The following material from Romans: An Interpretative Outline (pp.144-147). by David N. Steele and Curtis C. Thomas, contrasts the Five Points of Arminianism with the Five Points of Calvinism in the clearest and most concise form that we have seen anywhere. It is also found in their smaller book, The Five Points of Calvinism (pp. 16-19). Both books are published by The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., Philadelphia.(1963). Messrs. Steele and Thomas have served for several years as co-pastors of a Southern Baptist church, in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Free Will or Human Ability

Although human nature was seriously affected by the fall, man has not been left in a state of total spiritual helplessness. God graciously enables every sinner to repent and believe, but He does not interfere with man’s freedom. Each sinner possesses a free will, and his eternal destiny depends on how he uses it. Man’s freedom consists of his ability to choose good over evil in spiritual matters; his will is not enslaved to his sinful nature. The sinner has the power to either cooperate with God’s Spirit and be regenerated or resist God’s grace and perish. The lost sinner needs the Spirit’s assistance, but he does not have to be regenerated by the Spirit before he can believe, for faith is man’s act and precedes the new birth. Faith is the sinner’s gift to God; it is man’s contribution to salvation.

Total Inability or Total Depravity

Because of the fall, man is unable of himself to savingly believe the gospel. The sinner is dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; his heart is deceitful and desperately corrupt. His will is not free, it is in bondage to his evil nature, therefore, he will not — indeed he cannot — choose good over evil in the spiritual realm. Consequently, it takes much more than the Spirit’s assistance to bring a sinner to Christ — it takes  regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature. Faith is not something man contributes to salvation but is itself a part of God’s gift of salvation— it is God’s gift to the sinner, not the sinner’s gift to God.

Free Will or Human Ability

Although human nature was seriously affected by the fall, man has not been left in a state of total spiritual helplessness. God graciously enables every sinner to repent and believe, but He does not interfere with man’s freedom. Each sinner possesses a free will, and his eternal destiny depends on how he uses it. Man’s freedom consists of his ability to choose good over evil in spiritual matters; his will is not enslaved to his sinful nature. The sinner has the power to either cooperate with God’s Spirit and be regenerated or resist God’s grace and perish. The lost sinner needs the Spirit’s assistance, but he does not have to be regenerated by the Spirit before he can believe, for faith is man’s act and precedes the new birth. Faith is the sinner’s gift to God; it is man’s contribution to salvation.

Total Inability or Total Depravity

Because of the fall, man is unable of himself to savingly believe the gospel. The sinner is dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; his heart is deceitful and desperately corrupt. His will is not free, it is in bondage to his evil nature, therefore, he will not — indeed he cannot — choose good over evil in the spiritual realm. Consequently, it takes much more than the Spirit’s assistance to bring a sinner to Christ — it takes  regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature. Faith is not something man contributes to salvation but is itself a part of God’s gift of salvation— it is God’s gift to the sinner, not the sinner’s gift to God.

Universal Redemption or General Atonement

Christ’s redeeming work made it possible for everyone to be saved but did not actually secure the salvation of anyone. Although Christ died for all men and for every man, only those who believe on Him are saved. His death enabled God to pardon sinners on the condition that they believe, but it did not actually put away anyone’s sins. Christ’s redemption becomes effective only if man chooses to accept it.

Particular Redemption or Limited Atonement

Christ’s redeeming work was intended to save the elect only and actually secured salvation for them. His death was a substitutionary endurance of the penalty of sin in the place of certain specified sinners. In addition to putting away the sins of His people, Christ’s redemption secured everything necessary for their salvation, including faith which unites them to Him. The gift of faith is infallibly applied by the Spirit to all for whom Christ died, therefore guaranteeing their salvation

The Holy Spirit Can Be Effectually Resisted

The Spirit calls inwardly all those who are called outwardly by the gospel invitation; He does all that He can to bring every sinner to salvation. But inasmuch as man is free, he can successfully resist the Spirit’s call. The Spirit cannot regenerate the sinner until he believes; faith (which is man’s contribution) precedes and makes possible the new birth. Thus, man’s free will limits the Spirit in the application of Christ’s saving work. The Holy Spirit can only draw to Christ those who allow Him to have His way with them. Until the sinner responds, the Spirit cannot give life. God’s grace, therefore, is not invincible; it can be, and often is, resisted and thwarted by man.

The Efficacious Call of the Spirit or Irresistible Grace

In addition to the outward general call to salvation which is made to everyone who hears the gospel, the Holy Spirit extends to the elect a special inward call that inevitably brings them to salvation. The eternal call (which is made to all without distinction) can be, and often is, rejected; whereas the internal call (which is made only to the elect) cannot be rejected; it always results in conversion. By mean, of this special call the Spirit irresistibly draws sinners to Christ. He is not limited in His work of applying salvation by man’s will, nor is He dependent upon man’s cooperation for success. The Spirit graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ. God’, grace. therefore, is invincible; it never fails to result in the salvation of those to whom it is extended.

Falling From Grace

Those who believe and are truly saved can lose their salvation by failing to keep up their faith. etc. All Arminian, have not been agreed on this point; some have held that believers are eternally secure in Christ — that once a sinner is regenerated. he can never be lost.

Perseverance of the Saints

All who are chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given faith by the Spirit are eternally saved. They are kept in faith by the power of Almighty God and thus persevere to the end.

According to Arminianism

Salvation is accomplished through the combined efforts of God (who takes the initiative) and man (who must respond)—man’s response being the determining factor. God has provided salvation for everyone, but His provision becomes effective only for those who, of their own free will, “choose” to cooperate with Him and accept His offer of grace. At the crucial point, man’s will plays a decisive role; thus man, not God, determines who will be the recipients of the gift of salvation.

According to Calvinism

Salvation is accomplished by the almighty power of the Triune God. The Father chose a people, the Son died for them, the Holy  Spirit makes Christ’s death effective by bringing the elect to faith and repentance, thereby causing them to willingly obey the gospel. The entire process (election, redemption, regeneration) is the work of God and is by grace alone. Thus God, not man, determines who will be the recipients of the gift of salvation.

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  • Brendan P. Burnett

    That chart is misconceived; it misrepresents the classical Arminian belief in total depravity as represented by the first point of Free Will here:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Although human nature was seriously affected by the fall, man has not been left in a state of total spiritual helplessness. God graciously enables every sinner to repent and believe, but He does not interfere with man’s freedom. Each sinner possesses a free will, and his eternal destiny depends on how he uses it. Man’s freedom consists of his ability to choose good over evil in spiritual matters; his will is not enslaved to his sinful nature. The sinner has the power to either cooperate with God’s Spirit and be regenerated or resist God’s grace and perish. The lost sinner needs the Spirit’s assistance, but he does not have to be regenerated by the Spirit before he can believe, for faith is man’s act and precedes the new birth. Faith is the sinner’s gift to God; it is man’s contribution to salvation.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Really? Is this really the case? I didn’t see a footnote. I can see why: Because this was surely not the case! Arminius says in context of the fallenness and depravity of man:

    “In this state, the free will of man is not only wounded, maimed, infirmed, bent and weakened; but it is also imprisoned, destroyed and lost. And its powers are not only debilitated and useless unless they are assisted by grace but it has no powers whatever except such as are excited by divine grace… Exactly correspondent to this darkness of the mind and perverseness of the heart, is the utter weakness of all the powers to perform that which is truly good, and to omit the perpetration of that which is evil, in a due mode and from a due end and cause.” ~~~ (John D. Wagner, Arminius Speaks: Essential Writings on Predestination, Free Will and the Nature of God (2011), p.3).

    And John Wesley, an Arminian, speaks of man’s nature after the fall thusly:

    “But was there good intermingled with the evil? Was there not light intermixed with darkness? No; not at all: “God saw that the heart of man was only evil.”… For God, who “saw the whole imagination of his heart to be only evil,” saw likewise, that it was only the same, that is, it “was only evil continually;” every year, every day, every hour, every moment. He never deviated into good… From all these we learn concerning man in his natural state, unassisted by the grace of God, that “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart is” still “evil, only evil” and that “continually.”” (Wesley, J., The Works of John Wesley, Third Edition: Complete and Unabridged, (2007), 14vols., 6:57.)

