My reasoning ability may seem rather simple compared to the inherent-no-free-willers (those Christians that believe fallen man does not have a free will capacity to believe/accept God’s call, commands, instructions and promises); but, to me, their interpreting/reasoning process seems somewhat like that of a person that walks into a 10,000,000 acre forest of mostly pine trees and a few Aspen trees and comes into the middle of the forest and finds the only plot of Aspen trees, about 100 acres, and becomes so infatuated with the fall beauty of the Aspen trees that he concludes that the 10,000,000 acre forest must be made up of all Aspen trees.
Concerning the theological topic of the free will of fallen man, I refer to myself as an inherent-free-willer. My interpreting/reasoning process is obviously different from the inherent-no-free-willers as you will see by the following examples of my reasoning process on a couple of sections of Scripture that are the favorite sections of Scripture they use to build their no free will of fallen man theology.
I interpret scripture with scripture that deal with the same topic – in this case all scriptures that deal with the topic of “man’s inherent ability to accept/believe or reject God’s call, commands, instructions and promises”. Because God is communicating to mankind through the Scriptures in the Bible in a style that reeks with an obvious understood implication that the hearer/reader, mankind, has the inherent ability to accept/believe or reject His call, commands, instructions and promises (some folk briefly refer to it as man’s free will), and also because the majority of the Scriptures also reeks with the same implication that mankind has the inherent ability to accept/believe or reject His call, commands, instructions and promises, I let the concept of mankind having this inherent ability be the precedence.
Therefore when I encounter the very few verses of Scripture text (approximately less than 0.5% of the Scriptures) that on the surface possibly could be interpreted to contradict that majority precedence (man’s inherent ability to accept/believe or reject God’s call, commands, instructions and promises), I interpret them in light of this majority precedence. By the way, to my simple mind, since all communications has an ultimate purpose (or desired outcome); and I believe God’s ultimate purpose for communications to mankind is to convince men and women to repent of their sin and believe/accept His call, commands, instructions and promises. The whole of God’s communication in the Bible reeks with an implication that fallen mankind has a free will because His purpose in communicating with fallen mankind in the Bible is to convince fallen mankind that we need to decide to repent of our sin and believe/accept His call, commands, instructions and promises.
Because of my reasoning process listed above and because God is omniscient, I interpret what God foreknew in Romans 8:29 to be — God foreknows those whom he can convince to accept His call/drawing – which He is very capable of foreknowing. Concerning Romans 9:6-26, I interpret that section to be a very stern method that God used to tell gentiles and Israelites that our WILLINGNESS OR RUNNING (verse 16) did not FORCE OR OBLIGATE Him to develop His plan of whom to show mercy to or whom to harden. This is clearly revealed by God’s response to the questions in verses 14 and 19.
God begins in verse 8 by making a statement that will (and does) anger some Gentiles (who depend on works for salvation) and especially the Israelites that depend on their pedigree and works to be know as the children of God (Romans 9:8 — “That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.”). Next God increases their anger by making comments about Rebekah’s twins in verses 11-13 (Rom 9:11 — “for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, 12 — it was said to her, “THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER.” 13 — Just as it is written, “JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED.”) God now anticipates what the angry Israelites and Gentiles will say in verse 14 (“What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means!“) The phrase (“By no means!“), I interpret (based on free will of fallen man being the precedence in the Bible and on God’s foreknowledge in Romans 8:29) to be a hint by God that He justly and conditionally chose Jacob because God foreknew that He could convince Jacob and not Esau to repent and accept/believe His call, commands, instructions and promises. However, God is now peeved with them and chose to delay giving a complete explanation of why He was just in chosing Jacob over Esau and makes more statements that will increase the anger of the Israelites and Gentiles even more in verses 15-18 (Rom 9:15 — “For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.” 16 — So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17 — For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH.” 18 — So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.) Because God foreknows that some of the Israelites and Gentiles will have forgotten about Him previously mentioning His foreknowledge in Romans 8:29, God knows that they will be even more angry with what He just stated and that they will say in verse 19 (You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?”) God becomes more peeved and again God chose to not explain why He is just in His decisions, but makes more comments that will make the Israelites and Gentiles even more angry in verses 20-26 (Rom 9:20 — On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21 — Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22 — What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 — And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24 — even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. 25 — As He says also in Hosea, “I WILL CALL THOSE WHO WERE NOT MY PEOPLE, ‘MY PEOPLE,’ AND HER WHO WAS NOT BELOVED, ‘BELOVED.’” 26 — “AND IT SHALL BE THAT IN THE PLACE WHERE IT WAS SAID TO THEM, ‘YOU ARE NOT MY PEOPLE,’ THERE THEY SHALL BE CALLED SONS OF THE LIVING GOD.” ) Again God foreknows that some will have forgotten about Him previously mentioning His foreknowledge in Romans 8:29 and not realize that the potter (figurative of God) foreknows beforehand how each portion of clay taken out of the main lump (tub) of clay will respond to the potters molding process. The potter (figurative of God) foreknows beforehand which portions of the main tub of clay can be molded into a vessel of honor and which portions can only be molded into a vessel for common use.
