|____________||Interview: Dooyeweerd's Ideas on Business, Enterprise
(This page contains a transcript of an interview with Herman Dooyeweerd supplied by Magnus Verbrugge, in which we can see how Dooyeweerd would apply his thought to specific issues within a single aspect. We can see this as tier-3 ideas that may be validly criticised, and at the foot I have included comments by Albert Gedraitis.)
See also interview with Herman Dooyeweerd on Co-determination in the Enterprise.
Interview of Dr. H. Dooyeweerd with a few friends at the home of M. Verbrugge, in Vancouver, 1974, concerning co-determination by employees through share ownership (ESOP), as translated from the transcript by M. Verbrugge,.
Q. There is always the problem of how to draw the line in the enterprise between where we serve society at large, and where the enterprise. And what is the place of the workers? May we have your views on this?
A. There is no sharp line between the enterprise and society at large. An enterprise is only good when it serves the interests of society. The limited company has called the enterprise into being. The workers are the natural partners of the capital owners. But workers are not members of the company as long as they have no shares. And that is why you, and I too, propagate the idea to give the worker a sufficient part of the shares, so that the workers as a group in its entirety can have influence in the entire management of the company.
Q. Not just because they work there, but also because they share in both risk and reward?
A. Certainly, since then they are not only members of the workers’ community, but also of the corporation of shareholders. They are then entrepreneurs in the exact sense of the word..
Q. Some tend to think that shareholders should have no say in the operation of the enterprise. All they do is to supply money. How do you see this?
A. Yet, that does not correspond to the real issue. The individual shareholder has influence, their majority determines the decisions. We can never say that the shareholders have no real function. But that is advocated by, for instance, the Christian Labor association (in the Netherlands, M.V.)
Professor Gerbrandy also advocated that the workers in the enterprise be given a very important voice in management, without the need for them to buy shares. And that is the problem.
From the beginning I have advocated the idea that the workers get shares. And once they have shares, they are completely entitled to have their voice in the whole management of the enterprise. Some claim that to say "it is necessary to buy shares" is a materialistic idea. But that is not right. The shareholders have their voice since they have taken the initiative and called the whole thing into being. This should stay so, as long as we don't have a socialist society, which is a tyranny.
Q. Would you say that in order to have a voice in the real management, and the major decisions, the employees, including management, should own shares, because, if they did not own shares, and had no economic responsibility for their own actions, they would destroy the whole thing?
A. Yes. I could tell you a story to illustrate what I mean. I have the firm conviction of workers becoming shareholders. From the year 1926 I have defended it in different articles. This has not been well received by the Christian trade union. It is said that capital in the capitalistic society would always have the power, and that to have workers owning shares would foster a materialistic attitude.
The question was discussed in the Anti Revolutionary party, to which I belonged, and a colleague of mine, prof. Gerbrandy, was running for office. He was a sharp man, a good man, and he appreciated my work. But, he said, in the question of co-determination in an industrial enterprise, I cannot agree with you.
The following year I saw that in a big industrial enterprise in The Netherlands, a glass factory of which Gerbrandy was its advisor, the workers were given shares. Well, this was clearly surprising, but I must say that this experiment was not very successful. The reason was that the common workers were not interested in shares, in having a voice in the management of the enterprise. They were only interested in wages. This was money .... and only that money counted. They sold their shares!
Nevertheless, since that time in different instances the same idea has been applied - giving workers co-determination by giving them shares. And it must be realized that at that time there were favorable results.. So my idea, which my son-in-law put in his book (After capitalism and socialism, An overhaul of democracy) , will not be completely new. I hope that this idea can be used favorably by a growing multitude of persons who are interested in this question.
Q. Could you tell us whether the employees of the glass factory did not understand what a share is, or why they would not be interested, since a share represents money as well as a voice in management? Why did they not accept it, why did they not like it?
A. It seems they didn't like it because they considered that once you get the shares you will also participate in the risk of the enterprise, and they cannot do so.
Q. Was the enterprise not successful?
A. It was successful as a business, it had good economic results, but the idea of co-determination has not been successful. This occurred because the workers themselves did not accept it.
Q. Is it not sad that a man could refuse a gift, share of a company, because it is money?
A. Yes, but you should consider that the whole question of their gift of shares was set in a certain context. What was said was: "we do so in order to get you interested in the enterprise." So the whole stress was placed upon the interest in the partnership. And as long as you see share ownership only as a question of money, since you can you can sell the shares, then this whole idea is not done justice.
When the question of co-determination in the business from the side of workers is at issue, you should see that it is not a question of money. It is in the first place a matter of partnership. Workers should participate because they are members of the community - the enterprise - because they work there. But the mere fact that you work there is not sufficient to give you authority, because every enterprise has also workers who only work there on a brief contract; they don't feel that they are participants in the community; they are interested only in the money value of their wage. And then the whole idea of co-determination is lost.
Q. Would you say that from a Christian point of view it is not only a norm for a work community that there be humane relationships, that workers and managers concern themselves with the welfare of each other as fellow human beings, and that working conditions be as good as can be had, humanly speaking. From this Christian point of view that, in order to also function as an economic unit as an enterprise, the workers should also have the right to become partners and owners? Would you put it that strongly?
A. Yes. But then I would say: "on the condition that they also become members of the company which has called the whole enterprise into being."
Q. In other words they get shares in the company?
A. Yes. Only that can make them full partners. Yes, that is my standpoint from a Christian point of view.
|Äàòà/Âðåìÿ: 05/06/05 21:36 | Email:
Àâòîð : Eugene Kashirsky
|____________||Second All Russian Congress of Reformed-Calvinists
The second All Russian Congress of Reformed-Calvinists was held in Tver on November 26-27, 2004. Representatives of almost all existing unions and associations of Reformed and Presbyterian churches of Russia were in attendance. Additionally, representatives of independent communities, groups and different religious organizations participated in the congress. Representatives came from the following cities: Ussuriysk, Tarko-Sale, Tomsk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Tumen, Nishnyvartovsk, Ufa, Kirov, Vyasma, Kasan, Saint-Petersburg, Pushkin, Moscow, and Tver. There were also guests from Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and the USA.
The congress was opened with prayer by Eugene Kashirsky, pastor of the Reformed-Evangelical Church in Tver. Vladimir Lotsmanov, the president of Reformed Union, greeted the participants in the welcoming speech.
On the first day two reports were presented.
