Thursday, October 8, 2015

A Word About the Modernization

In 1633 a Remonstrant named Samuel Hoard wrote the book Gods Love to Mankind Manifested by Disproving His Absolute Decree for their Damnation. It was successful in persuading many people to Arminiasm because it appealed to their emotions and a concept of justice, rather than to strict reason. In response to this book, John Owen said, 

“[This is] a book full of palpable ignorance, gross sophistry, and abominable blasphemy, whose author seems to have proposed nothing unto himself but to rake all the dunghills of a few of the most invective Arminians, and to collect the most filthy scum and pollution of their railings to cast upon the truth of God; and, under I know not what self-coined pretenses, to belch out odious blasphemies against His holy name.”

He wrote “Display of Arminianism to combat Hoards book, but it fell flat, owing to the fact that Owen had really done nothing to answer the charge of God’s justice. Cue Animadversions, a work with the needed pastoral tone, a soft touch, and a more appropriate rebuke of the false doctrines Horde presented. Written to a personal friend who had fallen into Arminianism, Davenant speaks with the patience and reason that comes with walking with Christ for many years. It’s an excellent work, but as with most of the work of the ancients it’s long and convoluted in places, particularly to those of us who, thanks to the development of computer code and character limits, enjoy a very concise and efficient form of English. That’s why I’ve taken his work and modernized it, so that we could have the best of his thoughts.
What does that mean specifically? It means when Davenant says, “Propofitionf concerning the nature of Predeftination and Election, and wherein it properly confifteth, with certain Corollaries apperteining thereunto,” I wrote the subheading Propositions. Or when he’d start a conclusion, jump to another idea, then return, I’ve instead reordered the sentences. And while I’d also have liked to translate the Latin to English where it appears to make it invisible, because my Latin is atrocious I’ve been forced to leave it in. Read my translation at your own risk.

I feel I should also add that as an English delegate to Dort John Davenant has a special place in my heart, and I hope that by the time you’re finished he’ll have one in yours too. If you feel that all those original words are absolutely necessary and it’s they, not the ideas themselves which are important, then you can of course find a very good copy of the original here. If you find my pillaging disrespectful but are willing to tolerate it then you have my sympathies. In any case I wish you happy reading and much love in Christ.

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