Monday, February 25, 2008

Packer's Essay

I just finished reading J I Packer's introductory essay to the Death of Death in the Death of Christ by John Owen. I was reminded that there has always been controversy surrounding the doctrine of Christ's atonement. I received hope as I read; it is so easy for me to become discouraged with the many attacks on Biblical Christianity. Yet Packer reminded me that the truth of the gospel must be fought for in every generation and I should not be surprised to find some who wish to distort God's work of salvation to make it more palatable for man. Every one should read this essay and so I will whet your appetite with a few select quotes.

"A half-truth masquerading as the whole truth becomes a complete untruth. Thus, we appeal to men as if they all had the ability to receive Christ at any time; we speak of His redeeming work as if He had done no more by dying than make it possible for us to save ourselves by believing...and we depict the Father and the Son, not as sovereignly active in drawing sinners to themselves, but as waiting in quiet impotence 'at the door of our hearts' for us to let them in"

"For to Calvinism there is really only one point to be made in the field of soteriology: the point that God Saves sinners. God the Triune Jehovah, Father, Son, Spirit; three Persons working together in Sovereign wisdom, power and love to achieve the salvation of a chosen people"

"Where the Arminian says: 'I owe my election to my faith' the Calvinist says 'I owe my faith to my election.'"

"The Arminian will only say: 'I could not have gained my salvation without Calvary,' the Calvinist will say: 'Christ gained my salvation for me at Calvary.'"

"Christ did not win a hypothetical salvation for hypothetical believers"

Read the essay for yourself and you will be blessed by it.

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