At the end of the chapter Smith says of God’s promises of blessing “All this belongs to those who are in Jesus Christ. It can be yours.” (p. 113) Wait. How can he say that? How can a Calvinist or any monergist who is not a universalist say “It [salvation] can be yours” without qualification? IF Smith were writing only to believers he would says “It is yours.” Clearly by saying “It can be yours” (italics added) he is not just talking (in this instance) to believers. However, how can a non-universalist monergist say to an unknown audience that salvation can be theirs without qualification?
Therein lies a deep inconsistency and a conundrum in Calvinism (except hyper-Calvinism). It is simply dishonest to say indiscriminately to a group of people that salvation can be theirs. There is no way to know that. If Christ died only for some, then there is no way to know that salvation can be theirs—when “theirs” refers to a mixed group such as readers of this book. (Again, in this particular instance, anyway, Smith cannot be thinking only of believing readers or else he would say salvation is theirs, not can be theirs. So at least in this sentence he is talking to a wider audience including people he does not think are all saved already.)
Many evangelical Calvinists do evangelize indiscriminately. I agree with the hyper-Calvinists who reject that. The gospel cannot be a “well-meant offer” to an unknown group of people, an audience that may include the non-elect. To say to such a group “Salvation can be yours” is misleading. It wouldn’t be wrong to say “Salvation may be yours.” But this is a case where “can” and “may” do not mean the same thing. (In proper English, of course, they usually aren’t the same thing.)
I would challenge members of The Gospel Coalition and all monergists to be honest and refrain from indiscriminate evangelism which is logically inconsistent with non-universalist monergism and even dishonest.
Talk about dishonesty: Olson pounces on a single phrase ("It can be yours") by a pastor, then acts as if that choice of words discredits Reformed evangelism in toto. He completely disregards nuanced formulations of the well-meant offer by Reformed philosophers and theologians like William Young, Paul Helm, and Roger Nicole.