Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Files: Moore's Commentary on Romans 9

In Bob Moore’s Calvinism, Ten Little Caveats, he provides a step-by-step analysis of Romans 9, and he contrasts his view with John Piper’s. He first admits that Romans 9 is difficult to interpret and we need to lay down our presuppositions and try to put ourselves in Paul’s shoes. He points out that the key issue of the chapter is God’s way vs. man’s way. Paul address the Jewish challenged that God must require works for salvation, by showing that God chose to save through faith.

Moore sees the blessings in Romans 9:4 as conditional, Piper sees them as unconditional, but non-salving. Moore sees the choice of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as providing blessings but not salvation, but they illustrate that God saves through faith not works; Piper sees the election of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as unconditional individual election. Both Moore and Piper see “it” in Romans 9:16 as God’s bestowal of mercy, but Piper sees faith as part of “willing” and “running” because he thinks of faith as a kind of work, but Moore contrasts faith and works based on passages like Eph 2:8-9. Moore sees the case of Pharaoh as demonstrating God will be honored even if man refuses to submit to God's design, but Piper sees it as a case of reprobation. Moore sees the objection in Romans 9:19-20 as “I might as well be excused, because God is being glorified by my sins”; Piper sees it as a denial of man's having a part with regard to who becomes a believer. Moore sees hardening as a punishment for sin; Piper sees it as unconditional. Piper sees the potter/clay analogy as unconditional election/reprobation, but Moore sees it as God using unbelief to bring about a belief in others that will compound His honor.

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