Bible Topics & Bible Studies -  Calvinism vs. Arminianism (1271 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
 
From: Secundus555Aug-4 2:09 PM 
To: All  (1 of 115) 
 37647.1 

There seems to be some confusion among some on this forum as to WHAT exactly is Calvinism, and what Arminianism is.

Here is a basic layout of the two systematic beliefs contrasted with one another

 

Calvinism vs Arminianism
Tenet Calvinism Arminianism
Moral Ability Total depravity- Morally Corrupted. Free Will Lost. Enslaved to sin. Incapable of responding to the gospel. Our souls are darkened and incapable and indisposed towards positively responding to the Gospel. Morally corrupted, but still retains free will. Predisposed toward sin, but capable of responding to the Gospel. Wesleyan Arminianism affirms that we are incapable of responding ot the Gospel IN OUR OWN POWER, but God's Prevenient Grace (or Enabling Grace) restores our Free Will, enabling us to choose and respond to the Gospel if we will. 
Election Unconditional Election - Elect is chosen PURELY based upon God's Sovereign Will alone, not based on what God foresees that man will or will not do. But God, from all eternity, chose those whom he was going to save, and determined by his own soveriegn will who would be his Elect. He Predestines the Elect to salvation, and he brings about their salvation. Those who are NOT elect are not chosen, not because he does not love them or because they did anything worse than anyone else, but rather all is determined according to God's Eternal Will and Purposes, quite regardless of what man does or does not do. Conditional Election - Elect is chosen based upon God's FOREKNOWLEDGE of who will and will not respond to the Gospel. God knows all things, and His choice of the Elect is based on whom he can foresee who will receive the Gospel and respond in faith and endure to the end. 
Atonement Limited Atonement- Christ died only for the ELECT. His death paid fully for the sins of those whom God sovereignly chose to save. He did not merely die to make salvation AVAILABLE, but rather to ACCOMPLISH the salvation of the Elect. Unlimited Atonement - Christ died for ALL. He died to make salvation AVAILABLE TO ALL who would willingly receive it. And whoever chooses to respond to the Gospel in Faith and Repentance will be saved.
God's Grace Irresistable Grace - Also called "Effectual Grace". God's Grace accomplishes his purposes. He CAUSES our Conversion. He effectually draws us towards himself and he unilaterally REGENERATES our souls, causing us to repent and believe the Gospel. This work of God is "monergistic", meaning he does it unilaterally, without us contributing anything. We are the RECIPIENTS and the OBJECTS of Grace. We do not participate in our own salvation. Regeneration PRECEDES Faith. Resistable Grace - God offers his Grace to us, but we have the ability to accept it or reject it according to our Free Will. God's Grace to us is only effectual IF we respond to it and receive it. This work of God is "synergistic", meaning it requires OUR PARTICIPATION in order to be effectual. Regenerations FOLLOWS faith. 
Perseverance to the End Perseverance (or Preservation) of the Elect - All Elect are protected by God's Grace from falling away from their salvation. God Preserves his elect by his power. Their Perseverance is not due to their own will, but to God's Preserving and Preventing will. All of the Elect WILL Persevere to the End, and WILL NOT falter. This does NOT apply to those who CLAIM to be saved, but who do not exhibit ANY change of heart. All Truly born again Elect WILL show forth good works as the evidence of their true conversion and Regeneration. No one who claims to be saved but who does not show forth good works and a changed life as evidence of Conversion is truly Elect, and IS NOT truly saved. But no one who is truly saved can lose their salvation. Conditional Perseverance -Only those who continue in their faith and endure to the end will in the end be saved. God knows who those people will be. They are his Elect. But he does not CAUSE them to Persevere. He helps them and empowers them to obey, and they must CHOOSE to obey. We CAN lose our salvation due to neglect and sin which might lead us to choose to walk away from our salvation willingly. We cannot lose it accidentally, but only by conscious choice. True Apostasy is possible, but not easy. We do not lose our salvation every time we sin, but sin can bring us to the point where we will choose to abandon our salvation. 

 

These are the basic differences between the two views. 

Notice, however, that BOTH views acknowledge that God knows all things past, present, and future. This belief that God is All-Knowing is not unique to either view. This is BASIC THEISM.

