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Table of Contents

Section 1: Is Salvation for All Biblical?

Section 2: Is the Doctrine of Hell Biblical?

Section 3: Symbolism

Section 4: Biblical Judgment: a Consistent Theme of Redemption

Section 5: Philosophy and Scripture

Section 6: History and Tradition

Section 7: Addressing Objections

Section 8: Strongholds

Free Will vs. Determinism

The previous chapter brings up one of the great theological debates of Christianity, alternatively known as Free Will vs. Determinism, or Arminianism vs. Calvinism, or Free Will vs. Predestination. Usually people identify with one side or the other and have various scriptural reasons for their views, which they often consider irreconcilable. Fortunately, the disagreement has a solution. If we look at the whole counsel of scripture, we will see that the Bible in no way contradicts itself. Instead, it is harmonious.

The key, I will now show, is to honestly read the Scriptures that discuss the salvation of all people for what they clearly teach, and to not impose the external theological construct of the doctrine of hell upon the Bible. Let’s see how this works next, beginning with an examination of the concept of free will from a biblical and rational perspective.

Pros and Cons of Free Will/Arminianism

I think it is rather apparent from personal experience that people make choices in life. Right now you are deciding to read this. In a couple of moments, you might decide to put it down and do something else. You choose what you eat and drink, what you wear, and who you spend your free time with. This seems intuitively obvious, and it seems rather absurd to insist that your every decision is being micromanaged as if you are some sort of programmed robot.

This being said, it is worth noting that the exact phrase “free will” is not found in the Bible. Nevertheless, the Bible frequently bears witness to the fact that people make choices and that these choices affect their lives as well as the lives of others. Consider the following verses:

Joshua 24:14-15

“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Psalm 119:30

I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I have set my heart on your laws.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

So it is quite clear from these verses that people have choices to make and that we make them. It is also clear that our choices can profoundly affect our lives. Yet, as we discussed in the previous chapter, we do not have full control of our lives and clearly do not have complete autonomy. We don’t choose our birthplace, our socioeconomic status, our parents or many other things. So, choice is a part of reality, but not a universal truth in all aspects of our existence.

And this is where the “free will only” paradigm breaks down. If someone is strictly Arminian, they tend to have the view that we get to choose to dwell in an eternal hell, in spite of the fact that this is contrary to God’s stated purpose in the Bible. Consider for example, the following verses:

1 Timothy 2:1-6

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

So it is clear that God wants all people to be saved and to repent and that Christ was a ransom for all people. So, according to a strict Arminian, our will trumps God’s will. This is a clear problem in that it implies that we are in fact more powerful than God.

It is also contrary to many verses that address God’s sovereignty and predestination of people (which we will discuss shortly). So, in short, the strict Arminian places too much emphasis on the role of free will and too little emphasis on the role of God’s sovereignty.

But those who overemphasize the importance of free will often do so for a good reason. They have a clear biblical understanding that God is love and that He loves all people. They believe that his “mercy endures forever” as the Psalmist emphatically repeats in Psalm 136. They see that the LORD is good and just. And they recognize that all of these attributes are completely inconsistent with God sending people to eternal torment through no fault of their own. So, if an eternal hell is real, it is reasoned that humans must choose it, because a good, loving, just, merciful God would not predestine people to such a place just because He wants to. And they are right in this line of reasoning if eternal damnation is real.

So the Arminians have a good case in some respects but are weak in others. Perhaps they have it half right. Now let’s take a look at the opposite perspective.

A Discussion of Determinism/Calvinism

In the Calvinist view of salvation, God chooses who will be saved and who will be condemned to eternal torment before the foundation of the world. In other words, people have no choice in the matter. They are either chosen by God and will be irresistibly drawn to Him or destined for hell. The Calvinist asserts that God is sovereign and that nothing can thwart his will. Therefore, they conclude that Christ’s death was only intended to pay for the sins of those that God predestined for salvation, a view known as “limited atonement.”

The obvious problem with this concept is that it is completely contradictory to what the Bible says about Christ's atonement. Take a look for yourself.

1 John 2:2

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

This is a very straightforward statement that obviously contradicts the notion that Christ's atoning sacrifice was only done for believers. It was clearly the atoning sacrifice "for the sins of the whole world," not just for the believers John was writing to. The theme that Christ came to save all people is prevalent throughout the New Testament. This is why John repeats the concept yet again in 1 John 4:14, saying that "we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world." There are myriad other examples, many of which we have already discussed, including the clear statement that we looked at moments ago that Christ “gave himself as a ransom for all people” (1 Timothy 2). All of this biblical evidence makes it clear that the idea of limited atonement is scripturally bankrupt. It is an invention of man created in an attempt to make sense of how the hell doctrine could be true in light of God's sovereignty.

