The following post is a satire, written from the perspective of an overzealous Calvinist.
This post is part of a series on the New Calvinist Bible (NCB) – a new bible translation designed to show Calvinism in all its glory. Click here to start at the beginning of the series.
Every Calvinist’s favourite chapter of the Bible is Romans 9. Yet, despite the best efforts of tireless Calvinist apologists, such as the great John Piper (election be upon him), some still manage to read Romans 9 and reach a different conclusion. It seems that the only explanation for people not understanding Romans 9 in the correct (i.e. Calvinist) way is that God predetermined them not to be able to understand it properly!
The following quotes from the NCB show how Romans 9 and the surrounding chapters make the glorious truth of Calvinism shine more brightly than ever. Now those predetermined to understand it differently really will be without excuse!
Romans 8:28-30 And we know that for those who lovethe specific individuals who have been elected by God all things work together for good, for those specific individuals who are called according to his purpose. For those specific individuals whom he foreknewunconditionally elected he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many specific individual brothers. And those specific individuals whom he predestined he also called, and those specific individuals whom he called he also justified, and those specific individuals whom he justified he also glorified.
Romans 9:6-10:1 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promisespecific individuals who have been elected are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who callsthe unconditional election of specific individuals — she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercyunconditionally elected specific individuals. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use, and to have each individual arbitrarily, permanently and irrevocably of either one type or the other without any opportunity for a vessel for dishonorable use to become a vessel for honorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, without providing any opportunity for individuals of this type to become vessels of mercy by trusting in Jesus, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, who were individually always of this type, even before they trusted Jesus, which he has prepared individually beforehand for glory— even us individuals whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’” “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’” And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay.” And as Isaiah predicted, “If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring, we would have been like Sodom and become like Gomorrah.” What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faithunconditional election of individuals (with faith merely being evidence of an individual’s prior election); but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on workshad not been unconditionally and individually elected for salvation. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever is irresistibly caused to believes in him will not be put to shame.” Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be savedhave always been vessels of mercy, otherwise there is no hope for them.
Romans 10:9-21 if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be savedthis is evidence that you were arbitrarily and individually chosen for salvation. For with the heart an elect one believes and is justified, and with the mouth an elect one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Every elect one whowill believes in him and will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on himthe elect. For “every elect one whowill calls on the name of the Lord and will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good newsDon’t worry – if they are elect they will definitely be saved anyway, and if they are not elect there is nothing anyone can do about it.” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearingprior and unconditional election of specific individuals and hearingthat election through the word of Christarbitrary decision of God. But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for “Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says, “I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation; with a foolish nation I will make you angry.” Then Isaiah is so bold as to say, “I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.” But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my handsfolded my arms to a non-elect, disobedient and contrary people.”
Romans 11:7-11, 23-24
What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect (i.e. the individuals who have always been elect from eternity)
obtained it, but the rest (i.e. the individuals who have always been non-elect from eternity)
were hardened, as it is written, “God gave them (i.e. the non-elect from eternity)
a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.” And David says, “Let their (i.e. the non-elect from eternity)
table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them; let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see, and bend their backs forever.” So I ask, did they (i.e. the non-elect from eternity)
stumble in order that they might fall?
By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous.
Of course! They are non-elect from eternity and have been hardened, and no one can ever change from being non-elect to being elect.
… And even they (i.e. the non-elect from eternity) , if they do not
continue in their unbelief as they are non-elect from eternity and there is no way that someone who is non-elect can become elect, they
be grafted in, for God has the power
is not going
to graft them in
again. For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, not
be grafted back
into their own olive tree, because they are non-elect from eternity and there is no way that someone who is non-elect can become elect.
This was originally posted at The Predestination Station, where comments can be made.
Click for the next post in the series: John.