**This article was previously posted by Leighton Flowers on his website www.soteriology101.com and is used by permission.
Leighton is: teaching pastor in his local church, an adjunct Professor of Theology, and the Youth Evangelism Director for Texas Baptists.
***Editor’s Note: Please click on the footnotes in order to follow them as they are not added at the bottom of this article.
Many Calvinists teach that regeneration precedes faith. They say that a person must be born again before he believes. They argue that new life comes before faith. Continue reading
Regarding human freedom, R.C. Sproul’s Calvinism once again sends him retreating to “it is a mystery.” He says, “Predestination seems to cast a shadow on the very heart of human freedom. If God has decided our destinies from all eternity (unconditionally), that strongly suggests that our free choices are but charades, empty exercises in predetermined placating. It is as though God wrote the script for us in concrete and we are merely carrying out his scenario.”[i] I must admit that, although I adamantly disagree with his Calvinism, I appreciate and admire such candor. He goes on to say, “It was certainly loving of God to predestine the salvation of His people, those the Bible calls the ‘elect or chosen ones.’ It is the non-elect that are the problem. If some people are not elected unto salvation then it would seem that God is not all that loving toward them. For them it seems that it would have been more loving of God not to have allowed them to be born. That may indeed be the case.”[ii] (italics added) This is what I mean when I argue elsewhere that God’s salvific love for the non-elect is virtually indistinguishable from indifference or hate. Various distinctions proffered by Calvinists that supposedly mitigate this reality are, eternally speaking, merely distinctions without a difference; how things play out eternally is what really matters. Continue reading
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William G.T. Shedd, writing about God’s choice regarding the origin of sin and allowing sin to continue, says, “The permissive decree as related to the origin of sin presents a difficulty that does not exist in reference to the continuance of sin…. is an inscrutable mystery”[i] (italics added). Of course, the origin of sin is a “difficulty” and “inscrutable mystery” only because of Calvinism’s compatibilist view of free will. Continue reading