1. The New Slavery, by Vadim Skakovsky.
2. Religious Community in Modern Russia, by Eugene Kashirsky.
According to the regulations of the congress every participant was allowed a 10-minute speech. Almost every participant had the opportunity to speak. All the speakers talked in general about their vision of Calvinism and about the situations in their communities. At the same time, all the speakers were in agreement that there is the absolute necessity of union in the work of Reformation.
The participants of the congress clearly acknowledged that many communities have been formed under different unions and associations. It was therefore suggested to coordinate the Calvinists in addition to unions and associations, by publishing a country-wide Russian newspaper and magazine. Another idea was presented to create a consulting center so that representatives of all Calvinistic groups and communities could participate. At the end of the first day it was recommended that the participants become acquainted with a proposed project by the congress (presented by “The Calvinism Study Center”). The work on the project of the resolution continued in small groups until late at night.
The next day was opened with Garry Timmerman’s report (Christian Reformed Church, USA) on the current situation of Calvinists in the USA. Jim Foot (the representative of Evangelical Presbyterian Church, USA) brought a formal greeting. The participants of the congress then began a discussion of the project of the above stated resolution. The participants voted on every point of the resolution. Finally, after multiple corrections and editing the text of the resolution was approved and signed by the participants of the congress.
At that point the Second All Russian Congress of Reformed-Calvinists finished its work. Valerian Ten, pastor of a Presbyterian Church from Moscow, thanked God in a closing prayer.
The organizational committee once again wanted to thank everybody who assisted in conducting the congress.
The official report of the organizational committee for the work of the congress and the resolution of the congress, which was accepted by the participants, is listed below.
THE ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITTEE’S REPORT:
Dear Calvinists of Russia!
The Second All Russian Congress of Reformed-Calvinists has successfully finished its work!
The participants of the congress accepted the resolution and planned the program of subsequent work. The All Russia Calvinistic newspaper, which was created on the basis of “Reformed Russia” newspaper, is going to be a coordinator. The magazine “Bringing Up People of God” is going to be a theoretical foundation for the Calvinistic movement in our country.
To be more efficient in discussing the questions of the Calvinistic movement in Russia and to be able to share the consolidation opinion, the participants agreed to create a Consulting Center (CC). The participants from every Russian Calvinistic community or group can participate in the CC. The conditions are: 1. the community (group), delegates to CC only one representative; 2. availability of e-mail.
Lastly, because of the approach of a very special date for every Calvinist – 500 years since John Calvin was born, the special committee will be organized to work on preparation for the celebration of that anniversary.
Chairman of the Congress Committee.
THE RESOLUTION OF THE SECOND ALL RUSSIA CONGRESS OF REFORMED-CALVINISTS OF RUSSIA
The world is as far from Christ today as it was during the first centuries of Christianity. Among countries who formally consider themselves Christian, we can see their lack of spirit and deviation from the faith in our Lord and Savior.
Russia is far from Christ as well, in spite of having opportunities for evangelism and godly living according to the Word of God. Even though most people in our country consider themselves Christian, this external reckoning doesn’t have anything to do with the true Christian faith. Meanwhile, Russia will not be blessed and its people will not be able to build a thriving society without a true knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and obedience to His Word.
IN VIEW OF THE AFORESAID THE CALVINISTS OF RUSSIA DECLARE:
1. Everything is held in the hand of the sovereign God. All economic, political, social and family problems can be solved only by following the will of God as expressed in the Holy Scripture.
2. The fear of God in the hearts of people and a zeal to obey His commandments would allow us to build a society of free people in which a person is protected and would receive a real opportunity to live according to the Word of God.
3. The destiny of Russia is precious to us. We call out all Christians to leave their confessional arrogance, join us in reaching toward this good goal and work together. In our current situation, to neglect this important common Christian work can be considered a crime before God.
Let us work together for the glory of our God, manifesting our will and endurance, and standing firm against the assault of all anti-Christian forces.
The Federal Archive Service of the Russian State Historical Archive
concerning the existence of Evangelical-Reformed churches in Russia
The archives of the General Evangelical-Lutheran Consistory are preserved in the Russian State Historical Archive. This consistory was established by an imperial ukase on December 28, 1832 for the management of the spiritual affairs of Lutheran and Evangelical-Reformed Churches within the territory of the Russian Empire.
The existence of Evangelical-Reformed churches in the territory of the Russian Empire was considered legal due to Article 66 of the Code of General State Laws, in which it was stated, that “all the subjects of the Russian state, who do not belong to the state church, natives as well as those taken into citizenship, and also foreigners who serve in Russia or temporarily reside in Russia, in all places may exercise free profession of their faith and worship according to their rites. Article 68 further stated that “the church affairs of Christian and foreign confessions and adherents of different creeds in the Russian Empire are under control of their spiritual authorities and special governments, which are thereby granted by the Supreme Authority.”
The first legislative act which regulated the order of activity of the Reformed parish in the Russian Empire, was the Imperial Manifesto of May 11, 1778. Its concern was to “restore the concordance between the members of the Reformed Church of the French and German nations in Saint Petersburg.”
On October 14, 1830 there followed the imperial ratification of “the Statue for the Management of Church and Economic Affairs.”
On June 20, 1838 the imperial ukase was signed concerning “the management of spiritual and economic affairs of the Evangelical Society of Archangelsk,” which was established as a result of the union of Lutheran and Reformed parishes into one parish in 1817.
|Äàòà/Âðåìÿ: 15/12/04 09:19 | Email:
Àâòîð : Gary Timmerman
|Evangelical Reformed Churches Union of Russia (ERCUR)
Held its Second All-Russia Reformed Congress November 26-27, 2004
In Tver, 100 km northeast of Moscow, a gathering of fifty Reformed brothers revealed landmark shifts in growth-strategy for the young Reformed denomination across Russia. Delegates came to the once-in-five-years Congress from Vladivostok, Ussuriisk, Omsk, Moscow, Tver, Ufa, Kazan, Tomsk, Tyumen, Odessa, St. Petersburg, Smolensk region and other places, and also guests from Odessa (Ukraine) and Tashkent (Uzbekistan) . Reports were given by delegates fromeach region about the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ across the land in deep and life-changing ways.
