Posts Tagged ‘Hermann Venema’

Hermann Venema: Definition of Covenant; Covenant of Works

August 8, 2010

A covenant is a voluntary agreement on the part of two or three persons to enter into friendship on certain conditions, or to renew it when broken, and is usually accompanied for the purpose of confirmation by the observance of ceremonies of various kinds.

The covenant of works it is said consisted in the agreement entered into between God and man, according to which the latter by rendering perfect and uninterrupted obedience to the divine commands in his own strength would have secured for himself.

Hermann Venema, Institutes of Theology, trans., Alex W. Brown (Andover: Draper Brothers, 1853), 445-446.

Venema: How to Approach the Doctrine of Predestination

August 3, 2010

It is necessary to prosecute our enquiries on this subject with wisdom and prudence, in sobermindedness and humility, dispassionately, and without violating the spirit of unity and brotherly love.

Hermann Venema, Institutes of Theology, trans., Alex W. Brown (Andover: Draper Brothers, 1853), 294.

The Mystery of Redemption

August 2, 2010

And now let us attend to the relation in which we stand to the Triune Jehovah or to each of the persons of the Trinity. We are bound to admire and adore the three in one, and to celebrate their praise as such. We should see in this mystery the foundation of the work of our redemption. In perfect consistency with his justice and holiness, God is now in Christ the sinner’s God, a way has been opened by the Son by which the sinner may draw near to the Father, and deliverance is offered by the Spirit’s sanctifying work from the power of sin. We should render thanks to God for the great love wherewith he hath loved us, in giving us such a glorious manifestation of himself, and in revealing a mystery which no created being could have discovered or even imagined. We should, moreover keep our eyes fixed on the Trinity as the pattern of our happiness and of the union that should exist among those who profess their faith in this great doctrine.

Hermann Venema, Institutes of Theology, trans., Alex W. Brown (Andover: Draper Brothers, 1853), 266.

Venema and the Hiddenness of God

July 30, 2010

If God were to act arbitrarily, then we must renounce our confidence in his word, in all revelation, and in the whole of religion. For he may promise something to-day and deny it to-morrow. And who could repose reliance on a Being—whatever declarations he may make, whatever promises he may hold out—whatever command he may enjoin—in regard to whom there is a possibility that he may deceive us? We should be continually haunted with the suspicion that as he acts arbitrarily, he may be acting for the very purpose of deceiving us. But if it be said that he cannot so deceive us because he is unchangeably good and holy, we in saying this deny that he acts arbitrarily, for there is a something that limits him. He uniformly acts therefore not according to his mere good pleasure, but in consistency with his wisdom and other perfections.

Hermann Venema, Institutes of Theology, trans., Alex W. Brown (Andover: Draper Brothers, 1853), 190.

Not Absolutely Free

July 29, 2010

For by creation he assumed certain relations towards his creatures—relations arising necessarily from his being their creator, and relations to which all his actions must be conformed. God besides cannot deny himself, and therefore in all his actions towards his creatures he is not absolutely free. For he is possessed of goodness, wisdom, justice, and he must act agreeably to these perfections.

Hermann Venema, Institutes of Theology, trans., Alex W. Brown (Andover: Draper Brothers, 1853), 175.

Hermann Venema: What Reason Can & Cannot Do

July 26, 2010

It plainly declares, indeed, that he is a transgressor, and that he has forfeited the divine favour—that God, who is just and holy, cannot, without a full exhibition and vindication of these attributes, re-admit the sinner into his fellowship. But it breathes not a whisper as to the way in which this manifestation may be made, and how, in consistency with these attributes, a reconciliation can be effected between the parties at variance. This is a problem too difficult for reason to solve. Revelation alone clears up the mystery. It tells us, that that the Son of God was made flesh, in order that he might vindicate the divine holiness and satisfy the demands of divine justice. This wonderful scheme was foolishness to the Gentiles and a stumbling-block to the Jews.

Hermann Venema, Institutes of Theology, trans., Alex W. Brown (Andover: Draper Brothers, 1853), 28.