Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
God's Gracious Gift to Humanity is the "Capacity of Free Will"
06/09/2011 - Alan KurschnerMartin Glynn responded to a question I posed recently to Arminians, which was:
Since you believe that God is all-powerful and all-loving, why does God not cause everyone to be saved?Glynn writes:
"I have never heard a self-proclaimed Arminian say that a human's free will can "impede" God's will to change their hearts, and a true Arminian never would."
This is affirmed consistently by Arminians, in one way or the other. It always comes down to man's will is the final determiner. It is like when Arminians have said that salvation is 99% God, but 1% Man, which is misleading, since that 1% determines the 99%. But let God be true, and Man a liar---Salvation is all of God, and none of Man.
Next he states:
"There is a difference between "resisting" God's will and "impeding" God's will. My son can resist me picking him up; he's not going to impede me though. In Star Wars: A New Hope, Luke , Han, and Leia resisted the trash compactor, but they weren't impeding it (told you I was in a silly mood)."
To resist God's will is to impede his will in the Arminian salvific schema. And his analogy fails because in Arminian theology God will not impose his salvific will on someone if he resists. So I find his illustration incongruous with the category of Arminian theology.
Next he writes this Pelagianesque statement: "The human ability to resist God's grace is grounded in the nature of the grace, not in the power of man. God offers His grace in such a manner as to allow it to be resisted, but He could do otherwise. He chooses not to."
Instead, the Bible affirms that the human ability to resist God's grace is grounded in our sinful rebellious nature. God's grace effects Man to live righteously---not to provide us some anthropological "neutral will."
My original question: Since you believe that God is all-powerful and all-loving, why does God not cause everyone to be saved?
Glynn finally gets to answering my question: "Because He wants us to make a choice."
His answer demonstrates that the non-Calvinist couches the ultimate reason for their salvation in their own will.
“But to all who have received him—those who believe in his name–he has given the right to become God’s children –children not born by human parents or by human desire or a husband’s decision, but by God.” (John 1:12–13)
Next he writes: "This is the nature of love. If you love someone, do you force them to be with you, or do you want them to want to be with you? Hopefully the latter."
I have to wonder if Glynn ever prays to God to change the heart of the rebel sinner, for according to his theology that would be "forcing them to be with you."
What does the Bible teach about God's love in salvation?
“For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love. (5) He did this by predestining us to adoption as his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the pleasure of his will–” (Eph 1:4–5 NET)
Then he writes:
"So, let me say directly and simply: God, in His sovereignty, created us with the capacity to follow after Him or to reject Him because part of His purpose in creating us is to have with us the kind of relationship which is grounded in love, trust, and devotion instead of necessity and servitude."
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the the riches of his grace, which is the [capacity for free will] that he lavished on us in all wisdom and insight.” (Eph 1:7–8)