    Arminius believed firmly in total depravity just like the Calvinists. Even R. C. Sproul has noted this:

    “The above citation from one of Arminius’s works demonstrates how seriously he regards the depths of the fall. He is not satisfied to declare that man’s will was merely wounded or weakened. He insists that is was “imprisoned, destroyed, and lost.” The language of Augustine, Martin Luther, or John Calvin is scarcely stronger than that of Arminius. . . . Arminius not only affirms the bondage of the will, but insists that natural man, being dead in sin, exists in a state of moral inability or impotence. What more could an Augustinian or Calvinist hope for from a theologian? Arminius then declares that the only remedy for man’s fallen condition is the gracious operation of God’s Spirit. The will of man is not free to do any good unless it is made free or liberated by the Son of God through the Spirit of God.” (Sproul, R. C., Willing to Believe: The Controversy over Free Will (1997), pp.126-128.)

    • Brandon

      Brendan, you are correct in stating that Arminius was far less an Arminian than his followers who continued on after his death. It is those follwers which the Canon of Sort and Calvin refuted then and to this day and it is those same beliefs which Steele, Thomas and many others have continued to refute over the past few centuries.

      Of course there will always be variations of Arminian theology (see Amaraldianism), but it is classical Arminianism which is most prevalent.

      • Ben

        They dorted out the heretics at the Synods of Sort 😛
        It’s Dort, I’m just being lighthearted about your typo 🙂

      • Brendan P. Burnett

        Well I would say that Jacobus Arminius upon whom Classical Arminianism (a.k.a. Reformation Arminianism) is built should be the true standard for how “Arminianism” is defined. The first and foremost followers of Arminius after Arminius’ death were the 17th century Remonstrants under Simon Episcopius, a student of Arminius at Leiden University. The Remonstrants drew up a declaration of faith in 1621 (translated by Mark A. Ellis, available here: http://www.amazon.com/Arminian-Confession-Princeton-Theological-Monograph/dp/1597523372/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1320324005&sr=1-2) which explained the earliest Arminian beliefs and main points of contention on soteriology, in which numerous examples could be given as to the consistency they had with Arminius’ own theological sentiments. Here’s an example from the confession on depravity. After commenting on the truth of original sin and the permeation of guilt to the entire human race placing them and their wills in bondage to sin, The Arminian Confession of 1621 states:

        “Sin was not only in the world, but also so exerted its power, that all flesh…corrupted its way, and every imagination of man was only evil from childhood.” (p.67)

        Hence:

        “It was from this [fallenness, depravity and bondage of the will] that the highest necessity and also advantage of divine grace, prepared for us in Christ the Saviour before the ages, clearly appeared. For without it, we could neither shake off the miserable yoke of sin, nor do anything truly good in all religion, nor finally ever escape eternal death or any true punishment of sin. Much less could we at any time obtain eternal salvation without it [grace] or through ourselves.” (pp.68-69)

        So what I think is demonstrated from these passages is that the earliest Arminians were absolutely committed to the bondage of the will in sin, the total depravity of man and hence the necessity of grace, for we cannot “obtain eternal salvation…through ourselves.” Therefore those who call themselves “Arminian” today who do not adhere to this early convictions should not, I think, call themselves Arminians and much less should we, in the knowledge of the difference, refer to them as Arminians.

        This kind of early, historic Classical Arminianism is represented today by the likes of Roger E. Olson (“Arminian Theology” 2006, “Against Calvinism” 2011), Robert E. Picirilli (“Grace, Faith, Free Will” 2002), F. Leroy Forlines and J. Matthew Pinson (“Classical Arminianism” 2011). Jerry L. Walls and Joseph R. Dongell (“Why I’m Not a Calvinist” 2004) and a host of others such as Brian J. Abasciano, who is currently writing a massive three volume commentary on Romans 9 (vol. 1: http://www.amazon.com/Pauls-Use-Old-Testament-Romans/dp/0567030733/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1320324938&sr=1-2; Vol 2: http://www.amazon.com/Pauls-Use-Old-Testament-Romans/dp/0567031039/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1320324938&sr=1-1) and also heads the Society of Evangelical Arminians (www.evangelicalarminians.org) which in turn is represented by famous bloggers like the Southern Baptist blogger William W. Birch at http://www.thearminian.net.

        Essentially classical Arminianism–which is faithful to Arminius and the early Remonstrants–abounds even today, and it is time this fact be recognised. This historic Arminianism is committed to the depravity of man, the necessity of grace and the supremacy of God’s holy character in all of its aspects; sovereignty, love, righteousness, justice and goodness, etc. What I hope this extended response demonstrates is that there are in fact sources which do hold to Jacobus Arminius’ original sentiments, and these are what is truly, historically, ARMINIAN. Other sentiments which focus on free will or man’s goodness and ability are foreign to Arminianism.

        I even have written an extended 25,000 exposition on this topic: “The Fallenness of Man, the Will and the Workings of Grace: An Exposition on Historical Arminian Theological Thought.” If I may, I would invite anyone who is interested to obtain a copy of this exposition and read it, wherein the earliest sentiments of the early Arminians is expounded regarding the creation, the fall and its effects, the will of man and of God including the government of evil and providence, the method of the Holy Spirit in bringing salvation and the place of grace in the believer’s life. Anyone who wants a copy should email me at brendan_27@hotmail.com with subject heading “Arminian Exposition.”

        Thanks.

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  • just another internet user

    RE your opening statement:
    That chart is misconceived; it misrepresents the classical Arminian belief in total depravity
    …..
    Jacob Arminius did not teach “total depravity” nor do arminians believe in the total depravity or inability of the sinner to come to Christ… so beats me what your spinning here.. your opening
    statement is incorrect.. you should get informed FIRST and do the theological legwork and find
    out what the person actually taught and believed before making such statements and making yourself look foolish.

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  • Samie Pimentel

    This is my Alternative View:

    Spiritual Reinstatement Through the Plan of Redemption

    Adam, by his own death that day he sinned, could have paid the penalty
    for his sin, but that would be his eternal end. He could have paid for
    his sin God hates, but God would have eternally lost the sinner He
    loves. So right on that same day Adam fell into sin, God implemented the
    plan of redemption devised before the foundation of the world. God’s
    plan made it possible for man to not only pay for the penalty of his own
    sin, but also reinstated man to his pre-fall spiritual status and gave
    him another shot at eternal life. That plan was revealed in the life,
    death and resurrection of our Lord. No wonder Christ is called the Lamb
    slain from the foundation of the world.

    General Election

    God’s choice of everyone in Adam’s race before the foundation of the
    world rested solely in His grace and great love for His creatures. He
    predestined all for adoption as children in Jesus, and on the cross
    fashioned them into the Body of His Son, gave each one faith that they
    may please Him and gain victory over evil. Being part of His Body, all
    have His Power to overcome evil with good. Thus God’s choice of man made
    him part of the Body of Christ, but it is man’s choice whether or not
    to remain part of the Body by overcoming evil with good. It is Christ
    Who finally decides whether to remove a person from His Body by blotting
    his name from the book of life.

    Universal and Unconditional Redemption or Atonement

    God through Christ’s redeeming work intended to save all of Adam’s race
    and actually secured salvation for them by fashioning them into the
    Body of Christ on the cross where the One New Man was created: Christ
    the Head, humanity the Body. When the Head died, the Body died, and the
    penalty for sin was paid for and all were washed clean from sin and
    forgiven. When the Head resurrected, the Body was made alive together
    with Him, born again to a living hope. Hence, everyone is born already
    In Christ. But only those who in their lifetime God through Christ
    judges as having overcome evil with good will not be dismembered from
    the Body His Son and will ultimately make it to the heavenly portals.

    The General Call to Repentance

    God so loved the world that He fashioned all into the Body of Christ,
    no one exempted nor left out. Yet He does not overrule the will of His
    creatures in responding to His love by overcoming evil with good, hence
    His call for all men everywhere to repent. Being part of the Body of
    Christ, a person has His Power to overcome evil. It is not a question of
    inability but one of refusal, if one does not overcome evil with good.
    Being members of the family of God, we all grow up in Christ. Those who
    God determines that it is best for them to know about His Son, He will
    send someone to them, just as the Holy Spirit directed Philip to the
    Ethiopian eunuch who readily accepted and believed in Christ. Believing
    is overcoming the evil of unbelief and disbelief. Being members of His
    family, God assigns to us our own unique responsibilities commensurate
    with our spiritual level of maturity. And God through Christ judges
    whether one is an overcomer or not after a person dies. There’s hope
    while alive.

    Perseverance to Overcome Evil with Good

    Being part of the Body of Christ, one is expected to act in accordance
    with what the Head wants its body part to do under the guidance of the
    Holy Spirit. Only those who God through Christ judges as having
    persevered in overcoming evil with good will remain part of the Body of
    Christ.

