Arminianism Overthrows Biblical Inerrancy?

, posted by Richard Coords

Calvinists have put out a DVD called “Amazing Grace,” which makes the following charge against Arminianism:

One Calvinist explains: “Arminianism has real implications for the doctrine of Scripture. How can God superintend men’s words so carefully and so precisely so as to ensure an inerrant Scripture, if God is a God who allows absolute freedom, and allows sinners, like the apostle Paul, or sinners like the apostle Peter, to make absolute choices. If the Arminian God is inspiring Scripture, we would expect it to be filled with some mistakes, because that’s the nature of freedom. If on the other hand, we have the sovereign God who exercises His good providence for the purpose of mercy upon His creatures, then we can expect that there are times when He does not allow freedom, in order, for a particular task to be accomplished, thus superintending every single word that the Apostle Peter writes. Though the Apostle Peter, as we know, is prone to sin.” (Amazing Grace DVD)

Another Calvinist explains: “The Arminian says, ‘no you have to have free will that operates on its own, and divine sovereignty respecting free will.’ If that is so, how can we be guaranteed that the persons who penned the Bible did not sometime exert their free will, apart from the sovereignty of God, and put some mistakes in it? And this is the common way that Arminianism leads. It leads to higher criticism. It leads to a man-centered understanding of the Bible and the inspiration. Eventually, you lose the doctrine of Inerrancy.” (Amazing Grace DVD)

Another Calvinist states: “Arminians have a problem defending the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture because the way it would require God to override the free will of man.” (Amazing Grace DVD)


Consider the analogy of a person going in for surgery. A person may freely give consent to the doctor to perform the surgery, and once he does, he no longer has any choices until he regains consciousness. For while the patient is under, he is not conscious to be able to tell the doctor, “Splice here and suture there.”

Similarly, when a person hears the faith-producing Gospel (Romans 10:17), and repents and receives Christ, he is said to be “sealed” by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ. (Ephesians 1:13) As such, people do not regenerate themselves, but merely submit to the Holy Spirit, who in turn, performs the *spiritual* operation. The inerrancy of Scripture may be explained in similar terms. An apostle may of his own free will, submit to the will of the Holy Spirit, and what follows, are the inspired words of the Great Physician. So in reality, Arminians have no problem explaining the inerrancy of Scripture, in light of both the liberty of man, and the sovereignty of God.