Flowers on the Could Should Calvinist Fallacy

Leighton Flowers sums up the Calvinist argument:

1. God tells man they SHOULD keep all the commandments.
2. Man CANNOT keep all the commandments.
3. God also tells man they SHOULD believe and repent for breaking commandments.
4. Therefore man also CANNOT believe and repent for breaking commandments.

He then draws a parallel:

1. Dad tells his kids they SHOULD get to the top of stairs.
2. Kids CANNOT complete this task as requested.
3. Dad also tells the kids they SHOULD ask for help.
4. Therefore the kids CANNOT ask for help.

He then explains the fallacy:

Do you see the problem now? The whole purpose of presenting my kids with that dilemma was to help them to discover their need for help. To suggest that they cannot realize their need and ask for help on the basis that they cannot get to the top of stairs completely undermines the very purpose of the giving them that dilemma.

The purpose of the father in both instances is to get others to trust Him. The law was not sent for the purpose of getting mankind to heaven. Just as the purpose of the activity was not to get the kids to the top of the staircase. The purpose was to help them to see that they have a need and that they cannot do it on their own.

Calvinists have wrongly concluded that because mankind is unable to attain righteousness by works through the law, they must also be equally unable to attain righteousness by grace through faith. In other words, they have concluded that because mankind is incapable of “making it to the top of the stairs,” then they are equally incapable of “recognizing their inability and asking for help.” IT DOES NOT FOLLOW AND IT IS NOT BIBLICAL.

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