a comparison

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by donnA, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. donnA

    donnA
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    We have so many discussions here about Calvinism and how Calvinists aren't christians, how about we examine Arminianism. Lets take this one point at a time to keep it clear and hopefully on course. Which I doubt. Lets let each side explain what they believe and why, without bashing someone or what they believe.
    For a simple comparison I'm starting here, but will no limit anything to one site
    http://christianity.about.com/od/denominations/a/calvinarminian.htm
    I don't know chuck smith, but these seem accurate with what I've read of both previously, but as I said I will read more then one site to make sure all information is correct.
     
  2. donnA

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    Arminianism
    1. Free Will - Arminius believed that the fall of man was not total, meaning that there was still enough good left in man for him to will to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

    Calvinism
    1."T" = Total Depravity - The Calvinists believed that man is in absolute bondage to sin and Satan, unable to exercise his own will to trust in Jesus Christ without the help of God.
     
  3. donnA

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    Arminianism
    2. Conditional Election - Arminius believed that election was based on God's foreknowledge of who would believe. Man's "act of faith" was seen as the "condition" for his being elected to eternal life, since God foresaw him exercising his "free will" in response to Jesus Christ.

    Calvinism
    2. "U" = Unconditional Election - The Calvinists believed that foreknowledge is based upon the plan and purpose of God, and that election is not based upon the decision of man, but the "free will" of the Creator alone.
     
  4. donnA

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    Arminianism
    3. Universal Atonement - Arminius maintained that redemption was based on the fact that God loves everybody, that Christ died for everyone, and that the Father does not will for any to die unredeemed. The death of Christ provided the grounds for God to save all men, but each must exercise his own "free will" in order to be saved.

    calvinism
    3. "L" = Limited Atonement - The Calvinists believed that Jesus Christ died to save those who were given to Him by the Father in eternity past. In their view, all for whom Jesus died (the elect) will be saved, and all for whom He did not die (the non elect) will be lost.
     
  5. donnA

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    Arminianism
    4. Obstructable Grace - Arminius believed that since God wanted all men to be saved, He sent the Holy Spirit to "woo" all men to Christ, but since man has absolute "free will," he is able to resist God's will for his life. He believed that God's will to save all men can be frustrated by the finite will of man. He also taught that man exercises his own will first, and then is born again.

    Calviniam
    4. "I" = Irresistible Grace - The Calvinists believed that the God possesses irresistible grace that cannot be obstructed. They taught that the free will of man is so far removed from salvation, that the elect are regenerated (made spiritually alive) by God even before expressing faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. If a totally depraved person wasn't made alive by the Holy Spirit, such a calling of God would be impossible.
     
  6. donnA

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    Arminianism
    5. Falling From Grace - If man cannot be saved by God unless it is man's will to be saved, then man cannot continue in salvation unless he continues to will to be saved. In other words, man can fall away from grace and lose his salvation.

    Calviniam
    5."P" = Perseverance of the Saints - The Calvinists believed that salvation is entirely the work of the Lord, and that man has absolutely nothing to do with the process. The saints will persevere because God will see to it that He will finish the work He has begun
     
  7. donnA

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    There frequently seems to be misunderstanding about what each side of this discussion beleives, thought it might be helpful if we learned the others side of this so we might discuss without bashing and assuming.
    be civil now.
     
  8. amity

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    Donna - I don't think that Arminians believe that there is "enough good left in man" to enable him to accept Jesus Christ. Arminius believed in total depravity, formulated about the exact same as Calvin. This is the one point on which both agreed.

    See:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arminianism

    Basically I think we bandy about these terms as a sort of soteriological shorthand without really knowing what their original proponents taught. Most so-called 'Arminians' today are in reality Pelagians, and certainly are if they believe that there was enough good in man to enable him to accept Christ of his own free will then they are Pelagians.

    Pelagianism:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelagianism
     
    #8 amity, Feb 24, 2007
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  9. amity

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    Calvin, at least at some point in his life (and I am not sure when), believed in universal atonement, it seems. I am on an Amyraldian listserver that has posted quotes aplenty on this.
     
  10. donnA

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    As I was taught Arminianism, the belief is that man's fall was not total, there was still a spark of good left in them so that they could choose good over evil and be saved, where as calvinism teaches that the fall of man was total and man is totally depraved. One can non t be total fallen and totally depraved and still be able to choose God, and good over evil. It has to be one or the other.
     
  11. amity

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    Those folks only THOUGHT that they were Arminians, Donna! They were truly Pelagians. Arminius did not believe that way.

