To David Engelsma:
In the latest Protestant Reformed Theological Journal (Vol. 47, No. 2, April 2014), you wrote a review of the book From Heaven He Came and Sought Her: Definite Atonement in Historical, Biblical, Theological, and Pastoral Perspective. On pages 139 and 140, under the heading “Dubious Defenders of the Faith: Blocher,” you wrote the following:
“Blocher himself discloses his fatal weakness concerning the fundamental gospel-truth of the death of Christ for the elect only—the truth that he is supposed to be defending in the book. Blocher views the truth of the definite atonement and the controversy between definite atonement and universal atonement as merely a ‘secondary’ matter. He advocates ‘Christian forbearance’ regarding the heresy of universal atonement.
“This estimation of the truth of the atonement and this judgment of the controversy between definite atonement and universal atonement render the large volume to which Blocher contributes an exercise in futility. Why expend such a massive study and so much scholarly labor on a matter that is merely ‘secondary’?
“… ‘Christian forbearance’ of the heresy of universal atonement would have been then, and is today, lack of Christian love for God, the gospel, and the church.”
Yet you have IN YOUR OWN DENOMINATION pastors with the same view as Blocher.
Douglas Kuiper, former pastor of Byron Center (MI) PRC and Randolph (WI) PRC and current pastor of Edgerton (MN) PRC, wrote the following to me:
“Certainly calling Arminianism a false gospel is not radical; but calling someone who holds to it unregenerate is radical - that would be Prof. Decker's position, and is my position.”
Ronald Hanko, former pastor of Covenant PRC (Wyckoff, NJ) and Trinity PRC (Houston, TX), former PRC missionary to Northern Ireland, and current pastor of Lynden (WA) PRC, wrote the following in an article entitled “Can Arminians Be Saved?”:
“But does this mean that those who hold to free will and other teachings of Arminianism cannot be and are not saved? We do not believe that. ... Nevertheless, many people inconsistently confess both grace and works ... Usually this is the fault of the teaching they have received - teaching which speaks along two lines. It is a teaching that affirms grace on the basis of works and free will. Those who teach such things have the greater fault. Nevertheless, those who think along these lines, though they may be saved, also need to realize that what they believe is not the truth, and need to repent of it.”
So WITHIN YOUR OWN DENOMINATION, you have ministers who believe that some Arminians are saved. What will you say about THEM? Oh, it is so easy to write a book review against someone who is not in the PRC and call it a “fatal weakness” and a “lack of Christian love for God, the gospel, and the church.” But do you have the spine to say it about YOUR OWN MINISTERS? Will you lead the charge in the PRC to have these ministers removed from the PRC and judged to be unregenerate agents of Satan? I already know what your reaction will be, since I have already confronted you with the words of Kuiper and Hanko in the past. You will do NOTHING. And it shows that YOU are part of the problem. YOU have a “lack of Christian love for God, the gospel, and the church.” YOU are just as unregenerate as Blocher, Kuiper, and Hanko.
To God alone be the glory,
Marc D. Carpenter
Sovereign Redeemer Assembly