Arminianism = Humanism?

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by Skandelon, Jan 17, 2014.

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  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    A signature line of a regular poster reads:

    Arminianism is simply the religious expression of Humanism. If the child of God cannot "will" or "do" anything pleasing to God apart from God working it in him (Philip. 2:13) how in the world does the Arminian think the lost man can?????​

    This question is a gross misrepresentation of Arminian theology. I don't call myself Arminian for reasons explained elsewhere but I know enough about the teaching to know this is a blatant misnomer.

    Arminians affirm along with Calvinists that neither the lost man nor the child of God is able to will or do anything pleasing apart from God's working. Arminians simply deny that this divine 'working' is effectual in nature, and thus differ with Calvinists regarding man's ability to 'trade the truth in for lies' and resist the gracious provisional work of God.
     
  2. The Biblicist

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    This is simply not the issue! The issue is, what is the ultimate determining power which obtains effectual salvation within man - (1) God's will or (2) man's will.

    Arminianism repudiates the will of God as the determinate power in the salvation of men. Indeed, regardless of "God's working" in the Arminian scheme the human will is soverign over God's will when it comes to the power of determining salvation. Regardless of the working of God, in the Arminian scheme, the human will is sovereign in determinism of salvation.

    However, if the regenerate man requires God to work in him "both TO WILL and TO DO of God's good pleasure" then how can it be possible that the unregenerate man can do what the saved man cannot do??? Note this has to do with the power to "WILL" as well as the power to "DO" what pleases God.

    Are the unregenerate in possession of greater will power and greater ability than the saved?????

    Arminianism is the religious form of humanism which teaches that Man is ultimately the captain of his own destiny.
     
  3. Skandelon

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    Well, the way you worded your statement would lead one to believe that Arminians deny the need for God's gracious enabling work in order for us to please him. That is what I was addressing.

    Likewise, in regard to who determines man's salvation, even in the non-Calvinistic framework the choice is God's to save those who repent and believe as He was not obligated in any way to do so. Faith and repentance don't merit salvation. It is of pure grace that God CHOOSES to save those who choose to repent and believe, so in that regard salvation is all of Grace and completely determined by God.

    Granted, once that choice has been determined and God has made His promise to save whosoever will believe and repent, it is 'up to man' to respond, which is why we believe man is 'response-able.'

    But is it misrepresentative in my opinion to state things in the manner you did.
     
  4. convicted1

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    I am going to put you two in a padded room with an unlimited supply of marshmallows to throw at each other....
     
    #4 convicted1, Jan 17, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2014
  5. preacher4truth

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    That's excellent. :thumbs:

    It was never more clearly seen when skan announced knowing the Lord is a personal achievement. That right there is humanism, a false gospel, and taking of God's glory and giving it to man. How a person can wrest Jeremiah 9:24 in that way and conclude those things is reprehensible.

    Carry on.
     
  6. BobRyan

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    The question is - when the poster says that something "cannot" be done - does he mean "cannot even with the intervening power of God in reaching the lost and enabling Sanctification in the saved?" or does he mean "in a vacuum apart from God in all respects"?

    If it is the latter - then as an Arminian I would say that neither the lost nor the saved can do much of anything - if there is no God or if they are placed in the mythical Calvinist "God-vacuum" for evaluation.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  7. JonC

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    It is a gross misrepresentation of Arminian theology (which affirms that one cannot believe unto salvation apart from God’s grace). But I don’t know if it is a misrepresentation of Armianian practice and thought as sometimes theology says one thing, but practice says another. The crux, for me anyway, is that Arminianism ultimately has God waiting on man to determine his or her own fate. But you are right that the "apart from God working it..." part is not correct when describing the theology.
     
  8. Skandelon

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    I don't think the concept of God waiting patiently on man is in contrast with the biblical revelation:

    The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

    But concerning Israel he says, "All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people." Rom. 10:21

    "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Matt. 23:37​
     
  9. Skandelon

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    That wouldn't work. I would eat my ammo. :tongue3:
     
  10. JonC

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    I see that patience as God working within the will of men. I believe that we all resist the will of God, and that we all offer resistance to the grace that he provides. We are all (elect and non-elect alike) unwilling and resistant to God, yet God is patient. I do not believe God is inactively patient merely waiting on us to make a decision. I believe that this patience is expressed in God’s own drawing, his work of grace towards those who will believe. The difference here is that I do not believe God does not wait patiently on man…but that God does not wait patiently on man to determine his or her own fate.
     
  11. BobRyan

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    If we were "waiting on God" then it would all be done in a second.

    2Peter 3 (KJV)
    9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
    10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.


