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Pilgrim
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#40628 - Sat Nov 01, 2008 3:37 PM Infra vs. Supra (for Pilgrim)  
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Pilgrim

I think I read you once saying that you think there are problems with both the Infra and Supra views. However, I can't remember if you gave any examples of this.
Can you give a few examples of what you were talking about?

If anyone else would like to contribute, please do so.

Tom

#40629 - Sat Nov 01, 2008 7:34 PM Re: Infra vs. Supra (for Pilgrim) [Re: Tom]  
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Tom said:
I think I read you once saying that you think there are problems with both the Infra and Supra views. However, I can't remember if you gave any examples of this.
Can you give a few examples of what you were talking about?

1) Supra: The most obvious issue and the one which is most brought against this view is that it logically makes God the author of sin. I have not to this date read any convincing arguments which would answer that objection. Doubtless, most all who hold to the supra view would categorically deny that they believe God is the author of sin; there is one who openly believes God is the author of sin. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" /> And to be absolutely clear, most do not accuse the individuals who hold to Supralapsarianism of making God the author of sin. Again, the VIEW, if logically consistent unavoidably results in God being the author of sin.

2) Infra: The most obvious issue is how God can take into account the fallen state of man before the Fall actually took place. I find this one relatively easy to resolve in that God's determination to create the Fall is equivalent to the Fall actually taking place since God's eternal counsel is immutable. And secondly, since the Fall affected all men universally, there is no prejudice to be found.

Neither view is without its problems since the Bible doesn't speak to the eternal decree of God in any detail. Secondly, when we with our finite minds try to grasp the infinite mind of God, we must force things in such a way that we are able to comprehend whatever it is we are wanting to know. For example, the lapsarian subject is actually dealing with a singular decree and not several decrees. Thus the divide being over the "order of the decrees", although interesting to be sure, is one doomed to end in frustration, confusion and/or friction.

In my little mind, what should be admitted is that this topic is beyond our abilities to comprehend with any degree of certainty. That God has decreed ALL THINGS is clearly taught in Scripture and is the only truth which complies with God's self-revelation. We do have little rays of light given us in various places in the written Word, but not enough to be dogmatic about how they all fit together, at least on this specific subject. [Linked Image]

What do you think, Tom? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His grace


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#40630 - Sat Nov 01, 2008 9:15 PM Re: Infra vs. Supra (for Pilgrim) [Re: Pilgrim]  
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I have read or heard that the WCF favors the Infra position, but gives wriggle room for the Supras. Care to explain that and in what sections?


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
#40631 - Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:18 AM Re: Infra vs. Supra (for Pilgrim) [Re: John_C]  
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The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter III
Of God's Eternal Decree


I. God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass:[1] yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,[2] nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.[3]

1. Psa. 33:11: Eph. 1:11: Heb. 6:17
2. Psa. 5:4; James 1:13-14; I John 1:5; see Hab. 1:13
3. Acts 2:23; 4:27-28: Matt. 17:12; John 19:11; Prov. 16:33

II. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions,[4] yet hath he not decreed anything because he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.[5]

4. I Sam. 23:11-12; Matt. 11:21-23
5. Rom. 9:11, 13, 16, 18

III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels[6] are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.[7]

6. I Tim 5:21; Jude 1:6; Matt. 25:31, 41
7. Eph. 1:5-6; Rom. 9:22-23; Prov. 16:4

IV. These angels and men, thus predestinated, and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.[8]

8. John 10:14-16, 27-28; 13:18; 17:2, 6, 9-12; II Tim. 2:19

V. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen, in Christ, unto everlasting glory,[9] out of his mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith, or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving him thereunto;[10] and all to the praise of his glorious grace.[12]

9. Eph. 1:4, 9, 11; Rom. 8:28-30; II Tim. 1:9; I Thess. 5:9
10. Rom. 9:11, 13, 15-16; see Eph. 1:5, 9, 11; 2:8-9
11. Eph. 1:6, 12

VI. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath he, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means thereunto.[12] Wherefore, they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ,[13] are effectually called unto faith in Christ by his Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified,[14] and kept by his power, through faith, unto salvation.[15] Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.[16]

12. I Peter 1:2; Eph. 2:10; II Thess. 2:13
13. I Thess. 5:9-10; Titus 2:14
14. Rom. 8:30; see Eph. 1:5; II Thess. 2:13
15. I Peter 1:5
16. John 4:47, 6:64-65, 10:14-15 & 26, 17:9; Rom. 8:28-39; I John 2:19

VII. 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 dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice.[17]

17. Matt. 11:25-26; Rom. 9:17-18, 21-22; Jude 1:4; I Peter 2:8; II Tim. 2:19-20

VIII. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care,[18] that men, attending the will of God revealed in his Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election.[19] So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God;[20] and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the gospel.[21]

18. Rom. 9:20; 11:33; Deut. 29:29
19. II Peter 1:10; I Thess. 1:4-5
20. Eph. 1:6; see Rom. 11:33
21. Rom. 8:33; 11:5-6, 20; Luke 10:20; see II Peter 1:10


Section III makes the general statement concerning God's eternal decree without reference to the Fall (ala: Supra) but of course goes on to address in more detail about this predestination in section V (chosen in Christ) which begins to shove the Supra position over, hehe. And then the next section, VI, makes it very clear concerning the predestination of the elect and reprobate that they were "fallen in Adam". (ala: Infra)

That there were disagreements, of course, over the exact wording, the Infralapsarian view was dominate among the framers but they did not want to exclude those who held to the Supralapsarian view. There was a unified mindset among the men as they focused upon the end goal, perhaps something that there should be more of today when it comes to minor differences and a total break with those who held to views contrary to the truth as it is expressed in the WCF as a whole.

