Grace

Is Prevenient Grace Biblical?

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Defending a term such as prevenient grace poses the same problem as defending such terms as trinity, total depravity, supra-, infra-, or sublapsarianism, or even Bible, for such terms do not appear in the Bible.

What, then, does the Arminian mean by the term prevenient grace? The word prevenient means “preceding;” thus the term, in its most simple form, means “grace which goes before,” or, “preceding grace” (or, as in ancient usage, “preventing grace”). So when the Bible claims that people are “saved by grace” (Eph. 2:8), Arminians understand that this grace must precede salvation if a person is to be saved (something which no Calvinist would deny).

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Arminianism: A Theology of Grace

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Is God’s grace irresistible? The answer to that question will be determined by your theological convictions. If God must first regenerate people (whom He has pre-selected for salvation) in order for them to believe, then…

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Arminian Grace: How Sweet the Sound

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I found this mockery at a Calvinist’s blog, who will remain nameless:

“Arminian ‘grace!’ How strange the sound, Salvation hinged on me. I once was lost, then turned around, Was blind, then chose to see.

“What ‘grace’ is it that calls for choice, Made from some good within? That part that wills to heed God’s voice, Proved stronger than my sin.

“Thru many ardent gospel pleas, I sat with heart of stone. But then some hidden good in me, Propelled me toward my home.

“When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Because of what we’ve done. We’ve no less days to sing our praise, Than when we first begun.”

I’d like to hear Chris Tomlin do something with that one! John Newton would have been proud of our Calvinist “friend.” Actually, I think Newton would have been disgusted. I think every Christian should be disgusted with the heresy mentioned in that re-working of a classic hymn. And if that encapsulated Arminian theology, I would never adhere to such nonsense.

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Prevenient Grace and Libertarian Free Will

, posted by Patron

The content of this post was authored by J.C. Thibodaux and is posted on his behalf.

Many Calvinists point to such concepts as total depravity and bondage of the will to make the case that the will is not free, but don’t realize that they hit cleanly beside the point in that we agree that the human will is by nature enslaved to sin.

One cannot correctly understand the Arminian/Synergist view of libertarian free will without first understanding prevenient grace. Reformed theologians are correct in saying that the human will is in bondage to sin stemming from the sin of Adam,

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. (Romans 8:7)

Thus by nature, human beings are blind and hard-hearted towards the gospel and cannot believe in Christ of their own accord. To overcome the power of the sinful nature, something stronger than sin must enter into the equation, which can only come from God. Jesus said in John 6:44,

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Wesley Defends Arminius

, posted by Martin Glynn

Searching through the web, I recently (in fact, 5 minutes before writing this entry) found this delightful piece written by John Wesley as to the definition and dignity of the name “Arminian”. Not at first…

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JOHN WESLEY AND JONATHAN EDWARDS ON RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

, posted by Kevin Jackson

JOHN WESLEY AND JONATHAN EDWARDS ON RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE:
A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

From the Wesleyan Theological Journal
Robert Doyle Smith

Introduction

The tone of the eighteenth-century debate between Arminians and Calvinists finds apt description in John Wesley’s observation that to say, “This man is an Arminian,” was, to some, much the same thing as saying, “This man is a mad dog.”1

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John Fletcher’s Influence on the Development of Wesleyan Theology in America

, posted by Kevin Jackson

JOHN FLETCHER’S INFLUENCE ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF WESLEYAN THEOLOGY IN AMERICA

From the Wesleyan Theological Journal
By John A. Knight

Introduction

Not until recent years has the significance of John Fletcher’s theology been assessed by interpreters of the history of Christian doctrine. For almost two hundred years his work was eclipsed by the Wesleys and by some in the Calvinistic wing of the 18th century Evangelical Revival in England, except for occasional references by historians and biographers of his contemporaries.

David C. Shipley’s perceptive study, “Methodist Arminianism in the Theology of John Fletcher,” unpublished Ph. D. dissertation, Yale, 1942, was a pioneer work in this country. Particularly in the last two decades others have begun to recognize the importance of Fletcher to the development of Wesleyan theology.1

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What Can The Dead in Sin Do?

, posted by Ben Henshaw

Calvinists love to point out that we are dead in sin. That we are dead in sin prior to conversion cannot be denied (Eph. 2:1, 5; Col. 2:13); the question has to do with what it means to be dead in sin.

Calvinist are fond of comparing spiritual death to physical death. This gives them the framework with which to press their theological conviction that regeneration precedes faith. If being dead in sin means that we are as helpless as physical corpses then we are told that we certainly can no more “hear” the gospel or “see” our need for Christ than a physical corpse can hear or see. But is there any justification for such a strict parallel between the spiritual and the physical?

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Graceless, Humanist Theology

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The apostle Paul wrote that his prayer was that Christians would know “what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked…

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Calvinism and Job: Something to Think About

, posted by Ben Henshaw

Most Christians are familiar with the story of Job. Job endured severe trials but did not curse God (though he did question God). The emphases of the book are many. It is probably mainly concerned…

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Is The Drawing of John 12:32 Universal or Particular?

, posted by Patron

Before examining some of the other Calvinists “proof texts” for irresistible regeneration, we will take a moment to deal with a common Calvinist objection to the Arminian appeal to Jn. 12:32 as an example of universal “drawing”.

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Does Regeneration Precede Faith?

, posted by Ben Henshaw

Which comes first, faith or regeneration? That is indeed the question. I cannot think of a more important theological issue with respect to the controversy between Calvinism and Arminianism. It is the defining feature concerning…

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Examining A Rather Strange “Proof Text” For Irresistible Regeneration

, posted by Patron

I believe that I have sufficiently demonstrated that the Biblical ordo salutis (order of salvation) is not that regeneration precedes faith. I gave both a positive argument, and negative arguments (ed.s note referring to the author’s blog). Before moving on to examine the other petals of our favorite little flower, I wanted to give some brief attention to what I believe to be a rather odd proof text often urged by the proponents of irresistible grace.

This argument focuses on the grammar of two related passages in 1 John. James White makes use of these passages in The Potter’s Freedom. He sets up his argument by first quoting 1 John 5:1,

“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.”

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Should Grace be Referred to as Regeneration?

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In his book The Potter’s Freedom, James White equates the saving grace of God with regeneration. He writes, “The doctrine of irresistible grace is easily understood. Once we understand the condition of man in sin,…

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Fletcher on Being “Dead in Sin” Part 2

, posted by Patron

The content of this post was authored by Ben Henshaw and is posted on his behalf. Fletcher demonstrated that the Scriptures use the word “dead” in more than one way, and to understand the term…

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