Many on this board apparently get disgusted with me because I continue to bring up the issue of hardening. Please understand why I do this. 1. One of the biggest objections/questions that almost every believer has against Calvinism is this: How can God rightly judge mankind with eternity in hell for not fulfilling a requirement that they are not even given the ability to fulfill. This is an objection to Total Depravity. The belief that mankind does not have the ability to respond to the call of gospel message. 2. Almost every Calvinists turns to Romans 9:19-24 as a response. The problem is that this passage is not about Total Depravity. As verse 20 clearly points out, this passage is about HARDENING. Therefore, Paul is not using diatribe here to anticipate an argument against the doctrine of Total depravity. That is, he is not arguing that God is just to condemn man for something they were never given the ability to do. Instead, Paul is arguing that God is just to harden Israel. Therefore, the major objection that most believers have against Calvinism is still unanswered. Even most Calvinists I have known had to grapple with this objection before adopting these views, and rightly so. This is a major hurdle. But most are convinced by Romans 9 because they read it thinking that these verses are answering that objection, but that is not what this is about. It's about God's temporary and purposeful hardening of a group of people who rejected God message for generations. I believe that if a Calvinist can come to understand that simple truth and be willing to remove the Calvinistic lenses by which he views all the rest of scripture he will see that the objection that would have kept him from adopting this teaching in the first place remains unanswered.