Tuesday, August 16, 2016

On the "two wills of God"

It has been a long time since I first read C. Matthew McMahon's book and PhD dissertation The Two Wills of God. In that book, McMahon deals with the topic whether God actually has two wills. Along the way he touches on the issue of logic and God under prolegomena, then deals with the topic of the Free Offer of the Gospel and Common Grace. I last read the book before I entered seminary (i.e. before 2010), where I was less knowledgeable about many things, and thus I probably didn't have a good grasp of the issues to properly benefit from the book. Re-reading it now in 2016 after seminary has really been much more beneficial.

In light of my second reading of the book, I have re-did my book review of the book here, where I now properly interact with McMahon's proposals. I will be posting the added portions in subsequent posts here, but those who want to read it all can just go to the link to do so.

Why was I interested, and still am interested, in this topic? The impetus for my interest in this topic comes when those promoting the view that God really desires everyone including the reprobates to come to faith, and see that as being the Calvinist view (who were denoted as "Ponterites"), begin accusing everyone who deny their version of the well-meant offer as "Hyper-Calvinists." Besides it being a derogatory slur, I have denied and still deny that what I have believed and still believe is extreme and cultic. McMahon's book on this topic was very helpful in this regard. I have come to recognize these sub-Calvinists as basically Neo-Amyraldians, since their view of God's desire is analogous to the way Amyraldians think of salvation.

In classical Amyraldism, God's decree to elect is subsequent or follows after God's decree to atone for sins. Classical Amyraldism therefore holds to a universal atonement and a particular election. Since Christ died (atoned) for all head for head, therefore the preacher can proclaim that Christ has actually died to save all men head for head, yet only the elect are saved. Likewise, in this new Amyraldism, God actually desires (a universal desire) all men to be saved, while election is particular. Classical Amyraldism splits the work of Christ as atoning for all but interceding for some like some two-minded deity. Neo-Amyraldism splits the desires of God as desiring all to be saved yet wanting the elect to be saved, like some two-person schizoprenic deity. The former has a schism in the mind of God; the latter a schism in the emotions of God.

We will begin the added material in the next post.

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