In verses 27-29, God reveals His foreknowledge through the prophet Esaias that He can and will convince a seed/remenant of Israelites to repent and be saved, so they will not be totally destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrha.
Finally! — After angering the Jews and Gentiles by sternly telling them that ” — for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, – “ and by telling them “– He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. – ” and by telling them that man cannot tell Him what to do (with the potter and clay scenario), God in Romans 9:30-33 finally COMPLETELY answers their angry remarks and questions in verse 14 and 19 and indicates that He is actually just and ACTUALLY DOES CHOOSE to show mercy to those that of their own free will choose to accept God’s call to SEEK righteousness by faith, and not by works as Israel did. (Rom 9:30 — What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 — but Israel, PURSUING a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 — Why? Because they did not PURSUE it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 — just as it is written, “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.) Yes! — God finally fully answers their angry remarks and questions of verses 14 and 19, that is, why He is not unrighteous.
I believe if one gets locked up on this stern section (Romans 9:6-26) and does not to take into account Romans 8:29, Romans 9:30-33 and the implication of the majority of Scripture (that fallen man does have a free will capacity to believe/accept or reject God’s call, commands, instructions and promises), he will easily and wrongly conclude that mankind does not have the inherent ability to accept or reject God’s call, commands, instructions and promises.
In light of the precedence of “man’s inherent ability to accept or reject God’s call, commands, instructions and promises”, I will now give my interpretation of John 6:44, 65 (John 6:44 — “No one CAN COME to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.”). But first, the inherent-no-free-willers interpret these verses to indicate that the phrase (…”can come”…) in these two verses indicates that fallen man does not have inherent-free-will capacity and can’t accept/believe the call/drawing of God and come to Christ. However my interpretation is as follows: if one assumes that the person DOES NOT HAVE the inherent ability to accept or reject God call, the verse implies that he WILL NOT be raised up in the last day if God does not draw him; and also, if one assumes the person DOES HAVE the inherent ability to accept or reject, he ALSO WILL NOT be raised up in the last day if God does not draw him. This line of reasoning would also apply to Jn 6:65 (“And He was saying, ‘For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.’”) In verse 65 it also does not make any difference WHETHER OR NOT a person has the inherent-free-will ability to accept or reject, the person can not come to Christ if God has not granted him to be called and drawn to Christ. Therefore, those two verses are not talking about the capability of man’s will to accept/believe, but about the fact that it is God that chooses, grants, calls and draws. Therefore, the conclusion from this line of reasoning is that the drawing and granting by God is not God irresistibly/regeneratively giving the person a will that believes, but God is only presenting the Gospel to the foreknown persons in the crowd of people through the word of God and convicting Holy Spirit, giving those individuals the opportunity to accept or reject the call/drawing of God. God granted that if those individuals accept the call/drawing (but God foreknew that He could convince those individuals to freely accept the call), they will be raised up on the last day.