    According to Pimentelism: Salvation has three Tenses (or 3
    Dimensions of the Gospel): Past, Present, Future. All benefited in the
    past and present tenses, but only overcomers will positively benefit
    from the future tense. In the Past Tense, contingent upon the life,
    death and resurrection of Jesus, God through Christ fashioned all into
    the Body of His Son. In the Present Tense, God through Christ, justifies
    us each time we commit sin, and remembers our sin no more. But the act
    of sinning reminds the person he is overcome of evil instead of
    overcoming it with good. When a person dies, God through Christ judges
    whether the person is an overcomer or not. Overcomers will not be
    blotted out from the book of life and in the future tense of salvation,
    when Christ comes again, will be rewarded with life eternal. All others
    will suffer the wrath of God – the 7 last plagues – and finally thrown
    into the lake of fire. This is Pimentel’s alternative to the five points
    of both Arminianism and Calvinism.

    By Samie S. Pimentel

  • John Smith

    Your presentation of how Arminians understand Scripture is a gross misrepresentation. Arminians have never written beliefs as you have presented here.
    Want a true presentation of what Arminians believe Check out the FACTS.
    http://evangelicalarminians.org/the-facts-of-salvation-a-summary-of-arminian-theologythe-biblical-doctrines-of-grace/

    • GOL

      John, thanks for the posts. There is certainly a difference between “classic” Arminianism (ie Wesleyan Arminianism and its unbiblical articulation of prevenient grace) which few today believe or understand and modern, “practical” Arminianism (that is hardly discernible in many points from semi-Pelagianism) that is rampant in churches. The chart above outlines the modern, practical Arminianism that is most common today.

      And, BTW, I am very familiar with classic Arminianism. I own the following and have read or studied at length:

      Practical Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology by Maddox
      Prevenient Grace by Shelton
      Grace, Faith & Free Will by Picirilli
      Classic Christianity: a Systematic Theology by Oden
      Arminian Theology: Myths & Realities by Olson
      Grace for All: The Arminian Dynamic of Salvation by Clark Pinnock
      Theology for the Community of God by Grenz
      A Wesleyan-Holiness Theology by Grider
      Classic Arminianism by Forlines
      Elect in the Son by Shank on corporate election
      Foundations of Wesleyan-Arminian Theology
      and several others.

      I certainly don’t get my understanding of Arminianism from blog posts, online articles or YouTube debates. These are some of the classics and “best” works of Arminian theology available today.

      • John Smith

        No Arminian scholar would claim the beliefs as they are expressed in the chart you posted. So we are dealing with Calvinist constructed straw men arguments. That is why I posted a chart expressing true Arminian understanding of Scripture.

        There are real differences in our understanding of what Scripture teaches. Honest dialogue must start with correct representation of what each believes. If you cannot correctly express what Arminians believe you have no valid starting place.

      • Dale Wayman

        GOL – I’m disappointed that you don’t believe that Wesleyan Arminianism has an unbiblical view of prevenient grace. (Which btw, it appears you don’t believe in prevenient grace anyway, so I don’t know why you said, “unbiblical.”) Both Wesleyan & Classical Arminians agree with Calvinists that man is enslaved to sin, in a totally depraved state. Our only way out of this depraved state is God’s grace.

        Wesley, himself, stated “prevenient grace takes us within a hair’s breadth of Calvinism” because he understood that Arminianism and Calvinism both have the same Biblical remedy for man’s depravity and that is God’s grace.

        Both Arminians (Wesleyans as well) and Calvinists believe that God’s grace must come before (hence, the word “prevenient”) salvation. The major distinction is that Calvinists believe that one cannot resist this prevenient grace and Arminians believe this prevenient grace can be resisted (to one’s peril).

        Semi-pelagianism and pelagianism is not Arminianism any more than Westboro Baptists are Calvinists.

        • GOL

          Dale, I am quite familiar with Wesley’s sentiments, but the Arminian understanding of prevenient grace is something altogether different than the effectual work of the Spirit of God in a biblical, Reformed understanding. Depending on the Arminian one reads, prevenient grace may be extended to all men universally and indiscriminately or may extended to the sinner on an “as needed” basis at such a time as the sinner hears the gospel so as to grant him a “God-enabled will” to respond to the gospel.

          It is amazing to me that men who have studied the doctrines of grace spend any amount of time discussing the “resistible” or “irresistible” nature of grace in relation to salvation. Certainly, TULIP is an unfortunate acronym and one that did not come about until hundreds of years AFTER Calvin and the Protestant Reformation, and nearly two millennia after Augustine. But you do not find this language (cf. irresistible) in any historic documents, including Dort, the WCF, etc. Rather, they speak of the efficacious or effectual nature of the work of the Spirit of God as it relates to the faculties of man, namely his heart, mind and understanding, out of which the orientation and disposition of his will is directed.

          To suggest that Calvinists believe a sinner “cannot resist this prevenient grace” reveals a significant lack of understanding of what a Calvinist means by “irresistible grace,” which is nothing but an unfortunate label and placeholder for a robust biblical theology of the Spirit’s work in salvation. Arminians, when discussing these things with Calvinists, often speak of grace itself as if it were a tangible “thing” or a “force” that is exerted externally on the sinner – that can be accepted or “resisted.” However, this is a far cry from a Calvinistic understanding of grace as seen in WLC #67:

          “Effectual calling is the work of God’s almighty power and grace, whereby (out of his free and special love to his elect, and from nothing in them moving him thereunto) he doth, in his accepted time, invite and draw them to Jesus Christ, by his word and Spirit; savingly enlightening their minds, renewing and powerfully determining their wills, so as they (although in themselves dead in sin) are hereby made willing and able freely to answer his call, and to accept and embrace the grace offered and conveyed therein.”

          • Dale Wayman

            GOL – Thanks for your reply. It’s nice to know that you can still be “amazed” However, you seem to be moving the goalposts. Your chart clearly indicates TULIP theology (which we know is not the totality of reformed thought), I respond with the same language, and then you chastise me for limiting my conversation to TULIP. In fact, in your chart, you even use the terms “irresistible” and “resisted”. So you cannot charge me with using words not found in the WCF and other documents.

            Which, BTW, you mention the Dort as if it has some authority. Dort was a synod. A synod is a group of people who believe the same thing. Hence, Dort has little authority. It would be like a synod of Lutherans getting together and declaring that Presbyterians have wrong theology. It is also shows a misunderstanding of how deeply ingrained politics and religions were in The Netherlands. One must investigate the historical occurrence of Dort to see that it was not as much about theology but rather more political in nature.

            You insist that we speak of grace as a “tangible” or a “force.” Then you are misunderstanding our terminology, as reformed thought does not have a corner on the market of the word “grace.” Grace is infinite. It cannot be measured and is of incomparable worth. Yet, that is the God-given remedy for our totally depraved nature. Both Arminians (and Wesleyans) and Calvinists agree that Grace is God’s solution for our depravity.

            You mention from the WLC, “renewing and powerfully determining their wills, so as they (although in themselves dead in sin) are hereby made willing and able freely to answer his call, and to accept and embrace the grace offered and conveyed therein.”

            Yup, that’s irresistible. “Powerfully determining their wills…made willing.” This does not make a person to be “able freely to answer his call” A free answer must be able to answer in the affirmative, answer in the negative or refuse to answer. If all one can is “accept and embrace the grace…” then it is not free.

          • John Smith

            GOL You say “It is amazing to me that men who have studied the doctrines of grace spend any amount of time discussing the “resistible” or “irresistible” nature of grace in relation to salvation.”
            Then you quote:
            “Effectual calling is the work of God’s almighty power and grace, whereby (out of his free and special love to his elect, and from nothing in them moving him thereunto) he doth, in his accepted time, invite and draw them to Jesus Christ, by his word and Spirit; savingly enlightening their minds, renewing and powerfully determining their wills, so as they (although in themselves dead in sin) are hereby made willing and able freely to answer his call, and to accept and embrace the grace offered and conveyed therein.”

            There could be no stronger statement indicating irresistible grace.

            it is nonsense to imply that Arminians mean something like “Calvinists believe a sinner “cannot resist this prevenient grace”
            Arminians knows the Calvinist means “the Elect” cannot do other than believe. Calvinism invents compatibilism as a cover up for a non resistible grace imposed upon the elect by God alone.

  • John Smith

    Example of falsehoods. I will bracket the most blatant false statements.

