January 27, 2021

The Council

Proclaiming the truth to the world.

The Arminians (who bring popery and Pelagianism in by the back door) have struck against the same rock. For although they endeavor with great labor to prove that they do not make faith the cause of election (in order to shun the odium of semi-Pelagianism deservedly charged upon them), still they do not deny that it is the cause sine qua non or the prerequisite condition necessary in those to be elected. Yea, not obscurely can we gather that they proceed further and attribute a certain causality to faith, so that God is moved by its foresight to choose this rather than that one. Otherwise why would they say so often that election is founded on the foresight of faith unless they meant that the consideration of faith influenced the election of one before another?… Moreover, they make a twofold decree of election: the first general, of saving believers; the second special, of saving individuals by name whom God foresaw would believe. They hold that no other cause of the first can be given than the pure will of God, but as to the second (although it also is founded upon the divine will), they hold it supposes the consideration and regard of faith, so that God is moved by it to elect one rather than another….This, therefore, is the opinion of our churches—that election to glory as well as to grace is entirely gratuitous. Therefore no cause, or condition, or reason existed in man, upon the consideration of which God chose this rather than another one. Rather election depended upon his sole good pleasure (eudokia) by which, as he selected from the corrupt mass a certain number of men neither more worthy nor better than others to whom he would destine salvation, so in like manner he decreed to give them faith as the means necessary to obtain salvation.
Turretin, Francis. Institutes of Elenctic Theology, I:356-357. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1992. Quoted in White, James R. The Potter’s Freedom. Greenville: Calvary Press, 2009, pg. 130.