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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Reformer, Aug 19, 2008.
I was just wondering if your average Arminian would agree with this statement
Most that I know would say no. It seems that some have a hard time with the word determined.
How many actual Arminians are on this board? Do some think the opposite of reformed is Arminian? If so that would be incorrect.
I have no idea (not being your average Arminian , but just being your "un-average" "Free gracer" :laugh: ), but I believe that quote, which you did not reference, undoubtedly for effect, is an alleged summary out of the Articles of Remonstrance, if memory serves, although I have not yet looked it up, to be sure.
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I think its SDA.
What are exactly non-cals? What do they believe?
you would be correct, it is the first point
Actually, I did look it up. It is a reworded summary, I would say, for there are several differences in the actual translated texts of this, that I saw.
I'm not sure what you mean by average, but I cannot agree with that statement. To me, that declares an unjust God, in stark contrast to his just nature.
They don't believe calvinism
I was going to say (before I read thru the other posts) that it sounded very similar to the Articles of Remonstrance.
Reformation Arminians affirm these articles without exception. I wonder, do CALVINISTS agree with the statement?
As to the interesting term "Non-Calvinists," I find it humorous. To most vehement advocates of Calvinism (which means MOST) anything NOT 5 point is "Non-Calvinist!" And thus, to them, it is automatically "Arminian!"
In reality, most of the so called "Non-Calvinists," at least in the Southern Baptist Convention, are actually "Arminians." Plain and simple.
Such a stigma has been placed upon Arminians in the SBC (because it has been falsely associated with the default theology of Liberalism) that most of the Conservative Resurgents among SB's RUN from the term.
If you look at most of the so-called "Non-Cal's" in the SBC, though, they actually affirm basic Reformation Arminianism, with perhaps the modification of affirming Perseverance. And in fact, even among early Dutch Remonstrants including Arminius, they were of divided opinion on unconditional perseverance vs. possibility of apostasy.
They are niether Arminian nor Calvinists, however they lean more closely toward Calvinism than Arminianism.
What do they believe?
That is like asking what do Calvinists believe. There is a variety.
However, in basic priniciple:
1. Total Depravity - difference - when God is working on man, man only then has the opporitunity to choose and not only some men.
2. Election (you can find both sides of the fence on this one - Unconditional and Conditional).
3. Universal Atonement but limited Redemtion
4. Resistable grace
5. Preservence of the Saints.
I disagree JDale. To be an Arminian one must adhear to their views and most SBC'ers do not. Arminians have a set of beliefs just as the Calvinists do. One might lean more toward Arminianism but that does not make one an Arminian any more than leaning toward a Calvinistic view makes one a Calvinist.
Most Baptist, and SBC inpariticular do not adhear to the majority of the tenents of the Arminian while they might lean Arminian in some areas they also lean Calvinistic in others. The difference is that they tend to lean a little more Calvinisticly than they do Arminianly.
Editted in - I would agree that Reformation Arminianism (also known as Classical Arminianism) could be said to be a view held by many but that would be something that needs to be fleshed out. In truth I never heard much about Reformation Arminianism until about 7 or so months before you joined.
What you state below (with one exception) is Reformation Arminianism!
1. Total Depravity -- INCLUDING the belief that "when God is working on man, man only then has the opportunity to believe. THAT, Allan, is referred to as "Prevenient Grace!"
2. Election -- is believed to be CONDITIONAL based upon FAITH. Most "Non-Calvinist" SBC's affirm this as well.
3. Universal (I prefer GENERAL) Atonement, but LIMITED REDEMPTION.
4. Resistible Grace
5. Perseverance of the Saints -- this is the only major point on which SB's would part ways with Reformation Arminians, who believe in the possibility of apostasy.
HOW can the position you enunciated be closer to Calvinism than to Reformation Arminianism? You might say it is "neither," but in a C or A world, those who hold this position are at the very least "modified Arminians," whether they admit it or not.
