Very often I enjoy browsing various blogs ranging from sports blogs to other Arminian blogs to many Calvinist blogs. Some are better than others, of course, but what often bothers me about any blog is when someone does not do their homework. A case in point of this is found at Steve Camp’s blog at this link http://stevenjcamp.blogspot.com/2007/10/five-points-of-free-will-all-of-them.html#links. Steve put out a couple of posts attacking free will. He, along with many other Calvinists, I guess, believe that free will is what defines Arminianism.
The problem with Steve’s articles are two-fold. First, he misunderstands Arminianism completely. He, again, believes that Arminians believe so strongly in free will that we even deny the sovereignty of God because of it. This is simply not true. Secondly, Steve seems to make the issue of free will THE issue when it comes to why we Arminians reject Calvinism.
The articles also seem to imply that Steve believes that Arminians believe that we “co-operate” with God in our salvation. I don’t know one Arminian who believes that we “help” God in our salvation, nor do I know one Arminian who believes that we “will” ourselves to salvation. While Arminians surely would defend free will, our defense is not because we believe in man’s goodness or his ability to will himself to salvation, but is based on our understanding of God’s love. Arminianism, as I have stated in many past articles, is based first on the love of God for His creation and particularly for the human race. As John Wesley wrote, to believe in a God who receives glory out of sending men to hell by his own sovereign election makes “one’s blood run cold.” Arminians simply cannot comprehend a God who on the one hand loves but yet He denies some of us the opportunity to be saved through His great love and mercy.
I believe that it is important when we write about Calvinists and Calvinists write about us Arminians that we get our theology correct on both sides. To simply make Calvinism all about election is not fair nor is it fair to make Arminianism all about free will. Arminianism, as with Calvinism, flows from our rich heritage of theologians such as James Arminius, Richard Watson, John Wesley, and many more. Not one Arminian or Calvinist theologian was ever correct on every issue, but we can learn from each other even while defending our faith (1 Peter 3:15-16).
[Link to original post and comments on Roy Ingle’s blog, Arminian Today]