Rethinking the “Golden Chain” – Romans 8:28-30 (Part 1)

Romans 8:28-30

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Calvinism’s Error:

God chose (foreknew) unbelieving individuals and eternally decreed (predestined) that they would be adopted as God’s children. He not only eternally decreed the salvation of these unbelieving individuals, he also drew them to Christ by irresistible grace through new birth (called), after he gave them faith through regeneration he forgave their sins (justified) and will certainly, without any qualifications, raise them from the dead and give them eternal life (glorified).
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Acts 13:48 – A Calvinist Verse? (Part 4 – Answering Objections)

(This is the 4th and final post in a series on 13:48. To start at the beginning of this series click here)

I concluded the last post by suggesting we understand Acts 13:48b in the following manner:

“…as many as were appointed [according to the foreknowledge of God] to eternal life believed.”

When Luke noted that those who believed had already been appointed to eternal life, the Calvinist imagines that this appointment was done without the consideration of how men would respond to the gospel. By ignoring that salvation is conditioned on a person’s response to the gospel they remain consistent with their belief in divine determinism, but they stray far from the plain teaching of scripture (Mark 16:15, John 3:18).

It seems reasonable to conclude that God is the one doing the appointing in this verse, though some non-Calvinists would argue that the Greek grammar in this verse could imply that the individuals are “appointing” themselves in the sense of “inclining” or “disposing” themselves to eternal life. But in the 2nd post on this topic I showed my reasons for rejecting that argument. In short, I tried to demonstrate that the other four times Luke used the Greek word tasso he never used it in that way.
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