Calvinism vs Arminianism: The Real Difference

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Monergist, Apr 19, 2005.

  1. Monergist

    Monergist
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    Both Calvinists and Arminians recognize that God our Savior "... desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." I Tim. 2:4.

    But obviously all people are NOT saved. The common solution by Calvinists is that verses such as this speak of God's revealed will-- but not His hidden will.

    Arminians object to this and claim that the reason all men are not saved is because God wills to preserve the free will of man more than He desires for all to be saved. While Calvinists say that God's MAIN objective is the preservation of His own glory, Arminians insist that God's MAIN objective is the preservation of man's free will.

    That, boys and girls, is the real difference between Calvinism & Arminianism. One exalts the glory of God, the other exalts the free will of man. One is God-centered, the other man-centered.
     
  2. Gershom

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    Welcome to Disney Land.
     
  3. natters

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    Believing free will is preserved is not exalting it, nor is it "man-centered". It is simply believing that God is not double-minded, with an opposing "revealed will" and "hidden will". How glorifying to God is believing that?
     
  4. Monergist

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    The point is that the Arminian view also sees God as having two wills--

    1. He wills all men to be saved

    2. He wills men to have free will MORE than He wills all men to be saved.

    So the Arminian who objects to the Calvinist view of two wills (revealed & hidden) has no leg to stand on.
     
  5. Monergist

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    Thank you. [​IMG]
     
  6. natters

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    What???? You lost me.

    When I was dating the girl who is now my wife:

    1. it was my will that she would marry me.

    2. it was my will that she have the will to choose it on her own, rather than turn into a robot I could program to marry me.

    I did not have two wills. I just willed two things.
     
  7. Wes Outwest

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    WRONG!
     
  8. Wes Outwest

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    The point is that the Arminian view also sees God as having two wills--

    1. He wills all men to be saved

    2. He wills men to have free will MORE than He wills all men to be saved.

    So the Arminian who objects to the Calvinist view of two wills (revealed & hidden) has no leg to stand on.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Ya know, Monergist, God don't give a rip about anything but seeing us have the desire to believe in him, to have faith in him, to worship him in all His Glory, and for those of us who do, He gives us the gift of Everlasting life.

    He don't even concern himself with Fragmentation Grenades like Calvinism and Arminianism, those things that fragment the believers. He did not establish either of them, they are both man made concepts of what God thinks. Neither of them is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Indeed they are both frought with falsehood!

    To adhere to either Calvin's or Arminius' teachings is to be a disciple of the one you adhere to. That is sheer stupidity!
     
  9. Gershom

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    I wasn't "welcoming" YOU... you're already there. [​IMG]
     
  10. Timtoolman

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    It gets so rediculus how calvinist see themselves.....I laugh yet it is sad. I wonder why calvinist have ears...they don't use em. In a nutshell calvinism tells God how to be soveriegn and makes him out to be a whacko.
     
  11. Monergist

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    Rom 3:11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.
     
  12. Monergist

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    God's arm is not short that He cannot save. If He had wanted to save every person, every person would be saved. You are not all powerful; you were limited in your power to persuade your wife to be.

    BTW, I do like your illustration. It just doesn't fit, however, because you & I are not like God. You did not create your wife, and she is not yours to do with as you please. Our relationship to God is very different.
     
  13. Wes Outwest

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    Rom 3:11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. </font>[/QUOTE]Again, you be wrong! You are citing text originally spoken of the jews and NOT THE GENTILES. Until you understand that you never will understand the truth!
     
  14. natters

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    I never said it was. But like Peter sinking in the water, he didn't reach out his arm until Peter asked to be saved.

    If they were all robots, sure.

    Think about that for a moment - if I *were* all powerful, and could exercise unlimited power over my wife's decision, would I exercise it? - do you think I'd ultimately be happier with a woman who was in a situation where it was absolutely impossible not to be with me, or a woman who actually chose to be with me even though she didn't have to? Which is the truer, more fulfilling love?

    Funny that you say this illustration doesn't fit, for it is one of the illustrations that scripture uses.
     
