Calvinism and Arminianism

When Calvinism is contrasted with Arminianism, what first comes to mind is God’s role and man’s role in coming to faith. The Calvinist says that man plays no cooperative or contributive role in coming to faith, while the Arminian says that man cooperates with God in that man turns his heart to God, that is, exercises his will to come to faith. In Calvinism, God first regenerates the sinner and then gives the sinner the gift of faith, while in Arminianism, regeneration follows the sinner’s acceptance of God’s offer of salvation. Faith, for the Arminian is something the believer does, not something God gives, as Calvinism understands it.

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11 thoughts on “Calvinism and Arminianism

  1. Well.

    The Arminian view is of a universal atonement. The Calvinistic view is that of limited atonement, “particular redemption.” But actually both views limit the atonement, for neither believe all people will be saved.
    In the Arminian view, the atonement is limited by man’s “free will”-the choice to reject the offer of atonement limits its efectiveness to save. in this case, man controls the final outcome of the Messiah’s death. In the Calvinistic view, the atonement is limited by the “design of God.” The messiah’s death had a particular divine purpose, that being to redeem the elect from their sin. In this case God controls the final outcome of the Messiah’s death.
    I will have more later i am very tired and need my beauty sleep…..

    • There are two meanings to “universal atonement.”

      1. Everyone shall ultimately be saved irrespective of what they willed in this life.

      2. Everyone who, in this life, wills to be saved, shall be saved. This is the Arminian view you mean.

      Here is John Owen’s conundrum.

      “The Father imposed his wrath due unto sinners and the Son underwent punishment for either all the sins of all men, all the sins of some men, or some of the sins of all men. In which case it may be said that if that last be true, some of the sins of all men, all men have some sins to answer for, and so none are saved.

      That if the second be true, all of the sins of some men, the Christ in their stead suffered for all of the sins of all of the elect in the world and this is the truth, not normal unbiased but just truth.

      But if the first be the case, all the sins of all men, why are not all men free from the punishment due unto their sins? You answer, because of unbelief. I ask, is this unbelief a sin or is it not? If it be, then Christ suffered the punishment due unto it, or he did not. If he did, why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which he died? If he did not he did not die for all their sins.”

      Here is what I consider a very good description of the scope of atonement by S Lewis Johnson (who by the way also has an excellent series on the future of “ethnic” Israel)

      http://goptools.bingodisk.com/bingo/public/SLJInstitute.net/www/sermons/topical_studies/bunyan/bunyan2/bunyan2.pdf

      • Dan, what a joy to read it put so well. There is one thing though where we differ. You are much kinder than moi, because, for me, the next step is to grab a freewiller and (want so much to) give him a little kick in his Arminian pants (as I blogged previously). What love!

  2. If we begin with the proposition that a person is unable to effect forgiveness of sins through their own efforts, and that God is just and w9ill not punish the same sin twice, then from a purely logical standpoint the Calvinistic approach makes the most sense.

    1) If Messiah died for “all of the sins of all people,” then all are saved from the wrath of God since all of the debt for all of their sins has been paid (=Universalism).

    2) If messiah died for “some of the sins of all people,” then no one is saved, for we begin with the premise that a person is unable to effect forgiveness of sins through their own efforts.

    3) If messiah died for “all the sins of some of the people,” then those for whom He died are indeed saved (Particularism).

    The Arminian would object because what is left out is any mention of one’s free choice either to accept or reject the offer of salvation through Yeshua’s atoning work. But what this objection shows is that in the Arminian view, the death of Yeshua does not actually pay for sin, it only makes “deposit” on that payment.

    so, is the payment for sins made by the death of Yeshua presented in the Scriptures as being potential or actual? do the Scriptures speak of the death of the Messiah as making salvation POSSIBLE or INEVITABLE?

  3. Pingback: The Jewish heart: Why a Rabbi should not find it too hard to be a Calvinist | OneDaring Jew
  4. Pingback: C.S. Lewis and Hell: Self-chosen because free | OneDaring Jew

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