Richard Coords, “God-Centered”

, posted by Martin Glynn

Calvinists believe that non-Calvinism is necessarily man-centered, rather than God-centered, if the choice of salvation is left up to the sinner’s own decision to humble themselves, confess their sins and ask God for forgiveness, rather than God irresistibly making the choice for them. Nonetheless, that becomes a moot point if God chose the non-Calvinist paradigm over Calvinism as His system of providence. In other words, how can you tell God that His system of providence is “man-centered” if He ultimately chose it as something that brings Him the most glory?

What do Calvinists believe?

When you heard of the gospel, didn’t it seem irresistible to you?

Our reply:

In the Parable of the Sower, even those who were characterized as being among the “rocky soil” (Luke 8:13), did initiallyreceive the word  with joy” and “believe for a while,” though “in time of temptation fall away.” Sometimes, people will proudly declare their deconversion from Christianity, citing various things such as (a) reservations over theology, in terms of the existence of Hell or general suffering in the world, (b) science, in terms of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, and (c) Christians themselves, labeling them as “judgmental.” However, as Luke 8:13 shows, the real reason can be traced back to choosing sin over God. People don’t just fall away. They fall into sin, and then justify it with a bunch of misdirection. God explains it this way: “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2) So, while the gospel is indeed appealing, as legitimately good news, people still have to choose God over sin, in the form of repentance.

While the message of the gospel may indeed seem irresistible to those who are now Christians, the reality is that we must continue to consciously choose God over sin every day. Ask Calvinists whether they had ever asked God to give them an “Irresistible Grace” to never sin again, for the rest of their lives. If they have, they will know by now that God gives that gift to no one—at least not yet on this side of eternity. However, what God will do, is provide a “way of escape.” (1st Corinthians 10:13) So, we all have to make our own choices, even as believers, and God will not let us escape from having to make our choices. Joshua 24:15 states: “‘If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’”

What do Calvinists believe?

If God allows man to choose his eternal destination, either Heaven or Hell, then God is no longer in control of the outcome.

Our reply:

If God allows someone to choose something, then it’s God’s choice to give them that freedom and responsibility in the first place.