Notice also that the oft-maligned idea of "Once Saved Always Saved", which allows for a person to "get saved" and then live in sin, and yet still be guaranteed his salvation IS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH TRUE CALVINISM! True Calvinism REJECTS that "Fire Insurance" kind of salvation.

Notice that belief that God Foreknows the Elect IS PART OF BOTH BELIEF SYSTEMS. But in Calvinism, God unilaterally CHOOSES the Elect based on his OWN purposes, and he CAUSES the Elect to come to salvation, and in Arminianism, God chooses his Elect CONDITIONALLY, based upon those whom he FORESEES will accept the Gospel and endure to the end, and he ENABLES, but does not CAUSE the Elect to come to salvation and endure to the end. 

Secundus

 

  • Edited August 4, 2017 2:15 pm  by  Secundus555
 
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From: Secundus555Aug-4 2:10 PM 
To: All  (2 of 115) 
 37647.2 in reply to 37647.1 

In case anyone is interested, I am a Wesleyan-Arminian.

Many years ago, I was a Calvinist. But I abandoned that belief several years ago. 

Secundus

  • Edited August 4, 2017 2:15 pm  by  Secundus555
 

 
From: Secundus555Aug-4 2:34 PM 
To: All  (3 of 115) 
 37647.3 in reply to 37647.1 

Image result for Calvinism vs Arminianism chart

Secundus

 

 
From: Jammer (ABQJammer)Aug-4 3:11 PM 
To: Secundus555  (4 of 115) 
 37647.4 in reply to 37647.2 

Secundus555 said...

In case anyone is interested, I am a Wesleyan-Arminian.

It's that last point, Conditional Perseverance, that I have trouble with on the Wesleyan-Arminian side.  The Scriptures tell us that we are "sealed" with the Holy Spirit, as the "guarantee" of our salvation, so you would HAVE to believe that WE have the "power" and "capability" to "break" that "seal" on the believer's life, making US stronger and more powerful than the Holy Spirit.  This is what I have a problem following or believing, because then the Holy Spirit is NOT "God", anymore, and certainly NOT "all powerful" or "omnipotent".

 

 
From: Secundus555Aug-4 4:39 PM 
To: Jammer (ABQJammer)  (5 of 115) 
 37647.5 in reply to 37647.4 

Jammer (ABQJammer) said...

It's that last point, Conditional Perseverance, that I have trouble with on the Wesleyan-Arminian side.  The Scriptures tell us that we are "sealed" with the Holy Spirit, as the "guarantee" of our salvation, so you would HAVE to believe that WE have the "power" and "capability" to "break" that "seal" on the believer's life, making US stronger and more powerful than the Holy Spirit.  This is what I have a problem following or believing, because then the Holy Spirit is NOT "God", anymore, and certainly NOT "all powerful" or "omnipotent".

It says all of that, yes.

But it also has many CONDITIONAL statements about "IF we endure to the end". 

And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:10-13)

Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. 13 You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.14 For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. (Hebrews 3:12-14)

 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, so that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. 11 The saying is sure: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us;13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful--for he cannot deny himself. (2 Timothy2:10-13)

And Hebrews 6 makes it very clear that true Apostasy IS possible:

For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, since on their own they are crucifying again the Son of God and are holding him up to contempt. (Hebrews 6:4-6)

This is one of the verses that eventually undermined my belief in Calvinism. Calvinists, of course, have a RESPONSE to this verse, but not even the great Reformed Theologian, RC Sproul, whose writings first "converted" me to Calvinism years ago, has a very convincing explanation for this verse. 

This verse makes it very clear that IT IS POSSIBLE for someone who was TRULY SAVED to fall away from his salvation. But, once that salvation is lost, IT CAN NEVER BE REGAINED! Therefore it is NOT like some Arminians suppose, where you lose your salvation every time you fall into sin and you have to get "resaved" (I heard many such "testimonies" in my years in the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement). Rather, sin draws us away from our "first love", and our "love grows cold" and "our hearts are hardened against God" by sin until we finally choose to WALK AWAY from our salvation and abandon our inheritance as Children of God. Sin can bring us to the point where we might choose to become Apostates. We do not lose our salvation simply because we sinned. But sin draws us away from God until we get to the point where we might be tempted to abandon our faith and walk away from our salvation. But if we ever DO get to that point, we can never come back...we won't WANT to come back. Our hearts will become hardened and cold towards God and we cannot and would not return again to repentance. 

