calvinism and "choosing god"

Some argue that because Scripture uses the language of “choosing God,” and because Calvinism and “choosing God” are contradictory, therefore Calvinism cannot be true.

Scriptures About Calvinism and “Choosing God”

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live

Deuteronomy 30:19

And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Joshua 24:15

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

John 1:12

Are Calvinism and “Choosing God” Contradictory?

There are several reasons why this argument against Calvinism fails.

God’s Command to “Choose” Does Not Imply the Ability to Choose

The passages where God commands people to choose God do not say anything about whether we have the ability—in our natural state, apart from God’s grace—to choose God.

Some argue that it makes no sense for God to command us to do something that we are unable to do. However, this is simply false, since God commands us to obey the law perfectly, yet we are unable to do that.

Some argue that it would be unfair if we were unable to choose God to be saved, but this is an arbitrary definition of “fairness” that is not found in Scripture. We are guilty and responsible for our sin simply because we have sinned—whether or not we have the ability to not sin is irrelevant. The inability to choose God does not relieve us of our sin and guilt.

The Bible Clearly Teaches Total Depravity

Full Article: Total Depravity

The verses that talk about choosing God are silent on whether we have the natural ability to choose God.

However, Scripture elsewhere is very clear concerning the doctrine of total depravity, or that, in our natural state, we both do not and cannot choose God over our sin.

For example, Romans 3:10-11 says this:

10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.

Romans 3:10-11

Likewise, Romans 8:7 says this:

For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.

Romans 8:7

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