On this board there is a diversity of theologies. Some are Arminian, some are Calvinists, some are Molinists and many have no systematized theology but think of themselves as simply believing the Bible. But we all have some things in common. #1 We all believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God. #2 We all interpret the Bible with very fallible minds and hearts. So the most important thing we can do in this life is develop a very solid set of hermeneutics- rules whereby we fallible beings can dive into the infallible Word of God and mine its treasures. If we don't we will carry in with us a great deal of fool's gold which dumps out everywhere and when we go to pick up what we perceive to be the gold of Scripture, it turns out to be fool's gold that fell out of our pockets upon entrance. Thus we are no more enriched than we were before we dove in. One of those rules which keep us from doing so is- Dump the pockets of your heart and mind of all the preconceived ideas and strongly held emotional convictions BEFORE going into the Word of God. You will absolutely, in my opinion, HAVE to do this if you are to ever become a Calvinist. Calvinism is, at first, a VERY hard pill to swallow. Here's why- it is purely exegetical and SEVERELY grates against the preconceived notions and emotional convictions of human beings. I think that many "non-calvinists" think the reason some of us are Calvinists is because we are cold hearted humans. They think we don't have the emotional problems of warm hearted humans who do not like to see God as one who is not doing all he can to save every human being in history. But we do. They think our human sense of justice is terribly marred and we don't have a hard time seeing God as one who creates many who he knows he will destroy. But we do. I grimace at those thoughts from time to time even now having been a Calvinists for several years. BUT... I came to the point where I was willing to lay aside those emotions because I recognized that they were as marred and unholy as the rest of me is and I came to the Scripture with empty pockets and said- "OK- what are you REALLY saying about these things? No matter how hard it is for my depraved sense of justice, no matter how badly it grates me emotionally- I want to know what you are REALLY saying." I think that's how most Calvinists became Calvinists. And I think, having been an Arminian for better than a dozen years, that the thing that keeps non-cals from seeing these truths is that they come to the Scriptures loaded with depraved human emotions and a thoroughly human and man-centered sense of justice. Now, that does not mean that they don't mine all kinds of glorious treasures from the Word of God. They do. It does not mean that they are not very intelligent- many are. It does not mean that they aren't fine Christians- MANY of them are. I love and respect many of my brethren who are not Calvinists. It means that, FROM THESE PARTICULAR DIFFICULT TRUTHS, their minds are veiled by human emotions. Their doctrines along these lines then, I think, are emotional not exegetical.