It’s amazing what some Calvinists will do

Reformation Wall in Geneva; from left to right: William Farel, John Calvin, Theodore Beza, and John Knox (courtesy Wikipedia)

By Spencer D Gear

This applies only to some of them – not all. I picked up the comments of one such person in a discussion on the Internet on the doctrine of salvation that related to Romans 10:9-11.

An Arminian, who has made many posts, wrote:

‘Calvinism has been shown to be untenable regarding Romans 10 – for it would not be right for Paul to tell one of those ones whom Calvinists say salvation was never intended for to believe in the resurrection (which was not intended for them) for their salvation.
Paul preached v.9 because he knew that not one person was not provided for – he knew that Christ died and rose for everyone.[1]

How would a Calvinist respond?

Nope! Verse 8 says that the word of faith is in the mouths and hearts of men PRIOR to their coming to faith. This excludes some men. Jesus said that the word had “no place” in the Jewish leadership of His day.
You have proven NOTHING. You are wasting your time and energy.[2]

I, as a convinced Classical/Reformed Arminian, could not let this kind of response go without a challenge. Well it could be ignored, but not when such important issues are at stake.[3]

James Arminius

Jacobus Arminius (courtesy Wikipedia)


My, oh my! What an example of eisegesis. This is what Rom 10:8 states:

But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” [a quote from Deut 30:14] that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim (NIV).

To what does ‘it’ refer? It is the divine righteousness based on faith (Rom 10:6). The utterance/word Paul had in mind when he associated this righteousness with the words from Deut 30:14 was ‘concerning the faith’ which Paul and others were preaching.
Both examples of ‘word’ or ‘message’ (some translations) in Rom 10:8 use rhema and it means ‘the thing uttered’ (Lenski 1936:654). It is referring to the word/message that is uttered when it is preached, the content of which Rom. 10:9-11 demonstrates.
We know that the Jews from the earliest days of their lives as children learned the message/word of the Law by memory, so it was put into their mouths and hearts by that means. It was designed to enter the centre of their beings.
The view that you have presented to us in your interpretation of v. 8 is not based on the verse’s exegesis. A Calvinistic commentator, William Hendriksen, confirms this in his exegesis of Rom. 10:8,

The apostle continues to “quote” the righteousness that is by faith. The quotation found in Rom. 10:6, 7 ended with the words of Deut. 30:13 [Rom. 10:8]….
There is only one way, however, in which this can be appreciated. That is the way of faith; for God’s word, as revealed both in the Old Testament and in the New, is “the word of faith“; that is, it is the word which, in order to exert saving effect, must elicit the response of faith!
Paul now shows that the statement, “the word is close to you; (it is) on your lips and in your heart” is true (Hendriksen 1980:344, bold & underline emphasis added).

There is not a word in this text that says anything about ‘the word of faith is in the mouths and hearts of men PRIOR to their coming to faith’. Some Calvinists are so blatant in pushing their unbiblical agenda of regeneration prior to faith and unconditional election.

For my refutation of regeneration prior to faith, see,

clip_image002 Does regeneration precede faith?

clip_image002[1] Does regeneration precede faith in Christian salvation?

Is unconditional election biblical? You might like to read my brief articles:

clip_image004 God’s foreknowledge and predestination/election to salvation

clip_image004[1] Elected to salvation and/or damnation?

I recommend the article by Roger E Olson, ‘What’s wrong with Calvinism?‘ (Patheos, March 22, 2013).

Works consulted

Hendriksen, W 1980. New Testament commentary: Exposition of Paul’s epistle to the Romans. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic.

Lenski, R C H 1936. Commentary on the New Testament: The interpretation of St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans. Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Publishers (limited edition by permission of Augsburg Fortress).


[1] janxharris#119, Christian Forums, Soteriology DEBATE, ‘Acts 18:4’, 5 August 2014, available at: (Accessed 5 August 2014).

[2] Ibid., The Boxer#120.

[3] My response is at ibid., OzSpen#130.


Copyright © 2014 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 20 November 2015.