Speratus says to William,

Where is it written that God makes the vessel dishonourable? By itself, this passage does not prove election or reprobation but merely foreknowledge. Verse 23 proves election by God but verse 22 does not reprobation by God since the passsage does not say who fits the vessels of wrath to destruction.

Speratus, this is kind of hard to miss, but I will highlight it for you none-the-less;

Rom 9:20-21 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

God has predestined some, but not all to election. Clearly this verse says God makes some unto honor and others unto dishonour. The question is how does He do the making—which I will get to below.

You CLAIM that God ONLY has foreknowledge (which is Arminian to the core). Think about what this means? If God has foreknowledge and does not stop a person from being reprobate what is this? If God takes no positive action to elect what is this? Is this not Reprobation?

Your problem in understanding this is seen in your statement to Tom below and because of your misunderstanding of Adam and his sin (which has been discussed before). What did you say to Tom?

Speratus said to Tom,

Once you start down the path of human reason you must continue it to its logical conclusion. If God chooses to leave men in their sins, is He not the cause of their damnation?

You think we are saying that God decrees election and reprobation in the same way, but that is not Reformed Theology. God does not actively decree man to sin, as Adam (the covenant head of the entire human race) already accomplished this on his own, et. al. As Sproul states, “In the Reformed view God from all eternity decrees some to election and positively intervenes in their lives to work regeneration and faith by a monergistic work of grace. To the non-elect God withholds this monergistic work of grace, passing them by and leaving them to themselves. He does not monergistically work sin or unbelief in their lives.” God works regeneration monergistically but never sin, because He does not need to because sin and the sin nature already have a set course.

Though illustrations are imperfect maybe this will help:

Two men are hanging from a volcanic cliff. They are both desperate and cannot help themselves. Unless I reach my hand out and help them, they will plunder to their deaths. Both men though are guilty of the murder and rape of my wife and the molestation of my daughter. Neither is worthy of my assistance. However, I reach down and only save one of the men.

EACH made a decision to sin. BOTH deserved death. However, because of things within me (not them) I choose to save one and not the other. I made a choice for each man. I made one man live and made another die.

(this illustration is very limited and should not be stretched to far.... as it fails to cover many other issues in predestination, such as God making this decision before the actual events, etc... ). For a more complete illustration, read that thing some people call "a Bible" (Rom 9). [Linked Image]