To be able to anticipate some objections, I thought interacting with a blog post by Galyn Wiemers against the Reformed understanding of John 6:44 would be good preparation for Saturday. Although there is much in this post which causes Calvinists and non-Calvinists to speak past each other, there is one citation that really gets to heart of the issue clearly.
John Phillips says concerning John 6:37: "God does not act in an arbitrary way nor in defiance of the human will when he draws people to Christ. Someone once tried to persuade me that God has chosen some people for salvation and chosen other people for damnation. Such an idea is monstrous. God does not arbitrarily and sovereignly damn the greater part of the human race into an existence they did not seek, on terms they did not select (so-called "total depravity"), under impossible handicaps they did not choose (depraved in will and 'dead in trespasses and sins'), dominated by forces they cannot control (the world, the flesh, and the devil), into a ruined family (Adam's) they did not themselves plunge into original sin, just in order arbitrarily to send people to hell for not choosing a salvation offered only to the 'elect.' That may be some people's idea of God and some people's view of salvation, but such concepts make God out to be a tyrant worse than any in the history of the human race. However, such is not the God of the Bible and such is not the kind of 'salvation' offered us." (The John Phillips Commentary Series, "Exploring the Gospel of John")Over the next few posts, I will attempt to clarify the major problems with the non-Calvinist's critique of Calvinism as it is articulated by John Phillips.