The first thing I would like to do is make it clear that this thread is only for the purpose of defining terms. When that purpose has been met, I will ask the administrator to close this thread. This thread is not for arguing the merits of any particular position. Here we are only trying to lay the groundwork for later discussion. There are numerous terms that can help in a discussion on the nature of salvation and grace. They provide a way to greatly shorten the discussion by substituting a single word or small phrase for what might take several sentences to describe. If we are not working from the same definitions, however, the discussion will fall prey to misunderstandings, frustration, and eventually anger. None of which help us get anywhere. For the purposes of our discussion, there is perhaps no better example of this then the terms "Calvinism" and "Arminianism". It is generally presumed that everyone falls into one of these two camps when in reality the various positions held on this topic can be better understood as lying on a continuum with what many call "hyper-Calvinism" one side and Pelegianism on the other. Between is a wide range of thought. I myself fall somewhere between classical Calvinism and classical Arminianism (though closer to arminianism). The common two-camp approach tries to force this wide range of positions into one narrowly defined camp. It is no wonder there are so many misunderstandings and so much frustration in discussions on this subject. This is why it is so important to come to an agreement on terms. When trying to come to agreement we must look at each term and first decide if it is even needed or particularly helpful for our discussion. Then we must decide if it is likely for us to come to a general consensus on a definition. Some definitions have become so intertwined with a particular position that such consensus is impossible. In such a case we need a way to distinguish between the different uses of the term. If a consensus is possible, then by all means let us come to one. In order to keep this topic organized and on track I suggest the following: 1) We first start with a period in which we only brainstorm words and phrases that will need to be defined. All we do in this period is list words that are often in contention in discussions over (for a lack of better words at this time) Calvinism/Arminianism. No definitions or discussion in this phase, just listing. Be reasonable, only words that actually come into contention in discussion. Obviously, this period will need a deadline. I tentatively suggest that this period last for one day: tomorrow, Tuesday, July 15, from midnight tonight to midnight tomorrow night. 2) After the listing I will make a master list of terms and post it. If I miss anything that was mentioned in the listing phase, let me know. 3) We go through the list word by word, not moving on to the next word until we generally agree on one of the three options listed above (exclude the term, divide the term, or define the term). This will not be a quick process and will take time. This issue was been debated for centuries. We cannot go into this expecting to solve this issue much less doing so overnight. If we do it right, however, it will be worth it. If you see problems with the above suggested method for defining the terms, please let me know. The dates and times suggestion are just that, a suggestion. If you think we need more time discussing how we approach this, we can postpone the listing phase. If you think we need more time to brainstorm a list of terms, we can make the phase longer. If you think you know a better way to go about this, let us know; you might be right. In all of this, let us come together in an attitude of humility.