First and foremost, I love the Canons of Dort because they express God’s grace to sinners. When you read them for yourself you’ll see that they do not merely describe from afar static doctrines; they profess God’s personal grace to personal sinners.
In the third book of his Institutes, John Calvin argues that the church’s worship should begin with a corporate prayer of confession:
“Besides the fact that ordinary confession has been commended by the Lord’s mouth, no one of sound mind, who weighs its usefulness, can dare disapprove it….
On November 4-5 we held our Third Pacific Northwest Regional Convivium in Moscow, Idaho. The convivium was kicked off by a presentation from Michael J. Lynch.
In his talk, Lynch dispelled common myths, held by Reformed and non-Reformed, about the five points: that they present non-Christians as utterly devoid of good, teach a deterministic system that rules out free will, and allow the elect to “live like the Devil” and still be saved. Drawing on his specific area of expertise, Lynch also showed that the Synod of Dort’s statement on “limited atonement” (not actually called so in the canons) was a consensus statement, allowing for at least three different views current at the time.
Lynch, a doctoral student at Calvin Theological Seminary, is currently doing his dissertation on John Davenant’s hypothetical universalism, and anyone interested in the subject of limited atonement should be sure to consider his work.