This is a book study on John Lennox’s book ‘Determined to Believe: The Sovereignty of God, Freedom, Faith, and Human Responsibility’. Lennox openly acknowledges that he has not provided definite solutions to these deep questions of the faith and that there is mystery involved. He clearly acknowledges that God is sovereign, but that we need to think carefully about what the word ‘sovereign’ means Biblically. This book, per my understanding, is an invitation for Christians to spend time thinking deeply about what the Bible means when it describes God as sovereign.
Greetings fellow bookies (@Interested_in_book_studies) - we are now on Chapter 9! I look forward to hearing your favorite quotes and your reflections on this subject matter.
My main takeaways were:
- the call of God is not coercive
- not all reformers ascribed to limited atonement
- the Biblical text suggest that all people are capable of responding to God’s offer of salvation
Questions for Discussion
- Why is it important that all people are able to respond to God’s call?
- What is the Biblical evidence that all people are capable of responding to God’s call?
- How would someone who believed God’s call is irresistible still maintain human responsibility for sin?
The text does not say that those who live will hear, but that those who hear will live.
Hearing and believing come together: I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life… (John 5:24.)
Whatever it means to be “given by the Father”, we cannot argue that it eliminates human responsibility, since such responsibility is exactly what Christ affirms three sentences later.
However, some theologians ascribe to the term “draw” a compelling, if not coercive, dimension. That is, they regard the drawing as irresistible (the I of TULIP). But this cannot be, for Christ uses the same term later in John’s Gospel in this way: … I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself. (John 12:32.)
That is, none of these statements imply that all will be saved, but that the offer of salvation is there for all – and not just for a special class chosen by God without reference to their faith.
In fact, not only Luther but many of the other reformers, including Calvin, did not subscribe to limited atonement.