OPC Ruling Elder A.M. (Mac) Laurie, January 26, 2018 via email:
"Your post regarding the meaning of abhor, as distinguished from hate, especially from hate's common understanding and usage has raised a new thought in my mind regarding the dissimilarity between the two words. Hating does not necessarily involve action, whereas action (the shrinking back from, the recoiling from) is a part of abhorring. If Jesus had abhorred the Virgin's womb he would have shrunk back from the experience of "being born of a woman." But he did the opposite of shrinking back. He willingly, as a necessary part of the foreordained plan of salvation, entered into it. Entering into vs Shrinking back from!
"Your argument that God can - and does, Praise Him - both abhor and love the sinner unclothed with Christ's righteousness is quite persuasive. I recall a scene that remains very vivid after thirty or so years: Walking back to my hotel one Sunday morning after attending worship in Bangkok, Thailand I was approached by one of the many, many prostitutes of that city (we will name her Forsaken). Nothing subtle about her approach, she immediately offered herself to me. But this one was not youthful and alluring, as those advertised by the brothels; she looked old, in contradiction to her 35 or so years, and tired, so very tired, and ill, most probably infectious.
"My response? The temptation to sin that would have inevitably risen in my heart, had the offer been made by one of her not-yet-used up and castaway sisters in the trade, was not there. I shrank back from her, not from her behavior or her appearance but from her as a human being. I abhorred her. But at the same time, because of the grace God had given me, I loved her. I am sorry to say that there have been few times when I have had, in its depth and wonder, the compassion of Jesus, but that was one of those times."
Mac Laurie has served as a ruling elder in the OPC for fifty-plus years