The Remonstrants offered additional arguments to prove that Justifying Faith (JF) and Temporary Faith (TF) were the same, except in terms of duration. In the last section of his denial of this, Turretin offers five additional explanations as to why JF and TF are completely different altogether.
Why those with TF are called “disciples of Christ,” “sons of God,” “faithful,” and “believers”: they are called either according to opinion (they seem to be such to others) or judgment of charity as they profess faith and receive the sacraments. They are not called such because they truly are such. Augustine affirms that these are called so because while they’ve received TF, they are not in God’s sight true sons of God (et.al.).
- Perseverance is not the vital distinction between JF and TF: faith is not JF (true) because it perseveres, but it perseveres because it is JF (true). Perseverance thus is an effect, not a cause of JF. Duration (perseverance) is only a mark (index) of JF; not its source. (Therefore TF is not true; it is not of the same kind as JF).
No express evidence that JF and TF are the same (excepting duration): Scripture offers no statements (express or necessarily inferential) that demonstrate that JF and TF are the same (differing only in duration). The “immediate joy” response is merely the response of fallen human intellectual and the “springing up” is in a dead heart (Mt. 13:20). Any “good works” done by those with TF are like those of the ancient Jews who were condemned for their unbelief (Isa. 58:2), the Jews who exulted in John the Baptist’s message without receiving it in their hearts (Jn. 5:35), or like Herod’s protection for a time of John the Baptist ( Mk. 6:20). Such a perishable good works. The good works of JF are those that last for eternity.
Heb. 6:4-6 is no proof that TF is the same kind as JF: the Spirit works in the reprobate (those with TF) so that they “partake” in illumination and conviction, an awareness that only leads the reprobate to self-reformation. The “tasting” is an external (material) experience only of the material blessings found in the Visible Church. Such experiences can include even such gifts that reflect “powers of the age to come” as in miraculous works and ministerial effectiveness (Mt. 7:21-23) and yet not involve a spiritual relationship with Christ. Those with TF “taste the heavenly gift” with lips that are still spiritually dead.
TF is the same as JF in appearances only: TF is a real faith, in that it receives the seed (gospel) with real joy and responded to with real belief (Jn. 2:23; Lk. 8:13). Yet these are merely the real responses possible to fallen men. TF is a hypocritical faith (1Tim. 1:5; 2Tim. 1:5) that merely emulates JF, and has an external resemblance only to JF, so strong even the elect are deceived by TF.
In the FV, TF is followed (ostensibly) by an experience of a covenantal (temporary) ordo salutis. If Turretin is right about the Bible’s teaching, then the work of the Spirit in giving the Reprobate church member (RCM) Temporary Faith is limited to an illumination and conviction that only operates on the normal fallen faculties of the RCM. There is no experience of covenantal (temporary) union, justification, etc. All that exists is the RCM’s profession to possess these blessings, not a real possession.
Posted by Reed DePace