Theological Term of the Week: Lapsarian

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This week’s term: Lapsarian – A lapsarian is one who believes man fell from his first estate of innocence and holiness by the act of sinning. While various divisions of lapsarians are in error, this general view is Biblically accurate. The divisions of lapsarianism essentially address what they feel to be the logical (but not chronological) order of divine decree, as related to the fall of man thus:

The Supralapsarian Order of Decrees:

  1. The decree to elect some to salvation and leave others in just reprobation.
  2. The decree to create both the elect and the non-elect or the reprobate.
  3. The decree to permit the fall of all men in the person of Adam.
  4. The decree to provide salvation for the elect.
  5. The decree to apply that purposed salvation to the elect.

The Sublapsarian Order of Decrees:

  1. The decree to create both the elect and the non-elect or the reprobate.
  2. The decree to permit the fall of all men in the person of Adam.
  3. The decree to provide salvation for the elect.
  4. The decree to elect some to salvation and leave others in just reprobation.
  5. The decree to apply that purposed salvation to the elect.

The Infralapsarian Order of Decrees:

  1. The decree to create both the elect and the non-elect or the reprobate.
  2. The decree to permit the fall of all men in the person of Adam.
  3. The decree to elect some to salvation and leave others in just reprobation.
  4. The decree to provide salvation for the elect.
  5. The decree to apply that purposed salvation to the elect.

Last week’s term: Eternal Decree – All things which God has eternally purposed, which must include all things that shall ever come to pass. We should never think in terms of divine decrees, but rather decree; that is to say, all things which God purposes are part of one singular and totally unified decree. Though the following issues properly belong to soteriological philosophy, and not to divine activities, Bro. Keener places them here, because they, relative to the fall, basically address divine decree.

Wanna read past terms? Go here: Theological Terms

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