I haven’t bashed on Calvinism for a while. Feeling like I should, otherwise certain pesky Calvinists will think I’ve begun to reconsider my ways.
Recently I have done a little reading in Romans and particularly focused on Romans 9-11. I have avoided reading alternative understandings of Romans 9 because I wanted to study it myself.
In the past, I have held to the standard Calvinist interpretation of Romans 9–God hates some people and loves others, deal with it, you pile of dirt.
But this interpretation leads to all manner of things that are blatantly contradictory with the rest of the Bible. It seems to me, that if God said what He meant, Romans 9 can’t mean what Calvinists say it means.
So, what is Romans 9-11 about? It would be too wordy and intricate to get into detail in writing, but the gist is that Romans 9-11 is about God’s removal of Israel from their prime spot and the bringing in of the Gentiles.
To dispensational people, such as myself, we see that Israel and the Church are two different things. We believe that God will fulfill all His promises to Israel even though they’ve been set aside for a time.
The opposite interpretation of dispensationalism, is Covenant Theology. Covenant people think Israel has replaced the Church, that God won’t fulfill His promises to Israel literally because they’ve been spiritually fulfilled in the Church.
White guys going to church in Iowa is what God meant when He promised David a kingdom. I don’t buy it.
As far as I know, if you adhere to a Covenant interpretation of Scripture, you are also a Calvinist. Calvin held a Covenant Theology view of Scripture. Covenant people don’t see the Israel/Church distinction.
Therefore, since Romans 9-11 is all about the Israel/Church distinction, it only makes sense that they’d completely miss Paul’s point there. And they do. Big time.
The following is as brief as possible that I can lay down what I’ve seen. The basic point is that Romans 9 asks the question—why can God harden Israel? Romans 10 answers the question—because all day long I held out my hands and they didn’t come, so now they are cut off and Gentiles are grafted in.
Romans 9:1-7—the advantage of the Jew does not imply all Jews are saved
Romans 9:24—some in Jews and Gentiles are called
Romans 9:27-10:1—Israel largely misses the point, only a few are saved
Romans 10:12—no difference between Jew and Gentile
Romans 10:19-21—God has been extending His hand to Israel for years
Romans 11:1-3—Has God completely cast off Israel, The natural seed of Abraham?
Romans 11:7—some got it–the elect remnant–those who missed it God blinded
Romans 11:25-26—Don’t miss my point! Gentiles stay humble. God has a plan for Israel to fulfill His promises to them.
The passage ends with a warning to Gentiles not to get carried away thinking they are better than Israel, God can cut you out too. God is giving us a shot, just like He gave Israel. Israel blew it. Will we?