I’m going to comment on William Lane Craig’s creative interpretation of Rom 9:
One of the striking things about Craig is how carefully he prepares for his debates with liberals and atheists, but how poorly prepared he is in responding to Calvinism. Craig is a very sophisticated philosopher, but a very unsophisticated theologian.
Typically, as a result of Reformed theology, we have a tendency to read Paul as narrowing down the scope of God's election to the very select few, and those not so chosen can't complain if God in His sovereignty overlooks them.
i) Where is Craig’s evidence that according to Calvinism only a “very select few” will be saved?
ii) Craig’s alternative to unconditional election is to say that “God has chosen to save those who have faith in Christ.” But even if we grant conditional election for the sake of argument, that doesn’t predict for how many will be saved. That doesn’t predict for how many will believe.
In principle, conditional election could just as well result in God saving a “very select few.” There’s no presumption that most men and women will respond favorably to the Gospel–even if they had occasion to hear it. So Craig’s implied contrast is fallacious even on its own terms.
The problematic, then, with which Paul is wrestling is how God's chosen people the Jews could fail to obtain the promise of salvation while Gentiles, who were regarded by Jews as unclean and execrable, could find salvation instead.
Is that the problematic? To judge by key passages like Rom 9:6a (cf. Isa 55:11), 11:1-2, & 11:29, isn’t the real problem Paul is wrestling with whether God can be trusted? Does God keep him promises? Or does Israel’s unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness?
To reduce God’s promise to Israel to a hypothetical promise, ultimately contingent on Israel’s faith, wouldn’t generate the dilemma that Paul poses. For, as Paul frames the issue, Israel’s lack of faith is the problem, and not the solution to the problem. What generates the prima facie dilemma is the stark contrast between God’s irrevocable commitment to Israel (11:29) and Israel’s present infidelity. If history has falsified God’s promise to Israel, then God loses all credibility.
So—and this is the crucial point—who is it that God has chosen to save? The answer is: those who have faith in Christ Jesus. As Paul writes in Galatians (which is a sort of abbreviated Romans), "So you see that it is men of faith who are the sons of Abraham" (Gal. 3. 7). Jew or Gentile, it doesn't matter: God has sovereignly chosen to save all those who trust in Christ Jesus for salvation.
i) That only pushes the question back a step, for it fails to explain the source of faith. Why do some have faith while others lack faith?
ii) And it fails to resolve the dilemma Paul posed. For Paul, if God’s promise to Israel lapsed when Israel lapsed, then that would call into question God’s fidelity–whether to Israel or the gentiles. For Paul, God’s promise to Israel implies a favorable outcome. Something that extends into the future.
That's why Paul can go on in Romans 10 to say, "There is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and bestows his riches upon all who call upon him. For 'everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved'" (10. 12-13). Reformed theology can make no sense at all of this wonderful, universal call to salvation. Whosoever will may come.
i) That’s not universal; rather, that’s categorical.
ii) Needless to say, Reformed theology can make perfect sense of the promise that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Paul's burden, then, in Romans 9 is not to narrow the scope of God's election but to broaden it. He wants to take in all who have faith in Christ Jesus regardless of their ethnicity. Election, then, is first and foremost a corporate notion: God has chosen for Himself a people, a corporate entity, and it is up to us by our response of faith whether or not we choose to be members of that corporate group destined to salvation.
i) If it’s “up to us,” then that would never generate the dilemma which Paul poses. On that view, Israel could totally defect. But Paul takes the position that for God to be true to his promise, he must preserve a remnant. Indeed, God must even reinstate Israel at some future point.
ii) Notice how Craig upends the Biblical notion of election. In Scripture, God does the choosing; but for Craig, we do the choosing.
iii) If election is contingent on our libertarian faith, then that’s fundamentally individualistic rather than corporate. Corporate identity is a side-effect of one’s individual identity as a believer. And it’s not up to God who will or won’t believe.
Of course, given God's total providence over the affairs of men, this is not the whole story. But Molinism makes good sense of the rest. John 6. 65 means that apart from God's grace no one can come to God on his own. But there's no suggestion there that those who refused to believe in Christ did not do so of their own free will.
Jn 6 doesn’t chalk it up to libertarian freewill, but sin. Moreover, disbelief is the result of divine hardening (Jn 12:39-40). Same thing in Romans (11:7).
God knows in exactly what circumstances people will freely respond to His grace and places people in circumstances in which each one receives sufficient grace for salvation if only that person will avail himself of it.
There’s nothing in Rom 9 or Jn 6 to that effect. Indeed, that cuts against the grain.