What is wrong with Arminianism?

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by Van, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. Van

    Van
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    Thus far, this forum has presented why many see Calvinism as unbiblical. But not one word has been offered up to shred Arminianism. So lets take a look at the other relic of the dark ages.

    First, Arminianism was correct in that it thought many of the points of Calvinism missed the mark.

    1) Election is based on God crediting our faith as righteousness, so it is Conditional rather than Unconditional.

    2) Fallen men have the ability to respond appropriately to the gospel. This view is correct but for the wrong reason. Arminianism accepts Total Spiritual Inability as biblical, but overcomes the supposed inability with "prevenient grace" which somehow restores fallen mankind such that we can respond to the gospel. Two wrongs do not make a right.

    3) Once born anew (by the power of God) men cannot undo (by the power of men.) Some Arminians accept this view, those that do not are wrong.

    4) Christ died for all mankind, becoming the propitiation or means of salvation for the whole world.

    Thus, when compared with Calvinism, Arminianism is a stellar doctrine. So where do they go wrong?

    1) First, many wrongly believe Ephesians 1:4 refers to an individual election for salvation, based on foreseen faith. Again this is the wrong fix (foreseen faith) to the problem. The right fix is to understand Ephesians 1:4 is referring to a corporate election, i.e. when God choose His Redeemer individually He choose corporately those His Redeemer would redeem, hence He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world. Once we accept this view, then all the verses that actually speak of our individual election conditioned on existing faith make sense. 2 Thessalonians 2:13, James 2:5, 1 Corinthians 1:26-30 and 1 Peter 2:9-10.

    2) Many Arminians accept that Fallen man has no ability to understand any of the things of the Spirit of God, based on 1 Corinthians 2:14, but that is not what the verse says in context. Natural men of flesh can understand the milk, 1 Corinthians 3:1-2.

    But as I said, when compared with Calvinism, it comes way closer to biblical truth.
     
  2. Skandelon

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    :thumbsup:I am in agreement with you on these points, Van.
     
  3. JonC

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    I’m not sure that it is fair to say that “Arminianism was correct in that it thought many of the points of Calvinism missed the mark.” Arminius sought to reform Calvinism and taught prevenient grace. But those points you mention regarding Calvinism were responses to the Remonstrants. It seems to me that you are comparing Arminianin statements as arguments against the Calvinistic responses to those statements.
     
  4. InTheLight

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    Please expound on #2. Does "total spiritual inability" exist? If so, how is it overcome?
     
  5. Van

    Van
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    Number 2

    Here is the number 2 I think you are addressing:

    1) Does total spiritual ability exist? Yes. But it is not a direct result of the Fall. We start out without being indwelt, so we cannot understand the "things of the Spirit of God" that require the indwelt Spirit to discern. So the fallen start out with "Limited Spiritual Ability" able to understand milk, but not meat spiritual things.

    Now we can lose what little ability we have by the practice of sin, i.e. hardening our own hearts, which seems to be the case for soil number one in the Matthew 13 parable. Or, God for His purpose, can harden our hearts, either permanently (until we die) or temporarily as in Romans 11.

    It appears to me that if a glimmer of spiritual ability remains, then by cultivating, planting and watering, we can sometimes bring a person to the point where God credits their faith as righteousness. But the warnings are clear, unless the person changes, perhaps based some providential event in their lives, the gospel will continue to be either rejected or not fully accepted.

    I expect all of us know (or know of) individuals that were cultivated, prayed for, watered and planted over years and years to no avail, as far as we could tell. That is why I think ministry to the young is very important, before the practice of sin has taken away what limited spiritual ability they had.
     
  6. Winman

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    I agree with everything you said except those two portions I bolded.

    There is a type of spiritual inability men are born with, and that is ignorance. No man naturally knows of the true God, or the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is why it is necessary for men to go preach the gospel. But once men hear the gospel, they are able to either accept or reject Jesus Christ.

    But this is a form of grace, for unless God had revealed his word to us, we would all be in a state of utter darkness and ignorance.

    I also disagree on the foreseen faith. I believe the scriptures do show examples of God knowing who will believe in time. A good example is Nathanael in John 1, before he was CALLED, Jesus said I SAW YOU.

