We know God must draw any to Him who come to Him (John 6:44). This is due to the depravity of man (Romans 3:10-11, Ephesians 2:1-3). But we also know the Bible asserts that God has a desire for all men to be saved (John 3:16, 1 Timothy 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9) and that to this end, Christ also died for all men (2 Corinthians 5:14-15, 1 Timothy 4:10, 1 John 2:2) and draws all men to Himself (John 12:32). Based on this Biblical testimony, we know that the grace of God which leads to salvation (Titus 2:11) must be resistible because we know that many men, perhaps most men, will not enter the kingdom of God (John 3:18-21, Matthew 25:41-46, 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9, 2 Peter 2:4,9 Revelation 20:10).
Since all of this is a part of the Bible, one must ignore or redefine clear Biblical teachings in order to teach that grace is irresitible. Titus 2:11 is the clearest affirmation in scripture supporting the Arminian's concept of the grace that goes before salvation which enables man to believe. In his post (click here), Peter Pike says, "because man is depraved, then it is only the grace of God that can change the sinner to a believer, and when that happens man is truly changed and thus he responds automatically in faith." All Arminians would agree with the first part of that statement. Only God's grace can change men. Only God's grace can enable men to believe. The second part of the statement he will have trouble finding Biblical support for. Since I have already established that God's grace leading to salvation appears to all, then in Calvinism every single person should come to belief in Christ. But this is an essential belief in the Calvinistic system, so a philosophical a priori must be formed in order to maintain consistency. 1) God actually doesn't want everyone to be saved and 2) God does not show His prevenient grace to everyone. How this becomes an appealing view of God and upholds the assertion that God is love (1 John 4:8, 16) is beyond me.
In his second paragraph, Peter presents us with a flawed view of Arminian theology. He asserts, "an Arminian who believes in depravity is left with the following system: Because man is depraved, then it is only the grace of God that can enabled a sinner to potentially believe in God. This is slightly off. The reason we call the grace of God resistible is because it must be actively resisted to not be effectual. When presented with prevenient grace, the individual will be converted unless that grace is resisted. It is up to the libertarian will of man whether or not to accept the free grace of God through the God ordained means of faith, or whether they resist the grace of God in disbelief.
Why give man the ability to resist His grace? I like how Jerry Walls and Joseph Dongell put it in their book Why I am Not a Calvinist: "The same freedom that makes it possible to enter a genuinely trusting and obedient relationship with God also makes it possible for us to go our own way and disobey him. God allows the latter in order to enable the former" (emphasis mine). If this is not the case, then God just seems to be playing a giant game of chess against Himself. He is simply controlling a bunch of puppets and knows which ones he intends to trash at the end of the day.
The next thing Peter addresses in his post is what irresistible grace is. He describes, without using the word, the Calvinist view that regeneration must precede faith. I would simply point to Paul's epsitles which make it patently clear that we are saved by grace through faith. If a Calvinist could ever point to a place in scripture that teaches regeneration must precede faith I would be very thankful, because it's never happened.
I was interested to read in a commentary of the Gospel of John by John Calvin himself that faith comes prior to regeneration. He says, "For so long as we are governed by our sense and by our natural disposition, we are in bondage to sin; but when the Lord regenerates us by his Spirit, he likewise makes us free, so that, loosed from the snares of Satan, we willingly obey righteousness. But regeneration proceeds from faith, and hence it is evident that freedom proceeds from the Gospel." That's interesting.
Later, Peter again presents a skewed view of what the grace of God does to humanity. He says, "In the Arminian view (those who believe in depravity, at least), God in essence sets man’s will to 'neutral'" (emphasis mine). I can hardly see the work of the Holy Spirit which calls the sinner to repent of his sins, draws the sinner to accept Christ, enables the sinner to accept Christ, and convicts the sinner of his or her sins and their need for Christ as simply setting man's will to "neutral." Peter is simply presenting a misrepresentation of Arminian theology.
Peter then presents us with a quandary. "But ask a simple question here. What kind of person would reject the grace of God? What kind of person resists the Holy Spirit? Good question. Why do some repent and others not? There are probably many factors, including lack of prayer,lack of discipleship, and many other personal issues. The bottom line is no man has an excuse for not repenting. Even though the Calvinist would chastise someone who claimed, "I can't repent because I'm not elect," according to a faulty reading of Romans 9:19-20 (why would the unelect ask "why does He still find fault," anyway? Why would they care?), it is a valid point. Those men have an excuse. They can't repent. Granted they don't deserve the chance to repent but that doesn't remove the fact that they never have the ability to repent. So an excuse does exist.
Just because we may not know the individual reasons some choose not to place their faith in Christ doesn't mean that the Calvinist assertion, that they haven't been elected, is correct. The Biblical account agrees with Arminians.
Finally, Peter presents us with 11 points. I will respond individually to each point
1. Those who resist grace are depraved. - True
2. There are those who resist grace. - True
3. Therefore, there are those who are depraved. - True
4. Those who do not resist grace are not depraved. - False, for all men are depraved
5. There are those who do not resist grace. - True
6. Therefore, there are those who are not depraved. - False, for all men are depraved
7. Grace changes people from depraved to non-depraved. - Grace provides us with forgiveness by the imputation of the righteousness of Christ to our account. When we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, He begins a process of sanctification in our hearts to make us like Christ.
8. Grace can be resisted. - True
9. Grace is given to all. - True
10. But those who resist grace are depraved (1) - True
11. Therefore, if grace is resisted, then at least one of (7), (8), or (9) must be false. - I addressed why premise 4, 6, and 8 are faulty, making this conclusion faulty.
I hope Peter finds this post irenic, as I have tried to be. If he decides to respond I hope he can refrain from the normal, sinful Triablogue behavior of calling names, insulting intelligence, and using abbreviated bad words.