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Calvinism Questions and Comments:
The following are e-mails I have been receiving in 2002 asking general questions about Calvinism. The e-mailers' questions are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My responses are in red.
I reached your website because I was looking at the review [on Amazon.com] for the R.C. Sproul book, Chosen by God, on which you had attached a reader's review. Good marketing!
I knew little about Calvinism and nothing about the 5 points. I've heard the term Calvinist applied derisively to churches that, after reading the info on your website, I know are definitely non-Calvinist. Conversely, I think at least one church I attended briefly would probably be comfortable with Calvinism as long as you didn't call it by name. Goes to show people don't always know what they're talking about and maybe even like it that way - too much trouble to search out the facts.
Anyway, I think Jesus addresses Calvinism in Revelation 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me" (NKJV). Jesus says He will come into the life of a person if that person will just invite Him. Simple and straight forward.
Beech Grove, Indiana
Thank you for the comments. But the question is, why does one person "invite" Christ and not the next person? Is it because the first person is more righteous, smarter, better, or whatever? If so, then either they "earned" their righteousness, intelligence, etc. In that case, you would have salvation by works. Or it could be because God made them more righteous, smart, etc. In that case, we're back to God deciding to make the first person "better" than the second. Or more simply, it is because God elected the first and not the second.
[Rom 9:16] So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy (NKJV).
I was reading some of the responses to your material when I noticed the following from one of your contacts:
>>I have read your site on Calvinism, and can not conceive of a God who "elects" some for heaven and some for hell. This is not love.<<
I'll address the "love" issue or complaint. The problem lies in that men try to apply to God human reasoning and thought. If God's ways and reasoning were duplicates of fallen men, then we can be assured of a couple of things-Adam would most likely have perished through the judgment of an angry God or God would have allowed men to destroy themselves through the evident and ultimate consequences of their wickedness. This is man's way of reasoning-wrath and turning a deaf ear and blind eye to because some are not well liked.
The love that God has for mankind is truly amazing and I feel that we are only capable of scratching the surface of understanding regarding this issue. One that can give his only son for the salvation of just one single person, let alone others, truly has a special kind of love. I don't think I could bring myself to sacrifice my only son for my neighbors wickedness let alone the sinfulness of my neighborhood that God might save them. God however, has a love that goes beyond what humans are capable of comprehending. We will probably not know to the fullest extent of the love of God until we are with Him in heaven and experience Him face to face.
God Himself declares that there is none other like Him.
Very good reasoning. IOW:
[Isa 55:8] “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
[Isa 55:9] “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
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