Calvinism as I see it is an indictment against the character of God; it portrays God as the One who decides who does and does not receive the “get out of hell” card that all deserve (hell) but only a few get. It is an illogical theological position that is based on a philosophical position related to the atonement and its efficacy. If Jesus’ death itself paid the penalty for the sins of the world, then there would be no need for eternal punishment in hell; since that is obviously not the case THEN Jesus could not have died for the sins of ALL MEN and walla we have the philosophical underpinning of the calvinist response.
The problem is simple; the atonement makes provision for forgiveness; it did not effectuate forgiveness not even for the extreme calvinist, whatever that is. For even in that system, the benefits of the atonement are bestowed on the elect; and until they are “bestowed” the elect is in an unregenerate state. If the atonement were in fact effectual, there would be no sins to atone for nor repent of IF they were atoned for on the cross. There is an ambiguity in the efficacy argument where the atonement is concerned in the theological system itself.
The position of total depravity and inability cannot be effectively defended Scripturally; especially in the OT… there is unquestionably no concept of TD in Jewish writing nor in OT Scripture. The whole notion that an individual is incapable of responding to God’s initiatives in redemption, revelation and reconciliation is ridiculous in and of itself and is not found in ANY other philosophical argument that I am aware of. Men are constantly making decisions in every aspect of their lives even down to the choice to read this statement; to argue one’s inability to respond to God of ALL entities seems so outrageously incredible to me and that anyone would even accept that premise today blows my mind. To me it smacks of God’s sovereignty… how powerful can He be if He cannot speak to the unregenerate? The statement, one cannot be responsible if he is not response-able deserves thought.
Finally… the Word says the “gospel is the power of God unto salvation; calvinism says regeneration is the power of God unto salvation for in that system… the gospel is POWERLESS to save the unregenerate. In the calvinist system… repentance and believing faith are first acts of sanctification NOT new life for new life is necessary FOR repentance and not the other way around. So the gospel is a manual for Sanctification in the calvinist system, not conversion since conversion is at the sole discretion of God’s efficacious will with no input from sinful man; God simply rebirths who He chooses to re-birth and they THEN take hold of the gospel and begin to grow from there.
God saves those who repent; He is not the One who decides who gets to repent. That is the problem I have with calvinism. PERIOD.
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