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God's Desire vs Decree #31686
Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:52 PM
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John_C Offline OP

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When reading Kistemaker's commentary on 2 Peter 3:9, in his doctrinal considerations he mentions
Quote
"Therefore, in respect to the verb want or wish theologians distinguish between God's desire and God's decree."


Why are they different?


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
Re: God's Desire vs Decree [Re: John_C] #31687
Mon Mar 27, 2006 6:31 PM
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Personally, I can't recall any theologian making a distinction between "wish" and "want", i.e., the terms aren't familiar to me in what I've read. What I have read and do hold to also is the difference between God's eternal decree, aka: decretive will (foreordination) and God's prescriptive will (commandments) which is what man is responsible to acknowledge and obey. But again, I don't see how there can be any difference between what God "wants" and what He "wishes", for they would have to be identical. Given that, I must reject the use of the word "wish" in regard references to God Who has decreed all things and thus foreknows all that will come to pass. It would be silly to suggest that God "wishes", i.e., hopes that xxxx will happen since nothing is outside of His eternal determinate counsel. In short, whatever God desires is identical to what will be. (cf. Ps. 33:11; 135:6; Isa. 44:7; 46:10; et al)

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Re: God's Desire vs Decree [Re: Pilgrim] #31688
Mon Mar 27, 2006 6:41 PM
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Pilgrim,

I think you have misread Kistemaker in the use of 'want' or 'wish'. I take it that he means they are the same as used in the Bible and they pertain to God's desires.

Since you have Hendricksen, I assume you have Kistemaker as well. Maybe you can read his commentary on that verse and see if I had misrepresented his view.


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
Re: God's Desire vs Decree [Re: John_C] #31689
Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:02 PM
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John_C said:
Pilgrim,

I think you have misread Kistemaker in the use of 'want' or 'wish'. I take it that he means they are the same as used in the Bible and they pertain to God's desires.

Since you have Hendricksen, I assume you have Kistemaker as well. Maybe you can read his commentary on that verse and see if I had misrepresented his view.

John,

It would be extremely easy for me to "misread" Kistemaker since all I had to go on was what you supplied in the short quote. tongue Perhaps Kistemaker and I are in agreement? But what I wanted to emphasize is that God doesn't and can't wish for anything since to do so would necessitate that He is not sovereign; i.e., He would desire something which He Himself could not bring to pass. And since He has foreordained (decreed) all things according to His eternal and immutable counsel, then all things are "set" and absolutely perfect according to His desire (aka: good pleasure).

This matter precipitated by 2Pet 3:9 wouldn't even be an issue if people would only interpret it correctly instead of reading into it their man-centered (aka: semi-Pelagian/Arminian) presuppositions. wink Thus IF God actually desired/wished for the salvation of all men, without discrimination, then every single man, woman and child would be infallibly saved. So again, I have a strong aversion to the use of the term "wish" in regard to God! For whatsoever the Almighty desires comes to be. bow

Oh, btw.... yes, I do indeed have Hendriksen's Commentaries, but I do not have the newer additions written by Kistemaker.
ooo
In His grace,


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Re: God's Desire vs Decree [Re: Pilgrim] #31690
Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:24 PM
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In short, whatever God desires is identical to what will be. (cf. Ps. 33:11; 135:6; Isa. 44:7; 46:10; et al)


What about His desire of the salvation of all who hear the gospel?

Re: God's Desire vs Decree [Re: William] #31691
Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:45 PM
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Quote
William said:
What about His desire of the salvation of all who hear the gospel?

That would fall within the category of God's "prescriptive will" but not His "decretive will" (not to be confused with the inane idea that there are two "wills" in God! wink I do not believe that God "yearns" for all men without discrimation to be saved. If it was truly God's desire that all be saved, then all would be saved, for His "good pleasure" is infallibly brought to pass. But He does command all men without discrimination to repent of their sins and believe upon Christ.