  15. GeneMBridges

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    It gets so rediculus how calvinist see themselves.....I laugh yet it is sad. I wonder why calvinist have ears...they don't use em. In a nutshell calvinism tells God how to be soveriegn and makes him out to be a whacko. </font>[/QUOTE]On the contrary, your view affirms that God values the free will of man more than their lives. Where, pray tell, does Scripture say that God values men's wills in the way you all suggest?
     
  16. GeneMBridges

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    Rom 3:11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. </font>[/QUOTE]Again, you be wrong! You are citing text originally spoken of the jews and NOT THE GENTILES. Until you understand that you never will understand the truth! </font>[/QUOTE]And you clearly do not understand. The text you would apply only to Jews is used by Paul to apply to all persons or else vs 9 preceding it makes no sense. He cites Psalm 14 and 53 to support his contention that both Jews and Greeks alike are under sin. NO ONE understands, NO ONE seeks for God.
     
  17. GeneMBridges

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    It gets so rediculus how calvinist see themselves.....I laugh yet it is sad. I wonder why calvinist have ears...they don't use em. In a nutshell calvinism tells God how to be soveriegn and makes him out to be a whacko. </font>[/QUOTE]Just because something is beyond your understanding, you do not reject it as "contradictory." This is a God that can exist in Three Distinct Persons yet be just One Single Being. Jesus is fully God and fully man. Theologians have always distinguished between what He willed, knew, and did as God and those things He did, willed, and knew as a man. If you say that it is impossible for God to have two wills without being contradictory or schizophrenic, you lose the Trinity and the hypostatic union in the process. Congratulations.

    Jesus was both God and man. He had two natures. He was divine and human at the same time. This teaching is known as the hypostatic union; that is, the coming-together of two natures in one person. He knew all things as God. He never ceased being omniscient. Yet, as a man, He kept "increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." If this can be true of Jesus, then why is it so difficult to accept that God has a revealled, moral, preceptive will and a secret, hidden will that He can hold and execute simulanteously without contradiction? If you accept the one, then you must accept the other. Jesus was one person, but He had TWO natures. How can this be? By your own logic, Jesus must have been contradictory and schizophrenic too! I don't believe you believe that, but I don't believe you've really thought about what you've written. The Son is capable of doing things with His own will. The Father is as well, and so is the Spirit. They do not share one will as if each one is executing part of the same will. That would be modalism. They each have their distinct, own will, because each is a separate, distinct Person. yet their will is one and they are one single Being. You don't understand this, but, by your own logic, they must be schizophrenic and contradictory. Therefore, the Trinity is false.

    Regarding another poster who said that it is contradictory for God to have two wills in opposition. I seem to recall the Son crying out to the Father to take this cup from Him in the Garden. Now, unless you go the modalist route and divide His human part from His divine part asthe Oneness Pentecostals do, you MUST acknowledge that the will of the Son, what He desired, was in some way in opposition to either His divine will or the will of the Father. He did NOT, as a man, desire to die. He LEARNED obedience, according to Hebrews, yet He knew all things. He was human with a desire to live and survive. If He had not struggled in this way, He could not have truly learned obedience. His human will did submit to His Divine will and/or the will of the Father, but they did conflict right then and there, yet He did not sin, and there was no contradiction.

    Jesus knew all things as God, yet as man, His knowledge was limited. Thus, there was opposition of sorts in an ontological sense.

    God knows all things, yet He can also say, " "I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins" (Isaiah 43:25 Heb. 8:12; 10:17). He knows all things, yet He CHOOSES to DO another. Just as He desires some things, and arranges another. This is what we call the difference between His revealed will and His hidden, secret will. He can do things that sound as if they are in oppositon, but they are not.

    What Monergist is saying is that your position must acknowledge that God has two wills as well, or it cannot reconcile the differences between what God desires and what God arranges.

    "And the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled," (Luke 14:23).

    Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, “Today if you hear His voice, 8Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, As in the day of trial in the wilderness," (Heb. 3:7).

    "And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false," (2 Thess. 2:11).


