The Calvinists love to accuse others of taking verses out of context anytime a verse is quoted or explained that demonstrates their doctrine to be not Scriptural. Moreover, they love to quote the following verse as “proof” that God is sovereign, and foreordained everything:

. . .In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: . . . (Ephesians 1:11)

Notice the leading and trailing periods? They are there for a very good reason — Ephesians 1:11 is only a part of a complex sentence. How interesting? Accusing others of taking Scripture out of context, and then violently pulling a phrase out of a sentence, just to “prove” their point.

The problem is not that I and others who are not Calvinist/Reformed don’t believe that God is sovereign. Rather, where we disagree with Calvinists centers around how that sovereignty is defined and executed. Additionally, I agree that the LORD God does His will and no one will change that, and He works everything after His own counsel.

Where I so strongly disagree is in what “the will of God is.” You see, verse 11 cited above only tells us that God does according to His will. It simply does not tell us what that will is.

Here then is an inconceivable thought for Calvinists:

What if it was and still is, the will of God that man, the pinnacle of the creatures made by Him, be allowed to exercise free choice?

What if it is the express will of the LORD God that man, once granted faith and repentance, is allowed to freely choose the path he will follow — either accepting Christ, and subsequently being born again; or rejecting Christ and remaining dead in sins and trespasses?

Why is this so inconceivable to Calvinists?

An Inconceivable Thought
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5 thoughts on “An Inconceivable Thought

  • 24 Apr 2009 at 07:41

    Mr. Davis, your grasp of English grammar far exceeds your ability to interpret scripture. Ephesians 1:11 does not tell us what the will of God is? First, God’s  ways and thoughts are not Paul W Davis’ ways and thoughts. God’s ways and thoughts are higher than Paul  W Davis’ ways and thoughts. ( Isaiah 55:8-9) Second, Ephesians verse 11 does say that God WORKS ALL THINGS  AFTER THE COUNSEL OF HIS WILL. Notice Mr. Davis “ALL THINGS”. This means exactly what it says it means “ALL THINGS”. Everything that happens in this universe falls under the category of “ALL THINGS”. “ALL THINGS”  filter through the hands of God, nothing happens in this universe without God’s permission. ALL means ALL Mr Davis, including  salvation. As R.C. Sproul points out, were there one maverick molecule out there somewhere apart from the plan of God, we would have no reason to hope in God. That one maverick molecule could be the one detail that defeats God’s eternal purpose. “For lack of the nail, the shoe was lost. For lack of the shoe, the horse was lost. For lack of the horse, the rider was lost. For lack of the rider, the battle was lost. For lack of the battle, the war was lost.” History is the outworking of his eternal plan. God not only created the world; his power sustains it, continuing its existence moment-by-moment. Were God to blink, all would come to an end. He is the First Cause that lies behind all secondary causes. Out of all the billions of ways that God could have planned history, this is the plan God chose. God’s invisible hand is secretly at work controlling all things. • God controls the entire universe: Ps 103:19; Rom 8:28; Eph 1:11 • God controls all of nature: Ps 135:6-7; Mt 5:45; 6:25-30 • God controls angels & Satan: Ps 103:20-21; Job 1:12 • God controls nations: Ps 47:7-9; Dan 2:20-21; 4:34-35 • God controls human beings: 1 Sam 2:6-7; Gal 1:15-16 • God controls animals: Ps 104:21-30; 1 Ki 17:4-6 • God controls “accidents”: Pr 16:33; Jon 1:7; Mt 10:29 • God controls free acts of men: Ex 3:21; 12:25-36; Ez 7:27 • God controls sinful acts of men and Satan: 2 Sam 24:1; 1 Chr 21:1; God as Architect, 13th century Gen 45:5; 50:20

    • 25 Apr 2009 at 07:46


      Truly, the fact that the LORD God would grant man the liberty to freely choose to serve Him or not, is beyond your comprehension. Moreover, you miss the whole point of the statement:

      You see, verse 11 cited above only tells us that God does according to His will. It simply does not tell us what that will is.

      Telling us that everything is worked or done after the counsel of His will, DOES NOT TELL US WHAT THAT WILL IS! Plain and simple it only tells us He does according to His will, not someone else’s will. It simply does not state what that will is. Ranting about God “WORKS ALL THINGS AFTER THE COUNSEL OF HIS WILL” repeatedly, still does not say ONE THING about WHAT that will is. Moreover, you cannot derive the will of God from that statement either.

      Aaron, you state:

      He is the First Cause that lies behind all secondary causes. Out of all the billions of ways that God could have planned history, this is the plan God chose.

      There are two points I would like for you and everyone else to see concerning this:

      1. “God” “planned” history and that is why it works out the way it does? Truly then, your god is the author of sin. If the Calvinist god planned everything in history, then he planned sin, and is indeed the author of sin.
      2. So, you are very plain that the Calvinist god is not capable of working dynamically: that is, in response to events as they occur. You state very plainly and clearly that God “planned history” and “God’s(sic) invisible hand is secretly at work controlling all things. “God controls the entire universe:” meaning there is no free agency, no moral determination left up to any creature. It is all preprogrammed, scripted, set in stone. Thus, we are all actors simply playing out a gigantic game, to which there is no discernible point, or reason for being.
        Hence, the Calvinist god is now a slave to his “plan” and must carry out his plan as he determined it in eternity past. There can be no changes, nor are there changes because he planned it this way and it is all statically set. His foreknowledge is only effective because he already planned history this way.

      Nice of you to render most of the Scripture utterly meaningless. So when it states “but God, which trieth our hearts . . .” it’s just humoring us, because it is actually meaningless and the outcome is preset, scripted, preprogrammed. We are merely highly sophisticated robots, and it’s really a facade, and all about appearance.

      No, in your world, God cannot simply know in eternity past what man’s responses will be and then dynamically respond to them as they occur. Rather, you would have it that God planned every single minute detail — that is why history is they way it is — statically set — foreordained — no dynamics whatsoever. Your god cannot truly “respond” because there is not “responding” in the plan. It is simply programmed to complete the script and your god is just as much a slave to the script as we are.

  • 27 Apr 2009 at 13:21

    Is there anything that “ALL Things” do not include? If yes, what?

    • 02 May 2009 at 19:39

      Mr. Curry,

      Can you not read? The issue is not “all” and the use of the word “all.” The issue is:

      What is the will of God?

      It is my contention, and the plain teaching of the entirety of Scripture, that the will of God was that man be able to make his own judgments, his own decisions, after weighing any and all information available, if he cared to. The thing you and every other person seems to forget is that the LORD God will hold EVERYONE accountable for the decisions they make. At the end of the day, every single person, lost or saved, will give account of their life and the decisions they chose to make. Of course, if everything is already scripted and our decisions are predetermined and fore-ordained by God, then the Judgment is pointless — just window-dressing and a farce. If, on the other hand, it is the will of the LORD God that we make our own choices (and it is), then the Judgment makes perfect sense. In which case, the sovereignty of God is plainly demonstrated by the fact that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

  • 02 May 2009 at 09:30

    What is not included in the word “ALL” Mr. Davis? If everything is included, meaning “nothing left out”,  your interpretation of Jeremiah 7:31 has a serious problem don’t ya think?

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