    I am MUCH more certain of this than I am of assertion #2!

    What makes it possible for depraved man to be saved in Arminius' view is some grace extended by God to all. I think it was Wesley who finally coined the term "prevenient grace."

    Part of the moral of this story, I think, is that we do not get very much exposure to systematic theology these days. Preaching on Sunday morning contents itself with the Reader's Digest abridged version. Probably most preachers themselves are a little fuzzy. And don't get the idea that I know better, either! I have just been asking myself the exact same question you are asking here for long enough I decided to go to the sources for a few answers.

    Those are the theological "Big 3" today:
    Pelagianism
    Arminianism
    Calvinism.

    There are many other ways of looking at soteriology too of course, though.
     
    #11 amity, Feb 24, 2007
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  12. donnA

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    http://www3.calvarychapel.com/library/smith-chuck/books/caatwog.htm#01

    http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/Arm_Semi_Differences.html
     
  13. amity

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    Yes, that second quote sounds more like it. The first is what I am saying is not quite right. Another major point of divergence between Arminians and Pelagians is salvation by faith versus works. Arminians of course believe in salvation by faith.

    In short, Pelagians do not believe in original sin, Arminians do.
     
    #13 amity, Feb 24, 2007
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  14. donnA

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    But we aren't comparing pelagianiam and arminisim, we are comparing calvinism and arminisim.
     
  15. amity

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    Yes. Well in that case I would say the summation of Arminian soteriology you initially quoted is not correct. It is in fact Pelagianism that is being described in your first posts. But let's just see what others have to say. I hope some will read the articles on Arminiansim and Pelagianism. Even though it is Wikipedia, they are good articles, concise and accurate.

    Few of us are actually consistent enough in our views to really match one or another of these guys, though. Despite whatever label we choose to hang on our beliefs, we tend to jump back and forth. I am not a true Calvinist in many respects, either. I do not believe in gospel regeneration for one thing.

    If you really just want to limit this discussion to Arminianism and Calvinism, then i would say #1 I know of comparatively few Arminians, and #2 those who do endorse Arminius' views would agree totally with Calvin on point #1, total depravity. Arminius was really a sub-type of Calvinist in his general perspective, only disagreeing on some of the particulars. Pelagianism is something quite different. Arminianism and Calvinism are more similar.

    PLUS, we have to admit belief in General Atonement into the Calvinist camp, since Calvin also admitted it. General
    atonement is not a move in the direction of Arminianism, it came from Calvin himself.

    P.S. Apparently a lot of what we think of today as the 'classic Calvinist' formulation in fact came not from Calvin himself, but from John Owen, a Puritan theologian of the mid-1600s. It is only one strain of Calvinism.
     
    #15 amity, Feb 24, 2007
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  16. donnA

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    If you are able to draw similarities between arminism and anything else you consider to be false, then that speaks volumes about arninism.
    I searched the net and found that what I quoted is quite common of modern arminian beleifs.


    http://www.the-highway.com/compare.html


    http://www.gotquestions.org/arminianism.html

    http://www.bible-researcher.com/arminianism.html

    http://www.reformed.org/calvinism/i...g/calvinism/misc/arminian_another_gospel.html
     
  17. amity

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    Oh, yeah, it's prevalent, allright. It just is not Arminianism. Like I said, most people who characterize themselves as 'Arminians' have no idea what Arminianism really is! And as a result, Calvinists don't either.

    I hear this sort of stuff denounced from the pulpit nearly every month as 'Arminianism,' and it is nonetheless NOT Arminianism. That is just a misconception. We need to do a better job with our terminology, coz old Arminius is spinning in his grave. The way it is commonly expressed (by us OR its adherents) is just a mishmash of mutually exclusive ideas derived from 20th century economic/psychological/social theory, and not a coherent theology at all. There, I have said it. That is not Arminianism, it is just nonsense.
     
    #17 amity, Feb 24, 2007
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  18. webdog

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    What you list is the strawman argument for arminianism calvinists use. I do not know of any non cal here, or anywhere that feels man has a "spark of good left".

    I also do not understand why choosing good over evil requires this so called "spark" either. Since Adam and Eve were created "good" according to the Bible, did they require a "spark" of evil to choose sin?
     
  19. webdog

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    If "elected unto eternal life" you mean salvation, Ephesians 2:8-9 is pretty clear that salvation is conditional.
     
  20. webdog

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    Calvinists have the act of atonement (legal payment) confused with forgiveness.
     

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