John 1:13 reads, "children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God." What does "nor of human decision" mean here? I understand Calvinists use this to say we cannot choose to be born again because of this passage; however, I am having a hard time understanding what exactly John is saying here. Would you help me understand? -- Jason Reichert

If the "human decision" refers to the decision of the parents, then the passage is not relevant to the predestinarian position. However, even if it does refer to one's individual decision (literally, "of the will of flesh") that could be understood as emphasizing the heavenly nature of our rebirth (in the sense of John 3:1-8), as opposed to meaning there's nothing we decide at all. After all, later in the gospel John emphasizes our need for personal faith (3:16, 6:29, and so on). This passage does not offer any direct confirmation of Calvinism.

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