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#15533 Mon Jun 21, 2004 11:05 PM
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For all those out there wondering if perhaps the differences between Calvinism and Arminianism are cracked up too much, that's it's just an issue of where the source of election comes from (God's choice or his foreknowledge of our choice), and that the differences really aren't that big in the end, keep reading- because it's now offical, folks. Arminianism is really a different gospel. And I have it right from a horse's mouth.

It all started when I decided to do some undercover work over at the "BIBLICAL THEOLOGY DISCUSSION FORUM," ( http://www.eternalsecurity.us/forum/index.php ) a
"forum dedicated to the promotion of Biblical Christianity. A unique Forum with a distinctive Arminian flavor." Just as an example of what sort of place this is, they have an entire forum called "Eternal Security" and dedicated to discussing "the errors of this false doctrine."

Anways, I assumed a persona called "Learning" (which soon became "Learner"), a theological neophyte with pointedly bad English skills (not unlike myself, actually...) and made this post:

http://www.eternalsecurity.us/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2669

I was basically wanting to see if anybody had the guts to tackle this excellent piece of apologetic head-on. In the last post as of Tue Jun 22, 2004 1:16 am, made by one "Take up the Cross," I finally got the typical response I guess I was expecting. But this isn't the noteworthy part. The noteworthy part is the post made by the site's administrator on Mon Jun 21, 2004 11:21 pm, in which he links to this article, penned by himself:

http://eternalsecurity.us/arminian_conundrum.htm

This article deals squarely with John Owen's "Arminian conundrum," in which Owen sets forth a pretty good argument for the doctrine of limited atonement (which should probably be called something more like "real redemption.") It was not the ad hominem attacks, nor the painfully patent beating around the bush, which got my attention, but rather the author's honesty in answering Owen's condumdrum by re-writing the gospel. Yes, read that again. The author completely, clearly, and unashamedly turns the doctrine of the substitutionary atonement of Christ on its head by denying that Christ's death was even a payment for anything- it was merely a "provision." Apparently our friend never took the time to look up "propitiation" in his greek lexicon.

That the Arminian belief system inexhorably leads to this type of false teaching is something we Calvinists would be quick to assert, but, to be honest, I never really thought a good Arminian would allow himself to be forced to admit this (unless he was, say, Charles Finney). My naievety might seem amusing to some here, but I must say I am flabbergasted at this unblushing and flagrant display of heterodoxy. "Moral government" sounds so putridly pejorative, I never really thought anybody would actually admit to it.

I guess you learn something new every day. This time is was that for every million ignorant evangelicals who have no idea where there beliefs ultimately lead, there is those few scary ones who do.

Last edited by Henry; Mon Jun 21, 2004 11:07 PM.
Henry #15534 Tue Jun 22, 2004 8:28 AM
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Wow!

Yeah, I read an article once that quoted Elmer Towns as saying,

"Jesus died for all. No man goes to hell for his sin -- people go to hell for unbelief ... they have not believed in Jesus Christ...therefore, the atonement covers the sin of every person -- but that's not universalism. We must give them the message, they must believe."

http://www.christianpost.com/archive/2003/01/2003-01-14_ministries-101.htm

Classic response, but obviously an extremely weak one! What does he think unbelief is? Duh! Of course, he could come back and quote the "unforgiveble sin" verses. Of course, you have to take it context and say that other verses DO say the unregenerate are condemned for their sins (plural).


Oh, and the article says this:

"[Elmer Towns] He goes on to say he will not hire individuals who are extreme Calvinists, because they skew Christianity. He says the God of the hyper-Calvinists is not the God of the Bible. 'A person who becomes a five-point Calvinist ultimately becomes a fatalist -- he doesn't take control of his life, he doesn't live for the best of God," he says.'"

Excuse me? If you want to see the quintessential straw-man, there he is!

By the way, reading this thread should help should the Arminian appeal to the "unpardonable sin."


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
MarieP #15535 Tue Jun 22, 2004 6:17 PM
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Henry Offline OP
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Thanks for the link to that thread.


(Latin phrase goes here.)
Henry #15536 Wed Jun 23, 2004 1:06 PM
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The author completely, clearly, and unashamedly turns the doctrine of the substitutionary atonement of Christ on its head by denying that Christ's death was even a payment for anything- it was merely a "provision."