    {{Although human nature was seriously affected by the fall, man has not been left in a state of total spiritual helplessness.}} God graciously enables every sinner to repent and believe, but He does not interfere with man’s freedom. Each sinner possesses a free will, and his eternal destiny depends on how he uses it. {{Man’s freedom consists of his ability to choose good over evil in spiritual matters; his will is not enslaved to his sinful nature.}} The sinner has the power to either cooperate with God’s Spirit and be regenerated or resist God’s grace and perish. The lost sinner needs the Spirit’s assistance, but he does not have to be regenerated by the Spirit before he can believe, for faith is man’s act and precedes the new birth. {{Faith is the sinner’s gift to God; it is man’s contribution to salvation.}}

    To see how this article gives a false representation see Facts Article on how Arminians affirm total depravity.
    http://evangelicalarminians.org/the-facts-of-salvation-a-summary-of-arminian-theologythe-biblical-doctrines-of-grace/

  • John Smith

    2nd example of false statements {{bracketed}}
    Conditional Election
    God’s choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world was based upon His foreseeing that they would respond to His call. {{He selected only those whom He knew would of themselves freely believe the gospel.}} Election therefore was determined by or conditioned upon what man would do. The faith which God foresaw and upon which He based His choice was not given to the sinner by God (it was not created by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit) {{but resulted solely from man’s will.}} {{It was left entirely up to man as to who would believe and therefore as to who would be elected unto salvation.}} {{God chose those whom He knew would, of their own free will, choose Christ. Thus the sinner’s choice of Christ, not God’s choice of the sinner, is the ultimate cause of salvation.}}

  • John Smith

    2nd example of false statements {{bracketed}}
    Conditional Election
    God’s choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world was based upon His foreseeing that they would respond to His call. {{He selected only those whom He knew would of themselves freely believe the gospel.}} Election therefore was determined by or conditioned upon what man would do. The faith which God foresaw and upon which He based His choice was not given to the sinner by God (it was not created by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit) {{but resulted solely from man’s will.}} {{It was left entirely up to man as to who would believe and therefore as to who would be elected unto salvation.}} {{God chose those whom He knew would, of their own free will, choose Christ. Thus the sinner’s choice of Christ, not God’s choice of the sinner, is the ultimate cause of salvation.}}

  • John Smith

    3rd Example of false statements {{bracketed}}
    According to Arminianism: Salvation is accomplished through the combined efforts of God (who takes the initiative) and man(who must respond)— {{man’s response being the determining factor.}} God has provided salvation for everyone, but {{His provision becomes effective only for those who, of their own free will, “choose” to cooperate with Him}} and accept His offer of grace. {{At the crucial point, man’s will plays a decisive role; thus man, not God, determines who will be the recipients of the gift of salvation.}} REJECTED by the Synod of Dort This was the system of thought contained in the “Remonstrance” (though the “five points” were not originally arranged in this order). It was submitted by the Arminians to the Church of Holland in 1610 for adoption but was rejected by the Synod of Dort in 1619 on the ground that it was unscriptural.

  • Dale V. Wayman

    The Arminian Confession of 1621 does not contain the errors as reported in the chart above: http://evangelicalarminians.org/the-arminian-confession-of-1621/

  • John Smith

    GraceOnlineLibrary here is an honest comparison chart if you are interested.
    http://evangelicalarminians.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/FACTS-vs.-TULIP-Chart.pdf

    • GOL

      BTW, John, I very much appreciate the chart. I absolutely AGREE that there is a HUGE difference between historic, classic, Reformed Arminianism and what we see today in modern, fuzzy evangelical “Arminianism.” This comparison chart has been on GOL for probably 15 years. I will amend the Title and will post another article to the chart you shared. Thanks.

      • John Smith

        Thank you GOL. I’m not sure where you find this fuzzy evangelical “Arminianism” in any scholarly form. It certainly is not the published view of any Arminian denomination I am aware of. One thing is clear it is not Arminian.

        • GOL

          John, unfortunately, the vast majority of modern evangelicals don’t have any form of “scholarly” theological understanding. Most are lucky if they have a simple “statement of faith.” Or they end up like Southern Baptists with the Baptist Faith and Message that is so watered down and non-descript that you have both sides interpreting its language to support their own views. In this environment, you do have folks who will confess they believe man is “dead in sin” and who may even say they hold to the doctrine of original sin or total depravity. They believe God must draw (whatever that means), convict and enable a sinner to believe. They believe that Jesus died for all men and that God gives everybody a “chance” or “ability” to believe. They believe election is based on 1) a foreseen faith response or 2) a view of corporate election, etc.

          I can empathize with your frustration feeling like the term has been hijacked and misrepresented. However, though their position is watered down, imprecise, often contradictory and “fuzzy” – it’s absolutely rooted in an Arminian steam and represents a modern form of practical (though not theologically precise) Arminianism.

          • Since the terrible theology of “Once Saved Always Saved” originated in Calvinism’s Perseverance of the Saints, I wonder how happy you would be if people began talking about it as “Calvinism” and acting as though demolishing it meant demolishing Calvinism.

            Also, i question your claim of Arminianism being “hijacked and misrepresented.” In my experience, the VAST majority of non-Calvinist churches with whom you have your theological beef don’t refer to themselves as Arminian at all. In fact, I’d bet most theologically-fuzzy Christians have never even heard the term. So it is certainly unjust to take their terrible theology and label it as “Arminian” when most of its adherents would not.

            All this to say… if anyone is “hijacking and misrepresenting” Arminianism…it’s you. 🙂

          • John Smith

            Non Calvinist in the SBC are not Arminian they reject that identification and Arminians agree the non Calvinists are not Arminian. Some indivuals among them may hold to some Arminian point just as they hold to some Calvinist points.
            Arminians are organized denominations who have clear Arminian statements of faith and scholarly Biblical defenses of their understanding of Scripture. Plegian and semi-Pelagian views are not Arminian.
            As I stated before not one self identified Arminian denomination is guilty of supporting the false statements in the chart you have posted as “Arminian”.
            It is false to say Arminians believe those non Arminian statements I pointed out in your chart.

      • John Smith

        No New Title???????????

  • Jeremy⭕️

    “Faith is the sinner’s gift to God. It is man’s contribution to salvation”? What Arminian believes that? 🙂

    • GOL

      Every Arminian believes that faith is man’s contribution to salvation – that apart from man’s free will exercise of faith, he would not be saved. The chart shows how Arminian theology turns scripture on its head so that rather than faith (and the whole work of salvation in context) being a “gift of God” it turns it back on itself and makes faith something originating in man to God.

      • Jeremy⭕️

        “Faith is a gracious and gratuitous gift of God.” -Arminius
        Man can’t generate faith, being totally depraved. Arminians believe this. Faith is a gift that we receive or reject. Receiving a gift can never honestly be considered a “work”.

        • GOL

          Faith is man’s free will response to ineffectual, universal “prevenient grace.” The difference between the man who believes and the man who remains in his sin, according to any form of Arminianism, is found in man, not in God and is not the result of any so-called “grace.” It is a “gift” according to Arminian theology in the sense that Arminians believe God graciously overcomes their natural depravity and inability through a nebulous, undefinable form of prevenient or enabling grace that is universally given to all men, apart from which man cannot believe. To this extent alone, in Arminian theology, is “faith a gracious and gratuitous gift from God.” It would be more accurate within an Arminian system to say, “the grace that enables men to respond with their own free-will faith is a ‘gracious and gratuitous gift of God.'”

          • See my response above. The Arminian has just as much reason to refer to faith as a “gift” as the Calvinist. If the Arminian is wrong to refer to faith as a gift, then so is the Calvinist. The only recourse is for the Calvinist to say that faith is a gift in Calvinism, but not in Arminianism, because God does the believing for us (which most Calvinists are quick to say is *not* what they mean), or to say that a gift can only be a gift if it is given irresistibly, which is totally contrived. So you really have no legitimate grounds to protest Arminians referring to faith as a gift because it is divinely enabled. OK, done for real now.

          • GOL

            Actually, you have misrepresented the issue entirely. For the Arminian, the sinner who believes and the sinner who, having heard the same message of the gospel, rejects it and continues in unbelief, both receive the EXACT SAME measure of universal, enabling, prevenient grace. What makes them to differ? It is not the desire of God for their salvation. It is not the measure of the grace they receive, because God supposedly gives to all men an ability – a “God-freed will” – enabling them to believe. It cannot be in the work of the Spirit in one and not the other because the Spirit, through the preached word is drawing and call all men equally. So what makes them differ? It is not God. It is not the grace of God. It is man.

