Thursday, September 04, 2008

Some thoughts on Arminianism

I received a kind note today.

Here is most of my reply:
. . . Theologically, I try to say only what God says.

You are right in saying that Calvinism's bad theology causes them to trash Scripture. That's why I made the point that we should remain silent where God does.

. . . I have a few thoughts regarding Arminianism:
1. God from all eternity predestined to eternal life those of whom He foresaw that they would remain steadfast in faith to their end.
God says that He predestined believers to eternal life. I think that is the place we should stop.

Calvin's gross error was [concluding] that since God predestines people to Heaven, He must also predestine people to Hell, even though Scripture does not say this!

Interestingly, God speaks of those who sin against Him being "blotted out" of "My book" in Exodus, while in Revelation, Christ speaks of those remaining faithful to Him not having their names "blotted out" of the Book of Life.

God's intention is for all to have eternal life. You can't have a name blotted out of a Book unless it's already in it.
2. Christ died for all mankind, not only for the elect.
Absolutely!
3. Man cooperates in his conversion by free will.
Since the Scriptures speak of us being "dead" in our sins, faith as the gift of God, and our utterly sinful nature, I do not believe that we can choose Him or contribute anything to our salvation.

John 1 speaks of believers being born, "not of human will," but, "born of God."
4. Man may resist divine grace.
Yes! Jesus lamented over Jerusalem, ". . . I longed to gather you . . . but you were not willing."
5. Man may fall from divine grace.
The Scriptures warn believers against falling away from the faith into unbelief (which rejects God's grace).

I think the place where the "once saved, always saved" crowd errs is in thinking that because Christ will not allow us to be taken from Him, we cannot take ourselves away (through unbelief).

Since Scripture states both, we should too.

Calvinists aren't the only people who hate me. I've got Muslims and Darwinists after me, too.