Arminianism, Calvinism, Open Theism & Universalism

, posted by neborg

Here are some thoughts of SEA members on the relationship between
Arminianism, Calvinism, Open Theism, and Universalism. Sometimes
Calvinists accuse Arminianism of being the stepping stone to Open
Theism or Universalism, but is this accusation really founded?

It is true that there is a relationship between the different groups,
but in some ways, it is actually Calvinism that is closer to Open
Theism and Universalism.

Let us have a look at the relationship between Calvinism and Open
Theism:

Let A = “God knows the future”
Let B = “God causes the future to happen”

Premise: A -> B
Calvinism: A, therefore B
Open Theism: ~B, therefore ~A

The initial premise is the same for both Calvinism and Open Theism.
Arminianism rejects the premise. Therefore, the only real difference
between Calvinism and Open Theism is whether belief in A forces belief
in B, or whether rejection of B forces the rejection of A. which one
of those concepts is more important to them?

Now let us take a look at the relationship between Calvinism and
Universalism:

Let A = “Jesus died for everyone”
Let B = “Everyone will be saved”

Premise: A -> B
Calvinism: ~B, therefore ~A
Universalism: A, therefore B

Once again, the premise is shared by both Calvinists and
Universalists, but rejected by Arminians. Calvinism is only one step
away from Universalism with the only difference being whether or not
one accepts A.