I am a very simple man and like things explained in very simple terms to me. I like to explain things to others in very simple terms. What is a very simple way to determine whether the Apostle Paul was Calvinistic or Arminian in his belief? Is there a very simple way to know? I believe there is. No one can deny that Calvinists use Romans 9:11-24 as a primary text to defend Calvinism. This passage is composed of assertions and objections to those assertions. Paul makes the assertions and then Paul provides objections to those assertions and answers those objections. Now, which represent Calvinism and which represent Arminians? Do the assetions represent Calvinist or Arminians? Do the objections represent Calvinism or Arminians? A. ASSERTION AND OBJECTION #1 - Romans 9:11-14 11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calls 12 It was said to her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. 14 ¶ What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. Who can deny that Calvinist use verses 11-13 to defend unconditional election and particular redemptive love? Who can deny that verse 14 is the classic Arminian response to unconditional election and particular redemptive love? If God chooses people before they are born according to the purpose of election and not according to any forseen good or bad works they will do in their life time then that is unconditional election. If such unconditional election is evidence of God's redemptive love for some and not others than that is particular redemptive love. Isn't that exactly how Calvanists use these verses? Isn't the response by Arminians to unconditional election and particular redemptive love that this makes God unrighteous, unfair, and unjust exactly as Paul anticipates the objector will say in verse 14? B. Assertion and objection #2 - Romans 9:15-20 15 For he said to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy. 17 For the scripture said to Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. 18 Therefore has he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardens. 19 You will say then to me, Why does he yet find fault? For who has resisted his will? Actually verses 15-18 is Paul's asserted response to the objector in verse 14. Did Paul's response characterize what an Arminian would say or what a Calvinist would say to the objection in verse 14???? Paul's response is God will have mercy on whom He pleases and he will harden who He pleases and as an example, what if it just pleased God to raise up Pharoah to harden his heart in order to show God's own Power? Is that a Calvinist response or an Arminian response to verse 14? Consider now the anticipated objection in verse 18. The objection is in response to the assertion that God can use men any way he pleases as in the case of Pharoah? The objection basically says that would make men robots without any choice! In other words, if God does what He wills with people then "who can resist God's will" and thus people are simply robots to do and be used as God sees fit. Now, who makes that kind of objection to the kind of assertion in verses 15-18? Is that a Calvinist objection to God's sovereign will over his creatures or is that an Arminians objection to God's sovereign will over his creatures? C. The Third objection and Assertion - Rom. 9:19-24 20 No but, O man, who are you that reply against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why have you made me thus? 21 Has not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel to honor, and another to dishonor? 22 What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had before prepared to glory, 24 Even us, whom he has called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? Here Paul begins with the objection. If God can sovereignly unconditionally elect some and redemptively love some and not others and can use people as He chooses, hardening some and having mercy on others, then the objector says why did God even make us then if that is the case? Now is that a Calvinist objection or an Arminian objection? Note Paul's response to this objection and ask yourself would an Arminian respond to that objection this way or is the way a Calvinist respond. Paul claims creatures have no right to even question the right of the Creator to do as He pleases. Paul says God has the right to make one vessel to honor and another to dishonor. Is that a typical Arminian response? Significantly, the clay on the potter's wheel represents the FALLEN mass of humanity as the vessel unto honor is a vessel of "mercy." Mercy is not getting what you justly deserve and so the potter's wheel represents what God does with fallen mankind who are condemned already by sin and deserve destruction. That is why the vessles of dishonor are already "fitted to destruction." CONCLUSION: Seriously, consider each assertion and each objection and ask yourself would an Arminian make this assertion and a Calvinist this objection or would a Calvinist make this assertion and an Arminian this objection to that assertion? This is a very easy way to determine if Paul was an Arminian or a Calvinist.