Calvinists often quote Ephesians 2:8-9 in placing the action and responsibility of salvation solely upon God. It is argued that baptism is a work man and thus falls outside the scope of salvation since salvation is by grace alone and through faith alone. Passages such as Acts 2:38, Acts 2:16, Mark 16:16, and 1 peter 3:21 are twisted to mean something other than their clear teaching in order to harmonize with the Calvinist's desired meaning of Ephesians 2:8-9. Through the years I have read many strong and sufficient answers to the Calvinist argument based off of Ephesians 2:8-9, but never have I found an answer as stout as the one issued by W. L. Oliphant in the Oliphant - Rice Debate (p.384). May honest men consider Oliphant's statement in the light of God's Word:
While reading a chapter of Andreas Kostenberger's new book The First Days of Jesus I came across the following quote:
Wrong expectations are a key source of disillusionment and disappointment. A cynical person might argue that we should never expect anything from anyone in order to avoid being let down. Such an approach to people and God, however, will surely lead to a bitter and lonely life. We need each other, and we need God. What happens, then, when God fails to meet our expectations or to act in the way we thought, hoped, and prayed He would?
May God's people ever be mindful of the fact that pain and evil are the results and consequences of sin. God is not the one to be blamed for evil and suffering; He is the only source of hope for a lost and dying world. May God's children ever hold to His hand and trust in His Word though dark and dreary may be the way knowing that He will "never leave you nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)
is an evangelist of the Church of Christ in Arlington, Texas.