I am a bit worried at the moment as the weather is not looking good for our parish lunch tomorrow. Normally, we set up the tables and chairs this afternoon, they are all here, but we can't set them up because it looks very much like it is about to rain. We have a Plan B, but it is very much a Plan B.
Anyway one of my favourite blogs is that of Ben Witherington's. Interestingly, in his latest post, he writes on the subject I have been posting on lately. I his post takes a very different line on predestination and free-will to my own. Read it here: Bible and Culture
Ben totally disagrees with the idea that God chooses some and not others. He accepts that the Bible teaches that as sinners we are unable to make a free choice to accept the Gospel, but argues that God's grace enables us to make a free choice, while preserving our right to right to say no and to refuse God's offer of salvation. This is a quote from Ben's post:
'Back to pre-venient grace. This theology grows out of texts such as we have mentioned and the way it envisions the salvation process is exactly as it is described in the NT. Yes indeed God’s grace, administered by the Spirit must work in a person leading them to respond to the Gospel. No responsible Wesleyan theologian would suggest that its a matter of ‘us all having free will’. No indeed. Without grace no one responds to God for we are all in the thrall of sin and darkness.'
Readers of this blog will know that I have many problems with this. On thing I keep coming back to is the fact that even on Ben's understanding, God still chooses some and not others: those to whom He extends pre-venient grace to make it possible for them to make a choice. And once you allow God the right to decide who gets to make a choice then you are vulnerable to exactly the same criticisms that you make against those of us who believe in predestination!
Meanwhile to return from the sublime heights of theology, I now need to worry about the ridiculous question of the weather!