Quote
Acts 17:30 (ASV) "The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent:"

What do you think? grin

In His grace,


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Re: God's Desire vs Decree [Re: John_C] #31692
Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:59 PM
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Kistemaker is great on many things (he was one of my former professors), however here on 2 Peter 3:9, I do not agree with him (see attachment). There are several things that are questionable in their phraseology. I will note a couple: (1) God does not desire the redemption of the entire race, if He did then they would be redeemed, (2) his statement, “Does not God want the false teachers to be saved? Yes, but they disregard God’s patience toward them, they employ their knowledge of Jesus Christ against him, and they willfully reject God’s offer of salvation” is Arminian in nature, placing regeneration in the hands of the sinner and making God un-sovereign, (3) his statement, “Likewise the scoffers in Peter’s day refuse to come to repentance, even though God is granting them a period of grace,” is Arminian in nature, for repentance is also a condition given by God (2 Tim 2:24-26), (4) Calvin’s statement quoted by Kistemaker, “So wonderful is [God’s] love towards mankind, that he would have them all to be saved, and is of his own self prepared to bestow salvation on the lost” is isolated from the context of what Calvin added thereafter:

Quote
But it may be asked, If God wishes none to perish, why is it that so many do perish? To this my answer is, that no mention is here made of the hidden purpose of God, according to which the reprobate are doomed to their own ruin, but only of his will as made known to us in the gospel. For God there stretches forth his hand without a difference to all, but lays hold only of those, to lead them to himself, whom he has chosen before the foundation of the world.

Calvin, John. Calvin's Commentaries: 2 Peter : Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles. electronic ed. Logos Library System; Calvin's Commentaries, 2 Pe 3:9. Albany, OR: Ages Software, 1998.

We could add more, however as already stated I do not enjoy Kistemaker’s commentary at this point. He is more Calvinistic in his actual classes.

Attached Files-Click on Image to view full size.
59464-2 Peter 3-9.doc (880 downloads)

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Re: God's Desire vs Decree [Re: Pilgrim] #31693
Mon Mar 27, 2006 8:56 PM
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Pilgrim said:
But He does command all men without discrimination to repent of their sins and believe upon Christ. . .

What do you think?



Quote
Acts 17:30
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:


I think it's command not a desire.

Re: God's Desire vs Decree [Re: William] #31694
Mon Mar 27, 2006 11:36 PM
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I think it's command not a desire.

Are not God's commands also His desires?


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: God's Desire vs Decree [Re: J_Edwards] #31695
Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:04 AM
Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:04 AM
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I agree with Gill here:

Ver. 30. And the times of this ignorance God winked at,.... Not that he approved of, or encouraged such blindness and folly, as appeared among the Gentiles, when they worshipped idols of gold, silver, and stone, taking them for deities; but rather the sense is, he despised this, and them for it, and was displeased and angry with them; and as an evidence of such contempt and indignation, he overlooked them, and took no notice of them, and gave them no revelation to direct them, nor prophets to instruct them, and left them to their stupidity and ignorance:

but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent; that is, he hath given orders, that the doctrine of repentance, as well as remission of sins, should be preached to all nations, to Gentiles as well as Jews; and that it becomes them to repent of their idolatries, and turn from their idols, and worship the one, only, living and true God: and though for many hundreds of years God had neglected them, and sent no messengers, nor messages to them, to acquaint them with his will, and to show them their follies and mistakes; yet now he had sent his apostles unto them, to lay before them their sins, and call them to repentance; and to stir them up to this, the apostle informs them of the future judgment in the following verse. Repentance being represented as a command, does not suppose it to be in the power of men, or contradict evangelical repentance, being the free grace gift of God, but only shows the need men stand in of it, and how necessary and requisite it is; and when it is said to be a command to all, this does not destroy its being a special blessing of the covenant of grace to some; but points out the sad condition that all men are in as sinners, and that without repentance they must perish: and indeed, all men are obliged to natural repentance for sin, though to all men the grace of evangelical repentance is not given: the Jews {a} call repentance hbwvth twum, "the command of repentance", though they do not think it obligatory on men, as the other commands of the law. The law gives no encouragement to repentance, and shows no mercy on account of it; it is a branch of the Gospel ministry, and goes along with the doctrine of the remission of sins; and though in the Gospel, strictly taken, there is no command, yet being largely taken for the whole ministry of the word, it includes this, and everything else which Christ has commanded, and was taught by him and his apostles;


There never was a sinner half as big as Christ is as a Savior.
Re: God's Desire vs Decree [Re: William] #31696
Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:09 AM
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William said:

What about His desire of the salvation of all who hear the gospel?


