Today, Steve Hays posted a response at Triablogue to a comment I posted on my website in the discussion thread for the article “Does Calvinism entail that I might love my child more than God does?” Let’s begin with Hays’ quotation of me:
“Imagine a doctor who has enough antidote for an entire population inflicted with a fatal disease. The doctor’s choice to provide the antidote only to a subset of those inflicted would invite the reasonable question: why only some? Why not all?
And replying “He didn’t need to save anyone” is not a response to the question “Why didn’t he save everyone?”
Well said, if I do say so myself! But not according to Hays who then replies as follows:
“Imagine the entire population of Cambodia has a fatal disease. A doctor has enough antidote to cure everyone, but he refuses to treat the Khmer Rouge. He only treats Cambodians who aren’t members of the Khmer Rouge.” (source)
The first problem with Hays’ “rebuttal” is that the doctor’s behavior would constitute a gross breach of the Hippocratic Oath. Sadly, Hays doesn’t seem too worried about that! (Perhaps he should consider taking a class in bioethics before invoking more doctor analogies?)
Setting aside the egregious ethical nature of the doctor’s conduct, the biggest problem with Hays’ response is that the doctor (who obviously parallels God) distinguishes between two groups: the innocent Cambodians who are worthy of being saved (i.e. the “elect”) and the wicked Khmer Rouge who deserve to die (i.e. the “reprobate”). However, if the analogy is to be relevant then it follows that God distinguishes between the elect and reprobate based on the worthiness of the elect (relatively innocent citizens) and the unworthiness of the reprobate (genocidaires!).
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what Pelagian Calvinism looks like.