Calvinism/Arminianism Debate Choices

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by BaptistXenos, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. BaptistXenos

    BaptistXenos
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    Hey friends,

    I'm pretty well versed on both camps. Theology, proponents, theologians, history, etc.

    It would help me and maybe everyone else that participates on this forum if you can answer a simple question?

    Here it is:

    Are these the only 2 choices for church and theology?

    For the Reformed camp - Are the Arminians saved?
    For the Arminian camp - Are the Calvinist lost?


    Can we be neither and still be saved?

    I realize we tend to polarize around these 2,and do bible around these theologies. But what was the church before Calvin and Arminius were born?

    And don't defer to Augustine as the historical prooftext.


    I'm not anti-calvinistic, nor am I anti-arminianistic. I'm trying to get a better understanding.

    Don't refer me to someone's book on the subject, because both parties have a tendency promote their camps. I have some Reformed materials, and some Arminian stuff as well. Although, James White does make some good arguements.

    This isn't an attack on either camp, I just need some further clarification. Thank you.

    Again, I'm trying to get clariication.
     
  2. Pastor_Bob

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    I doubt if you'll get too many responses by setting the guidelines for our answers. Why don't you just tell us what you want us to say.
     
  3. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Baptistxenos;
    I have been called an arminian ever since I joined this board, But the truth is I'm just a plain old bornagain Chrtistian. I keep telling them I'm neither Calvinist or Arminian. I have also been referred to as several other things. The truth is I follow Christ not some dead guy.

    One does not have to be of a doctorine that came out of the Catholic church in order to be saved. Christians existed long before the RCC. Infact Baptist existed long before the RCC.
    May Christ Shine His Light On Us All;
    Mike
     
  4. BaptistXenos

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    Sure sir,

    With every good wish. Maybe I need to state this more clearly if possible.

    Are these the only two options for the christian faith?

    Can you that endorse either camp, give a clear biblical presentation without referring to historical arugements?

    Can you present your case objectively, from scripture alone?

    Do you think of this is an in house debate among christians, or are your treating the other person as a heretic?

    It's a pretty old debate, I'm curious to know that in this day are moving toward understanding.

    In others words, do we see this as an issue of which we can debate, and not necessarily divide.

    And it would help me as I stated earlier for clarification in my own walk. There's no hidden agendas my part. I just want to hear peoples thoughts on the issue, if they can articulate their position hopefully more from scripture than outside sources.

    Just trying to get a handle on the issue and to see others arguements. With every good wish.
     
  5. Pastor_Bob

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    Thank you. That does explain things a great deal more. I have been called a Calvinist simply because I believe in eternal security. I guess those that would label me as such are confusing my stand with the perseverance of the saints which the Calvinists hold to.

    I have been called an Arminian because of my support of personal evangelism. (Door-to-door soulwinning, etc...)

    I would consider myself neither. I am simply a Bible believer who feels confident that I can support my theology directly from the Word of God without the aid of history.

    I believe very strongly that there are saved folks on both sides of the isle.
     
  6. BaptistXenos

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    Mike,

    God Bless you man. I'm not here to debate per se but the answers help me in my own walk with Christ. But I will say that neither camp is following man per se these are theological paradigms that both partys have a claim to, from scripture and history, councils, and creeds.

    Calvinist/Calvisnism/Arminianism are nick-names pretty much. I like the reference of Reformed Theology better as a personal preference, though I've yet to hear the theological reference for the Arminianistic camp though. Hence, my post.

    Maybe it would have been better to add a poll?

    With every good wish.
     
  7. BaptistXenos

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    Pastor Bob,

    Thanks you very much sir. I agree with the belief, I would say strongly that both are saved.

    I actually appreciate your response, and I respect your views. And that one can articulate their view from scripture.
     
  8. billwald

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    As a Reformed Reformed:

    1. there is no test for election
    2. Regeneration preceeds conversion
    3. could preceed it by a long time
    4. thus most anyone except Nero & Hitler types coulcd be saved.
     
  9. BaptistXenos

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    Mr. Wald,

    How do you interpret Romans 10:13? Based on your statement made in #4 of your brief statements, that statement contradicts scripture.

    And I've been around some theologs, so I'm assuming you mean you are a double predestinarian? And if you are it explains your post. If not, then you are making statements polarized around your view, and not answering the initial question.

    If I read your post correctly. If so, it doesn't help form answers for someone like myself seeking understanding.

    With every good wish my friend.
     
  10. BobRyan

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    BX -

    It all boils down to this --

    Arminians accept the obvious fact that Belief is a choice. Calvinists do not.

    Arminains (and 3 point Calvinists) accept the obvious fact that "God so loved the WORLD that HE GAVE" -- whereas 4 and 5 point Calvinists do not.

    Arminians and 3 and 5 point Calvinists accept the Bible truth of "perseverance of the saints" at least in some basic form. Four point Calvinists reject it.

    When Calvinists are called to give an account for what they have stated - very often they flee the discussion behind some kind of ad hominem attack to misdirect away from the specific point being raised. Usually Arminians do not employ those antics.

    You seem to be asking if "there is another option" in those choices. I suppose there could be -- what are you suggesting?

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  11. BobRyan

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    Bill claims "Regeneration PRECEEDS conversion" -- Romans 10 says this about that --

    Notice what "results in salvation"??

