Calvinism & the Dilemma 
of the Unpardonable Sin

Mark 3:28-30Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter;  but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”-- because they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.

Luke 12:10: “And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him.

​Question: Who are “the sons of men”? 

Answer: It would seem to be an expression to indicate all-men. Similarly, Jesus states: “Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Matthew 11:11) In the same way, it reasonably means all-men.

​Question: How is that “all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men” (except for the unpardonable sin which excludes the sin of whoever “blasphemes against the Holy Spirit”), unless there is a corresponding blood-atonement for the “the sons of men”?

Answer: The aforementioned “corresponding atonement” would have to be Calvary, because “without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22) So unless there is a blood-atonement for “the sons of men,” how could any of their sins be forgiven, let alone all of them but the unpardonable one? If “the sons of men” literally means the number of all men, as the verse would seem to indicate, then Calvinists cannot say that Jesus’ death excludes a certain group, such as a non-elect group, and hence, we have a clear refutation of the Calvinist doctrine of a Limited Atonement. 

(1) Can the [Calvinistically] elect commit the unpardonable sin? (yes/no?)

(2) Can the [alleged] non-elect commit the unpardonable sin? (If yes, then explain how the “unpardonable sin” is distinguished from every other sin that the non-elect commits, since all of the non-elect’s sins are unpardonable, since the [alleged] non-elect have no Savior who died on the cross for them, as per Limited Atonement. So what sin of theirs is pardonable, in contrast to that which is un-pardonable? 

​Question: According to Calvinism, the unpardonable sin can’t apply to the Calvinistically elect, both by definition of eternal Unconditional Election and would otherwise be a violation of “P” for “Persevering Grace” in TULIP. Moreover, it can’t apply to the alleged non-elect either, because the Unpardonable Sin would fail to distinguish itself from every other sin for which the alleged non-elect have neither pardon, nor atonement, nor Savior who died for them. So why issue the warning?

One member of The Society of Evangelical Arminians: “The warning cannot apply to the elect, as they could never commit this sin and end up being unforgiven. So this warning is useless and irrelevant for them. But then the warning must be for the reprobates. But this makes no sense as they have been chosen for damnation and nothing will change that. The warning cannot lead them to Christ, as it is impossible that they come to Christ. So it is useless and irrelevant to them. So the warning, as strong as it is, makes no sense and is completely irrelevant if everything is Calvinistically predestined. This warning only makes sense if people have genuine free will and can choose to commit this sin or not. So the warning, at the same time, shows Calvinism to be false and shows that free will as ordinarily understood (i.e. that we sometimes have and make choices and these choices are up to us) exists. Jesus is saying to people who might make that wrong choice, not to make that choice. But that makes no sense if Calvinism were true and if free will did not exist.”

Adrian Rogers: “There is a time, I know not when. There is a place, I know not where, which marks the destiny of men, to Heaven or Despair. There’s a line by us not seen, that crosses every path. Tis the hidden boundary, between God’s mercy and God’s wrath. And if you step over that deadline, you will have committed an unpardonable sin. Now what is the unpardonable sin? It is not some moral sin. It is not rape. It is not murder. It is not child molestation. As bad as those are, horrible and wicked as those are, anyone who has done that, can still be saved.” (The Unpardonable Sin)

Adrian Rogers: “What is the ‘blasphemy of the Holy Spirit’? That’s the ‘unpardonable sin’, and we’re going to see in a moment, that it is attributing to the devil, the work of the Spirit of Almighty God. Now this sin, the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, the sin that can never, never, never, never, never be forgiven, is a sin that one may commit, and will commit, knowingly, willfully, with his eyes wide open, and then forever shut.” (The Unpardonable Sin, emphasis mine)

Bruce McLaughlin: “Matthew 12:31, 32 and Mark 3:29, 30 present the unpardonable sin’ of blaspheming the Holy Spirit.  Attributing, to Satan, Christ’s authenticating miracles, done in the power of the Holy Spirit, is one path to blasphemy. What about attributing Satan’s evil to the Holy Spirit? Is that less heinous than attributing the Holy Spirit’s goodness to Satan? Might that be another path to blasphemy? ... Calvinists may have found another path to blasphemy by attributing all Satan’s evil to God.” (Can God’s Will be Thwarted?, emphasis mine)

The unpardonable sin is generally thought of as attributing the “work of the Holy Spirit” to demons, and it is reasonable to conclude that it would include the reverse as well, that is, by attributing the “work of the demons” to the Holy Spirit, and that’s where things get a bit dicey for Determinism. In other words, according to Calvinistic Determinism, the “work of the demons” must necessarily fall within Gods sovereign meticulous decree. In other words, Calvinism is theologically committed to agreeing that the Occult comes from God, and Witchcraft comes from God and child demon-possession comes from God, without which, God couldnt infallibly know that it would happen, or be sovereign over it. So that is the overall concern there, though in my mind, it still remains inconclusive. In my view, the unpardonable sin is rejecting Christ, through the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and anyone who rejects Christ will eventually end up in Hell, as being the only sin outside of the scope of sins covered in the Atonement provided for the number of all men (being an unlimited Atonement in the sense that it’s for all men, rather than something that covers all particular sins).

Question:  Who can commit the Unpardonable Sin?

Answer:  No one. It can’t really apply to anyone.