To The Praise Of His Glory - Outline V - Outlines On The Canons Of Dort
THE CORRUPTION OF MAN, HIS CONVERSION TO GOD, AND THE MANNER THEREOF.
This section is intended to prove that the teachings of the Remonstrants as they are contained in the Articles Ill and IV of the "Remonstrance- (see Outline 1 under II D) are un-Scriptural.
These Articles of the Remonstrance read thus :
"that man does not have saving faith of himself nor by the power of his own free will, since he in the state of apostasy and sin cannot of and through himself think, will or do any good which is truly good (such as is especially saving faith); but that it is necessary that he be regenerated by God, in Christ, through his Holy Spirit, and renewed in understanding, affections or will, and all powers, in order that he may rightly understand, meditate upon, will, and perform that which is truly good, according to the word of Christ, John 13 : 5, "Without me ye can do nothing". and :
"that this grace of God is the commencement, progression, and completion of all good, also in so far that regenerate man cannot, apart from this prevenient or assisting. awakening, consequent and co-operating grace, think, will or do the good or resist any temptations to evil; so that all good works or activities which can be conceived must be ascribed to the grace of God in Christ. But with respect to the mode of this grace, it is not irresistible, since it is written concerning many that they resisted the Holy Spirit. Acts 7 and elsewhere in many places".
Quietly reading this Remonstrant "confession of faith", in particular Article Ill, we feel inclined to ask the question : Are these heresies so serious ? Indeed, to the letter one cannot say they are very bad. This applies to Article Ill in particular. But as for Article IV we all feel, something is going wrong there. In the first place, all those different "sorts of grace which are mentioned there raise suspicion, for where does the Scripture teach all these distinctions? But especially the end of the Article in which God's grace is called "not irresistible" confirms our suspicion that these Articles contain heresies.
But after having read Article IV it may be obvious that Article Ill too was already bristling with errors. This, then, has surely been one of the reasons for which the fathers of Dordrecht joined Chapters Ill and IV of the Canons together, in reply to the Articles Ill and ]V of the Remonstrance. Chapter 111 could not be taken apart, but must be explained in the light of Chapter IV.
The material is so abundant that we have to divide it and deal with it in two separate sections, which we call A and B respectively.
They are :
A. The corruption of man.
B. His conversion to God, and the manner thereof.
A. The corruption of man (Articles 1-5)
1. It is often stated that the doctrine of God's eternal election and reprobation is the most important and the central point in the struggle against the Remonstrants. Yet it is quite possible, since all these Remonstrant errors are closely bound up with each other and there is a logical order in them, to say that the free will of the sinner is the pivot on which everything hinges in the Remonstrant system (compare Outline 1 under Ill 5). On this free will and decision of man, God's decree of election and His grace was necessarily to be made dependent. It is -logically- impossible to put God's free and sovereign election next to the free will of man to choose good or evil. logic then was one of the most prominent piers on which the Remonstrant theology rested ("Rationalism").
2. The Remonstrants denied the total depravity of man, the importance as well as unwillingness in the sinner to do any good, which is confessed very strongly in e.g. Lord's Day 2 and 3 of our Heid. Cat.
This is very obvious in the paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of the " Rejection of Errors" in which our fathers have quoted this heresy (read them first, please !).
3. This is again closely related with one's view concerning man before the Fall. The Holy Scriptures teach that God created Adam after His own image. Concerning this image of God they say that it included the possession of some spiritual gifts, as --- a true and saving knowledge of his Creator, and of spiritual things; his heart and will were upright, all his affections pure, and the whole man was holy". This is how Article 1 of Chapter 111-IV reads, which is in full harmony with the teachingsof the Bible concerning man as the image of God, in e.g. Eph. 4: 24 and Col. 3 : 10; and with what we confess in Lord's Day 3 of the Heid. Cat.
However, the Remonstrants denied this. According to them God had not put any spiritual gifts into the will of man when He created him. In their opinion there is no question of any inner holiness in Adam, for holiness can only be the fruit of man's own free efforts. If Adam had been created holy, this holiness would have been a necessity, and consequently he would not have been free to choose to do good. But then one cannot state that man has lost his spiritual gifts by the Fall. For how can you lose something when you have never possessed it?
