Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Paul's summary of Romans 9, quick and simple

What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith
-(Romans 9:30 ESV)

Romans 9 is the hermeneutical grid of many many Christians. Through it, many extrapolate a double predestinarian viewpoint of salvation, which means simply that God has already chosen who will go to heaven and who will go to hell, and He has done this unconditionally. The only way to extrapolate this view from the text is to either read with a double predestinarian presupposition, or to simply misinterpret the text.

In verse 30, Paul starts by saying, "What shall we say then?" which signals he is about to summarize his whole point, which is God is not unjust for not giving His gift to all of Israel because, "they are not all Israel who are of Israel" (Romans 9:6). He is also not unjust for sending those who have not accepted the free gift of God to hell, for they (unbelievers) are vessels of wrath prepared for destruction (Romans 9:22). Paul's ultimate point, therefore, is gentiles who have not pursued righteousness, as the Jews had, attain righteousness by FAITH. Whatever else Romans 9 means, there is certainly no reason to read a double predestenarian viewpoint into it, especially in light of verse 30.

To see a detailed exegesis of Romans 9, go here or here. If anyone has any others to offer, feel free to let me know in a comment.

*This post adds to my point quite a bit.


The Seeking Disciple said...

Romans 9-11 has been on many Armininas minds these days. I just wrote a post myself on Romans 9-11 based on Robert Picrilli's book, GRACE, FAITH, FREE WILL (pp.71-76) in which Picirilli argues that Paul actually teaches conditional election in these hotly debated portions of Scripture.

bossmanham said...

I agree with Picirilli completely. Verse 30 and then chapter 10 pretty much scream it, not to mention the whole of scripture. Calvinism is a philosophical assumption that is forced into scripture.

Pizza Man said...

Keith Schooley has also done an excellent series on Romans 9 which you might enjoy. It can be found here

Anonymous said...


You are correct that this is Paul's summary of the discourse in Rom. 9 and that it does not comport with the C interpretation. If you have ever read The Potter's Freedom by James White, you will notice that he completely ignores this conclusion in his "exegesis" of Rom. 9. That doesn't seem very exegetical to me.

God Bless,

Anonymous said...

My explanation of Romans 9 the very point is that the basis of predestination is foreseen faith.