But the darkest aspect of Calvinism is not just that it says that God only predestines some to salvation; it is that it says that He predestines most to hell. But this notion is entirely absent from the Bible. Let's be clear and say that again because it is very important. The Bible never says anyone is predestined to hell. Not once. Not ever.

The closest that a Calvinist can get to finding Biblical support for the concept of predestination to hell can be seen below. Let's take a look at it and then analyze it carefully.

Romans 9:21-26 (ESV)

Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? As indeed he says in Hosea,
“Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’
and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’”
“And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’
there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”

First, in order to honestly interpret the passage, it is valuable to note that Paul is making a hypothetical statement, saying "what if…" In other words, Paul is proposing a possible explanation, not stating a fact. Whether God destined some vessels for destruction is not the point of the passage. Instead the point of the passage is that God is indeed sovereign and that He has the right to choose the purpose of His own vessels, if He so desires. In other words, He can use people to accomplish His purpose (which we will discuss shortly) in different ways.

Also, in order to understand this passage, it is of primary importance to understand the word translated as "destruction." In the Greek it is apōleian. It does NOT mean hell. Instead it means destruction or loss. In the context of the passage, Paul is lamenting the fact that Israel has rejected Jesus, the Messiah. Because of this, they are not experiencing the way of true life in Christ, but rather the destruction and loss that comes from rejecting Christ. In other words, they are missing out on the promise of experiencing the Messiah and His transformative power in their lives, and missing out on being part of the kingdom of God.

It is also important to note that Chapter 9 is really the beginning of a larger argument which spans Romans 9 to Romans 11. In this argument, Paul is considering the implications of Israel's disobedience and failure to accept Christ, and concludes that this disobedience serves God's purpose by bringing salvation to the Gentiles. As he progresses through this argument, he also makes it clear that the vessels that were hypothetically prepared for destruction (the unbelieving Jews) will also be saved, asserting that "a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved" (Romans 11:32). So, even those who might have been hypothetically destined to reject Christ will eventually be saved. Therefore, the destruction being discussed in the passage cannot be eternal hell with no hope of salvation!

Paul concludes his discussion on the matter with the following statement: "For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all" (Romans 11:32) and then follows this with a doxology of praise about God's amazing wisdom. So it is quite clear that the purpose of turning people over to their disobedient ways is not eternal hell, but rather a redemptive destruction of the flesh, and a magnification of God's mercy on all people that brings Him glory and praise.

The Verdict on Calvinism

Although Calvinism has some serious drawbacks, there is some Biblical basis for holding to at least one aspect of it. For this reason, let’s now look at the positive part of this perspective: Calvinism acknowledges that God is sovereign and that He accomplishes His will. In other words, we can’t stop what He has determined. There is abundant biblical support for this belief. Let’s consider just a few verses that back up the claim that God is sovereign:

Psalm 135:6

"The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths."

Proverbs 19:21

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

Isaiah 55:8-11

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Romans 8:29-30

"For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified."

Ephesians 1:11-12

"In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory."

So it is quite clear that God is able to accomplish His purposes and that he will in fact do so. For this reason, the Calvinist reasons that it is arrogant that humans should think that we can override God’s purpose through our free will. And in this line of reasoning, they are correct.

The real breakdown in the Calvinist argument happens, however, when it fails to acknowledge God’s stated purpose in the Scriptures. Consider the following:

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

1 Timothy 2:1-6

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.

John 3:16-17

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him .”

John 12:47

If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.

All of these verses tell us God’s will and purpose very plainly. He wills to save the world and all people in it through Christ! So the Calvinist is right about God’s sovereignty but somehow ignores what God says He is sovereign to do! So again, they are half right.

But 50% is still an F.

Let’s see if we can do better.

The Resolution: Salvation for All People

We have already established that the Bible claims that people make choices and also claims that God is sovereign. These are both true and in no way contradictory. The key to understanding this is to acknowledge that God had a plan, before the foundation of the world, to redeem us. It is also important to understand that God has chosen certain individuals for specific roles in this plan. At the same time, He allows people to make choices and reap the consequences of these choices, but this does not interfere with, or prevent Him from accomplishing His plan. Let’s now look at the Biblical evidence for this viewpoint, beginning at the beginning, before the creation of the world.

