I’ve been asked to comment on this claim:
This passage and numerous passages like it lay waste to the Calvinistic doctrine of exhaustive determinism. Passages like these are simply incompatible with such a doctrine, while the intentional language of such passages fits perfectly with the Arminian account of free will, and the accountability attached to the exercising of that God given power to choose. The alternative to a libertarian view of these passages has the unfortunate and inevitable consequence of making God into a liar who deceives His people into believing they are capable of making the right choice, when in reality it is impossible for them to choose at all. A predetermined choice is not a choice at all since it is the only course of action available. The best the Calvinist can offer is that God gives the illusion of choice while controlling the person’s every thought and action to conform to His infallible and irrevocable eternal decree. Consider 1 Corinthians 10:13,
“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
The implications are obvious and unavoidable. Those who fail to resist temptation have only themselves to blame, since God provided a way of escape.
The verse plainly tells the believer that God is faithful, and that faithfulness is demonstrated in the fact that God will not allow the one tempted to be tempted beyond the ability to endure (i.e. resist) that temptation. But how does such a promise comport with exhaustive determinism? We know that all believers do fall to temptation at times (i.e., sin), and fail to make use of the way of escape provided for them by God in His faithfulness. If Calvinistic determinism is true then their yielding to temptation was predetermined from all eternity, and could not possibly have been avoided. In that case, it is simply not true that the temptation was not beyond their ability to endure, nor was it true that God faithfully provided a way of escape. How could there be a “way of escape” for those who were predetermined to fall according to an eternal and irrevocable decree?
What’s so odd about this claim is the way in which kangaroodort infers something from the text that simply isn’t there. The text says nothing about Christians succumbing to temptation. And what it does say moves in the opposite direction.
The prospect of Christians succumbing to temptation is not something that kangaroodort got from his prooftext. So what does his prooftext prove? It can hardly prove that Christians succumb to temptation, since that is absent from the text. And, what is more, that cuts against the grain of the text.
Now perhaps kangaroodort would salvage his assertion by claiming that other verses of Scripture speak to the issue of Christian sin.
No doubt that’s true. But that’s not the same thing as exegeting 1 Cor 10:13. You can’t find something is a verse which isn’t there–even if you can find it in some other verse.
And you can’t simply import what is said in one verse to what is not said in another verse as if both passages are addressing the same issue. Ironically, kangaroodort’s grand prooftext illustrates the polar opposite of what he labors to prove. Did someone sneak into the evidence room when his back was turned and empty the box?
We need to interpret 1 Cor 10:13 on its own terms, in light of its own wording and the surrounding context. And when we do the detail work, this is what we come up with:
“It is not clear whether this verse is to be understood generically of every trial that a Christian may face, or the eschatological trial involving one’s salvation? The noun ekbasis, ‘way out,’ certainly could mean the latter, the eschatological trial, but Christians may also rely on God for the ekbasis of lesser struggles throughout the course of life. In this context, Paul seems to be thinking primarily of trials involving idol meat or seduction to idolatry,” J. Fitzmyer, 1 Corinthians (Yale 2008), 389.
“An examination of the context (1 Cor 10:1-12,14-22) indicates that the temptation specifically in Paul’s mind here is idolatry or apostasy. The Lord will not allow his people to fall prey to apostasy,” T. Schreiner, The Race Set Before Us (IVP 2001), 266.
In sum, this verse is not talking about temptation in general. Rather, it’s talking about the specific temptation to deny one’s faith–of which idolatry was a paradigm-case throughout Scripture. And it says that, due to God’s fidelity, a Christian can never give in to that particular temptation.
Far from being a prooftext for libertarian freewill, this is a prooftext for the perseverance of the saints.
Despite his hyperbolic verbiage and sanctimonious tone, kangaroodort is making totemic use of Scripture. He pays lip-service to the words of Scripture in swelling, self-congratulatory rhetoric, but his interpretation doesn’t begin to represent a close reading of the text or context.
He’s like a man standing in the doorway of an empty warehouse, gesticulating about his discovery of contraband merchandise within. Well, I’ve examined every square inch of the warehouse with a flashlight, and the evidence is entirely wanting.