Jul 17, 2010

Answering a Baxterian on Reprobation - John Brine

"He [a Baxterian] acquaints us, that the Calvinist inclines to the Belief of the Doctrine  of absolute Reprobation as the Counter-Part of Election; but the least  said of it in the Pulpit is best [says he],  for there is no knowing who are reprobate till they prove themselves so by their openly wicked and abominable Lives.  But why the least laid of it in the Pulpit is best? If it be a scriptural Doctrine it surely is, at least, a harmless one; nay it is a profitable one, for there is no useless unprofitable Doctrine contained in the Word of God. Some perhaps may think too, it would have been better, if it had not had a Place in the Bible. If Men abuse this Doctrine, through Unbelief or Lust, that is no Objection to the Truth, Importance or Usefulness of the Doctrine itself; and I am well assured, a proper Explanation of it will never be attended with any hurtful Consequences to Men religious or prophane, but thro’ their Unbelief or carnal Lust. Farther, why should it be concluded, that Men of openly wicked and abominable Lives are the Objects of Reprobation? Since Christ came into the World to save the  Chief of Sinners ; Men’s present Wickedness therefore, is no Proof at all, that they are appointed to Wrath: It is only final Impenitence which can be a Proof of that." -John Brine

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