In His grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
#40632 - Sun Nov 02, 2008 1:01 PM Re: Infra vs. Supra (for Pilgrim) [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Pilgrim

Thank you, your thoughts are appreciated.
What do I think?
To be honest, this topic is one that makes my head spin.
I just don't have a firm grasp on the topic.
I will say that when I read passages such as Romans 9, it would seem to support the Supra position, but then again since it also sounds like it supports God being the author of sin, I think I must be misunderstanding something because God is not the author of sin.
Perhaps my reading of Romans 9 makes me think of the Supra view because my mind just wants to jump to conclusions?
However like I said, I believe those conclusions conflict with that fact that God is not the author of sin.

I guess this makes me wonder if Supra vs. Infra is just mans attempt to make sense of things God has not revealed.

I hope all that makes sense to you, because I had trouble putting my thoughts into words.

Tom

#40633 - Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:06 PM Re: Infra vs. Supra (for Pilgrim) [Re: Tom]  
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Tom,

Yes, it is indeed man's attempt to comprehend the incomprehensible. However, there is enough revealed to understand something of this in part. Re: Romans 9, we don't read the Scripture in isolation from itself as a whole, right? Thus we must bring all the relevant passages relating to God's predestination to bear so as not to miscontrue what Paul is actually trying to say in that text. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Ponder.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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#40634 - Sun Nov 02, 2008 7:36 PM Re: Infra vs. Supra (for Pilgrim) [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Pilgrim said:
Tom,

Yes, it is indeed man's attempt to comprehend the incomprehensible. However, there is enough revealed to understand something of this in part. Re: Romans 9, we don't read the Scripture in isolation from itself as a whole, right? Thus we must bring all the relevant passages relating to God's predestination to bear so as not to miscontrue what Paul is actually trying to say in that text. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Ponder.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,


Agreed

Can you think of any relevant passages that might shed some light on this?

Tom

#40635 - Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:43 AM Re: Infra vs. Supra (for Pilgrim) [Re: Tom]  
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Well, I would think that Ephesians 1:3-13 would bear heavily upon this subject in that it mentions God's predestining sinners to salvation "in Christ" in several verses... read it and see if this doesn't prove true. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratchchin.gif" alt="" />

The language simply cannot be reconciled with a Supra view, e.g., "chose us in Him" (the Son as the incarnate Christ who atoned for sinners), "redemption" (to buy back more than implies de facto a Fall), etc... Go ahead and read that passage carefully and try to imagine God decreeing individuals to salvation and damnation apart from being sinners in need of a Saviour, Jesus Christ.

In His grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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#40636 - Mon Nov 03, 2008 6:01 PM Re: Infra vs. Supra (for Pilgrim) [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Pilgrim

Very good point.
For the interest of helping me think this through a little clearer.
On the surface with that in mind, it would seem that these two passages conflict with each other. Yet I know that this can not be true.
Would you say then that Romans 9 was not intended to give the reader the impression of supporting the Supra position?
If that is true, it would seem to me that there would be something in that passage to show this. Or perhaps there could be words in the passage that are being misundstood by the reader to come to the conclusion of it supporting the Supra position.

On the flip side, if the Supra position is correct, then it would seem that we are misunderstanding the Ephesians passage.

Sorry, I hope that makes sense, I am just trying to understand the issue better. Am I on the right track?

Tom

#40637 - Mon Nov 03, 2008 7:07 PM Re: Infra vs. Supra (for Pilgrim) [Re: Tom]  
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I don't know what train you got on so I can't comment if you are on the right track. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rofl.gif" alt="" />

We know, with 100% certainty that there are no contradictions in Scripture. So, we don't need to give the slightest thought that such is the case between Eph 1 and Rom 9. As I read these passages, Paul is speaking in general terms, more or less to a general audience in Romans 9 as he addresses the matter of God's complete sovereignty in salvation. And, in Ephesians 1 he is addressing in great detail, the matter of salvation as it pertains specifically to believers. Thus, Ephesians one is the "expanded" (commentary?) on Romans 9. They are complimentary rather than at variance with each other.

In His grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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#40638 - Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:07 AM Re: Infra vs. Supra (for Pilgrim) [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Pilgrim

Although you put it better than I did, I think we are on the same train. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/coffee2.gif" alt="" />

Tom


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