Ephesians 1:3-10

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will — to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves . In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

Now let’s analyze this amazing passage without Arminian or Calvinist prejudice to determine what it actually says.

First, it is clear that Paul is speaking to believers in the church of Ephesus in his writing, so it may be assumed that he is only speaking of present believers. I do not, however, believe this to be the case because of the rest of the context of the passage. To be sure, Paul is saying that he and the Ephesian believers were chosen and predestined to be holy and blameless. But this in no way precludes that all people are in fact chosen by God before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless eventually. In fact, the text supports the idea that this is exactly what God has done. Notice that “in love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will” and that “he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ.” It then tells us what God’s will is specifically! It is “to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

In other words, we are specifically and unequivocally told what God’s will, which He purposed in Christ, is! It is the unity of all things under Christ. Now, it is quite apparent that consigning tens of billions of people to eternal rebellion and punishment in hell does not, in any way, accomplish this purpose!

So Paul restates the fact that God is indeed sovereign, just to make it clear for us.

Ephesians 1:11-12

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

It is clear that God will accomplish His will, which we have already seen, is the unity of everything and everyone under His benevolent rule. The above verses also make it clear that the believers that are being spoken to are not the only ones that God has chosen, but rather that Paul is speaking of present believers as “the first to put our hope in Christ.” We are the first ones to put our hope in Christ, not the only ones. By making it clear that believers are the first, it is implied that more will come later to put their faith in Christ. In other words, we are all predestined to come to faith in Christ eventually, whether now or in the future, for it is clear that “at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11 NASB).

Remember, God works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will. That means everything. That means that our rebellion, sin, and unbelief don’t stop His will. Instead He uses them. This does not mean that He causes us to rebel by forcing our choices. He is wise enough and knows us well enough that He knows the choices that we will make. Regardless of the nature of these choices, He is so brilliant that He causes them to eventually lead to the accomplishment of his purpose: the unity of all under Christ and His glory.

One example that comes to mind is the conquests of Alexander the Great. Alexander thought himself to be the son of Zeus and killed a vast number of people in his conquests. There is no reason to believe that Alexander believed in or obeyed the true God, or that God forced him to do his deeds. Yet, the subsequent sharing of Greek culture and language throughout the known world (known as Hellenization), is one very important factor that allowed for the rapid spread of the gospel, which was written down in Greek, and widely disseminated through the known world. In other words, the brutal conquests of a pagan dictator were used by God to allow the rapid initial spread of the good news of the gospel. He works out everything in conformity to the purpose of his will.

With this principle in mind, let’s know consider the story of Adam and Eve. You may recall that Adam and Eve were placed in the garden of Eden and that “in the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:9 NIV). You may also remember that God told them not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil but that they did, after being deceived.

Now consider the fact that God placed the tree in the middle of the garden, that He intimately knows Adam and Eve, who He created in His image, and that He “chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”

Was God surprised that humans chose to disobey? Or did He know that people would choose rebellion? Is it possible that God intended for Adam and Eve to disobey, so that His ultimate purpose would be fulfilled?

I think that it is. God placed the tree in the middle of the garden where Adam and Eve were sure to see it and He allowed the serpent to tempt them. God did not slap His forehead in frustration when people disobeyed, saying “Doh! I really thought they were going to listen! I had better come up with a new plan quick!” Our God isn’t like Homer Simpson. He is wise beyond measure.

But why would God intend for humans to enter into rebellion against Him? I think part of the answer lies in the name of the tree itself. Remember it was the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Notice that it is not the “tree of evil” or the “tree of unending wickedness.” The tree is clearly symbolic of understanding right from wrong. You see, it is impossible for people to become conformed to the image of Christ if they have no understanding of good versus evil. But God’s intent is for humans (all of whom are made in His image) to become like Christ. Consider the following:

Romans 8:29-30

"For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified."

How are we to be conformed to the image of Christ if we don’t know right from wrong? The Fall had to occur in order for God’s redemptive purpose to be fulfilled. We cannot become like Christ as God predestined if we are completely naïve of the difference between good and evil. We must see both and then eventually choose what is good. In Genesis 3:22 we see that becoming conformed to the image of Christ requires an understanding of good and evil. “And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” Notice that knowing good and evil is an important way in which we become like God, but that gaining this knowledge required disobedience. Notice also that God’s purpose, before creation, was to make us like Him. God knew that we would disobey and this was part of His plan in which He works out everything in accordance with the purpose of His will. Did God therefore force Adam and Eve to sin? Of course not! But He knew that they would (just as I know that my 5 year old son will choose candy over broccoli) and that human disobedience was necessary to fulfill His purpose.

