Any seasoned Calvinist will tell you that to try to interact biblically with an Arminian is a Herculean feat. And if you achieve that stage, it is an additional challenge to have them concentrate on a single coherent passage without them jumping all around the Bible. Peter Lumpkins is illustrative of that type of Arminian.
Recently, I argued that human responsibility does not imply libertarian free will; to which Lumpkins responded with a critique of my illustration.
But in Lumpkins’ article what is missing is any interaction with my biblical argumentation—that which my illustration was based on. I could have responded to his critique pointing out how he has made me say more than I intended to in my illustration (sort of how many interpreters read in and try to find many correlations in almost every element in Jesus’ parables).
So today he has posted another blog article at his website bringing up my article—and once again, without any interaction on the biblical level, including my biblical argumentation.
Lumpkins can say that my illustration about human responsibility vis-à-vis free will is flawed, but his criticism has no credibility until he can respond meaningfully to my biblical argumentation–which he refuses to do so.
Once again, I post my biblical argumentation for those in Lumpkins’ world:
The Bible describes our human condition as slaves to our sinful will. Both Jesus and Paul use that terminology. Jesus did not come to affirm a free will; he came to set the will free. Both teach that the unregenerate person does not posses any moral free will:
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44 )
“because the outlook of the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God, nor is it able to do so. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Rom 8:7—8)
They both use the exact same language “no one can” and “nor is it able” (ou dynatai). The Greek means “inability.” In this context “moral inability.” This is why Paul and Jesus use “slave” language. It is not that sometimes they can choose God, or occasionally they can please God. No, it is much more severe. Certainly, they have a will but only in the sense that they can choose according to their strongest desires, which in the unregenerate state is to only choose their fleshy desires.
P.S. There is an irony is Lumpkins’ post. He starts off asserting:
“I don’t know if it’s unintended ignorance or intentional intellectual laziness on the part of many Reformed apologists, but options for theological accuracy coming from some of the more well-known websites are fast disappearing.”
Who is the one lazy refusing to interact with what the Bible says about this subject? I’ll let the reader decide.