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A Promise for Parents: Dordt’s Perspective on Covenant and Election

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Chapter Summary

This chapter traces the historical career of Article 17 and then briefly examines its theological core and its biblical character. The discussion of the salvation of infants became serious in the Netherlands ten years before the Synod of Dordt. It arose as part of the growing criticism directed against the Dutch theologian and Leiden professor, Jacobus Arminius. The chapter also traces the discussion about covenant children through its historical development in the Netherlands. It looks more deeply into Dordt's theology and shows how Article 17 was based on a particular understanding of covenant and election. Dordt's understanding of the relation of covenant and election was neither original nor exhaustive. Rather in the face of a great crisis it restated these great doctrines of Reformed Christianity and established for the Reformed the confessional parameters for further reflection on the great doctrines of grace.

Keywords: covenant children; Jacobus Arminius; Netherlands; reformed Christianity; Synod of Dordt



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