Arminianism = Deism?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by TomVols, May 21, 2011.

  1. TomVols

    TomVols
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    Long story short, after a series of theology lectures, some students stated that they believed that God has done all He's going to do relative to salvation, He now awaits our decision, and passively allows those to be made apart from any sovereign or providential act.

    This struck me as a bit of deism, and the more I think of it, the more I think that could be a possibility. I've heard similar worldviews espoused here and elsewhere by Arminians.

    So I ask humbly and not to malign my Arminian brothers: is Arminianism a form of Deism? I personally can argue it either way, but I've heard many argue it where they honestly paint themselves into a Deistic corner.

    I'm interested in how my Arminian brothers feel as well as my Calvinist brothers.
     
  2. StefanM

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    I don't think their position is orthodox Arminianism.

    That being said, it has deistic tendencies, for sure, but the idea of God offering any salvation at all is beyond the scope of deism.

    Biblical soteriology is God's grace from beginning to end. Whether or not one is monergistic or synergistic in one's understanding of the process, the active, extensive intervention of God is absolutely essential at every single point.
     
  3. convicted1

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    I do agree that God has done all He is going to do in regards to saving people, but not like the way this was worded. What I mean is that when Jesus died, was buried and arose, He accomplished the plan of salvation. Now, that's all anyone needs to be saved!! Sure, the call must come before one is saved, but God has done all that He is going to do in regards to saving sinners. There is nothing else for Him to do, except call. Jesus paid our sin debt in full, that through Him, we have access to the Father. That is what I mean. If this is still unclear, tell where and what I need to clarify.


    I wouldn't think so, Bro. Tom. God has done all that He is going to do, IOW, Christ fulfilled what God had foreordained Him to do, and nothing else will be added to it. Like when Joseph Smith started the Mormon movement. God didn't forget to do something, and a little over 1,800 years later, reveal this to him. Now, that is probably a "deism", if you ask me. God didn't say this about 1,800 years after His Son died on the cross; "I knew there was something I forgot to do. Go down there angel, and tell Joseph Smith, Jr., what I need for him to do...We'll call it an adendum, yea, that sounds good, an adendum!!"
     
  4. Tater77

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    Gods saving work in Christ is finished this is true. And I wish I had more time before Church to explain myself but sadly I do not. Just might come back and edit this.
     
  5. quantumfaith

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    Thanks for bringing this up. Officially, in "deism" God simply leaves the world entirely to its own devices, save for the "built in" design from creation. Furthermore, officially deists place no authority or credence in "miracles" or even in "scriptures".

    I honestly have not seen anyone on this board "approaching this limit" . How I do see it, is my reformed brothers here (leaning heavily to the deterministic side of the equation) distaste for anything leaning toward the will of the created.
     
  6. Earth Wind and Fire

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    "How I do see it, is my reformed brothers here (leaning heavily to the deterministic side of the equation) distaste for anything leaning toward the will of the created".

    I seriously do not understand this comment especially the last portion. How do you mean we Calvinists have distaste for the will of the created?
    Please advise & give some examples.
     
  7. TomVols

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    Reminder: don't post in all bold. See the posting rules.

    I think it's a bit of a misnomer to state there is no static deviations in deists. IOW, you make it seem as deism is either wholesale embraced or completely rejected. That's a bit of a bifurcation.

    It's also completely false that deists would reject the Bible or miracles. Deists argue that miracles are part of the created order that God is allowing to spiral.

    1. Look long enough, you'll see it. 2. I have seen little Reformed rejection for human activity/responsibility/will.
    3. We're off topic.

    It is at this point where the matter hinges. What is the call? If God is calling, wooing, drawing to salvation, then God remains proactive. If God is doing less than this, then that's where deistic tendencies may creep in to a degree, one could argue.
     
  8. kyredneck

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    Hello Willis,

    I'll paraphrase below what I think you're saying above; correct me if I'm wrong:

    “The gospel must be preached to one before one can choose to believe it and thereby go to heaven”.

    If so, then:

    1.One's eternal destiny is dependent not only upon their own will but also the will of others [Jn 1:13].

    2. Christ is not the only mediator between God and man [1 Tim 2:5] because the 'soul winner' is the mediator between Christ and man.

    3.The [life-giving] Spirit cannot go where He wills [Jn 3:8], He can only go where the 'soul winner' conveys Him.

    The Primitive Baptists (and others) are wise in making a clear distinction between the Effectual Call and the Gospel Call, i.e. Regeneration and Conversion.
     
  9. quantumfaith

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    I did not mean it "disrespectful" I simply mean some (perhaps many) of the reformed disagree with and even chide those of us who hold to some notion of "free will".
     
