The Cause of Election An Extract from Professor Giger’s Translation from Turretin -- By: Charles Eugene Edwards

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 091:364 (Oct 1934)
Article: The Cause of Election An Extract from Professor Giger’s Translation from Turretin
Author: Charles Eugene Edwards

The Cause of Election
An Extract from Professor Giger’s Translation from Turretin

Charles Eugene Edwards

[Editor’s Note: This is the second extract from Turretin on the Decrees of God submitted with comments by Dr. Edwards. In the July number the subject was, “An Unchangeable Election.“R.T.C.]

Was Christ the cause and foundation of Election?

At the outset, we may quote Dr. Cunningham’s estimate of this discussion, in his Historical Theology, Vol. II, Chap. 24, page 363 (in regard to a method of arranging the order of the divine decrees): “This is, indeed, in substance just the question which used to be discussed between the Calvinists and the Arminians upon the point,-whether or not Christ is the cause and foundation of the decree of Election,-the Arminians maintaining that He is, and the Calvinists that He is not,-a question of some intricacy, but of considerable importance, in its bearing upon the subject of Election generally, which will be found discussed and settled in Turretin, on the decrees of God and Predestination.” He refers to Turretin’s fourth topic, and the tenth question; and here follows the greater part of Turretin’s discussion of it.

The first controversy concerning Election, upon which all the others depend, refers to its Cause: whether besides the good pleasure of God, another impulsive cause out of himself can be granted, influenced by which he formed the decree of Election. For the Orthodox maintain that the good pleasure alone has place, and think that no other cause can either be given or rightly sought. But the Adversaries, who cherish Pelagianism or Semi-Pelagianism, suppose that others also can come in order, for instance either Christ and his merit, or the foresight of faith and works. Whence a tripartite question arises, concerning Christ, Faith and Works: Was Election made on account of Christ, and in consideration of his merit, or from foresight of faith, or from foreseen works? Of the first we now treat.

State of the Question

On the State of the Question observe; that it is not, Did Christ enter into the decree of Election? or, was there no consideration of Christ’s merit in the destination of salvation? For we do not deny that he entered into it consequently, as the primary means of its execution; nor do we hold that salvation was destined to us without any regard to his merit; for we acknowledge that God, who decreed salvation to us, by the same act destined to us Christ, the Mediator, to acquire it for us. But the question is, Did Christ enter into the decree antecedently, as the impulsive and meritorious cause on account of which it was destined to us? This...

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