            It is a wholly different proposition to say that the reason ANY man believes, who is dead in sin and enslaved to his inbred depravity (as both Calvinists and classic Arminians rightly understand) is due to God’s grace and saying that the reason one sinner, who hears the gospel and believes and another does not. The difference in the latter is NOT due to the grace of God, but that difference lies completely in man.

            For the Calvinist, “faith” is wrought in the heart by the effectual working of the Spirit of God who enlightens the mind, removes the blindness, opens the heart, grants an understanding and effectually calls the sinner to the obtaining of Jesus Christ. It is a “gift” (rather the entire work of salvation is a gift, not simply faith) because it is sovereignly administered by the Spirit upon undeserving, rebellious sinners who, in the flesh, cannot please God.

          • I haven’t misrepresented anything. Salvation is unmerited in Scripture because it is a gift freely received and undeserved (and impossible to earn), just as Paul explains very clearly in Rom. 4. The fact that one chooses to trust in Christ and one does not is irrelevant to the issue of salvation being a gift or not (and it is not something that Scripture even cares about, despite the Calvinist insistence that this is such an important issue).

            But it is still true that faith is a gift in the Calvinist scheme in the sense of divine enabling, just as it is in Arminianism. The only difference is that in Calvinism this enabling irresistibly causes faith, just as I said above. You have only essentially repeated what I said regarding the Calvinist view in different words and then went on about what makes the one who chooses different than the one who does not, something that is not really relevant with regards to how faith is a gifting from God. It is not about “differences” or even the reasons behind why one chooses and another does not. It is about enabling.

            Now at the end you go on about your contrived view of how salvation must be understood if it is a gift (that it must be irresistibly given, i.e “effectual”), but that is not how anyone normally understands a gift. Salvation is still a gift even if it can be freely rejected by the one who freely receives it. Trying to turn the focus on “the other guy” who rejects the gift doesn’t change that one bit. It is a red herring.

            So the point stands: Saying that one receives a gift freely does not mean the person earned the gift, bought the gift or gave the gift to himself. It is likewise contrived to assert that a gift can only be a gift if it is given irresistibly just as it is contrived to say that grace can only be grace if it is given irresistibly. So your argument is still based on an absurdity and a contrived understanding of basic words and concepts. Oh, and by the way, Arminians do not necessarily say that two people receive the EXACT SAME amount of grace. We only say that it is sufficient grace. God bless.

          • John Smith

            See my above reply. We believe in a God freed will. By His enabling is faith made possible. Faith is otherwise impossible for totally depraved humanity. Anyone believing does so by the enabling of God. Man could of himself reject but only by God’s enabling can he believe.

          • GOL

            John, what you have articulated is exactly what I have stated above, only the above is more clear.

          • John Smith

            A God freed will not mans free will is able to believe.
            See my post on the Scriptural case for prevenient grace which you say does not exist.

          • GOL

            I have read Brian Shelton’s book, Prevenient Grace, a couple of times. It is supposedly the most thorough defense and articulation both historically and theologically of the subject. I doubt seriously a short article will add much to the conversation.

        • GOL

          Additionally, you speak of “faith” as if it were something tangible such as a bicycle or an X-box that we either “accept” or “reject.” This is far cry from a biblical understanding of the nature of saving faith and its relation to man’s faculties of heart, mind and understanding. Nowhere do we see in Scripture that “faith” is “offered” as a “gift” to be “received.” Faith is the natural response of the heart, mind and understanding in the one who has been renewed by the Spirit of God, upon whom the gospel came in power and in the Holy Spirit with full conviction (cf 1 Thes. 1:4-5). Faith is a gift in that God sovereignly, by his Spirit, works powerfully and effectually in the sinner by “granting him an understanding that he may know him” and “opening his mind,” by the “washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ.”

          Nowhere in the scripture (including passages such as John 1:9, 12:32, et al) do we find the notion of ‘universal’ or ‘prevenient grace.’

          • To say that someone receives the gift of faith is simply to say that we believe as God enables us to believe. The gifting is the divine enabling that makes faith possible. Enabling is the only way that faith as a gift can be rightly understood, since faith is a human response. That is the Calvinist view as well (unless they want to say that God does the believing for them, which they do not seem willing to affirm). The only difference is that Calvinists see this enabling as necessarily causing faith (i.e. it is irresistible). There is much more I would love to address (esp. your assertion that resistible prevenient grace is not Biblical), but I am really out of time and need to get going. Hopefully I can address more sometime next week.

          • John Smith

            Faith is both a reality to be believed and embraced and an act of believing and embracing.
            Faith is that once delivered and is to be taught and received as truth.
            Faith is a gift in several ways.
            What we are to believe is prepared and presented by God.
            God sends someone to present the faith we are to embrace.
            The Holy Spirit convicts of sin and righteousness.
            The Father draws us to faith.
            The ability to believe is a gift of God.

          • John Smith

            Faith is that Faith that was once delivered to the Saints. It is that which we are to believe. That faith concerns Jesus Christ in whom we are to believe.
            And yes this faith is delivered to us to be believed. To believe it is to receive it and Him whom it concerns. To remain in unbelief is to reject it and Him.

            Scripture so Full of this truth that Christ is presented through the Gospel and all are commanded to repent and believe in him. Your comment is without merit.

            1 Thessalonians 2:13 [ Their Conversion ] For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
            2 Thessalonians 2:10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

          • chad

            As one coming in late to your conversation and not having any desire to be associated with one camp or another (and recently looking at the points of this overall discussion), here are verses I have seen on the subject:

            “Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:” – 2Pe 1:1 NASB
            Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: – 2Pe 1:1 NKJV
            Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: – 2Pe 1:1 KJV
            Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: – 2Pe 1:1 ESV
            Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: – 2Pe 1:1 NIV

            There is also at least one other verse I had seen on this topic in the past, but the reference is now skipping me.

      • That’s a ridiculous claim, especially from someone who says he fully understands Arminian Theology and has read the books you listed above. If you have read those books, then you know that Arminians absolutely do not believe that faith is a contribution to salvation. Now, you might think that is the logical implication, but that is very different from the claim that it is what Arminians “believe.” That would be like me saying that all Calvinists believe that God is the originating and responsible author of all sin and evil. And the same is true with regards to the idea that faith originates in man. That is not what Arminians believe either, just as it was not what Arminius believed.

        As far as faith being a contribution to salvation, that is like saying that the simple act of receiving a freely offered and undeserved gift from someone means you contribute to the gift. That’s absurd. But that is what this Calvinist caricature of Arminian theology is based on, an obvious absurdity. If you receive a free and undeserved gift from someone, does that mean you “contributed” to the gift? Does it mean you gave the gift to yourself? Does it mean you bought the gift? Does it mean you worked for the gift? Does it mean you earned the gift? None of the above, of course. Does any of this change just because you have the ability to reject the gift? No. Does any of this change if someone else rejects the gift, but you freely receive it? No. It is still a free an undeserved gift, and simply receiving the gift does not mean we contribute to the gift in any way. That seems so obvious it shouldn’t even need to be stated (one need only think about the two words: giver and receiver).

        But that is all that Arminianism (and the Bible) says, that through faith we receive a free and undeserved gift from the hand of God, and for that reason it is not salvation by works and it excludes boasting, just as Paul says in Rom. 4:4-5,

        “Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.”

        Arminians do not believe that we contribute to salvation, nor do we believe that we save ourselves. If we could save ourselves, we wouldn’t need to trust in Christ to save us. The fact that we need to trust in Christ to save us proves that we cannot save ourselves. It really is just that simple. It is Calvinism that turns the Bible on its head and complicates and obfuscates the simple Gospel message in order to get it to conform to its fundamental theological and philosophical assumptions. Calvinism assumes that a gift cannot be a gift unless it is given irresistibly. It assumes that grace cannot be grace if it can be resisted. And it makes the wild claim that if someone receives a free and undeserved gift in a resistible/conditional manner, then it means that person contributes to the gift, earns the gift, gave the gift to himself, bought the gift, etc., etc. But those are totally contrived philosophical ideas that do not correspond to a simple reading of Scripture or to everyday experience and the normal use of words.

        Now you can say that based on your own contrived definitions or your own philosophical assumptions, that “you” think the logical implication of Arminianism is that we contribute to our own salvation. But you cannot rightly say that Arminians believe such nonsense. And if you read the books you listed above, you already know that full well.

