[Posts in “fictional conversations” are sometimes (but not always) adapted and edited from non-fictional correspondence. They are usually lightly edited with intelligibility in mind.]
Protestant Reformed Minister of Satan (PRMoS): Hoo’s it gaun?
Christian: It’s going okay, thanks.
PRMoS: How ye daein?
Christian: I’m doing alright. May I help you with something?
PRMoS : Aye, that. I have objections to portions of your article that misrepresent the Westminster Confession of Faith. (Also, your calling it “The Wicked Westminster Confession of Faith” is unnecessarily pejorative and incendiary).
Christian: Are you able to document my alleged misrepresentations of the Westminster Confession? Do you have anything specific in mind?
PRMoS: Of course I do. The WCF 3.7 states:
“The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extendeth or withholdeth mercy, as He pleaseth, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice” (3.7).
PRMoS: Regarding the reprobate the WCF not only says “pass by” but also “and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice.” Yet your “commentary” ignores this and then presents the WCF as holding a “semi-deist, semi-dualist position.” The phrase “pass by” is immediately followed by “and to ORDAIN them.” They wrote the word “ORDAIN,” sir. O-R-D-A-I-N. ORDAIN. Did you deliberately ignore this?
Christian: Since context matters, do you know what the word “SEMI” means? Get thee to Isaiah 10:5-15. Does the Sovereign Woodsman “PASS BY” the axe? Or does He actually SWING the axe? If the axe is “passed by” and thus allowed to swing itself — and so ORDAIN itself “to dishonour and wrath for [its] sins” — then HOW can the Sovereign Woodsman of Isaiah 10 be said to truly “ORDAIN”? Picture the woodsman with a “passive-yet-powerful” grip on the axe-handle while the axe chops down a tree. Who ORDAINED the chopping down of the tree, here?
PRMoS: But what about the part in 5.4 that says “but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding”? This is NOT a bare permission of the axe to swing, sir.
Christian: It is quite obvious that the WCF is NOT articulating an idle, helpless, or otiose permission — I never said it was. Your objection implies that self-swinging axes cannot boast against the Sovereign Woodsman if their active and ultimately self-determining swings are “bound” with a passive and “powerful” grip. This is wrong. The “bare permission” you mention and the WCF permission BOTH paint the Sovereign Woodsman as less-than-sovereign. While their respective woodsmen certainly differ in “the DEGREE of their sovereignty,” they do NOT differ in “the KIND of their sovereignty.” BOTH the “bare permission” and the “wise and powerful bounding permission” are doctrinal axes that BOAST themselves against the Holy Hewer and lift themselves up as if they were NOT wood (i.e., NOT a creature).
In short, the WCF labored under the idolatrous delusion that axes swing themselves and that rods lift themselves (Isaiah 10:5-15). The WCF denied the truth set forth in Isaiah 10:5-15 that God is the Sovereign Woodsman who ACTIVELY SWINGS AND CHOPS. Look up “deism” and “dualism.” Compare the WCF with the touchstone of Scripture truth. And see that the WCF in particular — and Calvinist Reformed teaching in general — articulates a “modified,” “partial,” or “semi” form of deism and dualism. Like many Christ-hating and Godhood-of-God denying falsehoods, the difference is NOT of KIND, but only of DEGREE.