Calvinists are very comfortable when speaking of the awful depravity of man, but conversely very uncomfortable when speaking of how the alleged “immutable decree” caused the awful depravity of man in the first place. Often when in a pinch, Calvinists will begin to speak like Arminians, by invoking a “permissive will” in God, or by invoking “compatibilistic free will.” However, with Calvinism’s novel concept of immutable decree, any permissive-will becomes “decreed to permit,” which means that God permits only what is decreed, and which also takes us back to square one, and Compatibilism merely camouflages Determinism with a cloak of free-will. When pressed in this manner, Calvinists will often invoke mystery. They don’t know, and they’ve never heard from anyone who knows, and whatever problems that are plaguing Calvinism, plagues Arminians as well, and therefore they ought to be silent. This is exactly how Calvinists think. When pressed, then whatever their problems are, are Arminian problems too, and thus they need to stop. There are a lot of self-defense mechanisms that Calvinists use, and you will need to pass through a battery of them, before you can get the Calvinist to be truly honest with themselves.
One Men’s Devotional states: “God’s love for you is deeper and more profound than you can imagine. God’s love for you is so great that He sent His only Son to this earth to die for your sins and to offer you the priceless gift of eternal life. Now, you must decide whether or not to accept God’s gift. ... It’s a decision that you cannot ignore. It is a decision that is yours and yours alone.”
Adrian Rogers states: “Jesus came to deliver you. Jesus came to set you free. He came to give you peace and power, forgiveness of sin and a home in heaven, but He will not force it upon you. The same God that gave to Lucifer the power of choice, gives to you the power of choice. ‘Choose you this day whom you will serve.’” (From the Palace to the Pit: Ezekiel 28:8, emphasis mine)
Adrian Rogers explains: “God is a God who gives us the choice. Now I want to give you some Choice Principles. You are free to choose God. God says, ‘I set before you life and death, blessing and cursing.’ Here you’re in the Valley of Decision. There’s a mountain of misery and a mountain of mercy. You can choose. You are free to choose. Now, I am a Calvinist to the degree that I believe that God is sovereign. But I am not a Calvinist to the degree that I believe that God does not enable anybody to choose, or that God chooses for anybody. God gives you the choice. You must choose. And God says to all of us, ‘Choose you this day.’” (Choices Made in the Valley of Decision: Joshua 8:1, emphasis mine)
Adrian Rogers explains: “Your responsibility is your response to His ability. … Now you must choose. Listen, you can’t do it without Him; He will not do it without you. You must yield. … When temptation comes, you must yield, and you will yield. That much is settled. The only question is, which way you will yield? Will you yield to Satan, or will you yield to Christ?” (Abounding Victory Thru Amazing Grace: Romans 6:6-7, emphasis mine)
What is human responsibility? It is your response to His ability. The “Divine Encounter” means that God takes the initiative and creates the circumstance by which a person is forced to choose between God and Satan. Calvinists mistakenly perceive this perspective as a celebration of human ability, but instead, it is the will of God that man be forced to make a choice. God values choices. Satan became the devil by his choice, and Adam and Eve fell by their choice. This represents is one of the great failings of Calvinism. Calvinists don’t appreciate the fact that God values choices. In Calvinism, all human choices are an extension of God’s own choices, by decree. But if that is so, then what happens to love? Love is impossible without having a choice to love, or not to love. Calvinists have a very unique outlook on life. For a Calvinist, the purpose of life is for God to display His various attributes through human and angelic creations, while for the Arminian, the purpose of life is for God to expend the surplus of His love on human and angelic creations.