In a previous connection it was stated, as you may recall, that the subject of “common grace” was also among those which was being discussed in the Netherlands before the war and concerning which there was difference of opinion. In 1942 the Synod of Sneek-Utrecht, also made certain dogmatic expressions regarding this theory. Although the declarations which were delivered by this same Synod regarding the Covenant of Grace became the greater issue, many protests were also delivered against the decisions relative to “common grace”.

The following is only one of many such protests. We have chosen it as representative and pass it on as a matter of interest and information. Even though we should never attempt to hide or camouflage the differences which separate us from the Liberated Churches, it is always worthwhile to review the things which draw us together. In fact, it may well be, that upon the basis of what is mutually agreed various differences may be resolved. For example, it seems to us, that if one is to be logical and consequent, his denial of a favorable attitude of God towards the reprobate ungodly, as affirmed by “common grace”, must necessarily also precludes any commonness of attitude on the part of God to all children of the covenant without distinction. More particularly, if one will maintain, on the one hand, that God is never graciously inclined to the reprobate, how can he, on the other hand, still infer a gracious dealing of God with the reprobate in the covenant; as seems to be the expression in the insistence that baptism seals the promise to all without distinction. It would seem that if it is affirmed that God is never gracious to the reprobate but only to the elect, that same sharp distinction must be applied to the covenant—and there first of all.

There are also a few considerations which have led us to choose this particular expression of protest against “common grace”. In the first place, as far as we could determine, it is written by a lay-man, a certain Mr. D. Roorda, and hence, expresses “the voice of the people”. In the second place, it attacks the theory itself and takes a positive stand over-against it. And finally, its argumentation touches upon several points which are so familiar to us from our own struggle, and its language is, therefore, very familiar to us. For these reasons, we found it especially interesting and worth passing on.

The entire protest of Mr. Roorda includes sections dealing with other expressions of the Synod but we limit ourselves to the first part dealing with “common grace”. Against the conclusions that were reached he protests. The quotation is from the brochure entitled “Verklaring Van Gevoelen” pages 78-82.