    Have you ever seen ANY instance in the Bible where one who is "born again" is "not yet saved"?? Any case where UNION with Christ - our FIRST love - is NOT in the context of "Salvation"??

    The Calvinist statement above is that BEFORE conversion TO Christ the wicked are first IN UNION WITH Christ!! (Regeneration is even by Calvinist definitions - at first UNION WITH Christ). But Romans 10 argues that BELIEF comes BEFORE salvation.

    The Calvinist doctrine is then that those IN full and complete Gospel UNION WITH Christ are not yet saved!

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  12. BaptistXenos

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    Mr. Ryan,

    That there are christians that agree with some of the points in calvinism, ie, your 3 pointer illustration/explanation and those that agree with arminians to some degree on some points. But us you so articulated in your response to Mr. Wald regarding Romans and regeneration there are issues beside the 5 points that makes up both camps. By the way I do agree with you on the use of the Romans passage and the regeneration issue as well. Please note I used Romans 10:13 myself.

    And that there are many intelligent christians that don't consider themselves either calvinist or arminian. I just don't think an objective christian with a working knowledge of Church History, scripture, and linguistical grammatical interpretation of scripture, and of theology would just polarize around 2 camps. And there seems to be your evangelical christian that has a working knowledge of both sides of the arguement (go back and look at the premise of my original post) that don't classify themselves as either.


    I believe there are men like yourself and the others that posted on this thread that aren't afraid to say where either party is wrong.
    Which if taken objectively could assist in the debate. But again, I'm seeking further clarification.

    Am I understanding your post correctly sir?

    Again, my post and reply is with every good wish.

    Sincerely,

    Baptist Xenos

    p.s.
    And calling me BX is fine.
     
  13. BobRyan

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    BX -

    Good points. I agree that my views don't always coincide with every other Arminian on every single point. You are also right to note that I show various places where Arminians and certain groups of Calvinists do agree in opposition to other kinds of Calvinists.

    So the "neat and clean" Arminian vs Calvinist distinction may not exist on all topics depending on which kind of Calvinist one is talking to.

    (ending with a preposition - I know)

    But when the argument grows weak - a Calvinist will avoid the "inconvenient details" of the text "At all costs" as the thread on 'Should God have Mercy" points out with Jonah 4 and as the thread on "I stand at the door and knock" points out.

    Of course to be fair - there may be other threads where Arminians do not fair well and where their argument grows thin -- they too (like all Calvinists on the other two threads) would "flee the text".

    I have not seen those threads - (or maybe I am just not spending much time there) - but I would not be surprised that they might exist.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  14. ascund

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    Hey BaptistXenos

    There are more than two choices. Calvinism is a choice that seek to honor God by way of honoring His transcendance. Unfortunately, it compromises His immanence. While Calvinism is an error, it is still clearly within the evangelical faith.

    Arminianism is a choice that honors human-centered self-righteousness. It is questionable whether this is within the evangelical faith. Adherents to this heresy may be truly saved but are wrecking there life by way of rejecting Jesus Christ's finished work on the Cross.

    The Free Grace position is the biblical position. It holds God's transcendance and immancence in their proper biblical "both/and" harmony and balance. The Free Grace position is closer to Calvinism.

    LLoyd
     
  15. BaptistXenos

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    Ascund,

    Good to hear you expound your views. I need to investigate more on the Free Grace perspective, in order to give a better response regarding your comments. But I would have to say in the last 7 years the distinctions are quite sharp.

    I'll look over some of the debate topics and dig a little deeper. This is my closet look truly at the debate from a baptist perspective.

    But there still needs to be some objective balance on the issue. Many people have never had there presuppositions challenged, and we like to cite proof texts, and demonize those who are not like minded.

    With every good wish.
     
  16. ascund

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  17. Faith alone

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    Lloyd,

    As usual, clear thinking. Have you heard of "middle knowledge?" It is championed by William Lane Craig, who is actually an Arminian (quite adriot at defending the faith - considered to be the best living apologetic, FWIW). Zane Hodges supports it also - who is the unofficial head of free grace today.

    At www.faithalone.org/journal/1993ii/J11-93b.htm Zane comments briefly on it:
    There is a book which I read a few months ago which considers the 4 basic views of divine foreknowledge allowing the gurus in each area to explain their case and the others to respond. (Open theism, simple foreknowledge, middle knowledge and the reformed view.)

    Anyway, I like the MK approach because it allows us to lift up the election of God while holding onto the free agency of man. It's actually been around for some time - a Catholic debate on the issue spawned it.

    FA
     
  18. ascund

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    Hey FA

    Middle knowledge to me was develop by some Catholic theologian. In a nutshell, our every decision is associated with a different reality. God knows every possible outcome of every possible reality from every possible decision. The one that he chose maximizes His glory.

    That's all I know!

    The MK position does indeed sound as if it supports the harmonious balance between Free Will and God's sovereign "control" (just couldn't bring myself to type "election").

    Lloyd
     
  19. Ray Berrian

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    Arminianism is a choice that honors human-centered self-righteousness. It is questionable whether this is within the evangelical faith. Adherents to this heresy may be truly saved but are wrecking there life by way of rejecting Jesus Christ's finished work on the Cross.

     
  20. 2BHizown

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