It would seem that to submit humbly to Christ’s teaching would require a willful act on the part of the believer rather than a forced submission. Once again I would argue, the only part in salvation that man can play, and must play, is that of a beggar who in response to God’s calling cries out like the Publican, “God be merciful to me a sinner.”
A modified Arminian-Calvinistic position will generally not please either Calvinists or Arminians, “both of whom will seek to emphasize certain words or texts and exclude from consideration other texts and words. But in spite of all the arguments to the contrary, this tension between the divine and human aspects of salvation cannot finally be resolved by our theological gymnastics.”
The truth is that both Calvinism and Extensivism recognize the need for a sovereign pre-conversional work of grace, but we disagree on what is included in that work, and that is due to our disagreement regarding the nature of man and not merely biblical depravity.
While the connection of creation and redemption can be made, and God’s sovereignty as creator is clear, it is extremely difficult to see divine unconditional election being taught in this verse. There is nothing in this opening verse that would even remotely suggest that God chose some individuals to receive salvation while others would be left hopelessly lost.
James MacDonald literally believes that Satan invented congregational governance for the purpose of destroying the church. And yet, for the last two years, he has been invited to speak at the SBC Pastor’s Conference.