Richard Coords and Leighton Flowers, “ReReformed”
Subject: Accountability

, posted by Martin Glynn

The following is an excerpt for a book written by Arminian Richard Coords and Traditionalist Leighton Flowers, “ReReformed”.

Accountability

Calvinists hold humanity accountable for whether or not they accept the gospel, even though Calvinists don’t believe humanity has an autonomous, libertarian free-will in order to freely accept it or not. (Calvinists believe that only those who are given an Irresistible Grace can believe in the gospel.) In other words, Calvinists do not necessarily correlate accountability with ability. However, without such free-will, how could humanity reasonably be held accountable? Additionally, on the basis of Romans 9:19-20, Calvinists do not believe that we are even allowed to ask the question of whether or not it is reasonable and fair. However, Calvinists proof-text that particular passage without proper consideration for its actual Jewish context, in which Paul was anticipating the reaction of the judicially hardened Jew upon hearing that God carried out His threat to harden them for unrepentance, according to Jeremiah 18:1-13. Nonetheless, the end result is that Calvinists stand upon an acontextual interpretation of Romans 9:19-20 in order to argue that mankind is held accountable, regardless of whether they are actually accountable by our human perception.

What do Calvinists believe?

James White: “…since God judges on the basis of the intentions of the heart, there is in fact a ground for morality and justice.”73

Our Reply:

If God decreed “whatsoever comes to pass,” would that include the intentions of a person’s heart?

Dave Hunt: “Yes, God judges ‘the intentions of the heart,’ but Calvinism falsely says that He causes the intentions He judges.”74

To demonstrate how mankind could be guilty, despite doing only and precisely what God decreed for them to do, one Calvinist cites an analogy of a man who drank a bottle of whiskey so as to drum up the courage to effectually carry out an act of murder.75 Calvinists imagine that a judge might find such a person guilty (even though the determinate influence of alcohol rendered their choice certain), on the basis that in spite of their incapacitation, they did what they wanted to do. In this way, Calvinists argue that mankind is guilty of what God determined they would do since mankind participates in wanting to do it. However, the primary problem for Calvinists is that in their theology of God having decreed “whatsoever comes to pass,” every single sin necessarily comes back to God. For example, whose “total plan” of all things determined the man’s wants and desires to commit murder and to get drunk in order to do it? In Calvinism, it all comes back to God who determined precisely what everyone will and won’t do, and therefore, real accountability would reasonably rest with Calvinism’s Author of Sin.

73 James White, Debating Calvinism, Multnomah Publishers Inc., 2004, p.320.
74 Dave Hunt, Debating Calvinism, Multnomah Publishers Inc., 2004, p.327.
75 Sovereignty and Free Will: Ezekiel 36:22-28, 30:16-32:22. http://www.sthelens.org.uk/resources/media-library/src/talk/54749/title/3-sovereignty-and-free-will