The fact that such open-floor reporting took place is evidence that the EVANGELICAL REFORMED CHURCHES UNION OF RUSSIA (ERCUR) as a denomination takes a new route as a ‘confederation of entities' with some local autonomy for each church. The reports demonstrated that these men have not only studied the academic knowledge of Calvinism that the Reformation Society and Calvinism Study Center have has so diligently been propagating across the former Soviet Union during the last 10 years, but they show that real fruit is showing up in the lives of people and communities. Pastors and missionaries, won over to the Reformed worldview and Reformed confessions, have advanced their knowledge of Christ's love and nurture as it can be applied into the practical sphere, in the church communities. It was heard how important it was to see so many Reformed MEN giving leadership in churches and Reformed communities, and that the movement of the Reformation is now at a mature stage to grow and multiply throughout Russia. The resolutions that all the brothers democratically discussed and wrote together are important results of this bond that the brothers experienced together. Leading brothers Eugene Kashirsky and Vadim Skakovsky gave honour and encouragement to all the brothers by creating this openness for discussion and respect to all the brothers; they did a splendid job in guiding the creation of some culminating resolutions that will guide the ongoing efforts toward the Third Congress in 2009.
Some additional highlights of the Congress and my interactions there:
• A FOURTH CHURCH ENTERS THE UNION. Birth-of-Christ Evangelical Reformed Church of St. Petersburg, pastored by Mikhail Poluboyarinov, has been admitted into the ERCUR following examination and one-year probationary period. Pastor Mikhail challenged the Union to develop a strategy for youth ministry.
• After the Congress, a FIFTH CHURCH (Evangelical-Reformed Church in Ufa, Bashkortostan – Autonomous Republic) handed in an application to enter the Union.
|Äàòà/Âðåìÿ: 09/11/04 15:42 | Email:
Àâòîð : ÖÈÊ
|A Pastoral Letter from the National Presbytery
of the Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church
Regarding the Auburn Avenue Theology
Dear Members of the Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church:
A new movement has recently surfaced which undermines the truth of the
gospel. It has been given various names such as: Auburn Avenue
Theology, Monroe Doctrine, Federal Vision, Hypercovenantalism and
Neolegalism. Although there are minor differences of opinion among the
major advocates of this new theology, overall they are one and the same:
their theology is a new form of that old enemy of the gospel, sinful
man's works. The subtlety of this error is due to the use of Reformed
terms in novel ways and the disguising of errors under the cloak of
"covenant theology". This has caused many Christians to be led astray.
In order to maintain the peace and purity of our churches we deem it
necessary to define clearly the errors involved in this theology. The
following is a list of the major positions held, to varying degrees, by
proponents of these new views, though any one may not hold to all.
Denying the analogy of faith, which leads to a disregard of systematic
Affirming that one must have the mindset of a rabbinic Jew to understand
Affirming that law and gospel are identical
Denying the covenant of works and the federal headship of Adam,
Denying the Biblical teaching on the federal headship of Jesus
Denying the imputation of Christ's active obedience and
Affirming that we are justified by an obedient faith, which is the same
as saying faithful obedience, including:
Affirming that works (obedience), with the help of the Holy Spirit
(non-meritorious), are necessary for justification
Affirming that in the post-Fall era, God accepts a partial sin-tainted
obedience to the law instead of Christ's perfect righteousness
Affirming that justification is primarily concerned with ecclesiology
and not soteriology
Affirming that Paul uses the term justification only to describe how the
Gentile Christians are given equal status with the Jewish Christians in
the covenant community
Affirming that "the works of the law" refers only to the
ceremonial laws-for example, circumcision and dietary laws which pertain
only to the Jews
Affirming that justification is solely the forgiveness of sins
Affirming that justification is a process and thus denying its forensic
Affirming that a justified person can apostatize and go to hell
Affirming that James 2:20-26 teaches that works are a necessary
condition or instrument of justification
Denying the invisible/visible church distinction, which leads to the
Affirming that every member of the visible church is united to Christ,
Affirming that a believer can lose his salvation
Affirming that the covenant of grace is conditional, which includes the
Affirming that the elect can lose their salvation
Affirming that obedience to the covenant determines salvation
and not the predetermined election of God
Affirming that Christ's death has saving benefit to the
Affirming a form of baptismal regeneration, which includes the
Affirming that baptism with water and baptism by the Holy Spirit are
Affirming that every baptized person is truly united to Christ and has
all the benefits of His work
Affirming that Christ's work is not sufficient to guarantee perseverance
in the covenant
Affirming that the sacraments are efficacious apart from faith
Denying the perseverance of the saints, which includes the following:
Affirming that, by God's grace, one must maintain his elect status
through obedience to the covenant
Denying definitive sanctification, i.e. that Christ's redemptive work
guarantees its application to the believer
Affirming that one's own personal subjective righteousness is necessary
for final justification
Affirming that assurance is gained simply by looking to one's
All of these positions lead to one conclusion: Christ's righteousness
is not sufficient for our salvation. We need to have our own works, our
own righteousness, to enter eternal life. The Covenant Reformed
Presbyterian Church rejects these views as being contrary to the Bible
and the Westminster Standards.
"This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of
the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun
in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" (Galatians 3:2-3)
Adopted in Manasses, Virginia, on October 19, 2004
Ñòðàíèöû : 1 2 3 4
|Äàòà/Âðåìÿ: 19/08/04 07:20 | Email:
Àâòîð : Dr. Francis Nigel Lee
|Q. 160. What is Calvin’s comment on these inspired words of the Apostle Paul?
A. 160. He says: "There is one ‘vow’ common to all Believers which, taken in Baptism, we
‘confirm’ and as it were sanction by our Catechism." We do so, "in making ‘Profession
of our Faith’ and partaking of the Lord’s [Supper] .... "[It] is intended for those of riper
years who, having passed the tender period of infancy, are fit to bear solid food. This
distinction is very clearly pointed out in Scripture.... The Lord...does not admit all to
partake of the Supper, but confines it - to those who are fit to discern the body and blood
of the Lord; to examine their own conscience; to show forth the Lord’s death; and
understand its power. Can we wish anything clearer than what the Apostle says, when
he thus exhorts: ‘Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink
of that cup!’ (First Corinthians 11:28)? Examination, therefore, must precede - and this
it were vain to expect from infants." Calvin’s Institutes IV:13:4-6; IV:16:30 & IV:19:4.
Q. 161. Doesn’t First Corinthians 11:29’s word ‘ discerning’ imply prior catechizing?
A. 161. In First Corinthians 11:29, Paul declares that "he who eats and drinks unworthily, eats
and drinks a judgment upon himself, not discerning the Lord’s body." Young children
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do not have this ability to be ‘discerning’ - an ability which First Corinthians 11:29 here
requires before anyone may eat and drink at the Lord’s Supper.