  10. kyredneck

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    You've been making that accusation since you first joined the BB. If memory serves me right you carried this complaint over from other site(s)??

    In all honesty, have you ever been 'chided' by any of the DoGs' here on the BB for your belief in free will? Provide proof?

    I weary of the incessant smears and accusations that are directed at the 'hateful' 'mean' Calvinists whose God is a monster.
     
    #10 kyredneck, May 22, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2011
  11. Skandelon

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    Tom,

    More often than not the charge of Deism, like that of Plagianism, is a label many Calvinists resort to in order to demonize and dismiss those who disagree with them. They are labels used much in the same way "hyper-Calvinism" or "anti-evangelism" is used against you by less informed Non-Calvinists.

    That being said, anyone can make some link from a particular doctrinal system to fit just about any label.

    For example, if you take the most basic definition of "deism" as being "belief in a creator who does not intervene in the universe," then one could make an argument that if God determined everything that would happen prior to creation thus really never actually "intervening" in the true since of the word, because it was all "set in motion" and determined beforehand. Obviously, I disagree with this argument, but its seems about as plausible as the one being made in the OP.

    1. You do know this is not true historical Arminian Theology, right? (I mean, you are using "Arminian" in a general "non-Calvinistic" sense, right?)

    2. I doubt these students, if objectively questioned, would deny that God is actively working in and through His appointed means: HS indwelled believers, preaching, gospel, scripture, His Church etc. But instead could be arguing that God has provided all that is necessary for people to clearly see and understand His truth and thus all stand "without excuse."

    There is nothing Deistic about that.
     
  12. quantumfaith

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    Yes I have kyredneck and others have as well, I am not skilled (with this BB) nor am I inclined to do so. If you are unsatisfied with that....oh well.
     
  13. Earth Wind and Fire

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    QF....you do know that disrespect has happened on both sides. As you are fully aware, I never even wanted this board getting into that mudslinging....It does not show respect to anyone ..... least of all to our Lord. Christians have tons more to discuss that glorifies God than this endless nonsense:BangHead:.
     
  14. quantumfaith

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    I am quite aware that there is enough "disrespect" to go around from all sides. :) Its all good brother, all good.
     
  15. TomVols

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    I actually made that argument right back. A hyper-Cal could be accused of the same thing. However, I would assert that by necessity, hyperCal would require a continually intervening God, whereas Arminianism would not require this.

    Indeed. But some are justifiable. Some...well, they just pull them out of their ears.
    Well, they did deny this to a point. But there's a bigger question that I pointed out earlier. The moment we start talking about the HS and God actively working, it begs the question a bit.

    I agree there's nothing deistic in and of necessity relative to what you stated. However, what you stated is also stated by Calvinists. Just sayin......:laugh:
     
  16. Van

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    Yet another thread tarring non-Calvinists with holding aberrant views. They tell us we are deists, or semi- this or gnostic that and on and on.

    At its core, since Arminians wrongly believe they automatically save themselves when they choose to trust in Christ that is deistic in nature, but that does not make them deists. A deist would say God does not intervene at all, and so if God intervenes in the affairs of men, i.e hardening the hearts of some, then that view is not deist. So why make the silly charge? To tar and feather non-Calvinists and shift discussion away from the actual false doctrines of Calvinism?

    The best that can be said is this Calvinist thinking reflects a "all or nothing" mentality. So a person who shares some views with open theism is clearly advocating open theism, and a person who does not believe that original sin resulted in total spiritual inability for all men does not believe in original sin. Tar or feathers is the choice they offer opponents. LOL
     
  17. Skandelon

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    Exactly, my point. What I stated is representative of true "Arminianism" and as you pointed out, is also believed by Calvinists. The difference between Cal and Arm is not whether or not God is still at work, but it is the "effectuality" of God's working in and through those given means. Thus, deism would no more apply to Arminianism as it would to Calvinism, unless someone redefines the terms.
     
    #17 Skandelon, May 22, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2011
  18. convicted1

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    FTR, Bro Larry, if this is what you gleaned from my previous, I want to apologize to you. I sure did an awful job of explaining myself, if this is what you got from that post. Now, I hope to clarify what I stated in the earlier post.

    I never stated this, Bro. Larry. I do believe in "gospel regeneration", but Paul in Romans 1:16 states that the Gospel is "the power of God to salvation, to him who believes". Sure, I believe we as preachers have to go forth and preach the gospel message, but God has to "move" before anyone can understand what the preacher is preaching. So, God can, and does, work outside of us preachers, and will save those who believe in Him.

