As most of you know if you've read my previous posts, I am non-Cal. What I hope to accomplish with this thread is to gain some insight as to the Calvinist system. I'll be honest right up front: I am not interested in becoming a Calvinist. But there are some viewpoints that I'd like some more info on. I am not wanting to argue and try to tell you why I think I'm right. I am just wanting to understand what/why you believe in the Calvinist system. I'll start by sharing my viewpoint. I don't believe that man is irresistibly drawn to God, but that man can't just "decide" to be saved. I believe he has to be drawn by the Holy Spirit, and then at that point he has to make a choice to accept Christ or reject him. I believe that Jesus' death on the cross atoned for all mankind's sins, but only those who allow Christ to apply it to their life through salvation can take advantage of this atonement. I believe man is born with a sin nature, and without Christ any good that they do is viewed by God as "filthy rags", but once they accept Christ, God sees them as sinless (as he only sees the blood) even though they still sin. To make this discussion easy to follow, I suggest we go through TULIP one letter at a time. So, naturally we'll start with total depravity. As I understand it (and of course, in my limited understanding I could be wrong) Calvinists believe that man is born without the ability to seek God, or the desire to be saved. If this is the case, I partially agree. As I said, I believe it takes the conviction of the Holy Spirit for a man to see himself as he is and desire to be saved. But I don't believe that only a select few will have that opportunity. I believe that opportunity will be given to every man at least once in their lifetime. I'd like to start the discussion on that note. I may not always respond right away, as I plan on studying verses and issues brought up in this discussion. But if I don't respond right away, I'm not ignoring a post. I'm just searching it out. Also, I plan on ignoring any posts that derail the thread into an argument, especially straw men. Thank you in advance for your time in this matter.