Does the Gospel According to Calvinism Offer Salvation to Anyone at all?

, posted by Ben Henshaw

Dr. Picirilli thinks not. After making the point that Calvinists believe that those reprobates who hear the gospel cannot truly respond to the offer of salvation, he further observes that,

      Furthermore, in the Calvinistic system, the gospel is not really offering salvation to

any

      , since neither the elect nor the non-elect can accept the offer or meet its conditions. In fact, the “conditions” are not really conditions in the Calvinist system. They are part of the “package” of salvation benefits given to the elect by virtue of the death of Christ for them.

Without realizing it, the Calvinist is finally saying that repentance and faith (as the gift of God in the salvation “package”) are being offered to all who will repent and believe, when in fact none can do so. This reduces to pure tautology and is no offer at all. (Grace, Faith, Free Will, pp. 117, 118, emphasis his)

What do you think? Is this a valid point? If faith and repentance are not conditions met for the receiving of salvation, but rather issue irresistibly from a primary aspect of salvation (regeneration), then it would seem to follow that the gospel offer of salvation is not a genuine offer for anyone. Does that make sense? Picirilli continues,

      If not all who hear

can

      respond to the gospel, as the Calvinist insists, then only those

given

      repentance and faith can do so. In consequence,

no

      person who hears the gospel can do so with any confidence that he can respond. Conversely, all who hear and are not given the gift may conclude that the offer is not intended for them and therefore not rejected by them. What a person cannot receive, he cannot really reject. Nor can he be rightly blamed for rejection (although he might well be blamed for being in the condition that brought on his inability). (

ibid.

    118 emphasis his)

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