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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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Why Would God Become Angry At What He Ordained?

, posted by A.M. Mallett

I asked this question on a discussion board when a Calvinist rightly pointed out that the LORD gets angry at the sinful actions of fallen men. There is no doubt that sin angers the LORD. The anger of the LORD is expressed in numerous passages yet this truth causes me to ask the Calvinist “why”? How is it that an omniscient God could possibly get angry at what He supposedly (in the Calvinist tradition) causes or ordains? If God issues a commandment that He has purposefully ordained to be broken, is it not an expression of hypocrisy to become angry at what is His very design? I do not think the Calvinist can address this inquiry in an honest manner. In fact I know from my experiences with a few that the response is to engage in an ad hominem fallacy and accuse me of presenting a straw man albeit unidentified. Contrary to the diversions, the question I pose is valid and crucial to understanding the religious philosophy of Calvinism.

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Can Salvation be Lost?

, posted by Kevin Jackson

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let…

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Romans 3.10-18: A Midrash

, posted by

What did Paul mean when he made the statements that there is “none who seeks after God,” or that man’s “throat is an open tomb”? (Rom. 3.10-18) The majority of Calvinists are convinced that Paul…

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The Sovereignty, Providence, and Will of God

, posted by

The subject of the Will of God was a topic of interest for James Arminius. Many have wondered if he was a Molinist. Richard Muller acknowledges that Arminius read from Molina,1 but Arminius never claimed to be a Molinist.

However, Arminius left in his writings the notion that perhaps he was at least influenced by Molina’s pattern of thought on what God knows and what God has willed according to that knowledge. Muller noted

    The divine knowledge of possibility, since it is knowledge of what things can come into existence, is also a knowledge of the way in which all possibles could exist ideally or perfectly, without defect and a knowledge of impossibility as well. Arminius even argues an order in the divine knowledge of possibles. Thus God knows, first, ‘what things can exist by his own primary act.’

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I John 4:1-3; A Devotional

, posted by Martin Glynn

I apologize for being a little late this week. Yesterday and today have been rather hectic, and I don’t like to rush this. So let us begin chapter 4:

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

Remember that this is a letter and that the chapter divisions came later. John has not fully changed thoughts here, but has flowed from speaking of the Holy Spirit to speaking about false spirits. This coincides with his message in the last section as well which is based on true and false Christians.

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Middle Knowledge: What Does God Know?

, posted by

The subject of God’s knowledge has been a seed bed of debate lately. Modern day Molinists believe that their system offers a middle-ground approach to theology, avoiding both Calvinism and Arminianism. One of my professors…

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Calvinism and Deuteronomy 29:29

, posted by Ben Henshaw

“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deuteronomy 29:29)…

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Once A Son Always A Son?

, posted by Ben Henshaw

It is a popular teaching today that once someone becomes a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ, he or she will never cease to be God’s child regardless of behavior and continuance in saving faith.

In order to express this teaching, it is reasoned from human experience to that which is spiritual and a strong distinction is made between “fellowship” and “relationship”. It is said that a believer can harm and even sever one’s fellowship with God while somehow maintaining a saving relationship. The only way to express this concept is through human analogy.

Neil T. Anderson gives us the basis of this argumentation in Stomping Out the Darkness, co-authored by Dave Park. Under the heading: There’s A Difference Between Relationship and Fellowship, Anderson writes…

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Are the words of Scripture precise?

, posted by Martin Glynn

Did the writers of the bible choose the words and the order of words intentionally? Yes, of course. The Bible consists of carefully constructed words. However, are the words precise? No, simply because precise words…

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Assurance of Salvation in Calvinism?

, posted by arminianbaptist

A major gun in the Calvinist arsenal against Arminianism is the issue of assurance of salvation. Calvinists relish pointing out that an Arminian never has assurance of his salvation. In contrast, they say, Calvinists are…

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More Thoughts on the Sovereignty of God and Human Freedom

, posted by

Concerning God’s sovereignty and human freedom, Bowman offers the following, The Reformed tradition’s insistence on God’s absolute sovereignty is related to its concern for radical aseity [that God is self-originated, self-sustained] . . . both…

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I John 3:22-24; A Devotional

, posted by Martin Glynn

22and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ…

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Excursion on Election

, posted by

Where in the bible is it stated that one’s election is based on an eternal decree? That question led Arminius as well as subsequent Arminians to question the Calvinistic theory of election. McGonigie stated, Our…

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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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Does John 6:44 Teach Irresistible Grace?

, posted by Patron

The content of this post was authored by Ben Henshaw and is posted on his behalf. As I stated in my last post (Does Regeneration Precede Faith?), there is no more important question with regards…

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Satisfaction

, posted by Godismyjudge

This post is an excerpt from the book review of Death of Death in the Death of Christ. Owen’s Argument 13: P1: Christ death satisfied the debt for all those He died for P2: God…

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Calvinism & Hyper-Calvinism

, posted by

According to Monergism.com, hyper-Calvinism’s errors include the following: “that God is the author of sin and of evil, that men have no will of their own, and secondary causes are of no effect; that the…

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I John 3:19-22; A Devotional

, posted by Martin Glynn

19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything….

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