What Scripture says must not be explained away, no matter how much it rubs against what we like to think. However we qualify and specify it, there must be a true and robust sense in which our Lord Christ is able to say, Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain. If the primary choice is God’s choice, such that one is even able to say in a way that we have not chosen him, then this reality is something that even Arminians must acknowledge, no matter how they choose to express their interpretation of Scripture.
To go even further, the way we explain our theology needs to allow these difficult things to be said not only by Scripture but also by our teachers, for we look not to neuter Scripture, nor to smooth its hard edges – for it is the sword of the Spirit – but to say precisely what it means in saying what it does, sifting out the erroneous meanings and defending the true.
This work requires patience and subtlety and diligent attention, and many will choose instead to deny what the Scriptures say, twisting them against reason to support either a gross and superstitious sense or an atheistic and rationalistic sense. If Scripture is to be believed according to right reason, neither of these is an acceptable way to read, but we must read without fanaticism or disdain, knowing that God is neither to be followed in a fleshly way nor to be disdained for the foolishness of the Cross. The way of the Cross, to which Christians are called, is the way without shortcuts, but it is the way that leads by God’s grace to eternal life.