Why Do I Have a Problem?
Why? Why does it bother me so much? Is it because I want to rob God of His power? Is it because I don't want God to get all the credit He is due? Is it because I think man deserves some credit? The answer is absolutely NO! I believe in the omniscient, all powerful God, just like other Bible believers.
My problem with the statement that faith is a gift is twofold.
Firstly, I don't find it in the Bible. As was demonstrated in this post, the most common Scripture reference for the idea that faith is a gift ... is not saying that faith is a gift. At best, one could say that some men, some reputable teachers believe that Ephesians 2:8-9 is saying that faith is a gift, but an equal number of greek-savvy expositors say that Ephesians 2:8-9 is not saying that, but it is saying that salvation is a gift. So ... at best ... this view of Ephesians 2:8-9 is debatable. Check out my diagram.
My second reason springs off the first. While it is sweet to say that God gave me my faith and it had nothing to do with me ... while this gives Him all the credit for my entering into the salvation that He has provided ... it is a two edged sword. Why do I say it is a two-edged sword? Because this also makes God responsible for unbelief. Slice it and dice it any way you want, but if God gifts some with faith, He witholds faith from others, determining hell for them. Therefore, they have an excuse. This is unbiblical. God says that those who enter hell are "without excuse."
If the "faith is a gift" philosophy is right, I imagine someday at the white throne judgement all the people who will say, "But God, you witheld faith from me. I see now that your Word says that the gospel is the power of salvation for everyone who believes. Well, faith is a gift and you never gave it to me, so it is your fault that I did not believe am not saved. I heard the gospel plenty, but I couldn't believe, because I wasn't able. Why didn't you give me faith? I had no hope at all."
While that is a rather comical presentation and I know some Calvinist will slice it and dice it, there is a truth there which can't be avoided.
This philosophy that beleif is provided by God ... that faith is a gift, while well-intentioned, really lays blame at God's feet ... and He is above it. I find that unacceptable and unbiblical.