I am finding my ‘verse of the week’ (2 Peter 3:9) to be difficult to memorise because its implications distract me from trying to rote-learn it. If God doesn’t wish for anyone to perish but that all should reach repentance, why then does Calvinist theology say that only some people (the elect) can repent?
I understand the arguments for election and predestination and overall I accept that God does predestine some for salvation. Yet Romans 8:28-30, Ephesians 1:4-6 and 2 Peter 3:9 are all in the same Bible, I do not have the option of choosing to believe one verse and not the others. Somehow my concepts of predestination and free will must submit to the authority of God’s revealed word.
While I may see a contradiction between God making people destined for wrath (Romans 9:22) and not wishing any to perish, I am not the being of infinite wisdom, justice and goodness, God is. Therefore I choose to live with unresolved puzzlements on this and many other issues. God is my maker, I cannot know His full purpose or reasons for making the world as He chose (Romans 9:20-21). God has revealed some things and kept others hidden (Deuteronomy 29:29). Some things are too great and too marvellous for us (Psalm 131:1) and it is better to worship than to quarrel with God.
I love theology, it greatly helps me in understanding God and the Bible by giving me a theoretical sketch that explains how the finished building will look. However, just as a staunchly blinkered purely scientific materialist theoretical framework leaves no room for considering God, who is there but cannot be measured; so also rigid theological battle lines may blind us to apprehending depths of God’s dealings in the world which do not fit into a particular systematic theology. Human theories have been known to be incorrect at times, ‘let God be true though every man be a liar’ (Romans 3:4).
I found a blog post by John Piper which addresses this issue of seemingly circular arguments in the Bible: Unconditional Is the Ground of Conditional