The following is a guest post:
Thanks to C-Dunc for alerting me earlier to the Piper quote (that quoted Morris and Stott)! Amazingly, Piper affirms unconditional hardening, yet he is a hyper-conditionalist when it comes to salvation! After C-Dunc gave me the Piper quote, I was able to do a little online research to get some more context around the Morris and Stott quotes.
Secondly, is God not unjust to exercise his sovereign choices (14)? No. To Moses he stressed his mercy (15), and to Pharaoh his power in judgment (17). But it is not unjust either to show mercy to the undeserving or to harden those who harden themselves (18).
Mr. Stott, if verse 18 is talking about God’s hardening those who harden themselves, then why would there even be an objection raised that God is unjust? Why would Paul even address the objection in verse 19, “Why does He yet find fault? For who has resisted His will?” The objection would make no sense! Would the objector say that God is unjust to judicially harden those who harden themselves? Of course not. Yet YOU, Mr. Stott, would say that God would be unjust if He unconditionally hardened people, not in response to anything they did, but purely out of His own sovereign desire to glorify Himself. If God did this, then what would YOUR response be, Mr. Stott? It would be, “Why does He yet find fault? For who has resisted His will?” YOU, Mr. Stott, are the objector in verse 19! YOU would say that it would be unjust for God to find fault with someone whom He unconditionally hardened!
All the Morrises and Spurgeons and Stotts of the world would love to see Romans 9:17-18 translated this way:
17 For the Scripture says to Phar´aoh: “For this very cause I have let you remain, that in connection with you I may show my power, and that my name may be declared in all the earth.” 18 So, then, upon whom he wishes he has mercy, but whom he wishes he lets become obstinate.
This is what they WANT it to say. Oh how they would jump for joy if the Bible said this! Well, you Morrises and Spurgeons and Stotts of the world, I have some news for you: there IS a Bible translation that says exactly this. So why not embrace it? This translation is the New World Translation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.