I just finished watching a 4.5 hour DVD on why Calvinism is right and Arminianism is wrong. Here are my thoughts. 1 – Free will VS Total Depravity I think that we are born totally, spiritually dead. According to Romans 5:12, death is passed to all men. Even before we are born, we have inherited death. Even before we have sinned, we inherit death. This makes sense because of The Curse. Calvinists mistakenly believe that sin is passed… it is not. Arminians mistakenly believe that we have free will. This is only true in that God gave us only two choices, and then commanded us to choose one of his choices. Choose Life or Death, blessing or cursing (as Deuteronomy 30:19 says). We choose to believe in Jesus Christ or not. 2- Conditional VS Unconditional Election Really, both sides believe the same thing here. Arminians believe that God’s choice was based on his foreknowledge of who would believe in Him. Calvinists believe God chooses and it makes no difference whether people believe him or not. The problem here is that, if this were true, evangelism would be irrelevant. God chooses, and those people get saved regardless of whether they ever even know of Jesus Christ. To try to cover for this flaw, Calvinists claim God commands us to evangelize, and he uses people to let other people know about himself. However, this argument is circular, and goes against the original argument that the election is unconditional. If God needs people to evangelize, then he isn’t sovereign, he needs us in the equation. The Calvinists claim that God is still sovereign… if people don’t evangelize, than the rocks will cry out. Yet there isn’t a single example in all of scripture of someone being evangelized by a rock. The scripture they claim speaks about worship, not evangelism (Jesus rebuking the Pharisees for quieting the people trying to worship him on Palm Sunday). In reality, it is a covenant of faith. 3- Universal Atonement VS Limited Atonement Again, here both sides believe the same thing, they just state it differently. Arminianism says Christ died for all, but only those who choose him get it. Calvinism says he only died for the ones he chose. Effectively both limit the atonement to the chosen. Calvinism creates an egregious error here, however, in defending itself. Verses such as John 3:16 and 2 Peter 3:9 clearly say that Jesus died for the whole world, and that God’s will isn’t always done. They claim these words as ‘figures of speech’, rather than inspired Word of God and thereby damage the veracity of scripture. It is most heinous. In actuality, they are both right, but they are both wrong in how they say it. God’s elect are those who believe in Jesus Christ. God has chosen or elected those who believe for life, and chosen or elected those who do not believe for everlasting death. Jesus died for the ones who believe in Him. It does no damage to the sovereignty of God to allow a choice. For example, if I had a child, and I gave the child the choice of toast or cereal for breakfast, my sovereignty to choose breakfast is still intact. The child can't choose bacon and eggs for example. Additionally, my sovereignty to reward one of the choices - for example substituting French toast, strawberries, and whipped cream if the child selects "toast" - is unincumbered. 4- Resistible Grace VS Irresistible Grace Calvinism has to create a false tenet – the “gift of faith” in order for their theology to work. They say that faith is not a matter of one’s heart, but one cannot have faith unless God gives it to them… and God only gives it to his elect. This has several unaddressed flaws. First, this means that those who are in sin are in the middle of God’s perfect will for their lives, and therefore their violation of “the law” isn’t really sin because God is ultimately the cause of the sin of the unbeliever. Furthermore, it is possible, once again, for an unbeliever to be saved. Someone who has never heard of Christ would suddenly have grace forced upon them. This means the reverse is also true. Calvinists blind themselves to the truth – if God is ultimately sovereign, then he is responsible for creating evil, and he is responsible for causing sinners to sin. This is true if they are consistent regarding the sovereignty of God. There has to be a measure of free will, otherwise this conclusion is inescapable. In actuality, grace is obtained through faith in Jesus Christ (Eph 2:8). Faith is not works, it is faith. Calvinism claims to be faith based, and accuses Arminianism of being works based. This accusation is contingent on the false presumption that “faith” is a “work”. In actuality, faith is faith, and works are works and faith is not a work. The beliefs of our hearts are not works. 5- Falling from Grace VS perseverance of the Saints This point is a natural extension of point 4 for both Arminianism and Calvinism. If grace is resistible, than one can resist, even after the fact. If Grace is irresistible, than one cannot resist at any time. However the truth, as usual, lies somewhere in the middle. If we choose life by faith in Jesus Christ we obtain grace. However, the Bible does call grace a free gift. (Rom 5:15-18) It also says the gifts and callings of God are without repentance. But Jesus himself tells the parable of the man who owed, had his debt forgiven by the King, then wouldn’t forgive another man; when the King heard of it he through the man in prison, even after forgiving him of his debt.