An Holy Dissent?

“God commanded Isaiah to declare unto Hezekiah his death; and he did also denounce destruction unto the Ninevites within forty days: and yet he had decreed to put neither of them both in execution. The human will of Christ did with an holy dissention [sic] in some sort will deliverance from the agony of death, which notwithstanding the divine willed  not” (William PerkinsPredestination; underlining mine).


Consider this idea of an holy dissent. What does “dissent” mean? It is to disagree. Perkins is perniciously positing that Christ dissented to do God’s will and to finish His work (or, presumably, was “tempted” to dissent under extreme duress).


“In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him [ought] to eat? Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (John 4:31-34; underlining mine).


Whether or not blaspheming Jesus Christ in this way is a Reformed distinctive, it is clear that some have expressed similarly worded evil (e.g., Herman Witsius’ euphemistic blasphemy HERE; also, in spite of Hebrews 5:7-10 John Newton implies that Christ’s prayer to the Father was not heard). Certainly Christ DID WILL deliverance, and Hebrews 5:7-10 says that Christ’s prayer that the cup would pass WAS answered.


Related to the two articles hyperlinked above (regarding Witsius and Newton) is the issue of Christ’s impeccability. This article documents Reformed theologian Charles Hodge’s diabolical denial of the absolute sinlessness of Christ.


Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec” (Hebrews 5:7-10; underlining mine).