wrong side of the argument #2

Posted: March 10, 2013 in NSFE, NSFW

Rob BellThe next two paragraphs are a repeat of an earlier post. If you read that post recently, you can skip them and go to “Now, Calvinists are …”

While there are many who are critical of Rob Bell, no camp is louder in their criticism than the neo-Reformed crowd. And their loudest criticism — at least since the release of the “Love Wins” promo video (they didn’t wait for the book) — is that Bell is a universalist.

Now, having not read the book, I don’t have enough information yet to form an opinion one way or the other. But I know and respect too many people who have read the book who have said, “How anyone can read this and come to the conclusion that Bell is a universalist is beyond me.” But let’s assume that my friends and others of similar beliefs are all wrong and the neo-Refs are right. In other words, let’s assume that Bell is a universalist.

Now, Calvinists are really big into the sovereignty of God. It’s the foundation upon which a lot of TULIP rests.

(I’m big into God’s sovereignty, too, but I don’t have a theological construct surrounding it. And seeing as how many Calvinists seem to think they have the corner on a belief in God’s sovereignty, let’s assume that this pathetic little Arminian  doesn’t prize it.)

One of the ramifications of God’s sovereignty  is illustrated several times in the Bible, but perhaps no more clearly than in the parable of the vineyard workers. In case you arem’t familiar with the parable, here’s a modern-day retelling:

A landowner goes to the Home Depot at 6 AM to get parts for a DIY project back at the house. While there, he sees some day laborers standing off to the side. He tells them that he’ll give them $100 to work in his vineyard until 6 that night. (I wonder if he asked to see their green cards?) They agree and pile in the back of his pickup.

At 9:00 AM, he goes back to the Home Depot because they sold him the wrong part. As he’s leaving, he sees more day laborers there. He tells them that he has work, and that if they’ll work his vineyard until 6:00, that he’ll do right by them. Despite the vagueness of the terms, they agree and pile in. At noon, he goes out to lunch. He sees more workers, says the same thing, and they agree. Then at 3:00 and 5:00 he goes back to the Home Depot (no one ever goes there only once in a day) and each time he hires more workers.

The end of the day rolls around and it’s pay time. The landowner hands his foreman a wad of bills and tells him to work backwards (starting with the guys that started at 5:00 and ending with the guys that worked all day). The guys who started at 5:00 each get $100. One of the all-day guys sees this and gets excited. “We’re gonna be rolling in it,” he tells his buddies. “That guy just got $100 for one hour of work!”

Ten minutes later, the all-day guys get paid. And they each get $100. “No fair,” they complain. “We busted it all day in the sweltering heat and get the same pay as these clowns that wandered in at the last minute. Besides, that guy over there spent half the time texting with his girlfriend!”

And what was the landowner’s response?

Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for [$100]? Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?

As Revelation 7:10 says, “Salvation belongs to our God”. It is one of his “own things”. Or look at Romans 9:15:

For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”

The all-day guys struck a deal ($100 for 12 hours’ work) with the landowner. When the landowner gave others a different deal, the all-day guys had no right whatsoever to complain.

Do you get the point? Because of his sovereignty, God can damn well do whatever he wants.

Bell’s looking more like a Calvinist every day.


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