        I echo the sentiments of many others here who have referenced “The Facts” which does a great job explaining what Arminians really “believe” while fairly and honestly representing both the Arminian and the Calvinist view, free from the caricatures being presented here: http://evangelicalarminians.org/the-facts-of-salvation-a-summary-of-arminian-theologythe-biblical-doctrines-of-grace/

        God Bless

        (I will be away for a while, so if you respond to this, it will be several days before I can respond further)

        • Chris

          Even in the act of receiving I need to open my hands and DO something to receive the gift. Receiving is not passive in nature, it requires action. If then, you act in such a way to receive the gift have you not just done something better then the other guy who chose to reject it? What then is the difference between you and the other guy who rejects it? You did something and he didn’t? God accepts you based on something you did, not solely on grace. You, at the end of the day, earned it. That is the definition of a ‘work’.

          • Chris,

            That might be your definition of a “work” but that is not the Biblical definition. And the idea that simply taking some action or meeting some condition to receive a free and undeserved gift means you suddenly earned it is totally absurd and contrary to any normal language or experience. It is a wholly contrived way to view the dynamics between giver and receiver as I have stated many times.

            There is no reason to conflate “meeting a condition” with “earning something.” If someone writes me a check for a thousand dollars, I will not take “possession” of the money until I endorse and cash the check. Are you seriously saying that if I need to meet the condition of endorsing and cashing the check in order to take possession of the money, that means I “earned” the thousand dollars and it was not really a gift at all? For example:

            “Hey Fred, where did you get all of that money? I thought you were out of work.”

            “Oh, I earned it.”

            “You got a job!”

            “Nope, someone just wrote me a check for a thousand dollars.”

            “But I thought you said you earned it.”

            “That’s because I did.”

            “How so?”

            “Isn’t it obvious? First I had to take the check out of his hand when he offered it to me. Then I had to sign the back of the check. Then I had to cash it to get the money. And of coures, I didn’t have to take the money, I could have rejected it. Clearly, after all of that I earned every penny.”

            “What???”

            __________

            “What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Now when a man works,his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.” (Rom. 4:3-5)

            You can keep saying that freely trusting in Christ to save us means such trust would suddenly become a work, but the Bible never does. I will stick with what the Bible says.

          • Tom Moran

            Did Paul do something to earn his salvation? NO. how about Peter or John or anyone for that matter. No. I am sorry to tell you that not a single person who has received salvation has earned it it any fashion or form. It is a gift from God that is referred to as Grace. (freely given)

          • John Smith

            Still an argument against something Arminians do not believe. Arminians believe salvation is totally unearned. It is all of grace.

          • Shawn60

            You said ‘freely given’ but according to what you believe it isn’t given, it’s forced. I agree that nobody has earned the salvation God offers but why all of you think that having the free will to receive or not equates to earning, working, contributing, etc is beyond me. Why does any Calvinist care what a non-Calvinist thinks? Does it personally hurt you or what you believe? Does it prevent one of your ‘elect’ from receiving salvation? By your own words, you can’t believe that. God calls you & you spend eternity with Him. The rest of us spend eternity in the lake of fire. How does my free will change any of that? I think it is because of that free will that most of you behave this way. It is very much a human condition to exert one’s authority over another with the most extreme forms being the most brutal displays we have witnessed in history…much like the way John Calvin treated those who disagreed with him in Geneva.

          • John Smith

            False assumption! Both the Calvinist and Arminian believe it is the believer who must believe. Believing is no more a work in Arminian understanding of Scripture than is believing in the Calvinist understanding. Both have man doing the believing receiving.

        • Tom Moran

          Man of his own accord is not able to receive the true gift of salvation because of his sinful nature. It is the work of the Holy Spirit that opens ones eyes to see the truth. We are called to share this truth with as many people as the Lord has prepared to receive His Word. This gift is one of righteousness and redemption by which we have salvation from the wrath of God. If you believe in free will of man, then you believe in mans sovereignty not Gods.

          • Did you read the comment you are responding to? Have you read my other comments? I fully agree with your first four sentences (though maybe not the 3rd sentence depending on what you mean by it), but the last sentence does not follow at all from the first four. It is a major non sequitur.

            I highly recommend you familiarize yourself with the FACTS before responding further, so we don’t end up needlessly wasting time talking past each other: http://evangelicalarminians.org/the-facts-of-salvation-a-summary-of-arminian-theologythe-biblical-doctrines-of-grace/

            God Bless.

          • Tom Moran

            Sorry, but it is not I who is confused and needs to study. You have appeared to take a different perspective to Jacobus Arminius position. Once you go down this path of mans free will, then you have no position then one of mans own sovereignty. I will look at the site you provided, but I don’t particularly read heresy. Jacobus Arminius has been determined by council as a heretic. But people have the freedom to follow whom they chose. Or so they believe.

          • Tom, your confusion seems to stem from only looking at what Calvinists have to say about Arminianism instead of looking to the original source material. Have you read Jacob Arminius? I am guessing not since you think what I said is different somehow. Be careful not to just rely on critics to give an accurate description of the view they disagree with. Calvinists have been getting Arminianism wrong for a very log time. Arminius affirmed total depravity and the need for the Spirit to enable a faith response. Look at what he said about the will:

            “In this [depraved] state, the free will of man towards the true good is not only wounded, maimed, infirm, bent, and weakened; but it is also imprisoned, destroyed, and lost. And its powers are not only debilitated and useless unless they be assisted by grace, but it has no powers whatever except such as are excited by Divine grace.”

            And…

            “In this manner, I ascribe to grace the commencement, the continuance and the consummation of all good. To such an extent do I carry its influence that a man, though already regenerate, can neither conceive, will, or do any good at all, nor resist any evil temptation , without this preventing [i.e. preceding] and exciting, this following and co-operating grace.

            From this statement it will clearly appear, that I by no means do injustice to grace, by attributing, as it is reported of me, too much to man’s free will. For the whole controversy reduces itself to the solution of this question, “Is the grace of God a certain irresistible force?’ That is, the controversy does not relate to those actions or operations which may be ascribed to grace (for I acknowledge and inculcate as many of these actions or operations as any man ever did), but it relates solely to the mode of operation, whether it be irresistible or not. With respect to which, I believe, according to the scriptures, that many persons resist the Holy Spirit and reject the grace that is offered.”

            So you can see that I have not taken a different perspective to Arminius’ approach. Instead, like so many Calvinists, you simply do not know what Arminius actually taught and believed. If you do take the time to look at the FACTS, that will help you out quite a bit.

            You write: “I will look at the site you provided, but I don’t particularly read heresy. Jacobus Arminius has been determined by council as a heretic.”

            Is this a reference to the Synod of Dort? Why should anyone be surprised or impressed by the fact that a bunch of Calvinists would deem Arminianism unBiblical? In other words, it was essentially a kangaroo court. And it should be pointed out that it was not a major church council, but only a local synod that was also heavily influenced by politics.

            Did you know that determinism and irresistible grace (both features of Calvinism) were condemned as heresy at the Council of Orange? Will you now renounce Calvinism since you do not read heresy?

            Did you know that all Protestants were condemned at the Diet of Worms and other church councils? Will you now only read Roman Catholic material since they deemed all non-Catholics and all non-Catholic teachings heretical?

            Do you know that the earliest church writers all affirmed the basic features of Arminianism while rejecting all the features of Calvinism? Calvinism did not exist back then, but such things were being taught by the Gnostic sects that the earliest Christians wrote against, often using the same arguments and Scriptures that Arminians use today against Calvinists. You might find this article helpful:

            http://evangelicalarminians.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Church_History_and_Calvinism.pdf

            Here is part of the conclusion from that article:

            “Although the Calvinist author above intended to say that Augustine discovered a lost teaching of the apostles, his words serve to confirm that (1) unconditional election first emerged in the church about 400 years later than the apostles (2) that unconditional election can be traced to a single influential individual (Augustine), and that (3) unconditional election went “far beyond” the teachings of all those who went before. His words should also prompt one to ask, “How did free will become the universal teaching of the church for the first 400 years, in the first place?” Indeed, what would it take for “free will” to overcome the alleged lost teaching of unconditional election so that free will became the universal teaching of the church for 400 years? And where is the evidence that something like that even happened?

            What, for example, are the names of the champions of unconditional election (before Augustine) who initially opposed this alleged free will heresy? And who is the leader of the free will movement that caused unconditional election to become lost for 400 years? Why is it one can not find any single individual to blame for the teaching of free will in the church? And why is it one can only find an entire church that teaches free will? And why is it that even Augustine himself taught free will from the time of his conversion until the time he “discovered” his new teaching? And why is it that Augustine, “discovered” this lost teaching alone in his private study, with no sects there already holding out for a return to unconditional election long before Augustine began his study?

