Of course, that is the wrong question. There is another, better question.
+ How right was I?
I promise I don't know, but I feel like I am righter than I was 2 months ago. Many of the things you guys said made a difference in my perspective.
As I was writing, I did not try to represent or to answer your thoughts in these posts. I hope none of you took that as a slight. I realize that I wrote this series as if I had believed every word of it my whole life. The truth is that the discussions of Sept through Nov shifted my opinions a great deal, especially on man's free will.
I've never given free will the time of day, and never been troubled by the fact. About half way through our talks, I started being troubled over free will, and by the end I began to see things differently. I had always seen man as dead, and needing to be made alive. Hence, free will was extraneous. Oddly, I also saw man as needing God's Life ingrafted, but never saw the connection with free will that made me want to rewrite my whole perspective from front to back like that. You will read my old position in these posts as part of that ascribed to Calvinists.
Regarding God loving all men equally, I am not persuaded. I know that's not popular, but despite all the verses I quoted, there are just too many that inform those verses the "other way." Who knows? Maybe some day I will shift here, too.
Two things happened to drive me to this series of posts so suddenly, and so "lengthily." One of them was the feeling that I had reached some new ground, and I needed to capture it on paper. The other was a desire to change subjects, and the feeling that I could not do so without closure on this one. I'm always game for a discussion on the subject, but I am going to move in a new direction shortly.
Thank you to everyone who commented as I built up to this. Your provocative thoughts were profitable for me. I hope the discussion was to you, too.
I also want to extend a special, heartfelt thanks to Milly. Your faithful comment at the end of every post, letting me know that you had actually read each of them, was a tremendous encouragement - especially since I know you were enduring eye trouble that made reading long posts especially painful. I am honored.
Thank you, Milly.