Q. 162. What does Calvin say about this verse?
A. 162. In his Institutes IV:17:40, he says: ‘The Lord’s Supper ...is converted into the most
noxious poison to all whom it does not nourish and confirm in the faith.... As Paul says,
"Whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty
of the body and blood of the Lord"; "eats and drinks condemnation to himself, not
discerning the Lord’s body" (First Corinthians 11:27-29).
Q. 163. But don’t many Paedocommunionists claim that "discerning the Lord’s body" in First
Corinthians 11:29" is referring to the Church as the mystical body of Christ rather than
Christ’s Own physical body and its relationship to the communion bread?
A. 163. That would still disqualify children from communing! For they still couldn’t discern
the relationship between the body of the whole Church and the body of Christ Himself!
Q. 164. Even so, can you prove they are wrong about what is here to be discerned?
Q. 164. Kamphuis writes: "Paedocommunionists argue that verse 29 refers not to inability to
discern the Lord’s [physical] body in the sacramental elements, but to inability to discern
that the congregation is the Lord’s body. However, that cannot be what the inspired Paul
here means. For verse 27 does not refer to undiscerning manducators incurring guilt
against the congregation of the Lord’s body, but of their becoming ‘guilty of the body and
blood of the Lord.’ And the word ‘blood’ cannot apply to the congregation, but only to
the shed blood of Christ Himself.... The reading ‘to sooma tou Kuriou’ [or ‘the body of
Christ’] has the strongest textual evidence.... The expression ‘the body of the Lord’ in
the immediate context is used only in connection with the body of the Lord Jesus
sacrificed on the cross.... Although the Church is indeed called ‘the body of Christ’ in
First Corinthians, it is never called ‘the body of the Lord.’"
Q. 165. Should Antipaedocommunionists then eucharize undiscerning senile Communicants?
A. 165. First Corinthians 11:29’s word ‘discerning’ certainly implies having been catechized
priorly. It is one thing never to have been able credibly to have professed Christ as one’s
Saviour before admission to the Lord’s Supper. It is quite another thing, having done
the above, later to become incapable of any longer so professing in the same way. To
admit [to the Eucharist] is not the opposite of to excommunicate [therefrom]. Babies at
birth are right then admitted to the citizenship of their country. But they are not
excommunicated therefrom later, when senile
Q. 166. Is it only unworthy adults who are ‘condemned’ in First Corinthians 11:30 f?
A. 166. In First Corinthians 11:30, Paul says that the lack of discernment of many participants
at the Lord’s Supper - had caused some to be condemned to getting weak and sickly, and
others even to die. Indeed, First Corinthians 11:31 says that if those who ate and drank
at the Lord’s Supper had only critiqued themselves - they would not be undergoing such
condemnation. Babies and toddlers cannot thus critique themselves. But the
Paedocommunionists who encourage them to imbibe the sacramental bread and wine
shall surely undergo punishment at the hands of our holy God.
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Q. 167. What does Calvin comment on this verse?
A. 167. He here blasts specifically the Romish mass. He asks "If, in Paul’s time, an abuse of
the Supper...could stir up the wrath of God against the Corinthians, so that He punished
them so severely - what are we to think about the situation in our own day? Throughout
the range of Popery, we see not only horrible desecrations of the Supper - but also a
profane and detestable thing set up in its place." Only unworthy adults are ‘condemned’
in First Corinthians 11:30f - precisely because only adults can eucharize (unworthily).
Q. 168. But doesn’t First Corinthians 12:13 say we are " all made to drink into one Spirit"?
A. 168. When First Corinthians 12:13 says that "all" have been "made to drink" - it does not in
any way mean, as some Paedocommunionists misallege, that also all of the baptized
babies in the Church at Corinth had been "made to drink" alcoholic wine at the Lord’s
Table. Instead, it means that all those that had been baptized there or elsewhere - had
thereby ipso facto been "made to drink" by outwardly being drenched with the waters
of Baptism (cf. 1:17 & 3:6 & 6:11 & 10:1 & 15:29). Thus Luther, Calvin, the
Westminster Standards, Doddridge, Bloomfield, Kuyper, Robertson and others.
Q. 169. Is there further evidence in First Corinthians, that Paedocommunionists are wrong?
A. 169. First Corinthians 13:10f impugns Paedocommunionism, as too does 14:19f. Isaiah
28:7f bears antipaedocommunionistically on First Corinthians 14:20f - as too do Calvin’s
crisp "catechetical" comments on Isaiah 28:7f. First Corinthians 14:23 implies that also
Catechumens not yet took Communion. And 16:13 adultly or "manfully" implies
Antipaedocommunionism - as too does the ‘ex-communi-catory’ Anathema of 16:22.
Q. 170. Of what antipaedocommunionistic importance is the passage Galatians 3:25 to 4:2?
A. 170. Till Christ came, the Old Testament Church was under the ‘child-discipline’ or the
teaching of the various ceremonial laws. These used to operate in the same way in
which a minor heir is subject to his Schoolteacher (or Catechist alias Tutor). That
tutelage of a young heir endures till he becomes of age" - see the Westminster Larger
Catechism 177. Calvin comments that "a Schoolmaster is not appointed for a person’s
whole life, but only for childhood.... In training a boy, the object is to prepare him...for
greater things." And a Catechist is one who catechizes a Catechumen toward admission
unto manducation at the Lord’s Supper. Galatians 6:6.
Q. 171. Of what antipaedocommunionistic importance are the verses Ephesians 4:11-15?
A. 171. Paul there says Christ "gave some...as...Teachers for the equipping of the saints...till we
all come...unto a mature man.... Lest we henceforth keep on being tossed about as
children..., we are to keep on growing up in all things toward Him!" Calvin comments:
"We ought not to be like children. He [Paul] thus sets an intervening period between
childhood and maturity.... The life of believers...is like adolescence.... After being born
in Christ, we ought to grow - so as not to be [like] children in understanding."
Q. 172. What do First and Second Timothy teach about Profession of Faith and Confirmation?
A. 172. In addition to that which is already recorded in Questions & Answers 104 & 131 above,
those Epistles teach not only faith within covenant children often long before their
adolescence - but also that they too need catechizing before their ‘Confirmation’ as
Communicants. There, William Hendriksen comments "Timothy must have reached a
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degree of maturity even during Paul’s first missionary journey [Acts 16:1f] - for it was
then that he had ‘confessed his faith’...in connection with his Baptism." And Gordon H.
Clark comments that Timothy’s ‘confession before many witnesses’ could well have been
"his confession of faith when he was received as a Communicant Member."
