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Calvinism and Arminianism

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Calvinism and Arminianism  Empty Calvinism and Arminianism

Post by IrishTiger on 2nd October 2013, 9:55 pm

So back in May I came across a reference to Calvinism. Searching the web didn't really help me understand what is was about so I asked my pastor. He explained it, and Arminianism, and asked me which of the five points from each theology I agree with.


(1) Partial Depravity – humanity is tainted by sin, but not to the extent that we cannot chose to come to God on our own. We are capable of choosing to accept salvation or reject it without any influence from God. Note - classical Arminianism rejects "partial depravity" and holds a view very close to Calvinistic "total depravity."

(2) Conditional Election – God chose who would be saved based on knowing beforehand who would believe. God chooses those who He knows will believe.

(3) Unlimited Atonement – Jesus died for everyone, even those who are not chosen and will not believe. Jesus’ death was for all of humanity, and anyone can be saved by belief in Him.

(4) Resistible Grace – God’s call to be saved can be resisted and/or rejected. We can resist God’s pull toward salvation if we choose to.

(5) Conditional Salvation – Christians can lose their salvation if they continue in a life of sin and/or fall away from God. The maintenance of salvation is required for a Christian to retain it. Note - many Arminians deny "conditional salvation" and instead hold to "eternal security."


(1) Total Depravity - As a result of Adam’s fall, the entire human race is affected; all humanity is dead in trespasses and sins. Man is unable to save himself (Genesis 6:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-18).

(2) Unconditional Election - Because man is dead in sin, he is unable to initiate a response to God; therefore, in eternity past God elected certain people to salvation. Election and predestination are unconditional; they are not based on man’s response (Romans 8:29-30;9:11; Ephesians 1:4-6, 11-12) because man is unable to respond, nor does he want to.

(3) Limited Atonement - Because God determined that certain ones should be saved as a result of God’s unconditional election, He determined that Christ should die for the elect alone. All whom God has elected and for whom Christ died will be saved (Matthew 1:21; John 10:11; 17:9; Acts 20:28; Romans 8:32; Ephesians 5:25).

(4) Irresistible Grace - Those whom God elected He draws to Himself through irresistible grace. God makes man willing to come to Him. When God calls, man responds (John 6:37, 44; 10:16).

(5) Perseverance of the Saints - The precise ones God has elected and drawn to Himself through the Holy Spirit will persevere in faith. None whom God has elected will be lost; they are eternally secure (John 10:27-29; Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:3-14).


Which ones do you agree with? I agree with Calvinism points 1, 2, 5 and Arminianism points 3 and 4. When I told my pastor this I said: "I find it confusing that Armenius believed in Condition Election and in Unlimited Atonement. Also, the points about grace were sorta confusing, but I think resistible grace is correct." 

He replied with: "The truth is almost always in the middle was something my pastor always said and I can also find myself agreeing with a half a point here and there within the questionable statements of both Armenius and Calvin. Some of these statements can be reduced to semantics almost and I have never taken a dogmatic stand in discussing them because they were written by imperfect people trying to sum up a perfect God offering what is admitted by scripture to be a mysterious salvation. Grace can be resisted and I have watched many do so until it is seemingly too late although we are not the judge and if you carry the logic to its end, true understanding of Gods grace is irresistible, so, did Armenius mean that election was conditional because of the need for a believers response? Was the atonement limited in his mind for the same reason? Both are true when you think of them that way however Jesus said it best in Jn 3:16-17."


So I know that  was a lot of reading, but what are your thoughts? I have a doc about the two theologies, if you'd like to read it. I'm not sure who wrote it, but I find it interesting.

Last edited by IrishTiger on 14th October 2013, 12:07 pm; edited 1 time in total


2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
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Calvinism and Arminianism  Empty Re: Calvinism and Arminianism

Post by Monty on 14th October 2013, 4:17 am

So, I go to a university that is primarily Arminianist, but go to a church that holds many of the views of Calvinism. Needless to say, that has sparked many a discussion on these cool fall nights. 

I believe in Calvinism's total depravity unequivocally. It is hard for me to imagine otherwise. In regards to number 2, it is hard for me to accept either explanation. I don't believe that God "chooses" who will be saved. I think unlimited atonement expresses several of the beliefs from the gospel of John, specifically. The belief of my church would be that any person can resist the call of salvation, which motivates most of our sermons. Simultaneously, they would hold that once you are saved, you can't not be saved, holding the belief of the preservation of the saints. 

This is certainly a great topic to discuss.

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