Regarding Prevenienct grace - I have not denied Prevenient grace however the point I was making is that man is so depraved that of or by himself he will not seek after God nor ever obtain any spiritual righteousness on his own.
The Election aspect is not so much somthing that cut and dried. Many that I know of do not believe in God election of men by looking down through time to see who would and would not be saved. However many also hold to the looking through time theory as well. This is one that needs to be fleshed out better for a more concise placement or possible exception.
However, the fact that you are a Reformation Arminian shows you also do not hold to Traditional Arminianism as it stands. The term 'Reformation' shows a distinct leaning away from the traditional toward that which is Classical - that which is more akin to Calvinism. Arminius himself even praised the works of Calvin and believed that those who followed his view should read Calvins works.
The last point however is a deffinate diviation from the core of the Arminianism position since it is one of the foundational aspects of it's theology much like Perservence is for Calvinism.
Thus as I said many might lean more toward the 'Reformation Arminiainism' view but they would be disqualified if they do not hold to all it's tenents. At this point the person must either being moving or better 'leaning' closer toward Calvinism or the opposite toward Arminianism.
To be an Arminian or Calvinist you should/must subscribe to their particular views and system of theology. To be called a modified Arminian or Calvinst makes the statement that you are still in agreement with the one view while adapting but not specifically changing different aspects. Thus Traditional Arminians would be considered modified Classical Arminians since they only adapted certain things but did not change it's it's main theological view.
I prefer to acknowledge the tendency to lean one direction or the other to those who are not conformed to either specific system.
Again, to be an Arminian one must adhear to their views and most SBC'ers do not but in fact deny most specifially their possibilty of apostacy. Arminians have a set of beliefs just as the Calvinists do. One might lean more toward Arminianism but that does not make one an Arminian any more than leaning toward a Calvinistic view makes one a Calvinist.
Most Baptist, and SBC inpariticular do not adhear to the majority of the tenents of the traditional Arminianism while I acknowledge they might lean Arminian in some areas they also lean Calvinistic in others. The difference is that they tend to lean a little more Calvinisticly than they do Arminianly.
Personally I think both have some truth but neither are correct of themselves.
Thank you for actually giving an answer. :thumbsup:
I appreciate your willingness to discuss the issues. My point is simply that Reformation Arminians are, as you mentioned, more closely aligned with a "Reformed" view of soteriology rather than what many refer to as a "Classic" or "Traditional" Arminianism. Actually, I think the latter two terms are not useful and tend to confuse rather than inform.
Reformation Arminianism begins at the same place Calvin does -- Total Depravity. As was pointed out earlier in this thread, man cannot save himself and cannot and does not even will to do so apart from the Grace of God (Prevenient or "enabling" grace rather than irresistible grace or what Calvinists euphemistically label "effectual calling.")
But RA's also affirm a General Atonement, but limited redemption, an Elect conditioned upon faith, of which God has foreknowledge, and, as you mentioned, most Arminians believe in the possibility of apostasy, though as I mention, some early Arminians affirmed perseverance.
My point in saying this is to point out that there are nuances of the theological positions, whether Calvinism or Arminianism. While some may not want to carry the labels or their variations, that doesn't mean that description isn't accurate. Using the term "Non-Calvinist," however, does not define a theological view, it simply rejects one. It is a "negative," in that it says nothing of your particular view. Which is really "Modified Arminian."
I think the proper perspective is that non-Calvinists outnumber Calvinists in the SBC by about 3-1. The discussion here seems to indicate that it's the other way around.
I believe the numbers are much greater than 3-1. Probably closer to 5 or 6 to 1. That won't last in the "Majoritarians" don't get a firm hold on what they DO believe rather than what they DON'T believe. That was my point in mentioning the SBC. The majority hold to a modified Arminian view, not much different than Reformation Arminianism.
I am looking forward to the John 3:16 Conference in Atlanta this fall. I hope that leaders of the "majority" of the Conservative Resurgence have an opportunity to clearly and positively identify themselves and their beliefs, rather than merely by saying what they are not (ie "Calvinists").