The real soteriological divide...

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Matt Black, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    ...is, I submit, not between Catholicism and evangelicalism/Protestantism but within Protestantism itself, between Calvinists and Arminians. Only the Reformed can correctly say that they believe that salvation is sola gratia, by grace alone, with no human co-operation; both Arminians and Catholics on the contrary speak of the need for human co-operation with grace. Arminians and Catholics allow for free will, Calvinists do not. Both Arminians and Catholics allow for the possibility of salvation being subsequently lost, Calvinists believe in 'once saved always saved'. This Arminian free exercise of the human will in maintaining salvation amounts in practice to a 'work', and thus Arminians cannot in reality be said to be sola fide, any more than Catholics can, but rather believe in salvation by faith maintained and outworked by works. The Reformed, however, can be said to believe sola fide. Therefore I would suggest that Catholics and Arminians have far more in common soteriologically than either does with the Calvinists.
     
  2. Allan

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    Calvinists are not the only ones who believe in once saved always saved, or more aptly put, once saved always changed.

    Calvinists also believe that man freely believes as is saved and that God does not force salvation upon any.

    And.. depending on your slant of Arminian beliefs, a few do hold that certain sins will cause a person to loose their salvation while a much larger majority do not believe there is any sin one can commit that will seperate us from God's love. Yet this group does hold that one can walk away from one's salvation, also known as forfieting (I know it is spelled wrong but it is 4 am here) it. So it isn't a matter, in their eyes, of one loosing their salvation but leaving it behind.

    As far as I know the Catholic Church's soterological view is that of Arminian.
     
  3. Matt Black

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    I don't think the Arminian concept of 'forfeiting' one's salvation is that removed from the Catholic concept of a 'mortal sin', when you scratch the surface of what both groups of Christians mean by those terms. Both in practice amount to a 'repudiatory breach' of one's relationship with God through Jesus Christ - a conscious, deliberate, freely-taken act of walking away from God's love.
     
    #3 Matt Black, Feb 17, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2009
  4. Allan

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    Oh I agree but was simply clarifying some of their views (which still are with in the Arminian view), of which they will disagree with both you and I as being likened to the same things.
     
  5. Thinkingstuff

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    Yes I think you're correct and the logic follows.
     
  6. thegospelgeek

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    Incorrect, Arminians no more believe salvation is "maintained and outworked by works" any more than Calvinst believe that one can live in complete diobediance to God and be saved. While there are fringe groups on both sides that believe this to be true, it is far from what is actually taught by the main stream. Both of these beliefs stem from confusion and misunderstanding of what is believed by the other. This confusion come from forces whose intent is to divide rather than unite the Church.

    The only "real" difference between the two is more of a belief on who was saved. For example, if a man proclaimns salvation, demonstrates the friuts of salvation for years, leads others to Christ and then in the later years of life he drifts from God, converts to hinduism and proclaims eastern philosophies then dies. Both groups would say the man was lost. However, the Armenians would say he was once saved while Calvinist say he was never saved. In truth only God and possibly the man himself are the only ones who truly know.
     
  7. Matt Black

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    But your example does give the proof of the difference between the two: Arminians would say that he once was saved but chose through his free will to walk away from that; Calvinists would say that God's irresistible grace - which for them is the only vehicle of regeneration - was never extended to him
     
  8. thegospelgeek

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    No doubt that there is a difference, but the OP suggest that Arminians believe in a "works" based salvation and that is not the case.
     
  9. Thinkingstuff

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    No the Op suggested a grace based salvation. Works is a compliment in salvation according to the OP's description of the workings of Arminianism and Catholicism.
     
  10. thegospelgeek

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    No, the statement in the OP is

    Unless I am misunderstanding (which is possible) this is stateing that Arminian's believe that their faith is maintained by works. If I am misunderstanding please explain to me what it is saying.
     
  11. Thinkingstuff

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    maintenance is not the same as basis. Unless I'm wrong. The basis would be grace. Complementary to the grace would be the maintenance by works.
     
  12. Matt Black

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    But if one can walk away from it - and in the Arminian schema one can - then it is a partially works-based salvation, the 'work' being "not walking away from it" (if nothing else).
     
  13. Pastor David

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    Catholics believe and teach the infusion of grace through the sacraments. They teach the doctrine ex opere operato (out of the work, working). While faith plays some part in salvation - it is ultimately in the work of grace through the proper administration of the sacraments which saves. Arminus on the other hand, did reject the sacramental infusion of grace, as any Protestant would. Rather he embraced the doctrine of the imputation of righteousness by grace through faith in Christ alone. So while Arminians might believe they have the moral ability to respond to God's grace within themselves, they certainly don't identify with the Romish idea that God infuses righteousness through sacramental means.
     
    #13 Pastor David, Feb 17, 2009
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  14. Doubting Thomas

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    Having read some of Wesley's statements, he had a high view of the sacraments of Baptism and Communion--he believed God used those acts to communicate grace. In fact, I think in many ways, Wesley's mature theology represents a good synthesis between catholic and reformed concerns as well as eastern and western theological emphases. (A good book on this subject is RESPONSIBLE GRACE by Maddox, I think)
     
  15. Agnus_Dei

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    You’re right DT and John Wesley and his view of the Sacraments (communication of grace; his father was a Sacramentalist) is what jumpstarted my journey that eventually lead me to the Orthodox Church.

    In XC
    -
     
  16. Pastor David

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    Both Luther and Calvin taught the sacraments were a means of grace - contra Zwlingli. Yet they denied any efficacious work of grace in the sacraments without the presence of faith - contra Rome. Theirs was a sanctifying grace, not a salvific grace. They denied the Romish teaching of baptismal regeneration beleiving that faith was not so inherently tied to the moment of baptism that the two were soteriologically tied together, nor that the Eucharist was a means of maintianing salvific communion with God.
     
  17. thegospelgeek

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    We both agree that we are saved by grace through faith, correct? Are we then saved by works? Of course not. So if faith is not considered a work in the initial salvation why would it be considered one after conversion? I can only speak from a Free Will Baptist perspective, and that is that faith alone saves, faith is not a work, and that faith alone keeps. It is only by faith in the resurected savior, Jesus Christ, that I am saved.
     
  18. Matt Black

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    Does your faith come from man or from God?
     
  19. Pastor David

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    Arminius taught that faith comes from God. His contention was that the fall of man was not radical. In other words, God did not leave man completely unable to respond to grace. So while faith is a gift from God - it remains within the moral capacity of man to exercise the gift of faith apart from the regenerating work of God. In the Arminian scheme of things, faith preceeds regeneration - while Calvin taught regeneration preceeds faith. Yet both taught faith is the gift of God - and that faith is neccesary for salvation - distinguishing both of them from the teachings of Rome.
     
  20. Matt Black

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    I think the Vatican would also agree that faith comes from God.
     

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