This morning I really pushed myself hard (too hard, as it turned out), on a 42 mile ride, starting at 4:05am, climbing 1250 feet. But while out there in the dark I listened to more of William Lane Craig’s lectures on soteriology. I could literally write a book, I really could. But at one point the issue of the “general call” and the “effectual call” came up. One of the class members asked why Calvinists believe in a general call and all, and Craig clearly showed his cards in failing to understand why we do, in fact, believe that there is a general call of the gospel. He did, at least, try to come up with something, and what he came up with wasn’t all bad. He recognized that the proclamation of the gospel could have a “leavening” effect upon a culture, but that was all he could come up with. That is true as far as it goes, but his main problem was that he kept saying that Calvinists don’t believe that unregenerate men “can respond to the gospel at all.” Untrue. We believe unregenerate men always respond to the gospel, and that strongly: with utter and complete detestation and rejection! That rejection can take the form of atheism, open hatred of God, or often takes the form of false religion and empty piety, but the fact is that man does respond to the Gospel, with rejection. It is only by God’s grace that the elect respond in repentance and faith, and that is due to the powerful work of the Spirit of God.
   Which brings me to today’s example from culture. As I started looking through my RSS feeds I ran across the story of the Glasgow publicly funded exhibition that encourages people to deface the Bible. It is sponsored by the Metropolitan Community Church, a homosexual organization. We should hardly be surprised that anything associated with the Metropolitan Community Church would be blasphemous and offensive—the entire movement is a glowing, large-print fulfillment of Romans 1. They invited the public to “write themselves into the Bible” if they felt they had been left out. Of course, lacking a biblical view of sin, the results have caught them by surprise. But the irony is that “The exhibition has been created by the artists Anthony Schrag and David Malone, in association with organizations representing gay Christians and Muslims.” Gay Christians and Muslims? So, the first thought across the logical mind is, “So, why don’t you have a Qur’an sitting there to be scribbled in as well?” And, of course, we all know the answer to that. Anti-Christianity is good business and culturally acceptable.
   So what fills the hearts of these men and women writing insults in the pages of the Bible in Glasgow? Are these morally neutral agents with autonomous free will that just need some more information to turn from their sin? If you think that–well, someone ripped major portions of the text out of your Bible. But even more so, on the Molinist perspectve of WLC, doesn’t it follow that God chose to “actuate” these people who, in this context, would do exactly what they are doing (but, “freely” of course!), but, without any purpose or meaning? I confess, that makes not a wit of sense to me. The reality is, this situation illustrates why Calvinists believe God has a purpose in the “general call” and the proclamation of His will in human culture. Whether people like it or not, the Bible says that God’s law will not be ignored. Either it will function as a curb, a limit, to the sinfulness of men, or, when God’s Spirit brings judgment upon a culture, it will be used to demonstrate, over and over again, the desperate sinfulness of man’s heart, and the just punishment of God that will come upon those who love their sin. In this instance, as Western culture hurtles toward self-annihilation in its hatred of God and His law, we see open desecration of Scripture being hailed as “art.” Is this not a fulfillment of the Bible’s own description of the sinfulness of man in Romans 1 and 3? And so when judgment comes upon this culture, will there be any question of its justice? Surely not.

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