This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I started this on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed blogging from that book on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. Since then, I have begun adding material from his Bible commentaries. I also re-blog many of the old posts.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Irresistible Conversions?

QUESTION: Does God irresistibly convert men temporarily, suspending the free will for that purpose?

ANSWER: Never either in this world nor in that to come will he turn a free agent into a machine in order to save him. This doctrine leads to universalism, for if God, who is no respecter of persons, saves one sinner in that way, justice requires that he should save all in the same way, whether men or devils. Moreover, it implies the crude notion that the moral realm is the appropriate sphere of physical omnipotence. It also involves the marring of God's image in man by God himself, for moral freedom is the very center of man's likeness to his Creator. Man creates his own character, which in God's estimate is worth more than the whole material universe. He has the assistance of Divine grace, as a moral suasive, but not as a determining force. Saving faith is a graciously aided human act, not an irresistible grace — one of the five points of Calvinism. "Salvation through faith is not of yourselves; it is the gift of God," is the meaning of Eph. 2:8, as every Greek scholar will say. See the exegetes.

Steele's Answers p. 170, 171.

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