I had a very interesting conversation with a couple of my Calvinistic friends the other day. One of these guys I had actually introduced to Calvinism years ago. Both of them still thought I was a Calvinist when we began our conversation the other day. It was very...different... We began talking about theology and one of guys asked me a question about Limited Atonement or something Calvinistic theology assuming that I still held to those views and could provide him some insight. I really didn't want to get into it with these guys so I kinda avoided the topic for a while. After some time of their presisting with questions I threw out a few thoughts about my objections to Total Depravity and how it relates to scriptures teaching of hardening etc, and asked them to tell me what they thought. I was shocked by their replies! They began looking through their bibles and openly engaging me in meaningful and insightful dialogue on the subject. They both must of said at least 5 different times throughout our discussion, "I hadn't ever seen it like that." Or "That does make sense, I wonder what this or that scholar would say about that." Or "I'm not sure how to answer that, I'll have to study this for awhile." Never did one of them criticize me, demean my questions, downplay my arguments or act as if they weren't relevant. They were admittedly challenged by my objections and responded truthfully and openly to those challenges. One of them emailed me today and wrote, "I still haven't found any answers to those questions you raised the other day. I haven't stopped looking though. I get back with you next weekend." This is a guy with a Ph.D. and has been a Calvinist for over 32 years. I respect him greatly! He doesn't pretend that my questions aren't difficult for his system. He doesn't demean me. He doesn't dismiss my arguements as being irrelevant. I wish we could have these types of discussions here on this board. I think our pride sometimes keeps us from admitting when others make a good argument or when we don't know how to respond to an arguement. I am including myself here. This as been an issue that has divided the church for generations and has stumped many great minds, I don't think we should be ashamed to admit the weaknesses of our systems and seek to understand the truth of God's Word. Thanks for listening.