The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Calvinism and the lost, a contradiction

Luke 19
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

James White is a leading Calvinist voice. Here’s an article on his website (by someone else):

God is both active in election (“God chose you”) and hardening in reprobation (“God sends on them”).

As if the fact that it is God decreeing and thus performing the choosing for salvation did not make Paul’s point, he emphasizes that this gracious act was done “from the beginning.” This excludes our participation in the sovereign decree of salvation since it was ordained before we were born.

If all people were either saved or condemned in the “beginning”, then does it not follow that some people were never condemned? And if someone is “lost” is that not simply another way of saying he/she is condemned/reprobate? And are the lost not people God never intended to save? If all this is the case, then the statement in Luke that Jesus came to save the lost means Jesus came to save people he never intended to save. Which needless to say is impossible. OTOH if God does/did intend to save people who are/were lost, then Calvinists cannot use verses about people being lost as evidence that God will not try to save those people.

I should point out that the same Greek word is translated destruction and lose (in their various forms). Can any of our members who have studied Greek speak to this?

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There is no lost, there is no condemned, there is no reprobate. God in the wisdom has worked it out for all.

Good point :— just another example of how Calvinism is off beat. As far as I am aware, James white only sees two options available when reading the scriptures, either universalism or Calvinism. For me personally, I would rather err on the side of mercy to [All] than mercy only in part.

Yeah, the article in the OP says God is active in “hardening.” But Paul is pretty clear IMO that the hardening was only temporary and for the purpose of the salvation of all!

Romans 11
11 I ask then, did they stumble that they might fall? May it never be! But by their fall salvation has come to the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy. 12 Now if their fall is the riches of the world, and their loss the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fullness

25 For I don’t desire you to be ignorant, brothers,of this mystery, so that you won’t be wise in your own conceits, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and so all Israel will be saved.

When would the fullness of the gentiles be? I think it must have been some time in the 1st century.

Matthew 24
14 This Good News of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

33 Even so you also, when you [qaz: keep in mind who Jesus was talking to] see all these things, know that he is near, even at the doors. 34 Most certainly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things are accomplished.

Paul affirmed what that the fulness would occur in the 1st century, and indeed had occurred at the time he wrote Colossians.

Colossians 1
5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in the heavens, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the Good News 6 which has come to you, even as it is in all the world and is bearing fruit and growing, as it does in you also, since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth,