"The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of GOD is at hand. Repent, and believe the gospel."(Mark 1:15) ...Reformed Soteriology = Biblical Consistency...: HARD QUESTIONS FOR INTELLECTUALLY HONEST CHRISTIANS

Friday, May 8, 2009


Think about your objections to the doctrines that "Calvinism" (The Doctrines of Grace) teaches as you read the following questions. You will be tempted to casually skim over them because they address issues you may never have considered that might make you uncomfortable. A wrestling faith is a growing faith. Take your time, read them very slowly and carefully, consider them thoughtfully and deal with them honestly:

Is the second rendering of each of the following verses the correct interpretation of their meaning?
- John 6:44 - No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him...
- John 6:44 - The Father who sent Me can draw no one unless they come to Me. ______________________________________________
- John 6:37 - All that the Father gives Me will come to Me...
- John 6:37 - All that come to Me, the Father then gives to Me. ______________________________________________
- Matt. 22:14 - For many are called, but few are chosen.
- Matt. 22:14 - For few choose, but many are called.
- John 10:26 - But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep.
- John 10:26 - But you are not My sheep because you do not believe.
- Acts 13:48 - ...and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

- Acts 13:48 - ...and as many as had believed were appointed to eternal life.

-John 1:13 - who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

- John 1:13 - who were born, not of God, but of the will of the flesh, and the will of man.


- In which of the following options is God's freedom of choice truly free?
1. God can save all men
2. God can save some men
3. God can save no man

- Do you believe in a God who could save everyone but does not or do you believe in a God who should damn everyone but does not?

- Is whether or not a doctrine offends your current sensibilities or sits well with you the determining factor for it's validity?

Total Depravity:

- Was it unfair for God to rest mankind's eternal destiny in the will of Adam by giving him a choice to eat of the forbidden fruit?

- If it's unfair that God imputes the original sin of Adam to all men for no reason but their race, is it unfair that God imputes the righteousness of Christ to some men for no reason but His grace?

- If God cannot impute the original sin of Adam to all men, how can He impute the righteousness of the Last Adam to any man?

- Do man's inclinations control his will or does man's will control his inclinations?

- Why is the question always whether sinners CAN choose Christ and not why do sinners EVER choose Christ?

- Is decisional regeneration dependent upon whether man's will is free or is it a question of whether man's will is good? (Jer 13:23)

- Why is it so hard to believe that our free will can be limited by our ability, and our ability can be limited by our nature, and our nature is wholly corrupted by sin? (1Cor 2:14; Rom 8:7-8)

- Is it fair for you to demand God to be fair according to your fallen notions of fairness? (Rom 9:14) Is it not fair to say that if God was fair to all sinners it would not fare well for you?

Unconditional Election:

- Is it unfair for God to predestine for some a conformity to Christ which others have no desire for anyways? (Rom 8:29; 3:11)

- How do texts about God's universal love for all mankind nullify texts about His electing grace for all kinds of men? (John 3:16; 1Tim 2:4; Rev 5:9; Acts 13:48)

- Did God love you before you were saved in the exact same sense and way that HE loves those who he knows will always reject HIM? (Rom 9:11-16)

- Does the future exist because God knows it or does the future exist because God decreed it before He created time? (Isaiah 46:10)

- Did God know who would be saved & who would be lost before He created time or was He surprised when Adam sinned & resort to "plan B"? (2 Thes 2:13)

- Is God's desire to preserve man's final self-determination greater than His desire to keep men from being unsaved?

- Did God esteem His desire to have a world in which there are final self-determining people more highly than He esteemed His other desire that nobody be lost?

- Does your cultural upbringing have any influence on who you are, the way you think, and the decisions you make? Do these influences God has allowed in your life have any bearing upon how you respond to the Gospel call if, in fact, you ever hear it?

- Is it truly possible to make any decision unaffected by outside influences in our lives? Is God in control of our influences?

- If God loves everybody in the exact same way, why doesn't He orchestrate all events, circumstances, influences and inclinations of all people everywhere in such a way as to equally compel them all to willfully become His sheep? (John 10:11; 10:26)

- Does God know the future? Does He know what is required to persuade individuals to choose Christ? Does He exercise this persuasion upon all people equally customized to their varying inclinations?

- Does God temporarily remove every outside influence, preconceived idea, personality trait and psychological malady in order that a person can make a completely neutral free will decision to choose Christ? Would He not have to do this as well as give Gospel revelation to all people in order to be fair?

- If God gives a universal 50-50 chance for all people to choose Christ equally, shouldn't there be a 50-50 conversion rate?