There is no desire for anyone except His elect. The whole issue in 2 Peter is based on His promises mentioned in verse 9. Just think how disappointed God must be if He actually deisred the salvation of all who hear indiscriminately.


There never was a sinner half as big as Christ is as a Savior.
Re: God's Desire vs Decree [Re: Joe k] #31697
Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:47 PM
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Joe k said:

I agree with Gill here:

Ver. 30. And the times of this ignorance God winked at,.... Not that he approved of, or encouraged such blindness and folly, as appeared among the Gentiles, when they worshipped idols of gold, silver, and stone, taking them for deities; but rather the sense is, he despised this, and them for it, and was displeased and angry with them; and as an evidence of such contempt and indignation, he overlooked them, and took no notice of them, and gave them no revelation to direct them, nor prophets to instruct them, and left them to their stupidity and ignorance: . . .

I disagree with Gill here! laugh I find nothing in that text to warrant his conclusion that "overlooked, winked at" has the primary meaning that God withheld saving grace from those mentioned; the Gentiles. One might say such withholding of grace is implied but that is clearly not what Paul is referring to. The context is speaking about judgment — the temporal punishment which God withheld — the type of judgment which fell upon Sodom, for example. And that temporal judgment, although it was not meted out, is not to be misunderstood as God was condoning the sinfulness of men. For Paul says there is coming a day when the entire world is going to be judged [and held accountable - implied].

The remainder of what Gill wrote I think is quite good. grin


In His grace,


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Re: God's Desire vs Decree [Re: Joe k] #31698
Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:34 PM
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Joe k said:
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William said:

What about His desire of the salvation of all who hear the gospel?


There is no desire for anyone except His elect. The whole issue in 2 Peter is based on His promises mentioned in verse 9. Just think how disappointed God must be if He actually deisred the salvation of all who hear indiscriminately.


Joe I agee 100% there was a reason I posted what I did and I'm not sure I can explain now. Thrusday D.v. we will be on our way to Holland.

Sorry if this post is somewhat frivolous.

Re: God's Desire vs Decree [Re: John_C] #31699
Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:59 PM
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John,

I think John Piper does a good job explaining this topic. He asks the question, Are There Two Wills in God?" I think you'll appreciate reading it.

He writes, "My contribution has simply been to show that God's will for all people to be saved is not at odds with the sovereignty of God's grace in election. That is, my answer to the above question about what restrains God's will to save all people is his supreme commitment to uphold and display the full range of his glory through the sovereign demonstration of his wrath and mercy for the enjoyment of his elect and believing people from every tribe and tongue and nation."


Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
Re: God's Desire vs Decree [Re: Wes] #31700
Wed Mar 29, 2006 10:11 AM
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Wes said:
I think John Piper does a good job explaining this topic. He asks the question, Are There Two Wills in God?" I think you'll appreciate reading it.

And I believe Piper, among some of his other views, errs miserably in that article/chapter in his exegesis of 1Tim 2:4. And thus his conclusion that "God desires that all men be saved" meaning that God passionately "wishes/hopes" for the salvation of all men is simply wrong. The premise is simply untenable, IMHO, and his attempt to reconcile an alleged desire of God for all men to be saved with unconditional election is absurd. Spurgeon was also guilty of erring in the same manner re: 1Tim 2:4, much to the surprise of some I am sure; that it is even possible that C.H. Spurgeon could err! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rofl.gif" alt="" />

Dr. Gary Long's presentation is far more exegetically sound and theologically consistent with historic Calvinism. Read it here: An Exegetical Study of 1Timothy 2:4.

In His grace,


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