Confessions of an ex-Arminian

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by robustheologian, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. robustheologian

    robustheologian
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    Here are my 5 honest confessions concerning non-Calvinism and Calvinism. I’m sure (and even hope) that others share the same experiences and sentiments.

    1. Some of my favorite Christian writers (and preachers) are Arminian. I love the writings of John Wesley and the preaching of Billy Graham to name a few. Theology is important to me but not as important as words that point to the cross and both camps have expositors that do that well. As John Frame wrote: “I’d rather sit under the preaching of a good Arminian than a bad Calvinist.”

    2. I truly loved God before my Calvinistic convictions…and I don’t believe that one who does not hold to the same convictions are less Christian. Better dialogue can take place when one realizes that the Calvinism/Arminianism debate is an in-house one.

    3. Though I theologically understand the will of God, that doesn’t mean that I’m always happy with it. That’s actually what stopped me from accepting the doctrines of grace for so long.

    4. Though I am deeply reformed in my convictions, I must admit that there are some pretty great arguments for Arminianism/non-Calvinism. Most of those arguments I quickly dismiss as unbiblical, but they are far from illogical. I’ve always though of Calvinism vs. Arminianism as bible vs. logic (especially in the case of molinistic Arminianism).

    5. Though I would be considered a Calvinist, I hate being referred to as such…mainly because of the behavior/attitude of many Calvinists. Sadly, Calvinists have earned a reputation for being harsh, arrogant, argumentative, and graceless…qualities that aren’t characteristic of Christianity. Better to be known as a Christian that just a Calvinist.
     
  2. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Here is an observation for you. I am in the process of Looking for churches and in the spirit of full honesty and transparency I disclose to them that I believe in all 5 points of Doctrines of Grace. After that I don't get return calls. Guess from that point on I am marked. I'm really beginning to believe it scares people.
     
  3. steaver

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    When Calvinist talk about the doctrines of Grace they need to understand that Arminians and all the Christians who fall in between Calvinism and Arminianism also believe in the bible's "doctrines of Grace". You kinda talk past non-cals when you believe Calvinism holds the doctrines of Grace and all others do not. Every true Christian believes salvation is all of God and all of Grace and God is totally Sovereign. :thumbs:
     
  4. Revmitchell

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    I want to thank you for this post. I would say that quickly dismissing an argument as unbiblical will lead to the perception you express in # 5. However, now feel like You may be someone with which I could have a decent discussion with on these issues.
     
  5. FriendofSpurgeon

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    Very good post. I would add my dad to the list in #1. Normally, just refer to myself as Reformed instead of Calvinist.
     
  6. FriendofSpurgeon

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    Have several reformed Baptists in our congregation. I guess they just found it to be a better fit. Or as they say, Baptisterians.
     
  7. JonC

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    I have had a similar experience. In seminary I developed relationships with Calvinists (who sounded much like you do here). Through an ongoing discussion (which extended well beyond our course) I reexamined my views and realized that my Calvinistic friend had more biblical support for his position. My conclusion was that if I was God I’d have done it differently….but I am unqualified for the position of being God.

    I was no less saved under non-Calvinistic views than I was under Calvinistic views. As I continue to study, there are some aspects of Calvinism (aspects often presented as Calvinism, anyway) that I now reject for the same reasons I rejected many of my original positions (they are presuppositions rather than something gleaned through Scripture). Yet I am no less saved.

    We understand within the capabilities of our own human minds. As we study and grow, I think it natural that our understandings change (if pride does not get in the way). The gospel itself, however, is not dependent on our struggle to grasp secondary, or even most theological, issues. Perhaps the advice to trust in the Lord with all of our heart, and lean not on our own understanding is applicable. If discipleship and sanctification are true, then we will always have room for growth in this life.
     
  8. Rebel

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    An excellent post.
     
  9. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Brother, then they really are not Baptists then are they?
     
  10. Rippon

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    One's stance on baptism is not the central doctrine of Christianity --it's not the main hub.

    I can see if one isn't get solid biblical teaching in a Baptist church --even a Reformed Baptist church --then it's necessary to go to a Presbyterian church where there is 90% of agreement on biblical doctrines.
     
  11. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    I never said it was but then again neither is sacrimentalism.
     
  12. steaver

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    Amen :thumbsup: . I have a good friend who after wobbling on the fence about Calvinism many years has decided to swallow the hook. Now as long as he does not allow the theology to lead him where it must, he will stay loving and kind to all, especially the brethren. To be honest, I see more pride and arrogance built up in Calvinist than I do in non-cals. John MacArthur always comes to mind, and a few on here.
     
  13. Rippon

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    Why do you insist on using the singular form though it is ungrammatical? The proper usage for your sentence is "Calvinists."
     
  14. steaver

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    :laugh: That always bothers you doesn't it? Could be a bit of that pride and arrogance I spoke of. May be Calvinist are just etter educated with propper grammers. :smilewinkgrin:
     
  15. Rippon

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    It is very inconsistent of you as well. You recognize that the plural form is needed when you say "non-cals." If you think Calvinists don't deserve an "s" then so be it. But you recognize that your group consists of more than one person, i.e. "non-cals." It is so strange of you steavers.
     
  16. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Define "Calvinists."
     
  17. FriendofSpurgeon

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    Thanks. You said it better than I could have. Also, agreement on baptism is not a requirement for membership in a Presbyterian church.
     
  18. Earth Wind and Fire

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    How bout eschatology? Do you have to be a Covenent Theology Believer....cause I aint:smilewinkgrin:

    Seriously now, if you are truly "Reformed" don't you have to believe in Covenant Theology, Sacramental Infant Baptism, Communion & Confirmation? This is what my wife tells me, she was raised Dutch Reformed. Also if you are Reformed, don't your children also fall into the Elect family? If so, do they have to give testimony? :confused:
     
  19. robustheologian

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    There is some truth to this...someone "truly Reformed" not only holds to Calvinistic soteriology but is also covenantal (covenant theology), a paedobaptist, and confessional (Three Forms of Unity). However, confirmation is a Catholic thing.
     
  20. FriendofSpurgeon

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    Eschatology is varied - with most pastors that I know being amil. Regarding salvation - for both adults and children, salvation is by grace through faith. Our own children went through a confirmation class, where the end result was them joining the church. The process included the pastor sharing key truths from Scripture and the kids providing their testimony of how they came to faith in Christ. See http://www.pcaac.org/what-we-believe/the-good-news/ for more information. Hope this is helpful.
     

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