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Arminian vs. Calvinism

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Caretaker, Dec 28, 2002.

  1. Caretaker

    Caretaker <img src= /drew.gif>

    May 20, 2002
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    The rise of the word was this: JAMES HARMENS, in Latin, Jacobes Arminius, was first one of the Ministers of Amsterdam, and afterwards Professor of Divinity at Leyden. He was educated at Geneva; but in the year 1591 began to doubt of the principles which he had till then received. And being more and more convinced that they were wrong, when he was vested with the Professorship, he publicly taught what he believed the
    truth, till, in the year 1609, he died in peace.

    But a few years after his death, some
    zealous men with the Prince of Orange at their head, furiously assaulted all that held
    what were called his opinions; and having procured them to be solemnly condemned, in
    the famous Synod of Dort, (not so numerous or learned, but full as impartial, as the
    Council or Synod of Trent,) some were put to death, some banished, some imprisoned for
    life, all turned out of their employments, and made incapable of holding any office, either
    in Church or State.

    The errors charged upon these (usually termed Arminians) by their opponents, are five:
    (1.) That they deny original sin;
    (2.) That they deny justification by faith;
    (3.) That they deny absolute predestination;
    (4.) That they deny the grace of God to be
    (5.) That they affirm, a believer may fall from grace.

    With regard to the two first of these charges, they plead, Not Guilty. They are entirely
    false. No man that ever lived, not John Calvin himself, ever asserted either original sin,
    or justification by faith, in more strong, more clear and express terms, than Arminius has
    done. These two points, therefore, are to be set out of the question: In these both parties

    The Calvinists hold, God has absolutely decreed, from all eternity, to save such and such persons, and no others; and that Christ died for these, and none else. The Arminians hold, God has decreed, from all eternity, touching all that have the written word, "He that believeth shall be saved: He that believeth not, shall be condemned:" And in order to this, "Christ died for all, all that were dead in trespasses and sins;" that is, for every child of Adam, since "in Adam all died."

    The Calvinists hold, Secondly, that the saving grace of God is absolutely irresistible; that no man is any more able to resist it, than to resist the stroke of lightning. The Arminians hold, that although there may be some moments wherein the grace of God acts irresistibly, yet, in general, any man may resist, and that to his eternal ruin, the grace whereby it was the will of God he should have been eternally saved.

    The Calvinists hold, Thirdly, that a true believer in Christ cannot possibly fall from
    grace. The Arminians hold, that a true believer may "make shipwreck of faith and a good
    conscience;" that he may fall, not only foully, but finally, so as to perish for ever.

    Remonstrates of Arminian Position:

    1.God has decreed to save through Jesus Christ those of the fallen and sinful race who through the grace of the Holy Spirit believe in him, but leaves in sin the incorrigible and unbelieving. (In other words predestination is said to be conditioned by God's foreknowledge of who would respond to the gospel)

    2.Christ died for all men (not just for the elect), but no one except the believer has remission of sin.

    3.Man can neither of himself nor of his free will do anything truly good until he is born again of God, in Christ, through the Holy Spirit. (Though accused of such, Arminius and his followers were not Pelagians.)

    4.All good deeds or movements in the regenerate must be ascribed to the grace of God but his grace is not irresistible.

    5.Those who are incorporated into Christ by a true faith have power given them through the assisting grace of the Holy Spirit to persevere in the faith. But it is possible for a believer to fall from grace.

    Five theological points were formulated to answer the Remonstrants in a document known as the Canon of Dort, which declared:

    that fallen man was totally unable to save himself (Total Depravity)

    that God's electing purpose was not conditioned by anything in man (Unconditional Election)

    that Christ's atoning death was sufficient to save all men, but efficient only for the elect (Limited Atonement)

    that the gift of faith, sovereignly given by God's Holy Spirit, cannot be resisted by the elect (Irresistible Grace)

    that those who are regenerated and justified will persevere in the faith (Perseverance of the saints)