19 April 2008

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

While man is helpless to deliver himself, or to prepare himself for divine grace, or even to respond to this grace as it approaches him, and thus his acceptance of divine grace comes from new powers which grace has brought, nevertheless, the freedom of the will is preserved in man's ability to resist God's grace. All man's help must thus come from God; all his ruin comes from himself. -- H.E. Jacobs, *Elements of Religion* p. 67

2 comments:

Paul McCain said...

Pr. Weedon, in your reading of Jacobs, do you detect anything of the "in view of faith" position that was the cause of the Predestinarian controversy? I think I detect, perhaps, a whiff of it here.

Is it reading too much into this to say that perhaps Dr. Jacobs was angling toward the point that the reason some are elected, and not others, is in view of their acceptance of grace?

William Weedon said...

I think it would be reading too much in. Nothing that I've encountered in the book hints at the intuitu fide as CAUSE of election, rather he does indeed state:

"It is just as true that men are elected to faith, as that they are elected to salvation; for all that is of God in the application of Redemption, is the fruit of God's election." (p. 70)

That sounds rather like he's standing with Walther and the LCMS on the point, rather than against us. Still, I admit he's the only Lutheran theologian I'm aware of who defends the use of the term "free will" but in such restricted terms as to make it clear that he is only speaking of the freedom to reject.