Calvinist Proof-Texts Answered
“Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?” (Romans 9:21)
The “Potter and Clay” METAPHOR
“6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel. 7 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; 8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.” (Jeremiah 18:6-8)
Commentary: The “potter and clay” metaphor merely teaches that God has the ability to shape our lives as a potter does with clay. It does not mean that we are literal lumps of clay with no part to play. Jeremiah tells us that how God shapes the “clay” is determined by the choices made by the clay.
The “Potter” gives the “clay” choices that determines how our lives are shaped (Deut. 30:15, 19; Isa. 1:18-20). God reacts toward us the way that we act towards Him (Deut. 31:16-18; 1 Sam. 2:30; 2 Chron. 15:2; 24:20; Psalm 81:10-16; James 4:6-8; Rev. 3:20). To use the potter and clay analogy to teach that men have no genuine freedom and all that occurs in his life is the result of God’s sovereign decree is a dishonest handling of Scripture in support of an already flawed view that maligns God’s character.
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