant according to election of grace has come into being” (Romans 11:4-5).
“Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, so that He might deliver us out of the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Galatians 1:3-4).
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, He according to His great mercy having regenerated us to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, having been kept in Heaven for you the ones in the power of God being guarded through faith to a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5).
“Little children, you are of God and have overcome them, because He in you is greater than he in the world. They are of the world; because of this they speak of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God; the one knowing God hears us. Whoever is not of God does not hear us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:4-6).
Throughout “church history” every true believer without exception has had NO OTHER FOUNDATION, NO OTHER GROUND OF SALVATION than Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11). Those “earlier church fathers” whom Boettner mentioned were the careless and foolish builders who laid a foundation OTHER THAN that of the Person and Work of Jesus Christ as the SOLE GROUND of salvation. Likewise, Calvinists who count universal atonement advocates (e.g., “Arminians”) as true Christians have laid down the sinner’s efforts as THE foundational difference between salvation and damnation rather than the Work of Jesus Christ alone.
“For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. So, then, you are no longer strangers and tenants, but you are fellow citizens of the saints and of the family of God, being built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the cornerstone, in whom all the building being fitted together grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:18-22).
Just as Boettner’s “earlier church fathers,” so today do vast droves of false religionists presumptuously adorn their pestilent persons with the name of “Christian.” Their profession of “Christ to follow” rings exceedingly hollow, seeing they have REJECTED the true Jesus Christ of Scripture as being the CORNERSTONE and have put “another jesus” whom the apostles did NOT preach in His place (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:4). They begin their so-called “Christian life” with a false christ in the room and stead of the true Christ (in my estimate the tolerant Calvinists are the most conspicuous offenders of this aforementioned type of rejection).
At times true believers (like Elijah did before them) may find it rather exasperating and daunting to perceive the plethora of people who while professing “Christian piety,” are in fact paying homage to Baal:
“But what does the Divine answer say to him, I reserved to Myself seven thousand men who did not bow a knee to Baal. So then, also in the present time a remnant according to election of grace has come into being” (Romans 11:4-5).
Boetter’s post-Apostolic “church fathers” were sincere and zealous in their ignorance of whose righteousness is the only righteousness God accepts as a basis for salvation (cf. Romans 10:1-4). Some of these “fathers of the faith” seemed more than a little perplexed (vexed?) at the creature-Creator divide. But charity dictates we attribute nothing but the purest of motives to those desiring to “teach the absolute freedom of the human will” (cf. Psalm 2:1-12).
To conclude this V-E-R-Y L-O-N-G (46)-part review of Loraine Boettner’s “Bloated Book of Blasphemy”:
What does the Calvinist think of the “heretically historical underpinnings” mentioned by Boettner? MANY (including Augustine) in the so-called “earlier church” believed in salvation by the work of baptism (Boettner mentioned other human efforts “as the BASIS of salvation”). So there you go tolerant Calvinist heretics:
THERE’S where your “ecclesiastical roots” are. THERE’S your “historical pedigree.” THERE’S your “claim to antiquity.” THERE’S your claim of “continuous existence back to the time of the Apos –.” NOPE. NOT back to the Apostles since the Apostles preached salvation conditioned SOLELY on the work of Jesus Christ while YOU preach salvation conditioned on the so-called “non-meritorious efforts” of the sinner. Your soteriological views are those of Cain. Our soteriological views are those of Abel (cf. Hebrews 11:4, 12:24; 1 John 3:12).
The TRUTH (to which we hold) concerning salvation by the work of Jesus Christ ALONE is “ancient” (Romans 16:25; Ephesians 3:11; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2). The LIE (to which you hold) concerning salvation conditioned on the sinner (whether “spiritually-enabled” or not) is nearly as ancient (cf. John 8:44; 1 John 3:8; Revelation 12:9).
As even a couple of your own thundering poets have said:
“The notes, signs, and assured tokens whereby the spotless bride of Christ is known from the horrible harlot, the false Kirk, we state, are neither antiquity, usurped title, lineal succession, appointed place, nor the numbers of men approving an error.”
“If the Church is founded on the doctrine of the apostles and prophets, by which believers are enjoined to place their salvation in Christ alone, then if that doctrine is destroyed, how can the Church continue to stand? The Church must necessarily fall whenever that sum of religion which alone can sustain it has given way. Again, if the true Church is the pillar and ground of the truth, (1 Tim. 3: 15,) it is certain that there is no Church where lying and falsehood have usurped the ascendancy.”
The central doctrine of the gospel is the efficacious atonement of Jesus Christ. The true efficacious cross-work of Christ is the sum of true Christian religion. When the LIE of salvation conditioned on the sinner usurps the efficacious cross-work of Jesus Christ there is no true assembly, but rather a Synagogue of Satan.
MOST who come in the name of “Christianity” (especially tolerant Calvinists) desire to look well in the flesh by affirming one of the many forms of salvation conditioned on the sinner’s efforts. Said tolerant Calvinists heartily affirm their spiritual kinship and oneness with those who profane the precious propitiatory blood of Christ. Tolerant Calvinist heretics affirm “spiritual oneness” with scorners of efficacious atonement, not only because they too are scorners, but also because they are spineless cowards who would not “be persecuted for the cross of Christ” (Galatians 6:12).
BOTH the tolerant Calvinists and their spiritual brothers have been taught by the father of lies concerning which “christ” is revealed and whose righteousness is the established ground of acceptance with God upon regeneration. They believe the false “christ” of a non-atonement is revealed to the elect sinner, rather than the true Christ of efficacious atonement (contrary to John 6:44-45, 8:44-45; Romans 10:1-4, and 2 Corinthians 4:3-6).
The tolerant Calvinist vitiation, repudiation, and shameless profanation of the cross of Jesus Christ is one of the most grievous and blatant among all the abominations in professing Christendom.
We COULD dig deeper into this nice, cozy, warm, and damp hole-in-the-wall of professing Christendom and discover additional abominations residing therein (much like discovering additional active, lively, and less-than-amiable arachnids; cf. Ezekiel 8:6). BUT since this “hole-in-the-wall,” this “portal-of-blasphemy-infested-dirt” is analogous to Boettner’s book, we need not proceed any further.
If any “Arminians” (and especially any tolerant Calvinists) that were able to burrow with me through Boettner’s blasphemous “hole-in-the-wall” and witnessing the many abominations therein, I would seriously admonish you with the following:
“Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord are these” (Jeremiah 7:4).