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A good while ago I opened up a Twitter account called @wcf1643 for the purposes of propagating the Westminster Confession of Faith. I did not make any great progress with it and it lay practically dormant for a while. However, in recent weeks, I have taken it up again and I invite you to visit it and indeed (if you are on Twitter) to follow. I have reached the 3rd chapter which deals with the somewhat thorny issue of the decree of God and the dread part which talks about God justly foreordaining some to death while mercifully ordaining others to life. As pointed out in the above, the declared fixedness of all this seems to cause some a few problems. Hopefully, the argument about God's omniscience will iron out any perceived problems.
By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death. These angels and men, thus predestinated, and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished. (Westminster Confession of Faith 3:3-4)
The above statement of the WCF framers cause a few folk some (IMO) unnecessary problems. Apart from the fact that they struggle with the thought that some are foreordained to everlasting death (which the next paragraph declares is for their sin – so that shouldn’t really be a bother to anyone) it is the thought that the number of the elect and reprobate are so certain and fixed and can neither be diminished nor increased. I am not sure why this thought should cause anyone theological nightmares. Indeed, I would argue that unless this were the case, we are in BIG trouble as basic Theists. Answer a few very basic questions here and see how you get on.
1) Do you believe that God knows perfectly the exact number of those who will eventually be in Heaven by His grace or in Hell because of their sin?
2) Since He does, do you think that the exact number of those who will eventually be in Heaven by His grace or in Hell because of their sin will be different from that which God perfectly knows?
3) If it is, then God does not perfectly know and is not omniscient. If it will remain forever the same, then it is so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.
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