Monday, December 31, 2018
Rejecting Calvinism does not equate Arminianism
Calvinism vs Arminianism
New Testament Christianity and the Calvin/Arminian debate.
Armininius vrs Wesleyanism.
John Wesley emulated Arminius in many respects. However, his theology and tradition deviate from arminus in some respects. Wesley had a stronger confidence that a Christian could apostasize. Yet He also believed in a second work of grace, through which perfection could be attained in sanctification. Followers of Wesley would go on to dispute imputed righteousness altering justification. They would hold that justification gives us mercy that we must meet with obedience.
Arminius vs Pelagianism
Arminius genuinely had issues with Pelagianism. He earnestly agreed with his reformed brethren that man had a sinful nature to overcome. Arminius was attempting a middle way between Augustine and Pelagius. So a true Arminian will understand man's sinful nature and need for grace to draw the heart to the righteousness of salvation.
Arminus vs Open theism
Arminus affirmed free will yet not at a cost to God's Sovereignty. God has absolute foreknowledge, if not He would lose his other attributes such as immutability and omnipotence, thus causing to question whether He is truly the one true God.
Yet Arminus retains the following errors!A. Election as a doctrine of salvation.
Augustine operating from a roman catholic perspective that Rome was the kingdom of God, assumed election was a doctrine of salvation, when careful exegesis reveals that it is in reality a doctrine concerning service to the kingdom. Calvin and Arminus follow this misconception.
Thus God saving the believer becomes God rewarding a merit of belief as opposed to a believer receiving the merits of Christ.
B. Foreknowledge considerate of middle knowledge.
Arminians simply had not developed this thought process
C. man as a tricotomy
While there are tricotomist on both sides of the issue. Cavinism and Arminianism started from a dicotomist anthropology.
However when we recognized that the spirit is distinct from the soul. Much of the scripture is instantly reconciled.
The soul contains the will, and the will is free
The spirit is either alive or dead and it draw the will either to or away from the passions of the flesh. But spiritual life is not a simple decision of the soul. The soul can not will to be spiritually alive. It requires the gospel to be understood and believed in the heart which will access the atonement of Christ followed by the reception of the Holy Spirit which regenerates the heart.
D. Grace as the saving work of Christ available in the gospel as opposed to a universal inablement of free will.
Prevenient grace has a great deal to offer. However, it fails in the sense of providing a spiritual free will to all mankind. The draw of God is not unconditional. It is conditioned upon the gospel. We must therefore evangelize the world to draw the world.
E. The atonement was penal substitution which was upheld by arminius but his followers chose the path of government theory of atonement.
The government theory of atonement makes Christ death on the cross an act of shame as opposed to an act of salvation. When Christ said "It is finished" He did not say "I am finished" He paid the debt.
F. The perseverance of the Saints. True saints will continue in faith as well as have all sins atoned securing salvation eternally.
Often on this topic salvation gets misconstrued to be an issue concerning conversion. But conversion is simply a by-product of salvation. When we are imputed the righteousness of Christ all of our past and future sins are atoned for. Thus it is of no consequence if we fail God, the will of Christ to save will not be thwarted.
Some argue then we have a licence to sin. But there are other consequences in this life which God will use to chastise us. Whether it be curses on health prosperity and even death. God uses these things to mold us into maturity
So assurance of salvation is secured.
Now there is a radical free grace movement that argues that this would work even in the caseof apostasy. However, there are fruits to salvation and one of those fruits is faith. So I am arguing that believers will persevere in faith although there perseverance is not meriting their salvation.
This particular blog is true to my mind. But is not being offered as research as such but a commentary for the sake of clarity.