Q. 173. What does the Book of Hebrews teach about Profession of Faith and Confirmation?
A. 173. Hebrews 2:3 to 3:1f teaches ‘Profession of Faith’ before Communion. 3:1 to 4:14
urges us then to maintain our ‘Profession of Faith.’ 5:5-14 states that ‘strong meat’
(such as the holy bread and wine) is only for those completely catechized and who can
"discern." 6:1-5 stresses the need for Confirmation before the Eucharist is first tasted.
10:19f refers to Christians making their "Profession of Faith" after being "washed." And
11:24-28 refers to Moses’ faith after he had "come to years" and "observed the Passover"
(cf. Exodus 12:1-4,21,37).
Q. 174. What does Calvin comment on Hebrews 5:12f?
A. 174. He says "we must progress in our learning - so that we do not always stick at the first
beginnings. We must let it happen that Isaiah’s prophecy becomes fulfilled in us
(28:10): ‘It is precept upon precept, precept upon precept’" - alias the questions and
answers of catechetical instruction. "Those who are of such tender years that they cannot
receive the more advanced teaching, are called ‘children’.... The true purpose of
teaching, is to fit us together - so that we grow up to a perfect man; to the measure of full
maturity; so that we are not children tossed to and fro.... [The Holy Writer here] "calls
adults ‘full-grown’ - setting them in opposition to babes ."
Q. 175. What does Calvin comment on Hebrews 6:1?
A. 175. He says: "The Catechumen was admitted [in order to become able] to...make
‘Confession’ of his faith. There were certain cardinal matters about which the Pastor
questioned the Catechumens, as clearly appears from the various evidences of the Fathers
[in the Early Church]. This examination was concerned particularly with what is known
as the Apostles’ Creed" [alias what is here calls ‘Faith toward God’].... The word ‘Faith’
[in Hebrews 6:1] means the short summary...called the ‘Articles of Faith.’"
Q. 176. What does Calvin comment on Hebrews 6:2?
A. 176. He says: "The children of believers were baptized as infants - since they were adopted
from the womb and belonged to the body of the Church by right of the promise. Then,
after their infancy was over - and they had been instructed in the Faith - they too offered
themselves for a Catechumenate.... Another sign was then added, [viz.] the ‘laying on
of hands’[at their Confirmation]. This single passage is abundant evidence that the
origin of this rite came from the Apostles...[as] a solemn ceremony of prayer.... They
intended by this sign to ‘confirm’ the ‘Profession of Faith’ - which adolescents make
when they pass from their childhood.... Today, we must retain the institution in its
purity" - viz. also as the rite of passage at puberty, unto admission to the Eucharist."
Q. 177. What does the Puritan Dr. John Owen comment on Hebrews 5:12f?
A. 177. Owen, writer of the greatest ever commentary on Hebrews, says at 5:12 that the holy
writer "designs [or designates] the catechetical principles of Christian religion which
also, as it is supposed, he reckons up in the beginning of the next chapter [6:1f] - such
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principles as converts, or young children, are usually instructed and catechised in....
In those of full age, the...senses are gegumnasmena - [viz.] ‘exercised’.... They are not
so in babes.... Persons of full age are such as are meet to have the ‘Mysteries’ [or
Sacraments] of the Gospel."
Q. 178. What does the Puritan Dr. John Owen comment on Hebrews 6:2f?
A. 178. He says: "There were two sorts of persons that were baptized - namely those that were
adult at their first hearing of the Gospel; and the infant children of believers, who were
admitted to be Members of the Church.... Baptized in their infancy - [they] were to be
instructed in them [the principles] as they grew up unto years of understanding.
Afterwards, when they were established in the knowledge of these necessary truths and
had resolved on personal obedience unto the Gospel, they were offered unto the
‘Fellowship of the Faithful’ [ accepted as Fellow-Communicants or Co-Communicants].
And hereon, [after] giving the same account of their faith and repentance which others
had done before they were baptized - they were admitted into the Communion of the
Church, the Elders thereof laying their hands on them in token of their acceptation and
praying for their Confirmation in the faith.... This was the state of things in the
apostolical churches.... It ought to be so in all others."
Q. 179. What does the later Puritan Matthew Henry comment on Hebrews 5:12 to 6:5?
A. 179. He says: "There are in the Church - babes, and persons of full age.... There are, in the
Gospel, milk - and strong meat.... It is good...to pass the infant state.... The doctrine of
Baptisms, that is, of being baptized by a Minister of Christ with water in the Name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, [functions] as the initiating sign or seal of
the covenant of grace - strongly engaging the person so baptized: to get acquainted with
the New Covenant; to adhere to it; and prepare to renew it at the Table of the Lord....
This ordinance of Baptism is a foundation to be rightly laid and daily remembered - but
not [to be] repeated. [The] Laying on of hands...on persons passing solemnly from their
initiated state by Baptism to the confirmed state, [occurs] by returning the answer of a
good conscience toward God and sitting down at the Lord’s Table. Thus passing from
‘incomplete’ to ‘complete’ Church Membership ."
Q. 180. How does also Hebrews 10:19f bear witness against Paedocommunion?
A. 180. Christians are here reminded of "the blood of Jesus" - which "new and living way He
renewed for us through the veil, that is, His flesh." It continues: "Having a High Priest
over the house of God - let us keep on drawing near with a true heart in full assurance of
faith, having had the hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and having had the body
washed with pure water! Let us keep on holding fast ‘the Profession of our Hope
without wavering!" Calvin comments that Hebrews here "demands Confession [alias
‘Profession of Faith’], because there is no true faith that does not show itself to men [alias
mature adults].... He therefore bids them not only to believe with their hearts, but also
to show by their ‘Profession’ the real extent of their obedience to Christ."
Q. 181. How does Luke’s Gospel, around A.D. 65 f, witness against Paedocommunion?
A. 181. Paul’s companion Dr. Luke had collected together some of the evidence available
about all that Jesus began to do, until the time of His ascension into Heaven. This
included also Christ’s institution of Communion Services. Luke wrote this down in his
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Gospel (1:1-4), intended especially for the further edification of a catechized Christian
called Theophilus. At 2:40-47, Luke wanted the catechized Theophilus to know with
"certainty" that even Jesus did not partake of the Passover until after being catechized
subsequently to His reaching the age of twelve. Also, at 22:1-20 Luke wanted
Theophilus to know Christ Himself had later, at its very institution, limited the Lord’s
Supper (which replaced that Passover) - to His ‘Mature Disciples’ alone ( excluding the
latter’s pre-adolescent children). Indeed, the Disciples were they whom Christ Himself
had previously catechized - either in their adolescence, or during their adulthood.
