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Tom
Tom
Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
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#54517 - Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:11 PM Trying to understand the Confessions  
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Tom Offline
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Would I be correct to say the writers of confessions like the WCF had different understanding when it came to eschatology (some also believed in "presumptive regeneration" and a few other things. However, the wording they settled on was a compromise to show unity in what they could agree on?
Anything else that can help me understand this aspect may be helpful.

Tom

#54518 - Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:13 PM Re: Trying to understand the Confessions [Re: Tom]  
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Originally Posted by Tom
Would I be correct to say the writers of confessions like the WCF had different understanding when it came to eschatology (some also believed in "presumptive regeneration" and a few other things. However, the wording they settled on was a compromise to show unity in what they could agree on?
Anything else that can help me understand this aspect may be helpful.

I am not sure what views the framers of the WCF held among themselves. My guess is most would have been Postmillennialists. I no nothing as to what any of them believed in regard to presumptive regeneration. Jonathan Edwards (October 5, 1703 March 22, 1758) was 60+ years later and originally was a Congregationalist. He later changed to Presbyterianism c. 1751. Many, including myself consider Edwards to have been a Puritan and who was strongly opposed to the error of presumptive regeneration. Further he objected to the view that baptized infants should be allowed, at age, to partake of the Lord's Supper. His views on children and especially tests for membership were carefully set for in his two comprehensive works, "Distinguishing Marks" and later in "Qualifications for Full Communion", which I personally have truly enjoyed reading. All that to say that it is very possible that some/many of the men who deliberated on what to include in the Confession would have been of the same mind as Edwards. shrug

Lastly, I would not say that what was finally included in the WCF was the result of "compromise to show unity". One of the hot disputes among the members was in regard to the atonement. There were a few who held to Amyraldianism and some who insisted that their universalist views on the atonement were not Amyraldian... which was more semantics than any real difference. However, there was no compromise among the members on this matter and their view(s) were rejected by a large majority and thus there is no room in the Confession for anyone to try and use it to defend any other view. The same was true in regard to the subject of Supralapsarianism vs. Infralapsarianism. And again, the Infralapsarians won the day and thus the Confession espouses that view.


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#54520 - Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:57 PM Re: Trying to understand the Confessions [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Pilgrim
Thank you that was helpful. I actually regret using the words "compromise to show unity." they do not quite capture what I was trying to say. However, if memory serves me well, the debate on the High-way that I am sure you remember on "presumptive regeneration" an argument was made that the WCF supports presumptive regeneration. I believe you answered (sorry can't find it) something to the effect that it was debatable if that was the case. However, what is clear is that "presumptive regeneration' is not biblical. Do you recall that point?

Tom

#54522 - Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:12 PM Re: Trying to understand the Confessions [Re: Tom]  
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nope sorry, I don't recall the point. The key word in your paraphrase of what you think I said is, "if... that was the case", then it would have been debatable. In short, the WCF says nothing to support presumptive regeneration nor condemn it. The Continental Reformed churches most assuredly believed it and taught it. In the First Head of Doctrine, Article 17 they wrote:

Quote
Since we are to judge of the will of God from His Word which testifies that the children of believers are holy, not by nature, but in virtue of the covenant of grace, in which they, together with the parents, are comprehended, godly parents have no reason to doubt of the election and salvation of their children whom it pleaseth God to call out of this life in their infancy.

Further, the official "Form for the Baptism of Infants" clearly states that the children of believing parents have had their sins forgiven due to the blood of Christ... etc. which you can read from the attached file. But this view was not typical of paedobaptists although it has grown in popularity in recent years. What you read in the WCF was the majority view of the 'Westminster Divines' and which was believed by the vast majority of the membership of their respective denominations/churches.

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#54523 - Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:29 PM Re: Trying to understand the Confessions [Re: Tom]  
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Tom Offline
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Pilgrim
I must apologize again for my wording.
I actually did not mean to give the impression the WCF itself taught "presumptive regeneration". Rather, if I remember correctly from that debate; proponents of "presumptive regeneration", said that many of the signers of the WCF believed in "presumptive regeneration".
At any rate, what you stated and the article you provided is helpful.

Just thought I would add that one of my motives for asking questions such as this; is because all too often I have noticed both Paedos and Credos using straw man arguements based on ignorance of the other sides views.
I am actually quite tired of this and have from time to time tried to set the matter straight even to a few Credos.
To that effect I am indebted to Samuel Waldron and his book 'A Modern Exposition of 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith'.
In it, he at times takes the side of the WCF over the 1689 LBCF; where he believes it is appropriate.

Tom

Last edited by Tom; Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:43 PM.

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