    Jhn 1:47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
    48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
    49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
    50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.

    Note the language used, it says Jesus "saw Nathanael COMING to him". "Coming to Jesus" is often synonymous with believing on Jesus in scripture.

    Note how surprised Nathanael is and that he asked how Jesus had a personal knowledge of him, and that Jesus answered that before he was "called" when he was under the tree "I saw thee".

    So I absolutely believe this is a figure of God's foreknowledge, that he can know and foresee those persons who will believe on him in time. I believe the parable of the prodigal son is another example;

    Luk 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

    Here, the prodigal son repents and starts for home. But we are told when he was "yet a great way off, his father saw him". I believe this also is a figure of God's foreknowledge.

    And, John 6 also shows foreknowledge;

    Jhn 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

    Scripture here directly tells us Jesus knew from "the beginning" who would believe not, therefore he also knows who will believe. I know there is controversy over when "the beginning" is, but I believe it is speaking of before the foundation of the world.

    I also agree we cannot lose salvation, we are born again of the Spirit. The scriptures say the spirit joined to the Lord is "one spirit" and that we are partakers of the divine nature. We cannot sin because our "seed remaineth" in us. So, we may have moments of doubt and unbelief, but I believe it is impossible for us to apostate and fall away in unbelief.

    Other than that, Arminianism is FAR closer to the scriptures than Calvinism, no comparison whatsoever. Calvinism is pure error.
     
    #6 Winman, Sep 28, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2013
  7. Rippon

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    Van can't make up his mind

    Quotes from him over the years.
    ___________________________________________________________

    "My views very closely align with Calvinism." 7/9/13

    "While I believe the Arminian view is flawed, it is far more God centered, reflecting a view that is closer to biblical truth than Calvinism." 4/4/11
    ____________________________________________________________
    "I am a one point Calvinist,two point Arminian." 12/4/12

    "I am a one point Calvinist and one point Arminian." 7/19/11
    _____________________________________________________________
    "Many Calvinists believe in limited open theism." 3/21/12

    "Behold, the Closed Theism of Calvinism,which turns God into a monster." 4/18/11
    _____________________________________________________________
    "I did not make any assertion that my view was clearly taught in the Bible." 4/16/11

    :)
     
  8. Van

    Van
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    Biblical Soterology

    1. God chose the Word before creation to be the Lamb of God, and therefore anyone spiritually placed into Christ shares in His election before the foundation of the world. By logical necessity, when God chose His Redeemer before creation, He also chose corporately those His Redeemer would redeem. God’s plan for salvation was thus formulated before creation, and therefore anyone chosen and spiritually placed in Christ is chosen according to God’s foreknowledge of His salvation program, (1 Peter 1:2). Hence, He chose us in Him [corporately] before the foundation of the world, (Ephesians 1:4).

    2. Christ died for all mankind (1 Timothy 2:6), becoming the propitiation (means of salvation) for the whole world (1 John 2:2), but only those whose faith in Christ God credits as righteousness (Romans 4:5) are then spiritually placed in Christ by God (1 Corinthians 1:30), and receive the reconciliation provided by Christ’s sacrifice (Romans 5:10-11). Thus we are saved by grace through faith and not by the will or actions of men. Ephesians 2:8-9.

    3. Our individual election occurs when God chooses us to be a member of His family, after we are physically alive and have lived without mercy, 1 Peter 2:9-10. He chooses those who are rich in faith and love God (James 2:5), who believe in Christ (John 3:16). We are chosen by God placing us into Christ (the sanctification by the Spirit) 2 Thessalonians 2:13, after He credits our faith as righteousness, Romans 4:4-5. Our faith in Christ provides our access to God’s saving grace, Romans 5:2.
     
    #8 Van, Sep 29, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2013
  9. Van

    Van
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    The rest of the story: Slicing and dicing to misrepresent others is the tradecraft of Calvinism's acolates. Here is an example by Rippon.

    Sliced and diced quote:

    Note the capital "M" rather than an elipse.

    Actual exchange:

     
  10. JonC

    JonC
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    Y'all would make good politicians.
     

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