Calvinism, Arminianism & Free Grace

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by webdog, Sep 8, 2005.

  1. webdog

    webdog
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    Greetings. It has been said that if you weren't arminian, you were automatically calvinist, and vice versa. Free Grace Theologian has recently been coming up more and more here on the BB. I would like to know the differences in FG compared to both calvinism and arminianism

    Calvinism's 5 points:
    Total Depravity
    Unconditional Election
    Limited Atonement
    Irresistable Grace
    Perseverance of the Saints

    Arminianism's 5 points:
    1. Conditional Election
    2. Universal Atonement
    3. Saving Faith
    4. Resistable Grace
    5. Uncertainty of Preservation

    How does FG compare to these, and what are the main differences to both of the above doctine's?
     
  2. ascund

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    Hey Webdog

    Great question - really!

    Free Grace theology holds to the following:

    1. Depravity
    __Calvin: We are dead and cannot respond. We must be first zapped to life.
    __FG: We are seriously damaged and headed for hell; we can respond to God's initiatives.
    __Arminian: We are well! We can effect our own salvation!

    2. Election
    __Calvin: Unconditional (by God's decree) and individual
    __FG: Unconditional (by faith) and corporate (IN CHRIST)
    __Arminian: Conditional on self-righteousness

    3. Atonement
    __Calvin: Limited
    __FG: Universal
    __Arminian: Universal (some hold it as an example)

    4. Grace
    __Calvin: Irresistanble
    __FG: Resistable
    __Arminian: Resistable

    5. Perseverance
    __Calvin: relies on God but verified by works.
    __FG: relies on God; has nothing to do with works.
    __Arminian: relies on self; has everything to do with works.

    Free Grace is closer to Calvin in #1 and #2.
    Free Grace is closer to Arminius in #3 and #4.
    Free Grace is far different from Calvin and Arminius in #5. In fact, Calvin and Arminius are far closer than first glance appearances in #5.

    Does this help?
    Lloyd
     
  3. Andy T.

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    To be fair to most Arminians, I have come across very few that actually espouse what is proposed above. Most of them would fall into the described Free Grace category. In fact, Jacob Arminius himself didn't teach such a Pelagian view as ascribed above.
     
  4. Andy T.

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    6. Sanctification
    __Calvin: relies on God to work through the Christian; evidenced by good fruit, but adds nothing to one's justification.
    __FG: relies on self; some Christians can remain completely unchanged and even reject their own 'faith', as [some] FG'ers hold to an incorrect interpretation of I Cor. 3.
    __Arminian: relies on self with help from God; has everything to do with works and one's ultimate justification.
     
  5. timothy27

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    Unfortunatly the examples above are not quite accurate to the true Calvinistic or reformed belief. True reformists or as I like to be called a sovereigntist are much more than the 5 points that are ascribed to us. That is probabl why so many people do not even know how to argue against a Calvinist because they only focus on the 5 points.
     
  6. webdog

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    This, to me, is the one point which I have used to say I am neither calvinist nor arminian. FG here fits the Bible to a "T" in accordance with grace.

    Thanks Lloyd and Andy. I lean more toward this view, except for Andy's #6. Sanctification. Andy, please elaborate on this point. I don't follow FG as opposed to Arminian here, they sound the same. Walking away from your salvation, and losing your salvation, to me, are one in the same, i.e. can't be done. Here, I may tend to lead more to *GASP* calvinism.

    Any 5 point calvinist / arminian want to espouse on this? Great job Lloyd and Andy.
     
  7. webdog

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    If they are not accurate, please say where, how and why. This is an empty accusation without scripture. Please fill us in on what "we don't know".

    What is "more" than the 5 points that you attribute to your theology?
     
  8. ascund

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    Hey Andy

    This is certainly not the FG view. Sanctification relies on the submissiveness to the indwelling Spirit. Since justification is the basis for sanctification; works do not effect destiny - only rewards.

    You'll have to explain what you mean by "an incorrect interpretation of 1 Cor 3." The YET IS STILL SAVED takes a lot of theologizing to undo.

    Lloyd
     
  9. timothy27

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    I mean more by the fact that the 5 points are what come out of the entirety of reformed beliefs. The come about because of the character of God and how He relates to us as his creation. I would say the five points come about trough 4 catagories.

    1)The nature of God
    2)The nature of man
    3) The nature of sin
    4) The nature of redemption I will go into more detail when I have the time to write longer posts. Does this help you at all?
     
  10. ascund

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    Hey Webdog

    This, to me, is the one point which I have used to say I am neither calvinist nor arminian. FG here fits the Bible to a "T" in accordance with grace.

    Thanks Lloyd and Andy. I lean more toward this view, except for Andy's #6. Sanctification. Andy, please elaborate on this point. I don't follow FG as opposed to Arminian here, they sound the same. Walking away from your salvation, and losing your salvation, to me, are one in the same, i.e. can't be done. Here, I may tend to lead more to *GASP* calvinism.

    Any 5 point calvinist / arminian want to espouse on this? Great job Lloyd and Andy. </font>[/QUOTE]Once one has been translated into the heavenlies by faith in Christ, the believer's position is secure and unchangeable. Destiny is eternal.

