July 2013


IFWe should not confuse permissiveness for grace. Grace says, “I love you and forgive you, so you need to stop this sin,” not “I love you and forgive you, so it doesn’t matter what you do.”  We are living in a culture that thinks love and forgiveness mean we should permit people to continue in their sin while we continue in our silence.  This is not grace, and this is not love.  Grace and love will always confront sin, because grace and love are the remedy for sin, not the license to continue in it.

unfairCalvinism is distasteful to many people, including myself – and even many Calvinists – because it teaches that God has only chosen to save some human beings even though He has the power to save all.  This seems unfair.  It makes God’s will seem arbitrary.  After all, why would He choose to save person X but not person Y if He loves them both, and has the power to save both?  Many who reject Calvinism reject it for this reason alone. 

While there are formidable theological, exegetical, and philosophical[1] problems with Calvinism, I’ve come to think that the “fairness” objection is not a good argument against Calvinism.  First, there is nothing unfair about God’s choosing to save some but not others.  God is not obligated to save anyone.  Those who commit moral crimes all deserve to be punished for their crimes.  When they are punished, they are punished justly.  If God chooses to save some, He is not acting unjustly, but rather graciously.  It is similar to a governor who chooses to pardon some inmates, but not others.  Is this unfair?  No.  The inmates who were not pardoned are getting what they deserve.  They are rightfully paying for their crimes.  Those who are pardoned are objects of the governor’s grace.  The governor is not acting unfairly to extend mercy to some but not others, even if the public does not understand why he has chosen as he has. 

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