One of the more prominent denizens of the theological blogosphere is a man named Perry Robinson. Today he posted the following comment on the Parchment and Pen blog (referred to above). Since I have seen him argue this point before, I felt it would be useful to use it as an example of another common error in reading John 6 outside of its ancient context in the gospel itself.

As for John 6, I disagree with your interpretation since all are raised, even the wicked and so as in Adam all died, in Christ all are resurrected. (1 Cor 15:19ff) Christ loses nothing that the Father gives him but raises IT up, meaning humanity, whole and entire. Jn 6 contains no mention of election or predestination and neither does Jn 5 with Jesus’ teaching there about the Resurrection.

   Robinson is clearly confusing general resurrection with being raised to eternal life. In John the contrast is found between those who die in their sins, and those who are raised by Jesus to eternal life on the last day. But more to the point, Robinson has completely missed the context, and as a result, turns the text on its head. Jesus is explaining the unbelief of the Jews, those who would not come to Him (v. 36), and he does so in the context of the contrast between those given to Him by the Father. Robinson misses the key contextual element. He rightly notes the neuter “it” (v. 39) which takes all of the elect as a single group, and Jesus promises not to lose any of the elect, but to raise the entirety up on the last day to eternal life. But he misses the glorious consistency of the text that shows us that the unbelievers are contrasted with a single group, those given by the Father to the Son (37), raised up by the Son (39, 40, 44), drawn by the Father to the Son (44), enabled to come to the Son by the Father (65), those who see, believe, and look upon the Son (40), who are taught and learn from the Father (45). These are all the same group, the elect of God.

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