> Is it not gracious that God sends his rain and sunshine upon the just and
> the unjust?
When God sends rain on the reprobate, He is not showing grace to them. See the article by Herman Hanko that I have e-mailed you separately.
> Is it not gracious that God does not immediately send the
> non-elect to Hell?
No it is not. God does not immediately send the non-elect to Hell in order to further harden them for destruction.
> Is it not gracious of God that the unsaved can enjoy
> many of the good things of life which are all a gift from God.
No it is not. God gives good things to the reprobate in order for them to be unthankful for them and not acknowledge the true God as the giver of them, thus further hardening them for destruction.
> Since every
> good and perfect gift comes from God and the fact that sinners enjoy that
> gift, is this not a demonstration of grace?
No it is not. When the reprobate enjoy the good things from God, they are being hardened for destruction.
> The fact that God has written
> certain aspects of his law on the consciences of unsaved men enabling them
> to do "good things" has to be common grace, since man in his innate
> depravity would not do it.
Wrong. Man in his innate depravity can and does do "good things". This shows that you have no idea what the nature of depravity is. A depraved man can be moral, zealous, and religious. Total depravity is an inability to meet up to the standards of God's law and justice. Total depravity is a hatred for God and His gospel.
> Your position argues against Total Depravity.
No it does not. In fact, it establishes total depravity.
God WILL NOT show grace at the expense of His law and justice. If God shows grace to someone, then the demands of God's law and justice have been met for that person to whom God shows grace. God does not show one attribute at the expense of another. The Arminians believe that God shows grace at the expense of His law and justice. Obviously, this is what you believe.
> Don't mistake me on this. Neither I or other respected
> theologians such as
> Edwards, Warfield, Charles Hodge etc. would suggest that common grace has
> any salvific effect whatsoever.
Non-salvific grace is an oxymoron. Show me one place in the Bible where it says that God shows grace in a non-salvific way. God's grace is ALWAYS connected to Christ crucified.
> It is common grace not saving grace or
> previenient grace.
There is no such thing as a "grace" from God that is common to everyone without exception.
> Your position does not harmonize with the
> gracious acts
> God has done for all people.
God has not done gracious acts for all people without exception.
> Even the general call to salvation of God is
> an act of grace, since no one actually deserves to hear the
Wrong. When the gospel is preached, it is used as a means of life to some and a means of death to others. See 2 Corinthians 2:14-17. The gospel as an odor of death unto death is certainly not God's grace toward the reprobate who hear the gospel.
> Yet God
> commands all men everywhere to respond to the Gospel, though he has chosen
> some to receive his effectual call.
When God commands the reprobate to believe the gospel, he has no desire that they believe the gospel. He commands it in order that they will reject it. This is obviously not grace.
> The influence of the church and Christian living also has a
> gracious effect
> on society.
> Where the Gospel and Christianity is more present
> that society
> demonstrate a greater level of civil righteousness do to the effect that
> believers have on their community, schools, neighbors, etc. The effect is
> quite the opposite of what you suggested.
When Christians live according to God's Word, the reprobate may be influenced to live morally, but the morality of the wicked is an abomination to God.
Everything the wicked does is an abomination to God. All of his morality, his zeal, his religion, his works, even his plowing, is an abomination to God.
God determines that wicked enjoy some things on the earth in order to further harden them and put them on the slippery slope to hell. See Psalm 73.
God actively hardens the reprobate. The Bible says that He laughs at them, scoffs at them, terrifies them, hates them, destroys them, abhors them, mocks them, and hardens them. There is no grace shown toward the reprobate. You are obviously not familiar with your Bible.
As God's love is tied in with God's grace, see the article "Christ Crucified: God's Love Manifested" at www.outsidethecamp.org/christcruc.htm . Also see www.outsidethecamp.org/review12.htm .
To God alone be the glory,
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