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All Articles For A Candid Confession

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In the July, 1996 issue of this magazine, the Rev. Cecil W. Tuininga, Reformed minister in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, defended the doctrine of a conditional covenant with the children of believers. This doctrine teaches that God on His part makes His covenant with all the children of believing parents alike. At, baptism, He promises every child that He will be the child’s God and that the child will be God’s child. Since the covenant provides salvation, God promises every child that He will save him. But the covenant is conditional. Made by God with every physical child of believing parents,...

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God loves every physical child of believing parents. In this love, God sincerely desires to save every physical child of believing parents. This love of God for every child of believing parents is covenant love. It is not merely some superficial affection (supposing now that there is such a weak and fleeting emotion in God) that the children share with the entire ungodly world. It is not merely a love that desires their temporal welfare. It is not merely a warm feeling that gives these children earthly gifts. But it is the rich, deep love of God revealed in the...

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A staunch supporter of the popular doctrine in Reformed and Presbyterian circles, that God makes a conditional covenant with every physical child of believing parents, has candidly confessed the real character of such a covenant. He frankly acknowledges that, according to this doctrine of the covenant, God loves every physical child of believers with His covenant love in Jesus Christ and sincerely desires to save every child. This covenant doctrine denies that faith is one of the benefits earned by the death of Christ for the elect children only and that faith is itself included in the promise made by...

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At the end of the letter in which he candidly confessed the character of a conditional covenant, Rev. Cecil Tuininga appealed to several texts in Scripture in support of his doctrine. These texts are Matthew 23:37; Romans 10:21; I Timothy 2:3, 4; and II Peter 3:9 (see the Standard Bearer, Jan. 1, 1997, p. 150). Although he presents no explanation of the texts, Rev. Tuininga makes clear what his understanding of the texts is. For him, the first two texts mean that God loved every physical descendant of Abraham in the time of the old covenant, and willed to save them...

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In defense of the doctrine of a conditional covenant with all I the physical children of believers, Rev. Cecil Tuininga also appeals to II Peter 3:9. Although he .offers no explanation of the text, it is plain that he understands the text to teach that the Lord desires the salvation of every human without exception. Of course, the reason why the Lord would desire to save all must be that He loves all in Jesus Christ the Savior. The appeal to this text by the defender of a conditional covenant is significant. There is, as the Protestant Reformed Churches have...

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The third text that the defender of the conditional covenant appeals to is I Timothy 2:3, 4. He is contending for a doctrine that holds that God loves all the physical children of believers with His covenant love, and that God desires to save them all. In support of this doctrine, he appeals to a passage of Scripture which he supposes to teach a desire of God to save all men without exception. It is no longer a matter only of God’s desiring to save all the physical children of believing parents. It is now a matter of God’s desiring to...

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