4. Against this the Canons confess the creation of man after God's own image, which includes that man has received some more fine and spiritual gifts of God (Art. 1). This high position of man in Paradise then makes us understand the extent of his fall. For the higher one's position is the greater one's fall. The sinner has willingly deprived himself of these excellent gifts (No. 9 Heid. Cat.), and "in place thereof became involved in blindness in mind, horrible darkness, vanity, and perverseness of judgement" and "became wicked, rebellious, and obdurate in heart and will, and impure in his affections" (Art. 1).
5. Not only Adam himself, but also all his posterity (except the Lord Jesus Christ) was involved in the Fall, so that all men are conceived and born in sin and are children of wrath, incapable of doing saving good, dead in sin, and in bondage thereto. This happens "in consequence of the just judgement of God" (Art. 2 and 3).
Here the Scriptural doctrine of original sin is confessed. The corruption extends to the whole human race, not by imitation, as Pelagius taught and the Remonstrants asserted in principle, "but by the propagation of a vicious nature".
6. Also the Remonstrants used the term -original sin-, but they did not consider this to be sin in the proper sense of the word, not as guilt which is punishable in God's eyes. It was no sin itself, but a congenital weakness, and because of that only the cause of other sins. Original sin is a matter of Adam's sin being punished, for all people are now born with "irregular passions and affections" to sin, but this inheritance of Adam as such is no reason for being condemned.
7. Besides, it is the opinion of the Remonstrants that this congenital wickedness of the sinner is not as bad as it seems to be. For fallen man in his "state of deviation" (which is a term favoured by the Remonstrants 1) has retained many good things. God namely has been merciful towards him by virtue of the Covenant of grace, which He has established with all men (read on this Chapter 11 of the Canons of Dort). In His favourable disposition God has left him after the Fall many gifts as -common grace-, by means of which he is still capable of doing many a good thing.
In particular he retained the gift of being able to choose to do good by means of his free will. The Scriptural truth of "dead in trespasses and sins- (Eph. 2 : 1) was not accepted, but interpreted as being only an indication of the deadly power which sin develops.
8. To defend this doctrine of "common grace" the Remonstrants liked to make an appeal to Article 14 of the Belgic Confession of Faith, which speaks of "small remains" of the original excellent gifts which man has received from God and retained after the Fall. Also Article 4 of this Chapter speaks of "the glimmerings of natural light" which is left in man .after the Fall.
Indeed there are some "glimmerings of natural light" in fallen man. The Scriptures teach this e.g. in Rom. 1 : 20, and the Reformed doctrinal standards wholeheartedly agree with this.
9. What, then, are these "glimmerings of natural light"? And for what purpose has God left them to man ?
These questions are extremely important (remember the development of the doctrine of "common grace" in this 20th century !).
By the "glimmerings of natural light" our fathers did not understand anything but the fact that by sin man has not lost his human nature but retained it. He did not become an animal or a devil (read also Article 16 of Chapter III-IV). Our nature is fully corrupt (blindness, utter darkness, etc.), but has not been destroyed by sin. Man's natural capabilities have .not been taken away from him.
The Belgic Confession of Faith in Article 14 calls this the " remains" (Latin : vestigia, vestiges) of the excellent gifts which man once received; vestiges which remind us of his original gifts. But these gifts themselves have been completely lost ,as a result of our fall in sin. We must not speak of the "remnant" of the image of God which has been left in man 'but of the "vestiges" which prove that once there was an image of God.
The sinner has retained his intellect, but this has been .darkened. He still has his own will, but it is inclined to all evil. He still possesses "some knowledge of God, of natural things, and of the difference between good and evil, and shows some regard for virtue and for good outward behaviour- (Art. 4). But he is completely incapable and unwilling of doing any spiritual good.
10. Why did God leave these "glimmerings of natural light- to the sinner? Romans 1 : 20 says : "so that they are without excuse".
God allows man to remain a human being, having intelligence and his own will and some regard for virtue and for good outward behaviour, having insight in the invisible things which pertain to God, His eternal power and Godhead, so that presently God's justice con be executed over him, without him having any excuse.
Besides, this way God created room and the possibility for the continuation of history after the Fall, in order to come in this way to the righteous judgement on the one hand, and the realization of His grace on the other, and so to fulfil His eternal counsel.