            In short, there is no historical evidence that unconditional election was ever taught before Augustine! There is only evidence that it started with Augustine. The only “proof” that unconditional election was lost by the church for four centuries and then found by Augustine, if it can be called proof, is Augustine’s own newly discovered interpretation of scripture! And that is not “proof” since every passage in question is capable of a conditional, free will, interpretation.”

            I have many more resources like this, if you are interested.

            You write: “If you believe in free will of man, then you believe in mans sovereignty not Gods.”

            I made the point that this does not follow from anything you have said, and you have yet to offer any real argument. It is just an assertion on your part. Let me ask you a follow-up question:

            Does God have the sovereign right and freedom to create free moral agents and hold them accountable for their free choices and actions?

            Yes or no?

            God bless.

          • John Smith

            Tom you are satisfied to simply put forth with no supporting evidence the charge of heresy and run of having proved nothing but bias.

            Arminians from Arminius on have denied that fallen man has any possibility of doing good or exercising faith in Christ of themselves.
            It is pure ignorance that would deny this truth.

          • ἅγιος

            When I run across a dogmatic know-it-all, I know I’ve encountered someone who is very insecure in their beliefs and understanding. By dogmatic, I mean someone not content with expressing their view and letting it be, but one who thinks constant repetition of the same dogma is convincing.

          • John Smith

            False assertion and misrepresentation. Arminians do not believe free will accounts for man’s ability to believe and be saved. The exact opposite is true. We affirm total depravity.

            Only a faith enabling work of God makes a person able to believe and be saved.

      • John Smith

        NOT one Arminian denomination believes faith is worked up by man or that faith contributes anything to salvation. They one and all deny both these false representations.

        Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. No one can come unless drawn. It is the believer who does the actual believing in both Calvinist and Arminian soteriology.
        The Calvinist believes God enables believing by regeneration.
        The Arminian believes God enables believing by opening the understanding by means of the Spirit and Word freeing the will to do what the man himself otherwise is incapable of doing.
        Faith believing is God enabled in both.

      • John Smith

        Faith is as much a gift in Arminian understanding as it is in Calvinist. Believing is made possible by
        God in Arminian understanding of Scripture. Man cannot believe of himself he can believe only when freed by god and drawn by God. Man can never say I came to faith on my own.

      • John Smith

        GOL NO! Arminians do not believe “that faith is man’s contribution to salvation”.

        You may think that is the logical conclusion of what we believe. If that is what you mean you should make that clear.
        It is blatantly false to say “Arminian believes that faith is man’s contribution to salvation”.

        I think Calvinist Doctrine logically leads to the conclusion that God is the author of evil. That does not mean Calvinist believe God is the author of evil.

      • Tom Moran

        Amen GOL

    • John Smith

      You are right NOT one Arminian denomination believes faith is worked up by man or that faith contributes anything to salvation. They one and all deny both these false representations.

      • Tom Moran

        Well then John, your church is teaching you lies. This article is correct and you need to do some homework.

        • Jeremy⭕️

          “Faith is a gracious and gratuitous gift of God” (The Works of James Arminius, Vol. 2).

          Arminius held to all five Solas, including “Sola Fide”. Perhaps John isn’t the one who needs to do some homework 😉

        • John Smith

          Sorry Tom I am the Pastor/Teacher at my Church. If you read the whole thread it has already been conceded that the chart represents semi Pelagian views that are not Arminian. We are supposed to get a new name for this chart and another Chart that comntains the truth about what Arminians believe.

          If you want to take up the challenge to produce proof that any Arminian denomination has published any of the doctrine I have called not Arminian in this conversation I think it is you who will learn you have spent too much time listening to erroneous representations of what Arminians believe.
          This Chart is a prime example of the false reports all to commonly put forth by Calvinists.

    • Tom Moran

      All of them should. If you believe in free will, then you should believe in Arminianism.

      • Jeremy⭕️

        “Concerning grace and free will, this is what I teach according to the Scriptures and orthodox consent: Free will is unable to begin or to perfect any true and spiritual good, without grace. I affirm, therefore, that this grace is simply and absolutely necessary for the illumination of the mind, the due ordering of the affections, and the inclination of the will to that which is good. I confess that the mind of a natural and carnal man is obscure and dark, that his affections are corrupt and inordinate, that his will is stubborn and disobedient, and that the man himself is dead in sins.” (The Works of James Arminius, Vol. 2)

        It appears that you don’t fully understand the Arminian position.

  • John Smith

    http://evangelicalarminians.org/the-facts-of-salvation-a-summary-of-arminian-theologythe-biblical-doctrines-of-grace/

    Prevenient Grace
    Freed to Believe by God’s Grace (the F in FACTS) [Cf. Articles 3-4 of the 5 Articles of the Remonstrance]

    As we have noted, because human beings are fallen and sinful, they are not able to think, will, nor do anything good in and of themselves, including believe the gospel of Christ (see the description of Total Depravity above). Therefore, desiring the salvation of all and having provided atonement for all people (see “Atonement for All” above), God continues to take the initiative for the purpose of bringing all people to salvation by calling all people everywhere to repent and believe the gospel (Acts 17:30; cf. Matt 28:18-20), and by enabling those who hear the gospel to respond to it positively in faith. Unaided by grace, man cannot even choose to please God or to believe the promise of salvation held out in the gospel. As Jesus said in John 6:44, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” But thanks be to God, Jesus also promised, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32). Thus, the Father and the Son draw all people to Jesus, enabling them to come to Jesus in faith. Even though sinful people are blind to the truth of the gospel (2 Cor 4:4), Jesus came into the world of sinful humanity as “the true light, which enlightens everyone” (John 1:9; cf. 12:36), the light about which John the Baptist came to bear witness, “that all might believe through him” (John 1:7). So we find Jesus speaking to people who were unwilling to believe in him so that they could be saved (John 5:34, 40) and urging unbelievers, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light” (John 12:35-36). Indeed, God shone in the hearts of his apostles “to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:6), and the Apostle Paul was given grace “to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things” (Eph 3:8-9). This refers to the gospel of God’s grace, which “is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom 1:16), and actually makes it possible, by the power of the Holy Spirit, for those who hear to believe, for

    “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); [note that Paul is applying Deut. 30:12, which indicates ability to obey God’s word, to the gospel message, indicating that those who hear the gospel are given the ability to believe it!] because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Rom 10:8-13).

    Moreover, “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Rom 10:17), though it does not cause faith necessarily, since “they have not all obeyed the gospel” (Rom 10:16) even though they heard it (Rom 10:18). God offers his amazing saving grace in his Son to sinners, but allows them to choose whether they will accept it or reject it. Hence, in the case of Israel, the God who loves all and works for the salvation of all says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people” (Rom 10:21).

    Continuing Jesus’ mission to save the world, the Holy Spirit has come to “convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8). Even though unbelievers “are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart” (Eph 4:18), the Lord opens people’s hearts to respond positively to the gospel message (Acts 16:14) and his kindness leads those with hard and impenitent hearts toward repentance (Rom 2:4-5). In his sovereignty, he has even positioned people for the very purpose “that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27; NASB). In sum, God calls all people everywhere to repent and believe the gospel, enabling those who hear the gospel to respond to it positively in faith as he draws all people toward faith in Jesus, pierces the darkness of their hearts and minds with the shining of his light, enlightens their minds, communicates his awesome power with the gospel that incites faith, woos them with his kindness, convicts them by his Spirit, opens their hearts to heed his gospel, and positions them to seek him as he is near to each one.

    All of this is what is known in traditional theological language as God’s prevenient grace. The term “prevenient” simply means “preceding.” Thus, “prevenient grace” refers to God’s grace that precedes salvation, including that part of salvation known as regeneration, which is the beginning of eternal spiritual life granted to all who trust in Christ (John 1:12-13). Prevenient grace is also sometimes called enabling grace or pre-regenerating grace. This is God’s unmerited favor toward totally depraved people, who are unworthy of God’s blessing and unable to seek God or trust in him in and of themselves. Accordingly, Acts 18:27 indicates that we believe through grace, placing grace preveniently (i.e. logically prior) to faith as the means by which we believe. It is the grace that, among other things, frees our wills to believe in Christ and his gospel. As Titus 2:11 says, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.”

