How do you respond to Romans 11:36?

“For from him [God] and through him and to him are all things.”

Calvinists sometimes cite this doxology as evidence that Paul believed that every single event in world history was from, through and for God. In light of the fact that the verses leading up to this doxology address God’s genuine frustration with Israel’s unbelief (Rom. 11:7, 20–23, cf. 9:30–32; 10:3) this seems like an extremely odd conclusion to draw.

If the Israelites’ unbelief came from God, why would God be frustrated over it? Paul’s primary goal throughout Romans 9-11 is to show that even though both Jews and Gentiles can and do resist God’s will, God’s overall purposes for history will be achieved. It is in this sense that we should understand Paul’s doxology. All things—including free will—come from God and, in one way or another, will eventually end up glorifying God.

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Ask Greg Anything on Reddit!

Greg is going to be featured on Reddit! Yes that’s right. You can ask Greg anything. Your questions might be serious like: Why is there so much evil in the world? Why can we trust the Bible? What caused you to be a pacifist? Or they might be less so: Why do you preach without…

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