11. This was and is the confession of the Church concerning these "glimmerings of natural light".
But the Remonstrants changed it into A BRIDGE, WHICH BY WISE USE OF THESE RETAINED GIFTS OF COMMON GRACE WOULD LEAD US TO SAVING GRACE (read Art. 4 of this Chapter and Rejections of Errors, Par. 5).
This is the vital point in the Remonstrants' doctrine of common grace. In their view there is no essential difference between natural light and the grace of regeneration. When we use the first well we will arrive at the latter. Certainly, "the prevenient awakening, consequent and co-operating grace of God" is needed. but it is completely up to the sinner himself to use this grace or resist it. Neither the perfectly sovereign election of God nor the invincible power of His grace fits in the imagery of a sinner having a "free will" to do good or evil (compare also A 1 and B 9).
12. The Reformed confessors, in accordance with the Scriptures, believe that not much has been left to the sinner, only some glimmerings, and this because he retained his human nature, by means of which he still has some knowledge of God, of natural things, and shows some regard for virtue and for good outward behaviour, so that he would be inexcusable.
But the Remonstrants said : As for fallen man, he is not all that bad 1 He is still capable of using the gifts of common grace quite well by his free will, and so rise from this common to evangelical and saving grace.
The latter said : Fallen man has retained so much that he-- with the help of God's grace -- is able to fan the sparks of common grace into a large fire of regeneration and faith. But the former confess that there are only some glimmerings of only natural light -- which is not much! -- and instead of profiting well by this man does not use it correctly, but he renders it wholly polluted, and holds it in unrighteousness I (Rom. 1 : 18 and Art. 4).
13. We are to consider the law of the decalogue in the same light (Art. 5). Just as the sinner is unable to obtain the saving of God by means of natural light, so he is equally unable to obtain it by means of the law. Just like fallen man holds the light of nature in unrighteousness he does the same to the light of God's law.
Romans 8 : 3 says that the law was "weak" through the flesh (the corruption of sin). This does not mean that through sin the character of the law itself has been changed, but man has become so wicked that the Law is no longer able to lead him to life (Rom. 10 : 5; Gal. 3 : 12). After the Fall the law of God is still the same good sign-post which points to life but there are no longer any people who are able or willing to walk on the way which is indicated. Then the sign-post is " weak".
is the relation between man as the image of God and Adam's original offices
of prophet, priest, and king?
2. Can you prove from the Bible that Christ was without original sin ?
(Read e.g. Heb. 7).
3. Do texts like Mat. 5 : 45; 11 Tim. 2 : 4, etc. speak of a favourable disposition of God towards all people ?
4. Why is
it not correct to call the remnants or vestiges of the original gifts -common grace" ?
B. The Conversion of the Sinner to God, and the Manner there of (Articles 6-17)
1. In the Articles 1-5 we confessed the radical spiritual death of the sinner and the loss of all his spiritual gifts, as a result of which he can nor even wishes to come to the saving grace of God by nature and in his own strength. This situation can be changed neither by natural light nor by the Law of God.
Articles 6-8 dealt with the only possibility and the only means to quicken the dead sinner, namely by the preaching of the living and quickening Word of reconciliation, the Gospel of the Messiah, through which it pleases God to save the believers.
2. "What, therefore, neither the light of nature nor the Law could do, that God performs by the operation of the Holy Spirit through the Word of ministry of reconciliation".
We should notice the word "through". it shows us that the Holy Spirit never works without the Word of God, neither could the Word be without the power of the Holy Spirit. This little word points to the means which the Spirit uses to work faith into the heart of man.
Of course this does not mean that whenever the Word is heard regeneration would be the result. In this sense the merciful working of God's Spirit is not "irresistible" (comp. Acts 7 : 5 1; 18 : 6). Irresistible in the sense of invincible is only the powerful calling of the Spirit which results in regeneration and conversion. This is accentuated time and again in the Articles 10, 11, and 12.
3. This then was denied by the Remonstrants. They could not accept the necessity of the sinner's fundamental and radical rebirth and renewal so that he could come to faith. In their opinion there was a possibility for every sinner to use common grace which had been left to him and by means of which he was able to understand and accept the Word ofreconciliation, and so obtain saving grace. In this process the quickening power of the Spirit did not play a role. (Read about the Remonstrants' feelings Rejection of Errors Par. 7).
