Why are people so resistant to Reformed theology?
Having come to Christ not too many years before coming to understand the doctrines of salvation in Scripture, the doctrine of God that I had been taught was that God did things a certain way and not another way. Having to fight against those presuppositions about God that are not biblical is one of the reasons. We have to undo a lot of bad theology before we can really understand the right biblical theology.
I think that many Christians still struggle with the doctrines of grace in part because they’re struggling with them academically and exegetically. They’re struggling to understand certain passages and verses. That was the big struggle for me. I understood the theology of the doctrines of grace, I understood the explanation, and I understood the rationale. But as a Greek and Hebrew student and a theology student at the time, I was studying certain passages and saying, “This passage doesn’t seem to line up with this other passage.”
It really took a right understanding of hermeneutics, a right method of interpretation, to help me see how all of Scripture fit together and how one passage of Scripture interpreted another passage of Scripture. One that was more clear helped to interpret one that was perhaps less clear to me.
I think there are some that have an understanding of God as a loving God, and while they would confess and believe that He is sovereign, they struggle to understand how a loving God could condemn or how a loving God could not elect everyone. So the question that they ask, and the question that I asked at that time, is: “Why doesn’t God just save everyone? Why doesn’t God elect everyone?”
While that is a fair question, it’s really not an appropriately biblical question because we must understand the fall of man, that we are at enmity with God, that we are in opposition to Him, that we ran from Him, that we hid from Him, and that when He came down and took on flesh we killed Him.
It’s only when we grasp that we are all deserving of hell and death that we can really begin to ask the more appropriate biblical question as to why God saves or elects anyone. That’s when we really begin to understand the grace of God and ask, “Why me?”
This transcript is from a live Ask Ligonier event with Burk Parsons and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, just visit Ask.Ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.