Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Phillips & Wiemers part 1

John Phillips' first part of the paragraph quoted earlier says,
God does not act in an arbitrary way nor in defiance of the human will when he draws people to Christ.
I am not certain what is meant when non-Calvinists charge Calvinists with the idea that God is being arbitrary. The fact that God does things without explaining to the creature why He is doing them does not makes His secret purposes arbitrary. Does God have to explain to me why my son fell and injured Himself? Does God have to explain to me why my friend's son had an accident? Does God have to explain to me why He decreed Hitler's reign, causing the deaths of millions? Does any of this have to be arbitrary because God chooses to fulfill His own decree?

The other part of this sentence assumes that the drawing in verse 44 is somehow against the will of the creature. In one sense that charge is true. The creature would never on his own choose God. The reason is simple. Unless God draws him, he is not of God. Therefore, unless he is of God, he can not hear God's voice. Therefore, he does not come to God through Christ.

The sinner that is drawn is drawn in such a way that he willingly comes. So much of Galyn Wiemers post is a language barrier problem. Heaven is not filled with people that do not want to be there. Heaven is filled with people who are changed by the grace and mercy of God.

So the charge against R.C. Sproul is not really accurate. Men are dragged in one sense. God must change sinners into saints. In another sense Wiemers is correct in saying that men are not dragged against their will but drawn. This is consistent with John 6:44 and is what Reformed theology teaches.

But as we will see Wiemers' position misunderstands the nature of the will. We will look at that in a future post.

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