With this in mind let’s see His reasoning for giving mankind the ability and propensity to choose disobedience:

Romans 11:32 (ESV)

For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.

So we see that God gives all people over to disobedience in order to have mercy on all people and thereby demonstrate His incredible love for us, for “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). In addition, if we look at the context of Romans 11, we see even more clearly that God uses disobedience to show grace to the world and to bring about his clearly stated purpose of unity of all things under Christ:

Romans 11:11-15 (ESV)

So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!

Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?

It is critical at this juncture to notice that Israel’s disobedience and disbelief serves God’s purpose of reconciling the world by bringing non-Jews to faith in Him. The hardening of heart that they had experienced was experienced for a good reason, not simply in order for them to fall in disobedience. God is not malevolent. Instead, He uses disobedience of one group of people to bring another group of people into an understanding of the gospel.

Romans 11:25-33 (ESV)

Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,

“The Deliverer will come from Zion,
he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
“and this will be my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”

As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

Notice that God uses Israel’s disobedience and lack of faith in order to save the Gentiles. Then He saves all of Israel as well! They were disobedient “in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy.” In other words, they were disobedient so that both Israel and the Gentiles would be clearly shown God’s incredible mercy and be able to praise God and bring Him glory “when the times reach their fulfillment” and all things are united under the authority of Christ. This will occur when every knee bows and every tongue swears allegiance, saying “only in the Lord are righteousness and strength” (Isaiah 45:23-24). All people will say this because it will be apparent that He has the righteous power to save, and that He has done so!

If all of this seems impossible to your human mind, you are not alone. Paul himself marveled at this when He exclaimed in Romans 11:33: “ Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” God’s mercy and love are deeper than we have been imagining. His ways are beyond us because His plan is something that we could never accomplish or understand completely. But it is an amazing, good plan so we know that we can trust Him!

One key concept here is that God has chosen to reconcile the entire world to Himself. This is a key aspect to understanding the idea of predestination. Another key aspect is understanding that God has chosen specific individuals for specific tasks in His kingdom. Consider the following:

Ephesians 2:10

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

From this verse, it seems clear that God has chosen certain people to do certain good works that He has prepared in advance. For example, Isaiah was chosen to be a prophet, David to be a king, and Paul to be minister to the Gentiles. This aspect of predestination in no way negates the fact that God has a clear salvific purpose for all people. Instead it clarifies the reason why we have been chosen: to do good works. The nature of at least some of these good works is elucidated in the following passage:

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (ESV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

A plain reading of the above passage makes it a travesty to claim that we are chosen for salvation but others are chosen for hell. This is simply a butchery of the concepts being taught. We are chosen to serve as Christ's ambassadors, predestined to sharing the message of reconciliation which is clearly stated in the passage. Here it is one more time: "in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them!" We who believe have been given this wonderful ministry of reconciliation, in which we get to share what Christ has done for humanity. The work of Christ has accomplished what He came to accomplish, the salvation of the world. As He himself said as He died on the cross, "it is finished" (John 19:30). Ours sins, the sins of the world that God was reconciling to Himself, are no longer counted against us.

The clear biblical picture of Christ as the one who reconciles all to Himself is reiterated yet again in the following passage that explains who Christ is.

Colossians 1:15-20 (ESV)

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Notice the use of the word "all" in the above passage. It is used repeatedly. What does it mean? The simple answer is that it means "all!" The Greek words translated in this passage as "all" are either pan or panta. They mean "all." There really isn't any other way to take them. So, if you truly believe that "by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him," then you must concede that he will truly "reconcile to himself all things." That includes you, as well as everybody else!

Recap

We have seen that there is no real conflict between human choice and God’s sovereignty. Our choices simply can’t get in the way of God fulfilling His plan. He works it out so that even the worst of our decisions lead to the accomplishment of His plan to unite all things in obedience to Him. His incredible wisdom allows Him to fulfill His good purpose without micromanaging our decisions because He knows us so deeply that He is not surprised by our actions. He also specifically chooses people for particular good works and particular roles in His plan, not so that He can condemn others, but rather so that those who are chosen can spread His light and message of reconciliation to the rest of humanity.

This view does not ignore any Bible passages, but rather shows them to be harmonious, unlike views that choose to either deny God’s sovereignty or deny human choice and God’s love for all people.

It is neither Calvinism nor Arminianism.

It is Biblical.  And that is how it should be.


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