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.
Are the doctrines of the Calvinist theological system the true doctrines of the Bible and all other beliefs false? Is belief in Calvinism the test for one’s love of God? Would the Apostle John consider his, and the other Apostles’, teachings to be the clear foundation for the five points of Calvinism? The answer to these questions, in this writer’s opinion, is a resounding no! But yet some would answer with a resounding yes.