As an Arminian, I see the logical progression of thought differently in John 6 than a Calvinist will try to make it out to be, which is generally:
1. No one comes unless they are drawn by the Father.
2. Everyone the Father gives will come to me.
The Father alone decides who is drawn, and every single one of those come.
1. Does the text really not add any conditions whatsoever to coming to the Father other than being drawn by the Father?
2. Does the text really imply that if you are drawn, you absolutely always will come?
Here is a clear prerequisite for being drawn:
Everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to me.
Is "hearing and learning" the same as "being drawn by" or does one precede the other? Can we say that the description "hearing and learning" absolutely precludes any human activity or libertarian decision to respond? What are the prerequisites for "hearing" and what for "learning"? Does the text clearly tell us? Should we then just make an assumption based on our theological leanings? Here we see "coming to Christ" is the equivalent of "believing on Christ" and the one described prerequisite to the Father giving people to Christ. Does the phrase "everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him" imply in any way a life of discipleship, in the light of a continued "eating and drinking" of Christ's flesh? Might it imply a libertarian human response, in the light of Christ clearly giving people a choice in such words as "will you leave, also?"
But I told you that you have seen me and still do not believe. Everyone whom the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never send away.
When Christ speaks of the "you" to whom he is addressing as he then smoothly transitions into words like "everyone," "whoever," and "all," we might be justified in thinking he is teaching a timeless truth, that applies not only to Christ's personal ministry, but the truth of who Christ is conveyed by the Spirit for all time. Christ's immediate audible audience is obviously first and foremost, as the full preterists love to keep hammering in, and so, speaking to the people in front of him. But surely he is inspired enough to realize his message will have continued significance and application, even to the point of being relevant to "all whom the Lord our God shall call," as Peter put it, so that we too, can hear and obey. We can safely say the "sheep" Christ was currently referring to were the Jews who were in right covenant relationship to the Father, yet not limited to them for all space and time. Can we safely assume that these Jews had absolutely no say in their response to God's grace?
Previously Christ had said to the same group of people:
you are not willing to come to me so that you may have life.
Now why wouldn't he simply say "the Father was not willing." And right after:
If you believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me. But if you do not believe what Moses wrote, how will you believe my words?
So now what is the "hearing and learning from the Father," the "all being taught by God"? It appears to be the writings of Moses and the prophets meant to be given to all the people, and their testimony.
You study the scriptures thoroughly because you think in them you possess eternal life, and it is these same scriptures that testify about me
And what is now the reason the people don't come to Christ? Because the Father didn't draw them?
you are not willing to come to me so that you may have life.
Is this pivotal point of who believes now caused by God's divine unconditional election, or the people's response to God's gracious testimony?
How can you believe, if you accept praise from one another and don’t seek the praise that comes from the only God?
And now how can we cram this verse, which blames the lack of belief (and thereby lack of coming) to Christ, on what the people themselves were seeking, into the theological framework of unconditional election? How is what the people themselves seek, in any way relevant, if it is only based on what they were created to do? And why would it be phrased as if they could have done the opposite?
If you believed Moses, you would believe me
but I know you, that you do not have the love of God
So what's the "golden chain of redemption" here:
1. Father testifies through Moses and the Prophets of Christ.
2. Jewish people hear the testimony of Moses and the Prophets.
3. Jewish people either,
- a) have learned from the Father and therefore come to Christ or
4. Those who hear AND learn believe in Christ.
- b) are not willing because they do not believe Moses and the Prophets
Is this a cosmic game of chicken and egg? Is every single rebuke of Christ merely a statement of a deterministically locked in fate to damnation? The real point is, is there really absolutely no room for a true libertarian free response in these passages? And to this I can only say that a fair reading of the text leads to a decided "No!" In this entire passage is not found anywhere the teaching of unconditional election, and where it so, the entire passage would be consistently phrased differently. Christ would not admonish them to do the right thing, but simply condemn them for having been created for wrath. I suppose you could argue that even Christ, himself, did not know who the elect was, and so had to speak to the reprobate as to his own children; however that would be hard to harmonize with passages such as Christ knowing the hearts of all men.
Now I'd like to end on a point of how Christ grammatically phrased causation. We have the verse here:
nor do you have his word residing in you, because you do not believe the one whom he sent.
The way we might naturally read this in English is, that because they do not believe Christ, therefore the Old Testament was not residing in these Jews. However, obviously in the light of context and logic, the residing of God's words comes first, and then naturally leads to believing in Christ. It serves to show how we should submit causative order to contextual harmony. Now once again the original verse:
No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out
1. Who does the Father draw? Those who hear and learn, and are thus drawn.
2. Who hears and learns? Those who are willing and seeking.
Who comes to Christ? Those who are willing to come and seeking the glory of God in his Word.