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Joe k said:
So when one objects, or ends up in the sproul, HB, "passing by" camp, one has not learned rightly that God is not passive in anything. Including the reprobation/condemnation of men.

Joe,

What I can agree with is that the term "passes by" can be easily misconstrued to mean something "passive", i.e., a non-action on the part of God. However, the euphemistic use of the term doesn't negate the actual view held by Infra's. No doubt you already are privy to what I'm about to explain, but I'm doing so for the benefit of those who do not know. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

The Infralapsarian position holds to a "positive-negative" predestination. That is, in regard to the elect and salvation, God "positively", i.e., actively intervenes in their lives and actually creates a new disposition which infallibly unites with Christ by faith securing their justification and final glorification. In short, God actively "changes" the elect so that they are reconciled to God through Christ. On the other hand, in regard to the reprobate who will be ultimately damned, God also decrees who those individuals are and their ultimate end. However, in their case, the decree is "negative", i.e., God does not "change" anything in the reprobate in order to make them "fit for destruction". The reprobate are by nature "fit for destruction" and thus God is not "active (aka: positively active) in their case. Thus the term "pass by" has been used specifically to distinguish between the active intervention of God, by His Spirit (regeneration, conversation, sanctification) of the elect and the non-active intervention of God in the damnation of the reprobate.

It is true, that God is indeed "active" in regard to the reprobate, but it is to be found in His providence and not in their just condemnation. In short, God uses the reprobate for the benefit of the elect and even the world in general (common grace) by restraining the outworking of their depravity and for His own glory. But God does not take a good or "neutral" (an impossibility) individual and make them evil and then decree them reprobate.

BTW, Herman Bavinck does not embrace Infralapsarianism. He holds to a tenuous position somewhere in between, which I tend to do also. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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