That is true Apostasy. So long as we can still hear the call and convicting voice of the Holy Spirit drawing us to repentance, we have not yet reached this point. But if we do finally choose to repudiate our faith, that voice falls silent. Our hearts can no longer hear his call or feel his conviction. We no longer WANT to hear his voice. 

I believe that true Apostasy is POSSIBLE, but not EASY...and not common. But it will become more and more common as we get to the End of Days.

I have known some people whom I think may have truly become Apostates. But I do not know that for sure...only God knows. 

The Scriptures say it IS possible to do this. 

Secundus

 

  • Edited August 4, 2017 4:47 pm  by  Secundus555
 

 
From: Bob (Bobbylee7) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by hostAug-5 8:06 AM 
To: Secundus555  (6 of 115) 
 37647.6 in reply to 37647.1 

 WHAT exactly is Calvinism

bob>Calvinism is a lie! There are a very few in the bible who were predestined, the apostles, David, Moses and a very few more. Calvinism incorrectly thinks everyone who will be saved is predestined, it's completely wrong! Calvinism is a distortion of Predestination. 


 

 

 
From: phoenix5035Aug-5 10:36 AM 
To: Secundus555  (7 of 115) 
 37647.7 in reply to 37647.1 

I am neither a Calvinism or an Arminianist (is that right, an Arminianist?).

Between the two this is what I currently believe:

While we are given free will, accepting Jesus as your saviour, and actually living as a full-time Christian, is not a free choice.

Rather then believe in 'Unconditional Election' as opposed to 'Conditional Election', I currently believe in, what I call, 'Predispostion' instead:

Some people are more disposed towards receiving salvation through Christ then others, but the offer of Our L-rd's salvation is intended for all.

On the third point, I'm with the Arminianists (is that right:  Arminianists?).  I currently believe Unlimited Atonement is the more correct belief.

On the fourth point though, I am currently with the Calvinists:  If G-d's offer of atonement through the sacrifice of His Son is unlimited (which I currently believe is correct), then in order for Him to reach some lost souls with His offer, He would have to arrange for them to be overcome with an irresistible Grace.  Why?  Because some people, souls, are less disposed to receiving the Gospel then others.

On the fifth point, I lean towards the Arminianist view:

Secundus555 said...

True Apostasy is possible, but not easy. We do not lose our salvation every time we sin, but sin can bring us to the point where we will choose to abandon our salvation. 

Still, I'm currently the least sure of this as compared to the other points.

I'm not sure any REAL Christian wants to commit to the idea that one can choose to abandon our salvation in the face of a G-d who is omnipotent, and what His Son was willing to go through on the cross for us.

Thomas.

 

 
From: phoenix5035Aug-5 10:46 AM 
To: Bob (Bobbylee7) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (8 of 115) 
 37647.8 in reply to 37647.6 

Bob (Bobbylee7) said...

bob>Calvinism is a lie!

I don't think so, Bob.  I don't think it comes down to whether Calvin or Arminius were more truthful then the other, or more sincere as Christians.

Shakespeare put it well in this line from 'Hamlet':  "There is more in heaven and earth then there is in your philosophy, Horatio."

Amen.

No doubt, Thomas.

 

 
From: Bob (Bobbylee7) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by hostAug-5 1:10 PM 
To: phoenix5035  (9 of 115) 
 37647.9 in reply to 37647.8 

Bob (Bobbylee7) said...

bob>Calvinism is a lie!

I don't think so, Bob.  I don't think it comes down to whether Calvin or Arminius were more truthful then the other, or more sincere as Christians.

Shakespeare put it well in this line from 'Hamlet':  "There is more in heaven and earth then there is in your philosophy, Horatio."

bob>I'm not putting Calvinism up against Arminius, Calvin does not belong on the field with it. Calvinism takes the very times/people in the bible who are/were predestined and thinking everyone who is ever saved is predestined before they are born to be saved and nothing they do in this life can ever change that. If one is predestined to go to Hell, not even God can change that! Calvinism is BS on steroids. 


 

 

 
From: Ginger (TGANNON) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by hostAug-7 12:08 PM 
To: Bob (Bobbylee7) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (10 of 115) 
 37647.10 in reply to 37647.6 

Secondus wants to categorize you, Bob.  Do you fall into any of those categories he listed? I don't.

 

 

 

     

Psalm119:105 "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path"

 

 
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