Monthly Archives For December 2010

Differences in Calvinism and Arminianism

, posted by Kevin Jackson

It is easier to respect the position of someone whom you disagree with if you can understand their motivation. Therefore, it is helpful to identify the foundational differences between Calvinism and Arminianism.

God’s Primary Attribute: Calvinists understand God primarily in terms of power and authority. God is sovereign in a deterministic sense. Nothing happens without God’s decree. Any doctrine that limits God’s power is viewed with suspicion by the Calvinist, even if it’s a self imposed limitation of God’s choosing. Arminians understand God primarily as relational. Arminians believe that God is willing to set aside his rights in order to be reconciled with humanity. God did this because of his great love for humanity. Power vs Relationship is the primary difference between Calvinism and Arminianism.

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Pascal’s Wager Against Calvinism

, posted by TheMessianicDrew

Many of you have heard of Pascal’s Wager as a motivator to believe in God, but I think it also applies to the Calvinist/Arminian debate.

Here is Pascal’s Wager: Belief in God, if God exists, gives infinite gain; God does not exist, gives finite loss.
Unbelief in God, if God exists, gives infinite loss; if God does not exist, gives finite gain.

I think that this can be applied to the debate of whether human free will plays a part in salvation.

If Calvinism is true and (by implication) our witness makes no difference in other people’s salvation (because salvation does not depend on human will or exertion), then our beliefs in Calvinism and Arminianism make no difference in the salvation of others. X number of people get saved if we all become Calvinists, and X number of people get saved if we all become Arminian.

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Index of Articles by Robert Hamilton

, posted by Kevin Jackson

Here is a list of articles available on our site that were written by Robert Hamilton. Hamilton has written a number of essays on topics of interest to Arminians. He does an excellent job presenting clear, concise, and compelling arguments for Arminian theology and from an Arminian viewpoint (though we do not necessarily endorse everything he says). His most important essays have been marked with an asterisk.

Thoughts on Original Sin
The Order of Faith and Election in John’s Gospel*
God’s Righteousness Revealed
Three Lies About Sin
Allegiance: What Must I do to be Saved?

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Merry Christmas!!!

, posted by Martin Glynn

This year, for Christmas, we are taking a step back from the debate. We’ve posted on this a couple of times, but I wanted to emphasize now for the Christmas season: we at SEA believe that Calvinists are our Christian brothers, and we have every expectation of worshiping our common Lord and King, Jesus Christ with them for all of eternity.

Christmas is unique in that it is the day of the year that we celebrate who Christ is: fully human and fully God. It is the celebration of the incarnation of God on the earth, when God came down here with us and got His hands dirty with our mess.

This is belief that we hold in common with Calvinism. So let us stand together this Christmas and celebrate Emmanuel: God with us. For He is with us, and calls us to be one people.

Merry Christmas!

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Laurence Womock, The Calvinists Cabinet Unlock’d

, posted by SEA

Laurence Womock, The Calvinists Cabinet Unlock’d is a major anti-Calvinistic work written by Laurence Womock, a 17th century English Puritan Arminian bishop and theologian, published in 1659. Book length is 634 pages. The full title is: Arcana dogmatum anti-remonstrantium. Or the Calvinists cabinet unlock’d. In an apology for Tilenus, against a pretended vindication of the synod of Dort. At the provocation of Master R. Baxter, held forth in the preface to his Grotian religion. Together, with a few soft drops let fall upon the papers of Master Hickman.

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God, Evil, and Grace in Calvinist and Arminian Theology

, posted by Eric Landstrom

As early as Episcopius Arminians have argued that if acts arise necessarily from decree, then God must have included within his decree for the implementation of how to bring the decree to fruition. Popularly it is said that God wills not only the ends but also the means to accomplish the ends. But if this is so, then it logically follows that God is the cause of sin. Calvinists counter-claim that God foreknows and that God’s foreknowledge necessitates what he knows. They argue that this must be true since, according to Calvinism, God foreknows because he first predestined everything and there is nothing that has not first been predestined by God. What the Calvinist scheme means is that neither our most joyful moments or our most wicked are set outside of God’s determining decree since God predestined all things because God is sovereign.

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