Effectual Calling and Trinitarian Balance with Mark Johnston

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When the Banner of Truth Trust published the second volume of his Collected Writings in 1977, John Murray's views on effectual calling sparked off animated debate in Reformed circles at that time. He challenged the formulation found in the Westminster Shorter Catechism that defines effectual calling as 'the work of God's Spirit' (Q.31), preferring instead to see it as 'the act of God the Father' (p.166). The new generation of 'Precisionists' who were revelling in the rediscovery of Reformation and Puritan literature in those days were eager for the argument and lapped up this latest insight in the desire to sharpen their thinking.

There is no doubting the fact that Professor Murray was right to raise his query of the Westminster formularies, but with hindsight one cannot but wonder if, in correcting one theological imbalance, he actually created another. The danger in the precision involved in any attempt to systematise theological truth is that we can so focus on particular detail that we 'cannot see the wood for the trees!'

Posted August 21, 2014 @ 9:34 AM by Robert Brady

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