Canons of Dordt, week 38

September 16, 2016

The Third and Fourth Heads of Doctrine: Human Corruption, Conversion to God, and the Way It Occurs

Having set forth the orthodox teaching, the Synod rejects the errors of those

IX

Who teach that grace and free choice are concurrent partial causes which cooperate to initiate conversion, and that grace does not precede — in the order of causality — the effective influence of the will; that is to say, that God does not effectively help man’s will to come to conversion before man’s will itself motivates and determines itself.

For the early church already condemned this doctrine long ago in the Pelagians, on the basis of the words of the apostle: It does not depend on man’s willing or running but on God’s mercy (Rom. 9:16); also: Who makes you different from anyone else? and What do you have that you did not receive? (1 Cor. 4:7); likewise: It is God who works in you to will and act according to his good pleasure (Phil. 2:13).

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