Q. 182. How does the Book of Acts - around A.D. 66f - witness against Paedocommunion?
A. 182. In a second treatise to the catechized Theophilus, Luke wanted him to know it was only
after later mature converts had been ‘instructed’ - starting on Pentecost Sunday - that they
were to be admitted to "the breaking of bread." Acts 1:1 to 2:42. Luke also told him
that even the eloquent Apollos - mighty in the Scriptures - had, previously, already been
"catechized in the way of the Lord." Acts 18:25. And he further reminded him that
among the believers (even at a place such as Troas) it was only those already catechized -
alias the "Disciples" - who "came together to break bread" specifically for themselves.
For they had then located the "young man" Eutychus at the side of the building - keeping
him "sitting" not on a central pew, but in the "window" (and apparently uncommuned).
Q. 183. How do John’s writings - around A.D. 67 f - witness against Paedocommunion?
A. 183. In John’s Gospel at 21:15 f, Christ urged His Apostles: "Keep on feeding My lambs!" -
and "My little sheep" - which implies catechizing them. There is also a ‘eucharistic’
connection here with First John 2:12-17. For First John’s "tiny children" are not yet the
"youths" or "fathers" who "keep on confessing the Son." The "youth" are those who had
reached teen-age and who had then overcome Satan and the lusts of the flesh (arising
especially at puberty). After being catechized, they were ‘confirmed’ and admitted to
the Lord’s Supper at teenage. Thus they were strengthened - and, as it were, made into
‘mature men’ - by the abiding Word of God. This was done when they became " strong"
teenagers or "young men" alias adults. Compare ’iysh (with ’uwsh or virility) in Exodus
12:3f cf. 12:26f & 12:37f.
Q. 184. How does Owen’s comment on First John 2:13f witness against Paedocommunion?
A. 184. "In a house where there dwell together old men and strong men and children or babes,"
comments Owen, "if they should be all of them bound up unto the same diet or food,
some of them must necessarily perish!" This suggests giving ‘strong meat’ to ‘babes’
will choke them. Therefore we "ought to aim that they may all be[come] such...as may
take in and thrive upon solid food: the deeper ‘Mysteries’ [or Sacraments] of the
Gospel.... These truths...which the Apostle calls ‘strong meat’ for ‘them that are of full
age’ - are to be searched, inquired into, and preached." Yet meanwhile "babes...have
need of milk - and are not capable of ‘instruction’ in the more heavenly ‘Mysteries’ ....
‘Them that are of full age’...are persons adult; grown up; come to ‘full age.’" Such are
"those who have [had] their understandings enlarged and their minds settled in the
knowledge of Christ or the ‘Mysteries’.... ‘Those of full age’ are such as...[have been]
instructed in the doctrine of the Gospel." Thus, "persons of full age are such as are meet
to have the ‘Mysteries’"- and receive the holy bread and wine from the Lord’s Table .
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Q. 185. How does John’s Revelation - around A.D. 68 f - witness against Paedocommunion?
A. 185. In the Book of Revelation, 2:7-23 has implications against Paedocommunion - and also
3:19f might imply the same. 7:14-17 seems to refer back to the Passover and also to the
Eucharist, and in 19:1-9 the Lord’s heavenly (all-adult) Marriage Supper of the Lamb
seems to be its fulfilment. Indeed, on the very last page of the Bible - at Revelation
chapter 22 - Christ in glory keeps on feeding His then-mature Church unto all eternity.
Q. 186. Coming to the extant Apostolic Fathers, how many advocated Paedocommunion?
A. 186. None, Even among Post-Christian Judaists, there was no Paedocommunion till A.D.
230. Paul’s Christian friend Clement of Rome implicitly opposed it. The Didachee
covered the catechizing of covenant children as well as of adult converts in ‘Careful
Communion.’ Ignatius insisted on Confirmation before Communion. Pliny says only
non-adulterous adults were seen manducating at Communion Services. The Shepherd
of Hermas affirms only mature actions entitled Christians to receive the Supper. Justin
Martyr required education before manducation at the Eucharist. To Theophilus and
Athenagoras, it involved no cannibalistic or pagan transubstantiation. And to Irenaeus,
there needed to be: Catechism during Christian childhood before Communion - and
Catechism and Confirmation before admission to the Lord’s Supper .
Q. 187. What about the rest of the evidence till A.D. 250?
A. 187. The earliest extant Liturgy (of St. James) taught even Catechumens did not manducate
there. Tertullian believed only heretics give Communion to those merely
half-catechized; that there was to be no Communion without prior catechizing; that the
Paedocommunionism of the antecatechetical and repaganized apostate Marcion was to
be opposed; and that a highly-catechetical Antipaedocommunionism was required by the
Church Universal. In Clement of Alexandria there is no Eucharistic Communion before
sexual maturity, and Communion only for those catechized for three years before their
adolescence. Hippolytus sought to catechize only ‘men and women’ but not children for
Communion. Origen taught only the catechized are ‘competent’ to commune , as too did
Commodian and the Syrian Didaskalia.
Q. 188. What does Calvin say about the Early-Church’s Antipaedocommunionism?
A. 188. He remarks in his Institutes IV:19:4 & IV:19:13: "It was anciently customary for the
children of Christians, after they had grown up, to appear before the Overseer.... These
sat among the Catechumens - until they were duly instructed in the ‘Mysteries’ of the
faith, and could make a ‘Confession’ of it before Overseer and people.... Those in
boyhood or immediately beyond it would give an account of their faith...in order to make
a ‘Profession of Faith’.. .. On adolescence," they "were examined by the Overseer in
terms of the Catechism which was then in common use.... Thus the boy, on his faith
being approved, was dismissed with a solemn blessing."
Q. 189. But didn’t the A.D. 250 Church Father Cyprian approve of Paedocommunion?
A. 189. No. Colonized by the Ancient Phoenicians by way of Phrygia, Carthage practised
Pagan Paedocommunionism both before and after the establishment of the Church there
around A.D. 180. The great Christian Tertullian of Carthage resisted it. So too did his
later Student Cyprian. At Paedocommunion’s first infiltration from Paganism into the
persecuted Carthaginian Church around A.D. 250, Cyprian (in his Treatise III:25-26) did
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not accept the novelty of a wayward Deacon’s exorcistic force-feeding an infant with
communion wine as a normal practice. To the contrary, that Early Church Father there
was giving examples of God’s vengeance falling upon individuals who were
indiscriminately admitted to the Sacrament. That infant was indiscriminately admitted
to the Sacrament, and the judgment of God (a ‘divine impulse’) overcame her.
