Sunday, January 24, 2016

Hardening of the heart

By moral necessity, humanity ever stands before Christ’s judgement seat, and one day all humanity will know it. Concerned that he may here be misunderstood, Forsyth makes the following statement in an Addendum to his fourth lecture in The Work of Christ: 

Weigh, as men of real moral experience, what is involved in the hardening of the sinner. That is the worst penalty upon sin, its cumulative and deadening history. Well, is it simply self-hardening? Is it simply the reflex action of sin upon character, sin going in, settling in, and reproducing itself there? Is it no part of God’s positive procedure in judging sin, and bringing it, for salvation, to a crisis of judgment grace? When Pharaoh hardens his heart, is that in no sense God hardening Pharaoh’s heart? When a man hardens himself against God, is there nothing in the action and purpose of God that takes part in that induration? Is that anger not as real as the superabounding grace? Are not both bound up in one complex treatment of the moral world? When a man piles up his sin and rejoices in iniquity, is God simply a bystander and spectator of the process? Does not God’s pressure on the man blind him, urge him, stiffen him, shut him up into sin, if only that he might be shut up to mercy alone? Is it enough to say that this is but the action of a process which God simply watches in a permissive way? Is He but passive and not positive to the situation?

Goroncy, Jason: Hallowed Be Thy Name: The Sanctification of All in the Soteriology of P. T. Forsyth, pp. 70-71
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