4. Besides they stated that God's calling to salvation is general and concerns all people. This calling is fundamentally present in man's natural knowledge of God's Law which could
be well used by the sinner and so lead him to the evangelical grace in Christ. The fact that only a few come to this grace and even complete nations remain without this saving knowledge, does not embarrass the Remonstrants. For this is caused by the calling - which is intended by God to be general - losing its character by the, behaviour of the majority of men. One nation uses the light of nature better than the other and this way makes itself worthy of more grace.
It is a matter of fact that the Reformed people believed a certain general calling by God's revelation in nature which comes to all, but they made a sharp distinction between this and the special calling by the preaching of the Gospel, and branded the former as completely insufficient to come to the latter.
The truth is this, and the Scriptures teach it clearly : The calling of the Gospel does not come to all people and all nations (Psalm 147 : 19, 20). Here we arrive at the unsearchable majesty and sovereignty of God's electing pleasure, into which - according to Romans 9 : 16-23 - we must not curiously pry, on the contrary we must respectfully adore it (Art. 7).
5. The calling by the Gospel- preaching is accepted by a few only and rejected by many. But this is not the fault of the Gospel, nor of God who calls men by the Gospel unfeignedly (Art. 8). But the fault lies in those who are called, in their culpable carelessness or slackness or world ly-mindedness.
Our confession in Art. 9 refers to the parable of the Sower in Mat. 13. The seed of the Word is the same for all in promise and demand, but the soil in which the seed fails is fertile in the one and in the other it is sterile.
6. In Art. 10 our confession returns to the actual vital question in the struggle of those days: What then is the deepest cause of the fact that some come and are converted as a result of the calling by God, and others do not? The Remonstrants answered: This is a matter of the free will of man (the haughtiness of Pelagius). Our Reformed fathers said : This is a matter of the free will and the sovereign good pleasure of the electing God, Who calls effectuality in time those whom He has chosen from eternity and confers upon them faith and repentance (Eph. 2:4-8). There is no reason to glory in man, only in the lord (1 Cor. 1 : 29-31).
7. While Article 10 touched the vital point of the whole issue by upholding the Scriptural doctrine of God's freedom in the redemption of sinners against the Remonstrant theory of 11 common grace- which puts the decision into the hands of man, Articles 11 and 12 give us a further description of the nature and character of this quickening action of the Holy Spirit.
In these Articles it is stated that ---when God accomplishes His good pleasure in the elect or works in them true conversion, He not only causes the Gospel to be "externally" preached to them, etc., but by the efficacy of the same regenerating Spirit He pervades the inmost recesses of man.
It is not the intention of the Canons to separate the Word of God and the Holy Spirit from one another (compare what we wrote under B 2 concerning Art. 6), by distinguishing the "external preaching of the Gospel from God's Spirit pervading the inmost recesses of man. For the reason for this manner of speaking was the fact that according to the Remonstrants only the first was necessary, the "external preaching".
We may remember the distinct "kinds of grace- which the Remonstrants deemed to be necessary to come to true repentance : "prevenient, awakening, assisting, consequent and co-operating grace". The last mentioned was in particular understood to consist of God's general revelation in nature and the, external preaching of the Word of God. They acted to take away the darkness of our understanding; as a result of this natural illumination one learns to distinguish the spiritual things and the affections of the will are stimulated and strengthened. With the assistance of this "grace and using his free will to do good man can further help himself. (As for this "good will" read Rej. of E. Par. 2; and this Outline under A 3).
But Dort answered to this by saying : No 1 Not only the external preaching and not only the powerful illumination of our mind by the Holy Spirit - which also the Remonstrants accepted as necessary - but the Spirit of God changes man also even in the depth of his heart. Also man's will has to be quickened and infused with new qualities. God's Spirit "softens the hardened heart etc., the evil and disobedient will has to be made good and obedient.
8. Concerning this repentance and regeneration by the Spirit of God it is said that no less than God's almighty power is necessary to make a new creation, which is as impressive and wondrous as His creation work or the quickening of the dead. The so-called free will of the sinner does not play a role in accepting or rejecting the -gentle advising" of the Gospel preaching - as the Remonstrants taught - and thus to be reborn or not be reborn, to be converted or not, on his own initiative (Art. 12).
