Does Romans 9-11 Teach Calvinist Predestination?

John Piper has famously quipped that Romans 9-11 is a free-will killer. There is many a seminary student who finds himself/herself ending up with monergism simply because Roman 9-11 seems to offer no other way around it. They don’t want to go there but are forced to by what they think is the plain meaning of the biblical text.

What I have found is that there is another way to read these three chapters that are much more in line with the story line of Scripture, God’s holy love in saving to the uttermost. Once a person finds that the traditional texts that they have been taught teach unconditional election are as explainable with a synergistic grid, the Bible flowers with the beauty of God’s love for all in the death of Jesus on the cross.

Ben Witherington explains Romans 9-11 from a nonCalvinistic perspective.

Predestination Calmly Considered, John Wesley

I am working through this publication of John Wesley. He calmly presents the massive amount of biblical texts that assume that we are able to make a free choice to believe or not to believe the promise of salvation, unconstrained by a decree of God that determines before hand to elect or not to elect rooted in his sovereign power alone. 

Wesley’s sermons and publications are marked by common sense, the use of biblical text and scriptural language, and simplicity and genuineness of expression. He doesn’t push and shove. He does not appeal to mystery and a ‘hidden will’ of God. And he makes the love of God the engine of redemption. 

He keeps connected the panoply of attributes of God and does not isolate God’s sovereign power as the root of all God’s actions, as in “He does all his pleasure.” God’s pleasure is to redeem sinners out of his-self giving love. What we see when we see Jesus hung upon the cross is what it appears to be – an invitation to the world to believe. Power, love and humility wedded together in the great act of reconciliation.

I will have more to write on this, but if you are troubled by the manner in which predestination is used by some to restrict salvation to the few, this is a good read for you. 

Well, He Was Never Really Saved!!

Austin Fischer ruminates on the actual role eternal security plays in the Christian’s life. He is not answering the question of whether or not the Bible teaches it but how it works in the psychology of the Christian. He is not not convinced the doctrine of eternal security provides as much security as some think. I agree with him on this one.

Of all the Christians I know, I have never detected any serious difference that belief in eternal security makes in their character or their peace. One believes that through a living faith he is united to Christ and that Christ will not forsake him. The other believes that through a living faith he is united to Christ and that Christ will not forsake him.

See what you think. Here it is.