Yikes. Teaching through the book of Romans can be hazardous to your health! Anyway, I was teaching from Romans 8 tonight, continuing in our series on the book. I thought (and I still think) that concerning election and predestination I should present both sides (Calvinist/Arminian)of the debate faithfully. Things I did (with theological terminology I didn't necessarily use at church): 1) I mentioned that "προεγνω" in Romans 8:29 doesn't mean mere knowledge of a future occurence. I noted that it carries nuances of "choosing" (cf. 1 Pet 1:20). I stated that this doesn't require unconditional election, but it reinforces the idea of believers as the chosen people of God. 2) (on a bit of a tangent . . .) I made the case that adults who die without hearing the gospel are lost. I used this to counter the anti-Calvinist, "it's not fair" argument. When encountered with the notion that perhaps those who die without hearing the gospel have yet to reach the "age of accountability" 3) I did state that the OT and the NT both emphasize the personal responsibility. 4) I brought through the argument from earlier in Romans that people are "without excuse," advocating the position that it is not that they were without excuse with respect to rejecting or accepting Christ, but that they were without excuse for their sinful behavior. 5) I also cited the NT example of John the Baptist being indwelled with the Spirit from birth, comparing with Romans 8:9-10 to demonstrate that he was saved. I spoke that my personal belief is that this instance is exceptional rather than normative. I used this to show that not 100% of the people who have the Spirit started out that way by an act of their will, showing that while the Calvinist perspective has merit on this issue, I disagree with the extent of it. 6) I agreed with the notion that God does not desire anyone to perish. I brought up the truth that both Calvinism and Arminianism have the same problem --people go to hell. I noted that in either scenario, God, for whatever reason, allowed a significant number of people to go hell. ---------- Now, I'm not a Calvinist. I just tried to present the issue fairly and irenically. I just pray everything turns out ok. Hopefully, I won't get fired!