Eternal Security ~ Part 22

CALVINISM AND ARMINIANISM CONTRASTED

In my last post, I tackled the issue of Election and declared my position on this one issue as an Arminian.  In this post, I want to address the other primary tenets of Calvinism and Arminianism and declare my position on each.  I’ll be using the format that I used in Eternal Security ~ Part 15.  I have color coded each of the cells using the three colors of a traffic signal with green signifying agreement; yellow for a mixture of both [orange in WordPress] ; and, red for disagreement.

[WordPress did not allow me to format the table like I wanted it to appear.  You may want to click on the PDF version below.]

CALVINISM AND ARMINIANISM CONTRASTED

Doctrine [1]

Arminianism

Calvinism

My Position

Total Depravity As a result of the Fall, man has inherited a corrupted nature. Prevenient grace has removed the guilt and condemnation of Adam’s sin. As a result of the Fall, man is totally depraved and dead in sin; he is unable to save himself. Because he is dead in sin, God must initiate salvation. From my perspective, both positions essentially say that we are all born sinners because of Adam’s sin and must accept God’s salvation through accepting Yeshua as our Lord and Savior.

 

Imputation of Sin God did not impute sin to the entire human race through Adam’s sin, but all people inherit a corrupt nature because of Adam’s fall. Through Adam’s transgression, sin was imputed ~ passed to the entire human race so that all people are born in sin. To me, this is another example of splitting hairs.  Sin is sin.  We are born with a sin nature, but we don’t pay the penalty for the sins of our parents.
Unconditional Election God elected those whom He knew would believe of their own free will. Election is conditional, based on man’s response in faith. God unconditionally, from eternity past, elected some to be saved. Election is not based on man’s future response. I covered this in my last post in Election ~ Part 21.
Limited Atonement Christ died for the entire human race, making all mankind capable for salvation. His death is effective only in those who believe.

 

God determined that Christ would die for all those whom God elected. Since Christ did not die for everyone but only for those who were elected to be saved. His death is completely successful. This is tied back to the issue of Election.  Clearly, His death is effective and completely successful for all who believe that He is the Son of God.
Irresistible Grace Through prevenient or preparatory grace, which is given to all people, man can cooperate with God and respond to Him in salvation. Prevenient grace reverses the effects of Adam’s sin. Common grace is extended to all mankind but is insufficient to save anyone. Through irresistible grace God drew to Himself those whom He had elected, making them willing to respond. This issue is also tied back to the issue of Election and the Will of Man below.  I believe that it is only by God’s Grace and sovereignty that we can accept salvation by the atoning blood of our Savior Yeshua.
Will of Man Prevenient grace is given to all people and is exercised on the entire person, giving man a free will. Depravity extends to all of man, including his will. Without irresistible grace man’s will remains bound, unable to respond to God on its own ability. I addressed this issue in Eternal Security ~ Part 7 wherein I agreed with A.W. Tozer’s position of God’s Sovereignty and Free Will when he stated: “God Almighty is sovereign, free to do as He pleases. Among the things He is pleased to do is give me freedom to do what I please.  And when I do what I please, I am fulfilling the will of God, not controverting it, for God in His sovereignty has sovereignly given me freedom to make a free choice.”

 

Perseverance of the Saints Believers may turn from grace and lose their salvation. Believers will persevere in the faith. Believers are secure in their salvation; none will be lost. I will address this in my next post.
Sovereignty of God God limits His control in accordance with man’s freedom and response. His decrees are related to His foreknowledge of what man’s response will be. God’s sovereignty is absolute and unconditional. He has determined all things according to the good pleasure of His will. His foreknowledge originates in advanced planning, not in advanced information. See Will of Man above.

 

In my next post, I will address my take on the issue of the Perseverance of the Saints.

Click here for PDF version.

 

[1] Those doctrines in BOLDFACE indicate the main Calvinistic doctrines known as T.U.L.I.P.

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