Rebecca Stark is the author of The Good Portion: God, the second title in The Good Portion series, a series written to encourage women to immerse themselves in the depths of Christian doctrine.

The Good Portion — God explores what Scripture teaches about God in hopes that readers will see his perfection, worth, magnificence, and beauty as they study his triune nature, infinite attributes, and wondrous works. 

Rebecca also blogs at Out of the Ordinary.


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Theological Term of the Week

order of God’s decrees
The logical (not chronological) order of the plan made by God in eternity for his dealings with humankind, a plan that culminates in human salvation; the logical ordering of “the soteriological elements of God’s eternal decree”1; also sometimes called the plan of salvation.

  • From The Plan of Salvation by B. B. Warfield:

    If we believe in a personal God, then, and much more if, being Theists, we believe in the immediate control by this personal God of the world he has made, we must believe in a plan underlying all that God does, and therefore also in a plan of salvation. The only question that can arise concerns not the reality but the nature of this plan. As to its nature, however, it must be admitted that a great many differing opinions have been held. Indeed pretty nearly every possible opinion has been announced at one time or another, in one quarter or another. Even if we leave all extra-Christian opinions to one side, we need scarcely modify this statement. Lines of division have been drawn through the Church; parties have been set over against parties; and different types of belief have been developed which amount to nothing less than different systems of religion, which are at one in little more than the mere common name of Christian, claimed by them all.

  • From Introducing the Reformed Faith by Donald K. McKim:

    While the “order of the decrees” refers to the logical relationship of the “parts” of the decrees, and not their “chronology,” the discussions nevertheless use “chronological language.” Yet theologians recognize that there is no “sequence” in the mind of God, since God is outside time and is eternal. All is the “eternal now” in God’s sight.

Learn more:

  1. Theopedia: Order of God’s Decrees (The article is not particularly helpful, but the included chart is.)
  2. Turretinfan: The Order of Decrees - Which Came First?
  3. B. B Warfield: The Plan of Salvation
  4. Curt Daniel: The Order of the Decrees (mp3) from The History and Theology of Calvinism

Related terms:

1From Notes on Supralapsarianism and Infralapsarianism by Phil Johnson.

Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it.

I’m also interested in any suggestions you have for tweaking my definitions or for additional (or better) articles or sermons/lectures for linking. I’ll give you credit and a link back to your blog if I use your suggestion.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms organized in alphabetical order or by topic.

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