Great question. Before I answer it, I should say that I'm glad to hear that you believe we need to be regenerated in order to believe.

That said, here's how I would answer your regress objection. Each of your steps in the regress needs to be given a more complete description in order to evaluate it. Here's what I mean.

Consider part of the the case you presented:

Say you're right, and you got saved on such and such a date in a certain place with certain people present. You were regenerated, and able to believe and have the Holy Spirit come live inside of you.

Did you choose to go to the place?

Did you choose to interact with those people?

Did you choose to start a friendship with one of those people?

Did you choose go up and start talking with this person?

I need to know more about why a person choose to go the the place, why s/he chose to interact with those people, why s/he chose to start a friendship with one of those people, etc. Suppose, for instance, Jane was regenerated and believed the Gospel, and God used Sam to tell her the Gospel. Now, somehow, Jane had to become acquainted with Sam. Suppose she became acquainted with Sam because she lusted after him and hoped to seduce him. She may have freely chosen that. But Suppose she saw that he was a Christian whose life was better than her own, and she wanted to hear how God changed His life. In order to do approach Sam in this way, she needed God's special grace. The idea, here, is that her actions--insofar as they are her own unaided--always have mischief and evil in them. Insofar as they are good, however, God gets the credit. This is why Christians can't boast about their own good works, or the good decisions they make. It would be sinful and proud if I said, "God saved me, but I'm the one who picked the good friends who would show me the Gospel." No, the natural thing for the Christian to say is that God "guided" or "led" me to the right place and to the right friends, "thanks be to God."

Does this help?


"He that hath light thoughts of sin, never had great thoughts of God." ...John Owen