    We speak of the will of man being freed by grace to emphasize that people do not have a naturally free will when it comes to believing in Jesus, but that God must graciously take action to free our wills if we are going to be able to believe in his Son whom he sent for the salvation of all. When our wills are freed, we can either accept God’s saving grace in faith or reject it to our own ruin. In other words, God’s saving grace is resistible, which is to say that he dispenses his calling, drawing, and convicting grace (which would bring us to salvation if responded to with faith) in such a way that we may reject it. We become free to believe in Jesus and free to reject him. The resistibility of God’s saving grace is clearly shown in Scripture, as some of the passages already mentioned testify. Indeed, the Bible is sadly filled with examples of people spurning the grace of God offered to them. In Isaiah 5:1-7, God actually indicates that he could not have done anything more to get Israel to produce good fruit. But if irresistible grace is something that God dispenses, then he could have easily provided that and infallibly brought Israel to bear good fruit. Many passages in the Old Testament talk about how God extended his grace to Israel over and over again but they repeatedly resisted and rejected him (e.g., 2 Kgs 17:7-23; Jer 25:3-11; 26:1-9; 35:1-19). 2 Chronicles 36:15-16 mentions that God’s persistent reaching out to his people, which was rejected, was motivated by compassion for them. But this could only be if the grace he extended them enabled them to repent and avoid his judgment yet was resistible since they did indeed resist it and suffered God’s judgment. Nehemiah 9 presents a striking example of Old Testament testimony to God continually reaching out to Israel with his grace that was met with resistance and rejection. We do not have space to review the entire passage (but the reader is encouraged to do so), but will quote some key elements and draw attention to some important points. Nehemiah 9:20a says, “You [God] gave your good Spirit to instruct them [Israel]” and is followed by an extensive catalogue of gracious divine actions toward Israel in vv. 9:20b-25. Then 9:26-31 says,

    26 Nevertheless, they were disobedient and rebelled against you and cast your law behind their back and killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you, and they committed great blasphemies. 27 Therefore you gave them into the hand of their enemies, who made them suffer. And in the time of their suffering they cried out to you and you heard them from heaven, and according to your great mercies you gave them saviors who saved them from the hand of their enemies. 28 But after they had rest they did evil again before you, and you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies, so that they had dominion over them. Yet when they turned and cried to you, you heard from heaven, and many times you delivered them according to your mercies. 29 And you warned them in order to turn them back to your law. Yet they acted presumptuously and did not obey your commandments, but sinned against your rules, which if a person does them, he shall live by them, and they turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck and would not obey.30 Many years you bore with them and warned them by your Spirit through your prophets. Yet they would not give ear. Therefore you gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands. 31 Nevertheless, in your great mercies you did not make an end of them or forsake them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.

    The text affirms that God gave his Spirit to instruct Israel (9:20a) and that God sent his prophets and warned Israel for the purpose of turning them back to him. God purposed his actions to turn Israel back to him/his Law, yet they rebelled. This shows God allowing his purpose to not come to pass because of allowing human beings a choice of whether to yield to his grace or not. Intriguingly, the word translated “bore” in Neh 9:30 uses a Hebrew word that usually means something like “draw, drag, pull” and gets translated in the Greek translation of the Old Testament used by the early church with the same word used in John 6:44a (“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him”). A better translation of Neh 9:30 would be, “Many years you drew them and warned them by your Spirit through your prophets. Yet they would not give ear.” The text speaks of a resistible divine drawing that seeks to bring people to the Lord in repentance. Stephen also furnished a good example of the resistibility of grace when he said to his fellow Jews, “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it” (Acts 7:51-53). Luke 7:30 tells us that “the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves.” And Jesus, who spoke to people for the purpose of saving them (John 5:34), yet found that they refused to come to him to have life (John 5:40), and who came to turn every Jew from their sin (Acts 3:26; see the treatment of this text under “Atonement for All” above), yet clearly found that not every Jew believed in him, lamented over his people’s unwillingness to receive his grace, saying, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!” (Luke 13:34; see further Ezek 24:13; Matt 23:37; Rom 2:4-5; Zech 7:11-14; Heb 10:29; 12:15; Jude 4; 2 Cor 6:1-2; Ps 78:40-42).

    Arminians differ among themselves about some of the details of how God’s prevenient grace works, probably because Scripture itself does not give a detailed description. Some Arminians believe that God continually enables all people to believe at all times as a benefit of the atonement. Others believe that God only bestows the ability to believe in Christ to people at select times according to his good pleasure and wisdom. Still others believe that prevenient grace generally accompanies any of God’s specific movements toward people, rendering them able to respond positively to such movements as God would have them. But all Arminians agree that people are incapable of believing in Jesus apart from the intervention of God’s grace and that God does bestow his grace that draws toward salvation on all morally responsible people. With respect to the gospel, seventeenth century Arminian Bishop, Laurence Womack, well said, “on all those to whom the word of faith is preached, the Holy Spirit bestows, or is ready to bestow, so much grace as is sufficient, in fitting degrees, to bring on their conversion.”

    The concept of “freed will” raises a broader question of whether human beings have free will generally, apart from the realm of pleasing the Lord and doing spiritual good (again, people are not free in this area unless God empowers them). The Arminian answer is yes. People have free will in all sorts of things. By this we mean that when people are free with respect to an action, then they can at least either do the action or refrain from doing it. People often have genuine choices and are therefore correspondingly able to make choices. When free, the specific choice someone makes has not been efficiently predetermined or necessitated by anyone or anything other than the person himself. In fact, if the person’s action has been rendered necessary by someone else, and the person cannot avoid doing the action, then he has no choice in the matter and he is not free in it. And if he does not have a choice, then neither can it properly be said that he chooses. But Scripture very clearly indicates that people have choices and make choices about many things (e.g., Deut 23:16; 30:19; Josh 24:15; 2 Sam 24:12; 1 Kings 18:23, 25; 1 Chron 21:10; Acts 15:22, 25; Phil 1:22). Moreover, it explicitly speaks of human free will (Exod 35:29; 36:3; Lev 7:16; 22:18, 21, 23; 23:38; Num 15:3; 29:39; Deut 12:6, 17; 16:10; 2 Chron 31:14; 35:8; Ezra 1:4, 6; 3:5; 7:16; 8:28; Ps 119:108; Ezek 46:12; Amos 4:5; 2 Cor 8:3; Philemon 1:14; cf. 1 Cor 7:37) and attests to human beings violating God’s will, showing that he does not predetermine their will or actions in sin. Furthermore, the fact that God holds people accountable for their choices and actions implies that those choices and actions were free. Nevertheless, it is important to note that Arminians do not believe in unlimited free will. There are many things in which we are not free. We cannot choose to fly by flapping our arms for example. Nor do we deny that our free actions are influenced by all sorts of causes. But when we are free, those causes are resistible and we have a genuine choice in what we do and are not caused necessarily to act in a certain way by God or anyone or anything other than ourselves.

    Finally, the concept of freed will also implies that God has ultimate and absolute free will. For it is God who supernaturally frees the will of sinners by his grace to believe in Christ, which is a matter of God’s own free will and sovereignty. God is omnipotent and sovereign, having the power and authority to do anything he wants and being unconstrained in his own actions and will by anything outside of himself and his own judgment (Gen 18:14; Exod 3:14; Job 41:11; Ps 50:10-12; Isaiah 40:13-14; Jer 32:17, 27; Matt 19:26; Luke 1:37; Acts 17:24-25; Rom 11:34-36; Eph 3:20; 2 Cor 6:18; Rev 1:8; 4:11). Nothing can happen unless he either does it or allows it. He is the Almighty Creator and God of the universe to whom we owe all love, worship, glory, honor, thanks, praise, and obedience. Therefore, it is good for us to remember that behind human freed will stands the One who frees the will, and that this is a matter of his glorious, free, and sovereign grace, totally unmerited on our part, and provided to us by the love and mercy of God. Praise his holy name!

  • Doug Patton

    Grace Online Library, you repeated Total Depravity on this page, and you left out Unconditional Election. http://graceonlinelibrary.org/reformed-theology/arminianism/calvinism-vs-arminianism-comparison-chart/

  • stever777

    There are positives and negatives in both schools of thought, That is the problem of having the treasure of the new creation in an earthen vessel. Some wise pastor once remarked that the Westminster Confession is a very fine work, but it is not the Word of God. I also think many here may not be studying the actual teachings, but rather a summary of those teachings on a website like this. Not that this is a bad website or that commentaries in general are not helpful. However, they too “are not the Word of God.”
    So, Scripture explains itself. That is the best way to study God’s Word. To believe that the gospel is anything other than lost people receiving the gift of saving faith, because of God’s unmerited favor (God’s Righteousness At Christ’s Expense is not just God’s unmerited favor, it is the power of God to trust and obey Him), is simply incorrect.