The use of terms "Calvinism" and "Arminianism"

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Pastor Larry, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    There are many things said about the use of these terms that are mostly inaccurate, but people are slow to believe.

    For instance, at least one poster here repeatedly says that Calvinists are followers of John Calvin, and no matter how many times he is told they are not, he still persists. Other posters often say that they are neither Calvinist nor Arminian; they are biblicists (in spite of the fact that they can't define this third position between "God unconditionally elects individuals to salvation" and "God does not unconditionally elect individuals to salvation").

    George Marsden, in his biography of Jonathan Edwards, answers both of these in terms of historical usage:

    What do we learn?



    1. Arminianism is a catch-all term for most challenges to strict Calvinism. It is not generally used only for those who adhere to the teachings of Arminius.


    2. Calvinists historically have not greatly concerned themselves with the precise teachings of John Calvin.



    3. Calvinists have always had a wide variety on some things, but held to a core set of doctrines in contrast to the "Arminian" view.


    Of coures I labor under no illusion that this will settle the matter. But I thought it was interesting that no less than one of the preeminent church historians of this ear George Marsden agrees with what I have been saying for several years here. It shows that the historical usage of these terms is generally the way that I have used them here.
     
  2. gb93433

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    While I have read a number of posters who claim to be calvinists and that their beliefs came from scripture there does not seem to be one who has posted an interpretation of Lam 3:38, Is. 45:7 and Amos 3:6.
     
  3. Pastor Larry

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    So what???
     
  4. gb93433

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    Are all of them ignorant and their posts nothing more than theological smoke?
     
  5. gb93433

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    I found it interesting that not one person who responded earlier interpreted the passages. The only responses were a lot of theological smoke and nothing to do with the interpretation of the passages or even helping anyone who might be reading the posts. When I asked for a correct interpretation not one came forward with one. If we say we believe the Bible then let's show it by the way we interpret and discuss matters.

    When people challenge the truth of scripture they are challenging those very kinds of issues. If we as Christians just blow smoke then what good is our useless discussion?

    The fact is that several years ago I was asked about those passages by a new Christian as he read his Bible. If we cannot give answers to a new Christian who is growing and reading his Bible then what good is all the rest of the theological smoke. Theological smoke just looks big but inside and underneath is just smoke.

    I have had some discussions with others outside of BB and have benefited a lot from their knowledge. I do not find them posting much any more.

    Recently I asked a question about the perfect subjunctive in 1 Jn 5:13 and got one response. Do we not have more knowledge that that among us or are we just blowing smoke by just debating from a point of ignorance? I would like to think that as we debate that young Christians and those who are older would benefit from the insights and debates of others. I would also like them to see tough debate and also honest respect fro one another.
     
  6. Pastor Larry

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    I don't know. Ask them. I never saw you ask those questions, but then I don't know what you are asking about. The verses seem pretty clear. But that's not the topic here, so please do not distract from this topic. Start your own thread if you want to discuss that.

    This thread is about the use of the terms Arminianism and Calvinism. Please restrict your comments to this.
     
  7. Jerome

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    The Online Etymological Dictionary provides some fascinating insight into words. Can anyone guess what word it says is the etymological twin of Calvinism?
     
  8. gb93433

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    Calvinism
    1570, from John Calvin (1509-1564), Protestant reformer. Alternate form Calvinian was in use in 1566. Generalized association with stern moral codes and predestination is attested since at least 1853.
    Calvinism
    1. the doctrines and teachings of John Calvin or his followers, emphasizing predestination, the sovereignty of God, the supreme authority of the Scriptures, and the irresistibility of grace. Compare ARMINIANISM.
    2. adherence to these doctrines.
    Arminian
    1618, from Arminius, Latinized form of the name of James Harmensen (1560-1609), Du. Protestant theologian opposed to Calvin, especially on the question of predestination. His ideas were denounced at the Synod of Dort, but nonetheless spread in the Reformed churches.
    Arminianism
    the doctrinal teachings of Jacobus Arminius or his followers, esp. the doctrine that Christ died for all people and not only for the elect.
    From: http://www.etymonline.com
     
  9. gb93433

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  10. Dr. Bob

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    Thanks Pastor Larry for real definitions. Sadly, most who claim to be arminian (or at least anti-calvinistic) are really close to the semi-pelagian heresy

    Historic arminianism doesn't espouse the man-centered, work-centered position often seen around here!

    [Note: Pelagius taught that man has the capacity in and of himself apart from any movement of God or the holy Spirit to see God for salvation. According to semi-Pelagianism, man and God could cooperate to a certain degree in this salvation effort: man can (unaided by grace) make the first move toward God, and God then completes the salvation process.]
     
  11. Jerome

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    Online Etymological Dictionary, s.v. chauvinism:
    "The name is a Fr. form of L. Calvinus and thus Calvinism and chauvinism are, etymologically, twins."
     

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