James Leonard provided a nice summary of Roger Olson’s book: Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities. Olson’s book is quickly becoming an Arminian classic. One of Leonard’ key points is “Arminians are not driven to their position because they want to cling to free will, as if it were absolutely precious and the one non-negotiable of the debate. The real issue for Arminians is the character of God. Arminians are driven to their position because they see that Calvinism leads to making God the author and the effecting power of sin, and denying God’s goodness.” (link)
Monthly Archives For November 2008
Outline of Edwards’ Arguments in Part III.IV
Commands inconsistent with LFW
Outline of Edwards’ arguments in part III.V
Background – LFW and responsibility
Under LFW, we are the causal source of our choices (i.e. nothing causally predetermines our choices); we are responsible for our choices. There’s nowhere else to go to. We can’t back track to something else – we are responsible. Under CFW, since our actions are causally predetermined, we can trace back the cause of our actions to something outside of us. Thus, we keep searching for the source of our actions to find out what’s ultimately responsible. When Calvinists say God is the ultimate source, we say they make God ultimately responsible for sin. Even if God establishes a system in which only secondary causes get punished and the primary cause does not (as Calvinists suppose), that doesn’t change the fact that God is ultimately responsible for sin. The issue isn’t one of God’s power or sovereignty, it’s a matter of His goodness and holiness.
Outline of Edwards Arguments in part V.I
- Arminians say if something causally predetermines our choices, we are not responsible.
- But responsibility is not the cause of choices, it’s in the nature of choices
- If responsibility is in the cause of choices, we search through an infinite regression of causes, and nothing is ever responsible.
Point 1 is close, but not quite accurate. While our actions can be predetermined, our choices cannot be. Choice cannot be predetermined, else it’s not choice. Predeterminism leaves us with only one possible action, but choice requires alternatives (i.e. more than one). A “predetermined choice” is self-contradictory, implying we can choose something we can’t choose. So we think Calvinists are inconsistent for saying we can choose.
Grace comes solely from God and is the uncreated energy of God. This uncreated energy can be understood as the work of God’s person upon the heart and soul and it is my belief that…
This is he who came by water and blood–Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the…
As many of us who are involved with the Arminianism/Calvinism debate know, Calvinism has recently made major in-roads into the Southern Baptist convention. Indeed, this denomination seems to be the epicenter of what has come to be known as “The Calvinist Resurgence”. But what many don’t know is that there are many in the convention that are not happy with this, and they are not taking it lying down.
Very recently, in fact two weeks ago, the convention held a conference which they entitled “The John 3:16 Conference” to counteract this Calvinist movement. A member of SEA, J. Dale Weaver, attended that conference and has given us a short review of what happened. This may have significant ramifications for the SBC in the near future, so I highly recommend this reading to any Baptists out there.
Outline of Edwards’ arguments in part V.II
- Arminians say that without self-determining power, we have no power of action, acts are not our own, and we must be passive.
- This isn’t the way people use “action” in common speech.
- Used this way action is either causeless or an infinite regression of causes.
- When we speak of a first cause, if nothing causes something, nothing could prevent it, so therefore it is necessary.
- The common notion of action is the effects of the will.
- Arminians think of action as self-determination, because the motion of our bodies is caused by our wills – so they assume the same applies to the motion of our wills.
This article is taken from a chapter in Hoodwinked and Happy?: Evangelicals, Calvinism , and Why No One’s Answering the Problem of Evil, by Daniel Gracely, published by Grandma’s Attic Press, © 2006.
Please note that the author of this article is not an Arminian, but that we have made the article available because it has some good material related to the Arminian/Calvinist debate. SEA does not necessarily endorse everything in the article
Please click on the attachment to view Daniel Gracely, “Divine Sovereignty”
The Southern Baptist Convention has been perhaps the greatest means by which the Gospel has been presented to the world, at least during the history of the United States. No other Protestant denomination has achieved…
Edwards’ arguments in part V.III and part V.IV Edwards splits necessity into two categories: natural and moral. Natural necessity relates to our actions, moral necessity relates to our wills. If an act is naturally necessary,…
For the Calvinist, the “doctrines of grace” is a synonym for TULIP theology. So, do the Biblical Doctrines of Grace of Arminianism also follow a system, such as TULIP? Arminianism proper has not historically employed an acronym as the one used for nearly four centuries by Calvinists.
Let it be stated, however, that if it had not been for the followers of Arminius (the Remonstrants) presenting their five arguments to the state to be approved as orthodox consent, then the TULIP would have never been constructed. And the original order of the Remonstrants was Conditional Election (to those in Christ), Unlimited Atonement, Total Depravity, Resistible Grace, and Conditional Perseverance.
If the Calvinists had strictly followed the Arminian system, it would have spelled ULTIP, which is a bad acronym, considering Ultip is not a word. Worse off, the Arminian acronym would have been CUTRC. The best sense which we could make out of that construct is TRUCC, also not a word.
The word grace, from Genesis 6:8 to Revelation 22:21, is a word meaning “graciousness of manner or act” (literally), or “the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life” (figuratively).1
Grace is a special favor bestowed upon an undeserving individual. Thus when a Christian minister quotes Paul as saying, “For it is by grace you have been saved” (Eph. 2:8), he or she means that the one saved was saved not by merit but by grace, undeserved favor. This is how to use the word grace biblically. In this we do not go beyond its clear meaning, nor do we fall short of what the Bible teaches.
For everything born out of God conquers the world and this is the conquest, the conquering of the world: our faith. What is the conquering of the world if not faith that Jesus is the…
This week, we are starting something new that I intend to do from here on out once a week. For those who may not know, this is not intended to be a blog site. The point of this website is to be a repository of Arminian resources, and a resource itself when debating Calvinists. The purpose of the blog is to draw attention to the many Arminian bloggers that are out there, as well as providing a consistant stream of true Arminian thought.
However, since this is not meant to be a blog site, we wanted to point you to some of the articles that we have here, since they are more dear to the hearts of those of us at SEA. So, every Friday, I’m going to be pointing out a particular article that we have on file here for your review. Articles are longer, and are often far more scholarly.
Libertarian Free Will (LFW) is the idea that man is able to choose otherwise than he will choose. It’s contrasted with Compatiblism Free Will (CFW), the idea that free will and determinism are compatible. These…
This post is an excerpt from the book review of Death of Death in the Death of Christ. 2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be…
This post is an excerpt from the book review of Death of Death in the Death of Christ. This argument is based on Judas and the Lord’s supper. Luke 22: 17And he took the cup,…
This post is an excerpt from the book review of Death of Death in the Death of Christ. There are several passages of the word of God that teach that Christ died for those that…