Kyle said...1. The phrase translated "No one can come" is literally "No one is able to come" (oudeis dunatai elthein). Hence, the infinitive. Strictly speaking, the subject of the sentence isn't the coming one, but the one who is unable to come apart from the drawing of the Father.
saint and sinner said
"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me ***draws him***; and I will raise ***him*** up on the last day." (John 6:44)
The "him" in both parts of the sentence refer to the same person (since there is no other "him" other than the Father to refer to). Thus, all that are drawn by the Father will come to Christ and be risen to eternal life on the last day.
>>I am an undecided Christian about election, predestination, and the mechanics of salvation. I read Geisler's Chosen But Free and found that it mischaracterized Calvinism in many places. I am in the process of reading the Potter's Freedom by James White. I am a regular Dividing Line listener and I have carefully read and heard James' exegesis of John 6 many times. I called his program to ask about the 'him' in John 6:44. When I read it I can see how the 'coming one' could be the subject and then both 'hims' refer back to the one who comes. James said that it is not possible in Greek because the phrase "No one can come" is an infinitive and can't be the subject of the sentence. This went over my head since I have no Greek training besides some personal study of beginning material. Can anyone here shed light on this?
When I read John 6:44 this is how it appears to me: "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent me draws him (the coming one); and I will raise him (the coming one) up on the last day," Thus the ones who come are raised. We know that if anyone comes God first drew them and if they come God will raise them up (eternal security). God gets all the glory in salvation because men are helpless without God's drawing. The next verses explain that the Father draws men through the Word and therefore it seems sensible to conclude that all who hear the Word are subject to drawing though many reject the message.
2. However, of course, it isn't in dispute that the one who comes has been drawn and will be raised. The question is the extent of the Father's drawing. Henry had made the statement, "No where in the text of John 6 or anywhere else for that matter does it state that only the elect are drawn." Therefore, Saint and Sinner pointed out that verse 44 contains a double parallel singular accusative autos ("...Father who sent me draws him, him I will raise..."). In other words, the text knows no disjunction between the one who is drawn and the one who is raised. In synergistic theology, however, one can be drawn but not come and not be raised. But such a scenario is foreign to this verse.
3. Most important, however, is the over-arching context. Jesus is explaining unbelief. Verse 36 sets this up when he says "But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe." The synergistic interpretation of verse 44 turns the passage on its head because it transforms Jesus' explanation of unbelief into a teaching on the possibility of belief. Rather than Jesus telling his hearers that some do not believe because they are unable to do so, he is saying that all are able to believe (because all have been drawn). This hardly fits the thrust of the context of this passage.
In verse 65 it is even more clear:
64 But there are some of you who do not believe." (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father."
Jesus says This is why I told you. In other words, Christ is saying that those who do not believe remain in disbelief because they are unable to do otherwise (i.e., they haven't been drawn by the Father). The synergistic explanation of this text simply cannot make sense out of this statement.
It is here where we simply must be honest with what Scripture is saying. What is the reason why Jesus says what he does in verse 65? He says "This is why I told you." Well, what is the reason? Is Jesus attempting to draw a portrait of ability? Is he saying that, while all men are unable to believe apart from being drawn, all men have in fact been drawn and are therefore able? Is that what he is trying to convey? Then it must be asked how this interpretation makes any sense out of the context of unbelief and Christ's explanations initiated in verses 37 and 65.
Nevertheless, It is clear, I believe, that Jesus is not portraying a situation of ability but that of inability. No one is able to come, which is why some still do not believe. But the one who is able to come, he has been drawn by the Father and will be raised up on the last day.
So it isn't simply the grammar and syntax of verse 44 that demands a limited scope of the drawing of the Father, but the context of the entire passage in general. And this is even without taking into consideration the limited scope of verse 37, where clearly only those who come are the ones who are given to Son by the Father. Thus, the synergist must either radically reinterpret verse 37, or completely disconnect the actions of the Father's giving and the Father's drawing, resulting in two completely different groups that are the objects of these actions. This, needless to say, tears the passage in half.
I hope that helps to clarify some things concerning the Reformed exegesis of this passage. If you have any more questions, just let me know.