Thursday, July 22, 2010

Why Doesn't He Believe??

Arminian Kevin Jackson provided an interesting post on the SEA site today with several questions and answers that are of interest in the never ending struggle between Calvinist and non-Calvinist ideologies. It is well worth reading. In particular, the first question is of personal interest having addressed this matter recently. Kevin posits why does one person believe and not another? Often asked by Calvinists as if this is a showstopper of all things non-Calvinist yet Arminians often struggle to answer the inquiry. I have tried several times and Kevin offers his answer as well … "This question assumes a deterministic framework. Each person is a unique being who has the God given capability to make his own choices ex nihilo. One person believes and not another because one chose to believe, and the other did not." From my perspective this begs the question further. Why does one choose to believe and another given the same Gospel chooses not to? I have tried to reply by turning the question back on the inquirer and asking why does he continue in sin knowing his LORD and Master disapprove? The reply is usually a dismissal of the question however it should be the same as Kevin's response, he chose to sin. Yet we are still left with some mystery to ponder and in all truthfulness, I do not have an answer. I do not know why I chose the LORD when He called and why my neighbor continues to reject Him. Boiling the dross and fat away from the Calvinist perspective, he must reply because God made him for the glory of hell but that does nothing to settle the matter. The Calvinist must deal with his own antinomy between his concept of divine determination and my neighbor's accountability for sin and rejection. For my own comfort, I find less conflict from my inability to explain why somebody would continue to reject God than the Calvinist must have with his contradictory mystery. I can remember well my own rejection of Christ and looking back have some understanding of why my neighbor continues to reject Him… understand yet still marvel at it.


Kevin Jackson said...

Well said. At a certain point both Arminians and Calvinists appeal to mystery. However, our mystery pill is a much less bitter pill to swallow than the Calvinist one. :)

A.M. Mallett said...

Yes, it is far less bitter although I have been in a discussion very recently where the Calvinist fellow attempted to deny the pill outright by citing the Westminster Confession which is itself a rather less than fulfilling assertion.