    1 John 2 (NIV)
    2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

    2Cor 5
    "We beg you on behalf of Christ - be reconciled to God"





     
  12. The Biblicist

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    You are basing this merely upon the words "apart from God's grace" rather than how those words are ultimately defined. I am basing my conclusion on how those words are ultimately defined. They are defined ultimately that the human will stands supreme and the will of God and Satan are subservient or only standby to "assist."
     
  13. JonC

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    I am not sure regarding the ultimate definition of the words “apart from God’s grace,”…but I do agree with you that under Arminian theology ultimately the human will stands supreme and the will of God subservient.
     
  14. BobRyan

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    It would be like saying that the will of the dog stands supreme if the owner of the dog let's the dog run loose in the field and merely calls the dog to supper from time to time. As if the owner had no part in it - only the dog determines what the universe will be like.

    God sovereignly chooses free will and suddenly in Calvinism "God ceases to be God should He sovereignly make a choice for free will that does not fit with Calvinism".

    In Calvinism there are some sovereign choices that "God is just not allowed to make - no matter what the Bible says about whosoever will".

    Not sure how it ends up that way.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
    #14 BobRyan, Jan 17, 2014
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  15. Skandelon

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    Do you have children? If you ever choose to allow your child to make a decision independently of you, have you become subservient to them? If you don't use your physical stature to over power their weaker body, are you now weaker than they?

    Your argument presumes it is not God choice to allow man freedom as if He is at the whim of man. That is silly.
     
  16. Skandelon

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    Nor do we.

    As do we, we just believe God's gracious provision can be resisted, where as Calvinists believe it is effectual.
     
  17. JonC

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    If my son makes an independent choice, then insofar as that choice is concerned his will does take precedence over mine. If God chooses to have man determine his or own salvation based on “free-will”, then in terms of that choice man’s will stands supreme and the will of God (who wills none should perish - not the will to grant “free-will”) subservient. This does not make God subservient, but it does make that decision dependent upon man’s will and not God’s (apart from the work of grace to believe, which I grant is a shared doctrine). I think that the term “apart from God’s grace” goes too far, but it seems that your statement here goes too far as well.

    We are speaking of two things here. One is the actual choosing and the other is the means of that choice. If God allows (or enables, if you prefer) man to choose, then does not the choice belong to man rather than God?

    I know you also believe God is active in the work of salvation. I was just pointing out that your quote of my statement was incomplete. God's patience was not the issue. I believe grace is resisted to the core, but God persists and accomplishes his work (not by violating our will or saving us while we are yet unwilling, but by working through and in our nature to effect salvation).
     
    #17 JonC, Jan 17, 2014
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  18. Don

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    The part that needs to actually be discussed is the definition of "humanism." Turn the statement around: does Humanism = Arminianism? If the answer is no, then Arminianism is NOT the religious expression of humanism. If the answer is yes, then the discussion *must* determine how the arminian adheres to humanistic beliefs of the inherent goodness of humans; and how the arminian seeks solely rational means of solving problems without divine guidance or support.
     
  19. Skandelon

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    I believe man is responsible...meaning 'able to respond.' Man is responding to God's gracious provision, through his Son and the powerful appeal of the gospel. That is why we are RESPONSIBLE (able to respond).

    Look at it this way. It was the choice of the Prodigal to return home and beg for forgiveness, but upon his return wasn't it still ultimately the choice of the father to either punish the son and send him packing (which is what he deserved), or to shower him with unmerited grace by restoring him as a son?

    See what I mean? Even though man MUST come home, it is still ultimately the choice of the FATHER to ACCEPT and GRACE US, because we don't deserve it. Asking for forgiveness doesn't merit forgiveness, we still deserve hell even after we ask for God to forgive us. His salvation is all of grace.
     
  20. JonC

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    While we disagree, I do see what you mean. Although it is another topic, and I’m sure some will say as being dishonest of me, I do believe that all men are able to respond to God apart from God drawing them unto himself. It isn’t, to my understanding, an issue if inability but of unwillingness.

    My understanding of your view (correct me where I stray) is that God draws men to himself, and men are saved because of God’s grace. Men choose out of their own free-will, but their salvation is still a matter of divine grace. Where we disagree is that I believe God turns men to himself, and once facing God those drawn freely chose Him. To you this would not seem to be a “free” choice (and perhaps it is not depending on how one defines “free-will”).

    There are many characterizations and misstatements regarding Arminianism. Some have presented it as a “works based” salvation, or as “man saving himself.” These types of statements are just as useless and dishonest as others which present Calvinism as depriving God of sovereignty, arbitrary, or violating human free-agency. Both display an unwillingness to enter into an honest discourse or explore the topic. IMHO, describing Arminianism as humanism falls into this category (as the theology does acknowledge a vital importance of divine grace in regards to salvation).
     
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