Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Resisting Irresistable Grace

There's currently a debate going on over at HCR that is tackling two topics at the same time (which is not exactly ideal). The topics are whether or not the calling of God can be refused or rejected and whether or not there is such thing as "actual grace," which Catholics would see as the type of grace that God sends us when he makes that call upon us.

When I was looking through the Bible, for verses that speak about this, I came across a potential death-blow to the Calvinist teaching on irresistable grace (the "I" in TULIP):
Prov 1:24 Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
My eyes bugged out when I read it. I haven't done any extensive research on this passage yet, but it appears to explicitly reject the idea that when God calls you, you can't help but respond to it. I'm still waiting to see what the response will be.

If you know of any verses that either reject irresistable grace or affirm the reality of actual grace, please leave a comment and let me know. For info on irresistable grace, see A Tiptoe Through Tulip and scroll down to "Irresistable Grace." For info on actual grace, go here or here.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

2 comments:

Paul said...

When it comes to theology, the Bible often strikes me as a Rorschach test. We find, interpret, and emphasize what suits us. I’m sure the Calvinists could cite their verses too.

TheGodFearinFiddler said...

Calvinists can quote verses sure but there is not even one verse that explicitly supports the heresy of "Irresistible Grace".

Nicholas rightly pointed out a verse that explicitly speaks against this doctrine and it's hardly a unique one. The entire Scriptures are not just sprinkled with language incompatible with Calvinism (especially this point) but it is bursting at the seams.

There are a few predestinationesqe verses and they certainly mean something. But to say that free will does not cooperate with God's grace is entirely contradictory to not merely a certain few verses taken out of context but consistently contrary to the word of God (both to Scripture and to Sacred Tradition).

In short - any human can reject God's grace. Irresistible Grace amounts to God casting a spell on us in which we can't help but obey His commands.

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