Saturday, 28 September 2013



"I have three sons. Suppose all three are drowning and I have an opportunity to save them. But, I arbitrarily decide to save two and let the third die. Would my love for my sons be considered somewhat deficient? Isn't the love of God perfect? If so, how can he demonstrate love by arbitrarily determining some of his children will perish while others will not?”
I don't want to be unkind, but I think this argument, which I have come across on several occasions, exposes more the inadequacies of its proponents than the Calvinistic and Biblical doctrine of election and reprobation which it is designed to refute. Consider the following:

1) Either these sons are drowning by accident or they are drowning because they disobeyed the sign that said: “Legal notice: Danger – strong currents – no swimming here. Heavy fines apply”

The former does not apply to sinners, because they are not sinners by accident. Therefore the latter applies and the drowning is a direct consequence of a wilful disobeying of the law.

2) Evangelical Christianity (Calvinist or otherwise) does not believe that God saves without the sinner desiring to be saved. There is nothing in the above illustration to bring this out.

3) If my sons were drowning, I would jump in and try and save them without waiting to be asked. The illustration is not even comparing apples to oranges, but apples to something of a different genre like beef pies.

4) To complete the story, the one who perished would not only have to ignore the warning sign, but activley fight off the attempts to save him and choose death instead of life. 

5) The illustration implies that the sinner is a son before he receives Christ (John 1:12) In salvation, we are not talking about a man saving his sons to whom he owes the responsibility of a father, but to wicked, sinful, hell deserving rebels who deserve to die. That any should be saved is more a marvel than that any are left to their chosen sin and so perish.

6) The Universalist believes that his view of the love of God is better again than the evangelical one. In the evangelical scheme, some still perish (without ever having the gospel preached to them at all) whereas the Universalist has all men saved (plucked from the water) at the end. Dare we concede that God’s love is deficient because some are lost in the Evangelical scheme, but not in that of the Universalist?

7) In Calvinism, the only ones lost are those who deserve to be and effectively choose to be and no more. Hence Calvin expounded thesefollowing key verses as follows:

"He again reproaches them that it is nothing but their own malice that hinders them from becoming partakers of the life offered in the Scriptures; for when he says that they will not, he imputes the cause of their ignorance and blindness to wickedness and obstinacy. And, indeed, since he offered himself to them so graciously, they must have been willfully blind; but when they intentionally fled from the light, and even desired to extinguish the sun by the darkness of their unbelief, Christ justly reproves them with greater severity." (John 5:40)

"What thou doest, do quickly. The exhortation addressed by Christ to Judas is not of such a nature that he can be regarded as  exciting him to do the action: it is rather the language of one who views the crime with horror and detestation. Hitherto he had endeavored, by various methods, to bring him back, but to no purpose. Now he addresses him as a desperate man, “Go to destruction, since you have resolved to go to destruction;” and, in doing so, he performs the office of a, judge, who condemns to death not those whom he, of his own accord, desires to ruin, but those who have already ruined themselves by their own fault. In short, Christ does not lay Judas under the necessity of perishing, but declares him to be what he had formerly been." (John 13:30)
"For were it not that the reprobate, through their own fault, turn life into death, the Gospel would be to all the power of God to salvation, (Romans 1:16;) but as many persons no sooner hear it than their impiety openly breaks out, and provokes against them more and more the wrath of God, to such persons its savor must be deadly." (2 Corinthians 2:16.)

To be fair, not every anti Calvinist would use the argument articulated above. The more thinking ones obviously would not.


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