Calvinism and Absolute Universalization

By Eusebio Tanicala, Ph.D.

Calvinists love to quote Romans 3:10-12. These are lines from the repeated psalms of King David recorded in Psalm 14 and Psalm 53. Advocates of Calvinism apply these lines universally. When it says “all” it is all of humanity. Is this true?

Let’s analyze verses. Notice v.1 of Psalm 14 and 53. The subject is the “fool” all fools. It is clear that the people who are included are the fools. Not all of humanity. King David didn’t include himself among the fools. King David talked about the fools. King David didn’t include the prophet Nathan and prophet Gad who constantly guided him in the palace. They were righteous people. But Calvinism advocates say “none” calls upon the Lord. Do you believe prophets Nathan and Gad didn’t call upon the Lord?

Note v. 4. The fools are the ones who don’t call on the Lord. Right above Psalms 13:1 is Psalms 12:1. King David calls upon the Lord. To universalize absolutely the word “none” to mean absolutely nobody and “children of men” to mean no exception, then King David is inconsistent because he himself has been calling upon God. Furthermore, Psalms 14:5 talks about generation or group of righteous men beside the fools.

In Noah’s generation, there was Noah and his family who walked with God. See Gen. 6:9-12, 18 and Gen 7:1. Noah’s family was not included in the generalization of Gen. 7:12. Therefore, it was not completely and not absolutely all of mankind under the complete dominion and penalty of sin.

In Abraham’s time, Abraham was a friend of God says James 2:24. He was excluded from the universal generalization of Calvinism.

In the time of King Ahab and Jezebel when the most extreme violent persecution against God’s people happened, we find prophet Elijah who said that he was the only one left of all God’s people. God said, there were 7,000 left who didn’t bow their knees to Baal. See 1 Kings 19:11-18 and Romans 11:4. So there’s no complete absence of good people who called upon the Lord. There were remnants in different ages.

The OT mentions remnants in various periods of OT history. See Isaiah 1:9; 10:21, 22; Isaiah 11:11; Zeph. 2:9; Ezekiel 6:8 and 14:22; Joel 2:32; Jer. 23:3; 31:7; 42:15, 19; Micah 2:12. In view of the above verses, the generalization of King David is relative not absolute. Not every single individual was bad and lost. There were people who exercised their free will and were persuaded to obey God. #


One thought on “Calvinism and Absolute Universalization

  1. R.A. Servin

    Are you serious? “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23)
    Every one who has ever called on God has been a believer. A person calls on God and prays because he or she has been regenerated. The first few chapters of Romans the apostle Paul is making the case that humanity as a whole is sinful and is in need of Christ’s righteousness to be saved. No one naturally loves or desires the true God because he would rather live in darkness. (John 3:19) Are you really going to claim that there is goodness in man?


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