    At this point, sanctified works of obedience begin. Unfortunately, some believers "walk away from their faith." This only affects heavenly rewards as in 1 Cor 3:11-15. Everything is burned up YET THEY ARE STILL SAVED.

    This is far different than the Arminian claim that one can lose their salvation.

    Lloyd
     
  11. ascund

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    Hey Andy

    Your #6 inadvertently changed from PERSEVERANCE to SANCTIFICATION.

    Perseverance is a reference to one's standing in Christ. Sanctification is a reference to one's purification into the image of Christ. The two are quite different.

    Lloyd
     
  12. webdog

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    I don't see how these categories affect the 5 viewpoints. We know the nature of God: Sovereign. We know the nature of man: born with a sin nature. We know the nature of sin and it's origin (although the disagreement here is the author). The nature of redemption is the atonement point in calvinism, arminianism and FG, correct? The argument isn't whether Christ died and atoned for sin in this point, but rather for whose sin?
     
  13. webdog

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    This, to me, is the one point which I have used to say I am neither calvinist nor arminian. FG here fits the Bible to a "T" in accordance with grace.

    Thanks Lloyd and Andy. I lean more toward this view, except for Andy's #6. Sanctification. Andy, please elaborate on this point. I don't follow FG as opposed to Arminian here, they sound the same. Walking away from your salvation, and losing your salvation, to me, are one in the same, i.e. can't be done. Here, I may tend to lead more to *GASP* calvinism.

    Any 5 point calvinist / arminian want to espouse on this? Great job Lloyd and Andy. </font>[/QUOTE]Once one has been translated into the heavenlies by faith in Christ, the believer's position is secure and unchangeable. Destiny is eternal.

    At this point, sanctified works of obedience begin. Unfortunately, some believers "walk away from their faith." This only affects heavenly rewards as in 1 Cor 3:11-15. Everything is burned up YET THEY ARE STILL SAVED.

    This is far different than the Arminian claim that one can lose their salvation.

    Lloyd
    </font>[/QUOTE]I'm not sure if it is a typo, but what are "heavenlies"?

    I may have misread "faith" as salvation. I, too, believe you can turn your back on your faith and live carnally while your salvation is secure.
     
  14. timothy27

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    Yes you are correct but we are depraved because of our nature, you have to look at how man's nature fits into the entire whole of God's sovereignty. You can say you believe the five points and quote scripture to spport but if they do not fit into a larger picture than they are worthless. The five points are a small part of a larger picture.
     
  15. timothy27

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    Unfortunately I disagree with what you say about turning your back on your faith and live carnally yet you are still saved. The regenerative work of the spirit is whole. Not partial. If you are truly regenerated you will not stray from your faith.
     
  16. ascund

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    Hey webdog

    "Heavenlies" is my aged memory trying to remember Col 1:13.

    I knew it was somewhere wonderful. Now I can tell you emphatically that we are translated into Jesus' heavenly kingdom!

    Lloyd
     
  17. webdog

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    Then why does man sin? Was the Holy Spirit's work not good enough to keep us from sinning, too? How many sins are "allowed" before we are not considered "persevering"? Perseverance is man trying to hold on to something, which negates grace.
     
  18. ascund

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    Hey Timothy

    This is true Calvinistic theology!
    Note how you verify regeneration by human faithfulness. This is not far from the Christ-denying teaching that we hear from out Catholic representatives.

    If we are saved without works, how can works keep us saved? (Gal 3:1-3). I hope you note well the force of Paul's rhetorical question! :cool:

    Calvinism has several serious flaws. It has a weak link to human-centered self-righteousness. It castigates God as an aloof tyranical author of sin (even if you can easily quote the verse that denies this). It relegates Satan to the bleachers. It botches the covenants.

    Yet, while the negatives are real, they are rather insignificant compared to Calvinism's several strong pillars. It can define justification and sanctification. It keeps justification primal except for the compromise with human-centered self-righteous assurance (perseverance). It tries to keep Christ the center of theology.

    I have no difficulty calling any Calvinist a brother.

    I have to grill Arminians about what is the basis of their faith before I'll call them a wayward brother.

    Lloyd
     
  19. timothy27

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    I do not believe that my works kepp me saved, rather that becasue I am saved and now desire to please my Lord and Saviour good works cannot help but be the natural result. Perseverance is God keepinng Promise to fulfill His work in us, not man holding onto anything, I believe that God now works in me and that my desire is now to please Him.

    Man can and does still sin because we are used to doing that. Look at it this way before Christ you were a sin factory all you wanted and could produce was sin. It illed everypart of your building and is steeped in it, much like coal factories. After Christ that factory is shut down your heart mind and soul now no longer desire to produce sin, notice the word desire and produce. Even though we no longer desire to sin , we do becasue our body, our parts know nothing else.
     
  20. webdog

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    Lloyd, I don't think arminians believe they are the center of their faith, rather it can be said calvinism is similar in perseverance. I have not heard an arminian on here say we are saved any other way than grace, through faith in Christ. They may feel they are free enough to turn their back on their salvation, but that seems to be my main problem with them. I'm curious where do you question arminians' basis of their faith not centered on Christ?
     

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