    "So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires," (Rom. 9:18).
    "And the Lord said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go," (Exodus 4:21).

    Why would God compel people to come into His house so that it can be filled and yet send a deluding influence upon the same people? Are not those people in 2 Thessalonians, at the time of the Antichrist, the same people included in the highways and hedges? Does not God compel all to enter into His house regardless of when and where they are in history? Is it not God's desire to save all? Yes it is. Yet, God actually sends a deluding influence on people and hardens the hearts of others. He desires one thing yet sometimes does another.

    God is stating a desire that people be saved, but not decreeing that they are. If He did decree that all would be saved, then all would be saved. But since God elects people (Matt. 24:24,31; Mark 13:20; Rom. 8:33), predestines them (Rom. 8:29-30; Eph. 1:1-11), appoints them to eternal life (Acts 13:48), and grants that they believe (Phil. 1:29), if 1 Tim. 2:4 were decretive, then He would have to predestine all, elect all, choose all, and grant that all believe which is something not stated in scripture.


    It is no more contradictory for God to have two types of wills than for a judge to take no pleasure in sentencing men to death and thus not morally want to do it, yet to do it, because he is constrained by law and the judgment of a jury to the contrary. God is infinitely more complex than we are and can have two types of wills without contradiction.
     
  18. icthus

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    Monergist, you have started wrong. Name me one person who is not a Calvinist, who teaches that "God's MAIN objective is the preservation of man's free will" This is a complete misrepresentation of the facts. Just in case you did not know, Jacob Arminius, was a Dutch Reformed theologian, who studied under Theodore Beza. His studies on Paul's Epistle to the Romans led him to doubt Calvin's teaching of Predestination. He insisted that the Divine Sovereignty was indeed compatable with a real free will in man, and emphasised the responsibility in man. To say that Arminius thught, that "God's MAIN objective is the preservation of man's free will", is a complete nonsense. This is just futher evidence of the twisting of the facts by Calvinists to try to give the wrong impression that Calvinism is the only correct "system" on Biblical Truth. Far from it, it is Calvinism that is responsible for the distrotion of the teachings of Scripture. You must remember that Calvinism has its roots in the error of Augustine. Before this time, about 350 years, the Church never taught Limited Atonement, Predestination as Augustine viewed it, or Election, as Augustine viewed it.

    So, before you make any charges, it would help that you get your facts right.
     
  19. icthus

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    There is no contradiction in the "will of God", which I belive to be at one with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You simply cannot confuse the "two wills" in the "One Person" of Jesus Christ, with the single Will in God. There is no Biblical data to suggest that there is "one hidden" and "one revelaed" will in God. This is only conjecture in some schools of theology. It is Biblical to believe that in the Person of Jesus Christ, post-Incarnation, that He did have "two wills", as I also believe that He had "two personalities", yet "one Person". To say that the human nature of Jesus is "impersonal", is to deny His human nature was "real". Thats another subject though.

    When the Bible says that "God is not willing that anyone should perish" (2 Peter 3:9), and "Who will have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4); it means just that. It is the "desire" of God, that "everyone without exception" is saved, and spend eternity with Him in heaven. This is also evident from the Old Testament, where we read:

    "Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and that he should not return from his ways and live?" (Ezekiel 18:23; 33:11).

    The Hebrew for "pleasure", is "chaphets", which also has the meaning "to desire". There is no Scripture, that I am aware, where it says that God does not "desire or will" that all should be saved. That all are not going to be saved, is not because of any obstacle, like Limited Atonement, that God has put in the way of man. But, that man would rather chose the ways of the world, which are sinful and in rebellion to God, than to accept God's perfect plan for him and be saved.
     
  20. Timtoolman

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    I think the pt is monergist has shot her credability period. Find one post on this board or any other of someone claiming God's main purpose is to maintian man's freewill, just one.
    _______________________________________

    Post edited to remove quoted section. Do not quote entire posts. Save bandwidht ... Quote only the part to which you are responding, Larry

    [ April 20, 2005, 10:23 AM: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     

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