It is a remarkable thing that our fathers used the words " regeneration" and "conversion" or "repentance" as synonyms. The theologians of later days have given each of these terms their own particular content and meaning. "Regeneration- is then the seed or germ of the new life which would be planted by God's Spirit into the heart of man without the Word of God, while "conversion- is understood as the sprouting and growth of this implanted germ of life by the power of the Word. Dr. Abraham Kuyper was of the opinion that in this respect our fathers had "no sufficient Scriptural clarity of thought" yet.
But our fathers could not (and did not want to) have any more "clarity" than the Holy Scriptures provided them with. logical distinctions may sometimes render clarity but unfortunately not always Scriptural clarity. Then they are even very dangerous.
The simple truth is that -regeneration- and "conversion" are essentially the same in the Holy Scriptures, and consequently also in our doctrinal standards.
9. The Canons of Dort, then, clearly teach the invincible power of the working of God's grace by the Holy Spirit. This means that the power of God which quickens the dead cannot be stopped by the dead themselves.
In those days the term -irresistible grace- was frequently used. But the word "irresistible" - which the Remonstrantsliked to use to typify the Reformed doctrine and "prove" that it is in conflict with Acts 7 : 51 - was not adopted by our fathers to be inserted in the Canons of Dort. For this word can lead to the misunderstanding as if God's grace can never be resisted in any way. But it really can. This is why the Reformed people preferred the word "invincible" to "irresistible" grace.
On this point a fierce struggle was fought before and after the Synod of Dort. Is the quickening grace of the Spirit of God "irresistible'' or not ? Can it be stopped by the sinner or not ?
The Remonstrants clearly taught that this grace is resistible. Both Article 4 of the "Remonstrance- and Paragraph 8 of the Rejection of Errors show this unmistakably. in Article 4 of the "Remonstrance" this is even "proved" by referring to Acts 7 : 51. There Stephen says to the Jews : "Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; as your fathers did, so do ye". But Article 8 of the Rej. of E. says : "This is nothing less than the subjecting of the working of the Almighty God to the will of man".
Of course our fathers of Dort acknowledged a certain resistibility of the grace of the Holy Spirit, as Stephen had pointed to when he spoke of the Jews resisting the Spirit of God Who had come to Israel by means of the word of the prophets. But the question was this : Is there really an effectual and quickening power of the Holy Spirit, that breaks down any resistance of the sinner, a power unto faith and conversion, and can this power be resisted and conquered, so that the goal is not reached according to the Counsel and Election of God ?
The Remonstrants denied the existence of such a work of the Spirit. In their opinion this sort of power of grace is not necessary; a " gentle advising" and the promise of eternal goods are sufficient to awaken in the sinner the free will to faith, and it suits his own nature, which still possesses sufficient light of the gifts of common grace to learn to see that God's offer of eternal goods surpasses Satan's promise of temporal goods Rej. of E. Par. 7). The Remonstrants who made the graceof God dependent on the free consent of man Rej. of E. Par. 8 and 9), and did not accept an effectual calling and working of God's Spirit at all, must maintain that God's grace is of a resistible nature.
To prove the invincibility of the quickening mercy of God, the Synod of Dort referred to texts like Eph. 1 : 19; 11 Thess. ]:]];and 11 Pe. 1:1
10. But is this almighty working of the Spirit in regeneration not a matter of compulsion Does not man have to submit to it against his will ?
Of course the Remonstrants raised this objection against the Reformed doctrine. In those days and actually always this has been one of the strongest objections against the Scriptural doctrine concerning God's sovereign grace.
When the Spirit of God has literally to do everything on His own, does not the sinner in regeneration become a senseless stock and block with no responsibility at all ? To this deep question concerning the relation between God's sovereign working in His election and man's own responsibility nobody can give a reply which satisfies human understanding.
But the Remonstrants were not concerned ! That is to say: They did not know this question at all, they did not ask it. These friends of the philosophers (Desiderius Ercismus and Dirk Coornhert had been their teachers; read Outline 1 under 11B), who looked for a logical system above all, considered this to be the greatest triumph of their theory. They claimed : Our theological system of man's free will gives also logical clarity and satisfaction ! But this was the logic of the flesh and the wisdom of this world, regarding which the Scriptures say that God has made it foolishness (1 Cor. 1 : 19-24).
11. Yet our fathers of Dort did not fail to supply the Remonstrants with the Scriptural answer. Read in particular Art. 16 on this. This Article speaks in a very respectful way about the character of the grace of the Spirit's work in the sinner's conversion.
