Monday, September 11, 2006
Does God Desire the Salvation of All?
A topic of much discussion among Calvinists is whether God desires the salvation of the reprobate. Popularized in recent times by John Piper, it would seem that most Calvinists indeed take the position that God desires the salvation of the reprobate while choosing not to act on such desires because of a greater desire to glorify Himself through the reprobation of some.
What does it mean that God desires the salvation of the reprobate? Are we to believe that God desires the reprobate to regenerate himself and grant himself union with Christ? Isn't it Jesus who saves? Isn't salvation of God after all? At best, one might dare to argue that God desires that He Himself would regenerate the reprobate unto union with Christ and salvation. Consequently, the question that should be considered in this regard is not whether God desires the reprobate to turn and live but whether God Himself desires to turn the reprobate so he can live. Cast in that light - is it reasonable to think that the Holy Spirit desires to turn the reprobate toward himself when the Father did not choose the reprobate in Christ? Moreover, Christ did not die for the reprobate, let alone does he pray that the efficacy of the cross would be applied to the reprobate. Consequently, it is not available for the Holy Spirit to unite the reprobate to the finished work of Christ! Does God desire what is not available to Him? Does God desire that the Godhead work at cross purposes? Does God desire contradictions after all?
It's one thing to say that God has a priority of opposing desires. It's quite another thing to say God desires what He simply cannot do due to what he has done. In a word, not only can God not save the reprobate. 2000 years ago He acted in time sealing that inability. For God to desire the salvation of the reprobate is to say that God - today - desires that Jesus would have died for the reprobate 2000 years ago. What can God desire on this regard other than the past be different? Does God live with any sense of regret?
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