Introduction There are a lot of passages in Scripture that people intentionally avoid. Usually it is because they have an idea about what it says, and they don’t like that idea. Romans 9 is one of those passages, and there are a lot of jokes at the expense of non-Calvinists because of it. Calvinists use it as a proof text for the idea that God unconditionally predestined some to salvation and some to damnation. It says things like, “He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens,” and that is assumed to mean that God chooses individuals for each from eternity past and without conditions.