First of all Art. 16 gives us a description of the condition of man after the Fall, as Art. 4 did. The latter spoke of some 11 "glimmerings of natural light, whereby he retains some knowledge of God, of natural things- etc. Art. 16 gives a specification of this and says : "Man by the Fall did not cease to be a creature endowed with understanding and will, nor did sin . . . deprive him of the human nature", though this nature is corrupt and spiritually dead (compare under A9).
Well, says Art. 16, as little as sin has destroyed man's will and its properties or does violence to it (defiled man himselfwants to sin even though by nature he cannot do anything but
sin), does the working of the grace of God's Spirit destroy that will and its properties.
So still the "co-operating, assisting and prevenient grace" etc., of the Remonstrants' recipe ? Oh no! But the Spirit of God spiritually quickens the spiritually dead will, that by nature only wants sin and death, heals it and sweetly and powerfully bends it so that the carnal rebellion makes room for a ready and sincere spiritual obedience to the Spirit of God. This is not a matter of doing violence, but of healing the will, by means of which the true and spiritual restoration and freedom of our will is again received.
This means as much as to say to the Remonstrants : You talk about a free will in fallen man, with the help of which he would be able to rise again from the state of sin ? This is not right, for that will has even been made captive under the power of sin and only the Spirit of God is able to break these chains asunder and make it free again.
12. What wonderful and almighty graceful working of God's Spirit this is 1 The natural gifts of creation, in particular of understanding and will, which man has retained after the Fall, though they have been mutilated, are not eliminated by God's Spirit. This is also proved by the fact that for this regeneration He uses certain means, in particular the means of the Gospel, which God has ordained to be the seed of regeneration and food of the soul (Art. 17).
God has ordained them. He binds us to them. By the Gospel He wants to call and admonish and attract us. This does not eliminate man's natural gifts. But by the living Word the Spirit of God wants to quicken the dead, so that our understanding is illuminated and our will renewed.
The Remonstrants jeered : the Reformed people easily could do without the Bible. For the "advising" of the Gospel is insufficient to work regeneration. It is only a matter of God's almighty power as the Creator. So the means of grace are superfluous !
But the Reformed answered : No, but God's Spirit and God's Word can never be separated from one another. God's Spirit works through the Word (James 1 : 18; 1 Pe. 1 : 23). He submits us to the means of grace, the preaching of the Word, the holy sacraments, and Church discipline.
13. The Remonstrants had still more strings to their bow, which, however, was broken at Dort (Read in particular Art. 15).
They asked the question : If regeneration is exclusively a work of God, to which man himself neither can add anything by a good use of natural light nor take something from it by a bad one, where is then God's justice in rendering this grace to the one and denying the same to the other? Is not this an unrighteous arbitrariness in God ?
Not at all, confesses Art. 15, for God is under no obligation to confer this grace upon any, for how can He be indebted to one who has nothing of his own but sin and falsehood ?
It is not literally quoted, but yet God's good pleasure and freedom is confessed which Christ taught in Mat. 20 : 1-16, in the parable of the Vineyard : "Friend, I do thee no wrong ! Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with Mine own ? Is thine eye evil, because 1 am good?".
God is not unrighteous, neither in His sovereign election nor in the gracious gift of regeneration. For in both He is only merciful. He therefore, who becomes the subject of this grace owes eternal gratitude to God. When He excludes others who are not given this grace, He is only just. He leaves them in their fall and perdition into which they plunged themselves. (Read also Art. 16 of the Belgic Confession of Faith).
There is even more than that. Nobody can and will complain in all sincerity that he has not received this grace, for whoever is not made partaker thereof is altogether regardless of these spiritual gifts and satisfied with his own condition. Only the one who received it is able to understand the richness of this divine grace and thanks and praises God for it.
1.) Why does
Rom. 2 : 14 not support the Remonstrant doctrine that the sinner by nature still
has God's law in his heart ? is this what this text says ?
2.) Why is
God's revelation in nature insufficient to salvation ? Does it teach us anything
concerning our redemption through Christ ?
3.) How has
the "'Kuyperian" separation of regeneration and conversion influenced the doctrinal
statements of the Reformed Synods in the Netherlands in the 'forties ?
3 of the "Remonstrance" seems to be truly orthodox. But do you see now how packed
it is with errors ?
H. J. Meijerink.