- Which is more unfair: for God to have to graciously regenerate people before they can willfully believe the Gospel or for God to create people within circumstances where they will never hear or have a chance to willfully believe the Gospel?

- If there is no other name (Jesus) under heaven by which people must be saved (Acts 4:12) then how can the unevangelized get to heaven?

- What is the eternal destiny of the unevangelized? (Rom 10:13-14)

- Why aren't all people saved if it is God's desire to save all people? (Isaiah 46:10; Rom 9:18)

- Is there something more powerful than God in the universe that is usurping His will for all men to be saved?

- If it's possible for God to will that a sinful act come to pass without willing it as an act of sin in Himself to achieve His sovereign purposes (ie. the crucifixion; Acts 2:23), what higher prerogative of God restrains His desired will to save all people?

- Is there a greater will in God that supersedes His desire that all men repent and be saved?(Rom 9:22)
Is the display of God's wrath in judgment against sin a good thing or a bad thing? Why does God desire to show His wrath? (Rom 9:17)

- Since God's decreed will (Rev13:8; Isa 53:10) was for Satan (1Sam 19:9) to inspire Judas' (John 17:12) betrayal (Matt 27:4) of Christ to be murdered (Exo 20:13; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28), could it be said that God is willing to allow that which He does not will (Lam 3:32-33; Isa 53:10a) in order to accomplish that which He does will? (Rom 9:22-23; Eph 1:11)

Irresistible Grace:

- Will Christ save all of those that He intends to save or will He fail to save any person that He intends to save? (Acts 13:48)

- What is the difference between you and others which caused you to choose Christ while they reject Him? (John 6:37; 10:26)

- Is there anything that God did for you to bring about your salvation which He didn't do for those who reject the Gospel? (John 6:44; Acts 16:14)

- How can you deny God's right and power to effectually call people to salvation and then pray for the lost?

- If a sinner rejects the Gospel over and over again, and you ask God to open their heart to believe it, are you not asking Him to violate their free will?

- If God answers your prayers to save someone, does He not violate their power of autonomous choice by working in them in response to you asking for them to be saved?

- Why pray for people's salvation if God would be unjust in exercising selective sovereign influence upon their will in a more persuasive way than He does for individuals who have not been prayed for?

Definite Atonement:

- Does God require unsaved people to pay for sin in hell that Jesus already paid for on the cross?

- Did Jesus atone for the sins of those who died and went to hell before He came into the world?

- If Jesus, the Good Shepherd, laid down His life for the sheep, why isn't every individual in the world one of His sheep? (John 10:11; 10:26)

- Did Jesus die for the sin of unbelief in which Christians lived before they believed? If so, what about the sin of unbelief of people who never believe?

- If people go to hell because they don't believe in Christ (John 3:18), and unbelief is a sin, and Christ died for all sin everywhere, then why do people go to hell if they don't believe in Christ?

- Are people sanctified in hell or is their sin of unbelief perpetual for eternity? If unbelievers continue in unbelief (rejection of Christ) for eternity in hell, how could Jesus have finally paid for a sin that has no final ending point? (Mark 3:29)

- Are sins atoned for by Christ in the past or are they atoned for at the moment of the conditional exercising of faith on the part of the believer?

- 1. If GOD had created humanity and allowed sin to enter the world, but chose NOT to provide a Savior or redemption for ANY person ever, so all people who sinned went to hell under HIS wrath for eternity without any hope of salvation, and you were an angel in heaven observing all this, would you be happy with GOD?

- 2. If GOD created angels and allowed them to rebel, but chose NOT to provide a Savior or redemption for ANY of those who fell, so they went to hell under HIS wrath for eternity without any hope of salvation, and you were a person who, through Biblical revelation, knew all this, would you be happy with GOD?

- Why are people happy that satan and demons will be cast into hell without any hope of salvation? What makes people more deserving than angels?

- Is it unfair that God limited the atonement to fallen man but not fallen angels?

- Was God unjust for not providing a savior for fallen angels? (2Pet 2:4)

- Do angels have free will?

Perseverance of the Saints:

- If man has completely neutral liberty to choose salvation, are Christians also free to choose to become unsaved?

- Does God take away a Christian's freedom to choose or reject Christ after they are born again?

- How can a Christian temporarily have eternal life? If eternal life is present, is it not eternally present for every person who has it without exception? How can a person presently have eternal life and then cease to have it after they die? Doesn't eternal life begin the moment you have it? If you can loose it, how can you possibly have it to begin with? (John 10:28; 6:40)

- Is it not possible for a Christian to live as though their salvation depends upon them and yet believe that it exclusively and ultimately depends upon God? (Phil 2:12-13)