Cyprian’s extant writings require prior catechization for admission to Communion. He
was a paedobaptistic credo-eucharizing Antipaedocommunionist. He even demanded
the re-catechization (over a period of three years) of such Communicants who had lapsed
- as a pre-condition before (re-)communicating them.
Q. 190. Was there Paedocommunion in the Church between Cyprian and Augustine?
A. 190. After the A.D. 248f Decian persecution of Christians by pagan Paedocommunionists,
the Patristic Christian Church yet stuck to Scripture’s custom of Catechism before
Communion. Thus: Dionysius of Alexandria; Victorinus; the Councils of Eliberis,
Ancyra, Neocaesarea, Nicea and Laodicea; the Constitutions of the Holy Apostles; Cyril;
Athanasius; Early Liturgies; Gregory of Nyssa; Ambrose; Chrysostom; and Augustine.
Athanasius, Ambrose and Chrysostom rigidly barred even Catechumens from the
Eucharist. We think unwisely (cf. Exodus 12:26), they barred such Catechumens from
even viewing the Supper. Gregory of Nyssa and Ambrose of Milan both taught the need
to pre-catechize all who would eucharize for the first time. Chrysostom insisted that
only the catechized are to commune. And also the A.D. 417 Augustine, in spite of his
sacramentalism, was adamant about pre-catechizing all would-be Communicants.
Q. 191. When did Pagan Paedocommunion then really infiltrate the Christian Church?
A. 191. After Augustine, and with the infantocommunionization of the Eastern Churches. Yet
even the early-mediaeval practice of the sacramentalizing Eastern Church itself,
disproves the paedocommunionistic claim that the late-mediaeval doctrine of
Transubstantiation caused Antipaedocommunionism in the Western Church.
Paedocommunionism took root in the Eastern Church especially from the time of the
600 A.D. heretic Evagrius onward. Eastern ‘Infant-Intinction’ was a much greater false
doctrine than the Western Church’s mid-mediaeval decline into ‘Child-Communionism’
after catechization. Especially the Eastern Church got corrupted by Neo-Paganism.
There was no Paedocommunion in the West among the Late-Mediaeval Waldensians, nor
any pre-catechetical eucharizing even in the Late-Mediaeval Roman Catholic Church.
In Wycliffe’s Pre-Reformation, there was catechizing before eucharizing at puberty. His
ideas spread to Huss and the Hussites, who once they settled down embraced
anticatabaptistic and antipaedocommunionistic Protestantism. This can be seen from
their First Bohemian Confession of 1502, as presented to King Ferdinand.
Q. 192. What then was the Protestant Reformation’s attitude toward Paedocommunion?
A. 192. Both Luther and Melanchthon advocated Communion not before teenage and only after
catechization. Zwingli, á Lasco, Bucer and Hyperius all agreed. The Anti-Protestant
Contra-Reformation’s Trent too favoured ‘Confirmation’ not before adolescence . Calvin
gave the strongest of all the Reformers’ statements - in favour of Infant-Baptism, yet he
adopted a firm position against both ‘Infant-Intinction’ and ‘Child-Communion’ and
insisted on catechizing - as an essential pre-requisite for sacramental manducation. In his
Selected Works (V:191f.), he says "the Church of God will never preserve itself without
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a Catechism. For it is like seed which keeps the good grain from dying out, and causes
it to multiply - from age to age.... If you desire to build an edifice which shall be of long
duration and which shall not soon fall into decay - see to it that the children be educated
by the hand of a good Catechism which, in short, teaches them the meaning of true
Q. 193. How did Calvinists down to the Westminster Assembly view Paedocommunion?
A. 193. Calvin’s friend Viret and his successor Beza taught that little children must not
manducate at the Lord’s Supper . It was the same in Early-Protestant 1540f England,
and also in John Knox’s First Book of Discipline and his 1560 Scots Confession. The
1561f Central and Western European Calvinistic Catechisms such as the Heidelberger
and the Belgic and the Helvetic were also antipaedocommunionistic. So too the Convent
of Wezel and the many various Dutch Reformed Catechisms and Synods of the sixteenth
century. Strong was the antipaedocommunionism of the 1618f Synod of Dordt! This
was stressed also in the Synopsis of Purer Theology of Polyander and Rivetus and
Thysius and Walaeus; by Perkins, Ames, Voetius, and Wendelin; by the 1640f Alexander
Henderson; and by the antipaedocommunionistic 1645 Polish Reformed Thorn
Q. 194. Was the position also of the Westminster Standards antipaedocommunionistic?
A. 194. Yes, and that was enshrined also in Oliver Cromwell’s Chaplain Thomas Manton’s
Recommendation of the Westminster Standards. The Westminster Directory for the
Publick Worship of God provided in "the administration of the Lord’s Supper " that "the
ignorant and the scandalous are not fit to receive the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper ....
It is requisite that publick warning be given the sabbath day before the administration
thereof, and that...due preparation thereunto and participation therein be taught." Then,
"when the day is come for administration," the Minister is again to stress, publically,
"how great the danger to eat and drink unworthily.... He is, in the Name of Christ..., to
warn all such as are ignorant, scandalous, profane, or that live in any sin..., that they
presume not to come to that Holy Table; shewing them that he that eateth and drinketh
unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment unto himself [First Corinthians 11:27-29]," etc.
Q. 195. State the Communion Doctrine of the 1645 Westminster Confession chapters 29-30.
A. 195. The Westminster Confession in its chapter, on the Lord’s Supper , says that "the Lord
Jesus hath...appointed His Ministers...to break the bread, to take the cup, and...to give
both [only] "to the Communicants.... Luke 22:19-20; Acts 20:7; First Corinthians
11:20-26.... All ignorant and ungodly persons - as they are unfit to enjoy communion
with Him" [God] - being "unworthy of the Lord’s Table ..., cannot without great sin
against Christ...partake of these Holy Mysteries or be admitted thereunto. First
Corinthians 5:6-13; Second Thessalonians 3:6-15; Matthew 7:6." For such "ignorant and
wicked men..., by their unworthy coming thereunto, are guilty of the body and blood of
the Lord to their own damnation." This is why the next chapter then goes on to require
that there be a "purging out of that leaven" of obstinate sins, even from Communicants
themselves. Indeed, that is to be done by "admonition [or] suspension from the
Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper for a season " - or even by "ex-communi-cation from the
Church," if necessary. These chapters implicitly exclude the immature from eucharizing.
