The previous thread this discussion took place in has been closed, as the thread was spiraling off course. But I still think this is fertile ground for discussion, and I would like to continue if the moderators will allow it. Hopefully this thread can remain a little more focused than the last one did. **NOTE for the Mods: I'm leaving this in the Cal/Arm forum, as it will likely contain much Cal/Arm terminology and discussion. Please move it to a more appropriate place, if necessary.** Protestant, I've heard this argument several times before. Somehow, the camp I fall in is viewed as believing in a weak Christ because we believe God allows man to accept or reject Him. And yet we are saved by grace through faith. We see examples all through the New Testament of Christ stating that man has to respond. It's the Monergist who adds in a component of God moving or enabling the man to respond first. My camp (at least in my secluded little corner of this world) believes God will draw, but He does not force man to do anything, nor does He create a situation in which a man cannot respond to Him. Otherwise we have a scriptural accounting of God that reveals Him as a being that requires repentance and belief, but never allows certain men to repent and believe, yet still condemns them for not doing something that He never allowed them to do. Try as I might, I simply cannot see that God revealed in the nature of Jesus Christ. The response, though, is solely up to the individual. He stands at the door and knocks, and if any man opens, He will come in and sup with him. To hear the Monergist position on this, Jesus stands at the door, knocks, then moves the man to open the door (or alternatively never extends to man the grace to open the door) and then enters in by forcing man to open the door. See, my camp views the scriptures as revealing that God offers man the choice. The alternative, as our resident hyper-Cal would put it, is that man is essentially born saved (as the Elect cannot escape their Election) and born damned (as the non-Elect cannot enter into salvation, as they are not the Elect). We don't see that in scripture. We see a God the desires ALL men to repent, and in fact commands ALL men to repent. That is only available if Christ atoned for ALL men. Otherwise what good is repentance if no atonement was offered for us? That's a bit of putting words in my mouth that I did not say or even intend. Let's use an analogy (which will obviously be weaker than Christ's atonement, but will hopefully prove a point). Say the richest man in America dies and he leaves his estate to every person in the nation. Everyone will get $100. All you have to do is drive to City Hall to pick up your money. If you don't go and pick yours up, can you reasonably accuse the wealthy man of not giving you anything? Can you reasonably say he left you nothing, if you are the one who did not move to receive it? Of course, that analogy won't work for you, as you seem far more monergistic in viewing the issue than my side. And as I've said before, I cannot see that aspect of God in the scriptures, especially as revealed by the nature of Jesus Christ in the gospels. As I mentioned above, the "definite" atonement side, while something that can be argued from scripture (as I believe my point can be), renders a large portion of humanity as born damned. They have no hope; no chance; no choice. God never intended to save them and is, according to some, merciful in letting them perish eternally. Yet we see scripture saying God is "not willing that any should perish" but that "all should come to repentance." Yes. I hope I'm doing a fair enough job elucidating them for you. The allusion I was making concerning the OT sacrifices wasn't concerned with what group of people the sacrifices were made for, but rather the nature of the sacrificed and what the sacrificed was capable of. Yes, Israel was the chosen people. But we also read that Christ came unto His own, and His own received Him not. If they were chosen of God then how could they reject the Christ? WE see that as a function of the free will God as allotted to mankind. Israel was able to make a choice for or against God. Some Israelites believed on Jesus. Many more did not. I believe that is the case of the world as a whole (considering the scripture of the broad gate and the strait gate). But the OT sacrifice covered the whole of Israel, believer and unbeliever alike. Kind of like when it rains, it rains on the just and the unjust. We see the sacrificial death of Christ in much the same light. It is available to all, but we must accept or reject it. However, we do not see that it in any way weakens Christ, as some on your side of the aisle seem to think. Again, we are right back to the biggest hang-up my side has with Election...The infallible word of God states that God desires none to perish, yet the doctrine of Election has that same God condemning multitudes into the second death by virtue of never intending to save them in the first place. It is my belief that my camp's view of scripture reveals God desiring all to come to repentance, and then actually offering all the means to do so. Again, I hope this helped to clarify my stance.