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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « Justification - Exegesis v. Eisegesis | Main | Chapter Eleven: My Reward is With Me »

    Misunderstanding...

    Dr. James White writes: In his July 1 Sunday School presentation, William Lane Craig said the following:

    "...I think as a non-Calvinist, what I do want to say is that if a person does sincerely turn to Christ in repentance and faith that God will not dishonor him and say 'No, I won't regenerate you, I'm going to leave you and pass over you....' I think God's desire that all persons should be saved, and His desire to bring all persons to Himself is a promise that we can hold to, that God isn't going to just leave us."

    Keep in mind that Dr. Craig has repeatedly said that he sees no difference between Calvinism and Hyper-Calvinism. In any case, may I just briefly state clearly and without reservation that Dr. Craig has a fundamental, basic misunderstanding of the theology he rejects? He should know that no Calvinist believes there has ever been any person who has turned in repentance and faith to Jesus Christ who has been turned away. Not a one. Never. Impossible. Absurd in the highest. It should be obvious to anyone even slightly familiar with Reformed writings that we do not believe any dead sinner, mired in his hatred of God, chained in his slavery to sin, would ever of himself "turn to Christ in repentance and faith." Hence, the proposed situation is outside the realm of possibility to begin with. It seems Craig's human libertarianism is so strong and over-riding that he even reads it into systems that reject it.

    Let it be fully understood. The Bible teaches absolute libertarianism---the free will of God. Man's will is a creaturely will, that, since Adam, is the slave of sin. As a result, there has never been, and never will be, any sinner who has turned to Christ in repentance and faith and found Him to be anything less than a perfect Savior. To attribute such a concept to Reformed theology is simply libelous (though, in this case, it seems to flow solely from ignorance). The fact that Craig is missing is this: no sinner has ever turned to Christ in faith and repentance who was not first freed from the shackles of slavery by the omnipotent and sovereign Spirit of God! He thinks slaves are free to end their own slavery, raise themselves to spiritual life, do what is pleasing to God by some kind of generic "prevenient" grace. This leads to his misrepresentation of the views he denies.

    Posted by John Samson on July 20, 2009 03:28 AM

    Comments

    Yes, you make it plain that he was not misunderstood. When you are being misunderstood, the one misunderstanding you tends to miss their own misunderstanding even when the one they misunderstood understands their misunderstanding.

    By what I read that Mr. Craig misunderstood, it is clear to me who it is missing the understanding and who was misunderstood.

    I used to be so hostile to God's sovereign grace and His sovereign election. It is amazing how I fully embrace it now; what a contrast!

    Why was I hostile? Because I wanted things to the fair in a sense that I could understand.

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