We are happy to announce the addition to our site of another article from an Arminian evangelical scholar published in a distinguished theological journal: Glen Shellrude, “The Freedom of God in Mercy and Judgment: A Libertarian Reading of Romans 9:6-29”, Evangelical Quarterly 81.4 (2009), 306–318. Be sure to check it out!
Here is the author’s abstract:
Romans 9:6-26 is commonly interpreted to mean that Jewish unbelief and Gentile
responsiveness to the Gospel was something ordained or predestined by
God. This article identifies elements in the whole context of 9 – 11 which call this
approach in question. It then proposes that Paul’s intent is to rebut the claim
that God was under obligation to ensure that Israel recognize the time of fulfillment.
Paul argues that God: 1. is free to define his people on the basis of who
responds to his gracious initiative; 2. is free to respond to Israel’s unbelief with
a judgment of hardening rather than turning up the heat of irresistible grace; 3.
is free to use the occasion of a hardened Israel for a broader proclamation of the
Gospel; 4. is free to show mercy to Gentiles, to those who were not understood
as the primary recipients of God’s covenant promises. The overarching point is
that when the present situation is viewed from this perspective, God’s Word has
clearly not failed. The objectives of the article are 1. to challenge the traditional
Calvinist reading of the text; 2. to propose an alternative which is not eisegetical
but is supported by a reconstruction of the issue to which Paul was responding
and the context of his whole argument in Romans 9 – 11.