For they all posit requirements with which pre-adolescents cannot possibly comply.
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Q. 196. State the Communion Doctrine of the 1647 Westminster Directory for Family Worship.
A. 196. It provides that also families-as-such should worship God "daily..., with catechising in
a plain way." Compare: Exodus 12:26-27; Deuteronomy 32:7; Proverbs 1:8; 4:1-10;
22:6. After public worship on the Lord’s Day, the head of the family is to see that his
household "spend the rest of the time which they may spare, in catechising and in
spiritual conferences upon the Word of God.... Persons of eminency (and all Elders of
the Kirk) not only ought to stir themselves and [their own] families to diligence herein,
but also to concur effectually that in all other families where they have power and charge,
the said exercises be conscionably performed."
Q. 197. State the Communion Doctrine of the 1647 Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
A. 197. It ordered the above Directory to be observed, and required "Ministers and Ruling
Elders in each Congregation...to take special care that these directions be observed and
followed.... The Assembly doth further require and appoint Ministers and Ruling Elders
to make diligent search and enquiry in the Congregations..., whether there be among them
any family or families which...neglect...this necessary duty [of family worship].... The
head of the family is to be first admonished privately to amend his fault.... In case of his
continuing therein, he is to be gravely and sadly reproved by the Session. After which
reproof, if he be found still to neglect family worship - let him be, for his obstinancy in
such an offence - suspended and debarred from the Lord’s Supper ."
Q. 198. State the Communion Doctrine of the 1648 Westminster Larger Catechism 108-173.
A. 198. The Westminster Larger Catechism was approved by the General Assembly of the
Church. It provides for "the administration and receiving of the Sacraments (Matthew
28:19 & First Corinthians 11:23-30) and even for "Church Government and Discipline
(Matthew 18:15-17 & 26:19 and First Corinthians 12:28)" etc. By "Discipline" - it
includes also the making and the rebuking of adolescent and adult Disciples such as those
for whom Jesus Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper. It warns against "all superstitious
devices" such as Paedocommunion. It admonishes against "corrupting the worship of
God (Malachi 1:7,8,14)" etc. It disapproves of such corruptions - regardless "whether
invented and taken up by ourselves, or received by tradition from others, though under
the title of antiquity (Matthew 15:9 & First Peter 1:18)." Such "corruptions" would
include the A.D. 431f paedocommunionistic practices of the Oriental ‘Orthodox’
Churches. For God’s "Sacraments...[must] be holily and reverently used (First
Corinthians 11:24-29).... Such as are found to be ignorant or scandalous -
notwithstanding their profession of faith and desire to come to the Lord’s Supper - may
and ought to be kept from that Sacrament, by the power which Christ hath left in His
Church: until they receive instruction and manifest their reformation. First Corinthians
11:27-34; Jude 23; First Timothy 5:22; Second Corinthians 2:7."
Q. 199. State the Communion Doctrine of the 1648 Westminster Larger Catechism 174-77.
A. 199. Question 174 declares that those who properly "receive the Sacrament of the Lord’s
Supper" - do so "with all holy reverence and attention. Leviticus 10:3; Hebrews 12:28;
Psalm 10:7; First Corinthians 11:17,26-27." They must: "diligently observe the
sacramental elements and actions (Exodus 24:8 & Matthew 16:28); heedfully discern the
Lord’s body (First Corinthians 11:29); and affectionately meditate on His death and
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sufferings (Luke 22:19). Question 175 is even more difficult (if not impossible) of
fulfillment - by one not yet even a teenager. For it declares that "the duty of Christians
- after they have received the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper - is seriously to consider
how they have behaved themselves therein, and with what success.... First Corinthians
11:17,30,31." And, after Question 176 stresses the similarities between Baptism and the
Lord’s Supper - Question 177 very clearly states "wherein" they "differ." Indeed, it
rightly declares that whereas "Baptism is to be administered...even to infants" of the
covenant - "the Lord’s Supper is to be administered...only to such as are of years and
ability to examine themselves (First Corinthians 11:28-29)."
Q. 200. State the Communion Doctrine of the 1648 Westminster Shorter Catechism.
A. 200. Pre-teenage children of the covenant were to be instructed from the Shorter Catechism
as "a Directory for catechising such as are of weaker capacity" alias who are immature.
There, Question 97 expects the Catechumen to give the following answer. "It is required
of them that would worthily partake of the Lord’s Supper , that they examine themselves:
of their knowledge to discern the Lord’s body; of their faith to feed upon Him; [and] of
their repentance, love, and new obedience - lest, coming unworthily, they eat and drink
judgment to themselves."
Q. 201. Are there any major Protestant Theologians, Lutheran or Calvinist, who have advocated
Paedocommunion since the Westminster Assembly?
A. 201. No. Owen, Baxter, Matthew Henry and their successors continued to uphold Biblical
Antipaedocommunionism. So too did Mastricht, Marckius, Witsius, Brakel, Turretin,
Pictet, Heidegger, the New England Catechism; John Cotton; the three Mathers,
Makemie, Stoddard, Jonathan Edwards Sr. and Jr., Samuel Miller, Thornwell, Andrew
Murray, the Hodges, Dabney, Warfield, the three Kuypers, Bavinck, Bouwman, Polman,
Dijk, Bijlsma, Van Ruler, Hoekstra, Waterink, D.W. de Villiers, G. & J. Vos, Buswell,
Gerstner, Berkhof, John Murray, Kamphuis, Deddens, J.A. Heyns, Richard Bacon,
Coppes, Gentry, Morton H. Smith, Danzfuss, Morecraft, and many others.
Before the fall, only adults had access to manducate of the fruit of the tree of life. After the
fall, only adults had access to manducate at the Passover - and at the Lord’s Supper which
replaced it. And in glory, where all of God’s elect shall be resurrected precisely as adults - only
adults shall have access to manducate of the fruit of the tree of life on the New Earth and in the
City of God, Who has always been mature.
Yes, God was always mature. In the beginning, as His images, He created but one elect
and mature human pair. That pair, in its descendants, throughout history unfolds into an elect
mature humanity. That, during history, grows from babyhood through adolescence unto
maturity. But after its consummation, though yet aging, elect humanity never grows senile.
Thus say the Holy Scriptures. Thus say the Bible-believing Theologians of the Church of
all ages. And therefore, thus must we too say!
- Rev. Professor-Emeritus Dr. Francis Nigel Lee
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