Calvinism vs Arminianism discussion

ok so i thought i would use this as teh thread for teh discussion.

please invite your friends or pastors to comment…this is open to all.

everything that is written be done in with brotherly love.

Please try to stick to the point

Try to avoid fallacious arguments (Straw men, Ad Hominem, etc)

Try to post YOUR opinion and avoid alot of copy/paste arguing.

and personally…PLEASE dont state your opinion then say you dont want to argue about it and run away. That is rude and un called for…

If you have an RSS feeder you can add this link to it so you can know when someone post a comment..
if not, PLEASE remember to check back…i really want to see this work and hopefully get other topics going as well

One Response to “Calvinism vs Arminianism discussion”

  1. Chreeha Says:

    A key starting point for Arminian theology is the unexamined assumption of what is commonly called ‘free will’. This is sometimes referred to as ‘the ability to choose the contrary, speaking of choice that is not conditioned by any external factors.

    In the most robust form, this is often called ‘libertarian free will’. This is often the version championed by those who associate themselves with a view called Open Theism.

    Critics of Open Theism have charged that the propenents of libertarian free will have basically taken the tenents of Arminian theology and drawn them out to their logical conclusions. In the end, the Openness thinkers wind up with a God who does not know the future, and indeed because of man’s supposed libertarian free will, cannot know the future.

    In defense of what seems to be the common expression of Arminian theology, most defenders are concerned to preserve both what they consider to be man’s free will as well as God’s exhaustive knowing of all future events.

    I would like to discuss this unexamined assumption of ‘free will’ after the fall.

    I will reference the Westminster Confession of Faith not in place of the Scriptures, but because it reflects a certain strand of thought that is associated with ‘Calvinism’. This will hopefully provide some parameters for the discussion to operate within.

    The Confession, chapter IX, (WCF hereafter,) does affirm that mankind as originally created in the garden possessed a free will. That is to say that Adam and Eve were niether compelled toward good or evil. This sounds like the free will that Arminian theology champions.

    At this point, I would have to agree. But history does not witness that our first parents remained in this state.

    Due to the fall, the will became enslaved to evil. Paul indicates that the ‘natural’ man is dead in trespasses and sin, cf. Eph 2:1 ff (and Col 2:13 as well). Paul further indicates in that passage that natural man is a child of wrath, and indeed, in Romans, Paul says that we are enemies of God, cf. Rom 5:10.

    The doctrine of ‘Total Depravity’ or ‘Total Inability’ essentially states that man is ‘is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.’ (WCF IX.III).

    Total inability does not indicate that all of mankind is as mean as they can be all of the time. For sure there are plenty of men who hate Christ who do not beat their wives on a daily basis. Total Inability says that with regard to salvation that man is helpless, dead.

    If I’ve understood Paul’s assessment of the human condition without Christ correctly, there seems to be no place for a dead human to choose Christ. If people are truly dead in their sins, then how does anyone ever have their sins forgiven?

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