    It states that God is not willing that ANY would perish, but people are perishing all the time, Bro. Larry. God called me for YEARS, but because I wanted to live my life my way, He would not save me until I gave in to Him. He stands at the door and knocks, but He won't break the door down and come in. Anyone must be willing to be saved, and until they want to be saved, God will not "overtake" them and thrust salvation down their throat.

    Not true, Bro. Larry. Jesus is the only mediator between us and God. No matter how powerful the message is that is being preached, it takes God to enlighten man, before they can truly understand what is being preached. So the "soul winner's"(I hate that term, BTW) message must be enlighten by God, before it will profit anyone.


    The Spirit goes no further than the blood of Christ, Bro. Larry. When we are born again/born from above, the blood cleanses our soul, and makes our garment white as snow. We get the drink of living water(John ch. 4) that is in us a well of living water, springing up into everlasting life. After the blood cleanses us, the Spirit comes in, takes up His abode, and leads, guides, and directs us in the way of righteousness....and also as a witness to others that we now belong to God. So, IOW, the Spirit's boundary line IS the blood of Christ, and no further.

    Bro. Larry, I have news for you. Conversion and regeneration are one and the same. One can not be regenerated and not be converted, and one can not be converted and not be regenerated.

    paliggenesia Greek word used for "regeneration": G3824

    Thayer's definition:
    1) new birth, reproduction, renewal, recreation, regeneration

    a) hence renovation, regeneration, the production of a new life consecrated to God, a radical change of mind for the better. The word often used to denote the restoration of a thing to its pristine state, its renovation, as a renewal or restoration of life after death

    b) the renovation of the earth after the deluge

    c) the renewal of the world to take place after its destruction by fire, as the Stoics taught

    d) the signal and glorious change of all things (in heaven and earth) for the better, that restoration of the primal and perfect condition of things which existed before the fall of our first parents, which the Jews looked for in connection with the advent of the Messiah, and which Christians expected in connection with the visible return of Jesus from heaven.

    e) other uses

    1) of Cicero's restoration to rank and fortune on his recall from exile

    2) of the restoration of the Jewish nation after exile

    3) of the recovery of knowledge by recollection

    epistrephō Greek word used for "converted": G1994

    Thayer's definition:
    1) transitively

    a) to turn to

    1) to the worship of the true God

    b) to cause to return, to bring back

    1) to the love and obedience of God

    2) to the love for the children

    3) to love wisdom and righteousness

    2) intransitively

    a) to turn to one's self

    b) to turn one's self about, turn back

    c) to return, turn back, come back


    Another word used for converted: G4762 strephō


    Thayer's definition:
    1) to turn, turn around

    2) to turn one's self (i.e. to turn the back to one

    a) of one who no longer cares for another)

    b) metaph. to turn one's self from one's course of conduct, i.e. to change one's mind

    Well, I guess I may have been a little off about them being one and the same, Bro. Larry:smilewinkgrin:!! But one does lead to the other. They go hand in hand in leading one to God. If you need anything else clarified, please let me know. Have a good week, Bro. Larry!!

    i am I AM's!!

    Willis
     
  19. Van

    Van
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    Spiritual regeneration and conversion are the same thing. Both are actions of God upon those He has chosen to save. We do not regenerate ourselves or convert ourselves into a new creation, God does!

    How did I become the good soil of Matthew 13? I was cultivated by believers, such as my parents. I was exposed to the Word of God and therefore I had heard and learned from the Father. I believed in God and believed God is the rewarder of those who seek Him. I was aware of the Law and knew I had broken it, that I was a sinner, a wretched person. And then one day I witnessed a Christian behave like Christ, rather than as I would have behaved. and I knew he was different from me, that he was a new creation. And I trusted in Christ, telling him all my evil ways and thoughts, and asking for the mercy I did not deserve. I fell on my knees. I spent the better part of two days praying and praying and thinking about my commitment, to hold nothing back, to pick up my cross and follow Him. I responded to the revelation that God providently put in my path. I responded to the believers who brought me the gospel by the example of their lives as well with the Word of God.

    My experience was exactly like Paul describes in Romans 7:18. The grace of God touched me before I put my faith in Christ; the Holy Spirit working through believers convicted me. But it was God alone who credited my faith as righteousness and spiritually placed me in Christ, making me alive together with Christ, regenerating me - converting me - becoming a new creation created for good works.
     
  20. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Bro....hope you get up to this area for a while. Any discussion of this would be met with laughter & a commentary like "I dont care" .... I think I prefer that to this nonsense.
     

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