Actually, true arminianism does deny the substitutionary atonement of Christ. The average Joe Shmoe arminian probably wouldn't, but arminianism as a belief system does deny it.


Jimbo

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Jimbo #15537 Wed Jun 23, 2004 8:47 PM
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Jimbo said:
Actually, true arminianism does deny the substitutionary atonement of Christ. The average Joe Shmoe arminian probably wouldn't, but arminianism as a belief system does deny it.

I thought that's what I was saying...! Sorry if I wasn't clear enough- I meant to say exactly what you're saying.


(Latin phrase goes here.)
Jimbo #15538 Thu Jun 24, 2004 8:11 AM
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Actually, true arminianism does deny the substitutionary atonement of Christ. The average Joe Shmoe arminian probably wouldn't, but arminianism as a belief system does deny it.


(Fred) Originally, Reformed Arminianism, the Arminianism affirmed by Jacob Arminus, did hold to substituionary atonement. He just believed that the work of that atonement was effectual after God applied the work of prevenient grace and the person believed with faith. Obviously, it is a rather inconsistent position. Even Arminius's followers recognized as such and hence why a decade after the death of Ariminus, Grotius invented the governmental view of the atonement. Needless to say, a solid, Reformed Ariminian would affirm a substitutionary atonement. The Free-Will Baptist Bible College in Nashville would hold to Reformed Arminianism.

Fred


"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns
fredman #15539 Thu Jun 24, 2004 10:02 AM
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Reformed Arminianism

<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rofl.gif" alt="" />

Kind of like Free-Will Calvinism?


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
MarieP #15540 Fri Jun 25, 2004 2:01 AM
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SemperReformanda

I agree that “Reformed Arminianism” sounds like an oxymoron and in many respects it is. However even though I have never heard those two words put in the same sentence before. Fred is correct in using it in the manner he did. Jacob Arminius was a student of John Calvin, who later changed some of Calvin's teaching to go more in line with what he erroneously believed Scripture to teach. Among the people who later espoused Jacob Arminius's form of soteriology was John Wesley.
Though it is true that the soteriology of Jacob Arminius is flawed. If we compare Jacob Arminius’s soteriology with that of the average Arminian today, I dare say it would more closely resemble Calvinism than it does the Arminianism of today.

I have to say however, that you will not see me use the two words in the same sentence (except of course in this post <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />).

Tom

Tom #15541 Fri Jun 25, 2004 7:42 AM
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Henry Offline OP
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Tom said:
If we compare Jacob Arminius’s soteriology with that of the average Arminian today, I dare say it would more closely resemble Calvinism than it does the Arminianism of today.

I had a friend who read a lot of both Calvin and Arminius in Bible college, and he said the same thing.


(Latin phrase goes here.)
fredman #15542 Fri Jun 25, 2004 10:22 AM
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Fred said:
Needless to say, a solid, Reformed Ariminian would affirm a substitutionary atonement.
And, I am confident that you, Fred, would also affirm that although someone may affirm a doctrine, it doesn't necessarily mean that they actually believe that affirmation. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> What I mean is that although Arminius' may have affirmed that Christ's death was "substitutionary", it was far from what Calvinism affirms by that term. For in fact, Arminius' view of the atonement is actually far more limited than that which those antagonistic to biblical Calvinism accuse us of. His doctrine limited the effectiveness of that atonement which didn't actually secure the redemption it was designed to do, in and of itself. In this, it shares the same synergistic heresy as modern Arminianism, which is more semi-Pelagian and worse than Arminius' view.

One must be prudent when examining affirmed doctrines by taking ALL of what a man affirms and not isolating individual pieces. In doing so, one then can see what is actually being affirmed. For example, Arminius desired to return to the doctrines which Rome held, re: soteriology (aka: synergism). Like Rome, who does hold to much biblical orthodoxy, but ends up denying that orthodoxy by other doctrines affirmed. Terminology is thus defined by the whole rather than in isolation. The deceit of the Evil One is just that . . . deceit; a counterfeit which looks like the truth but in fact is a lie. A half truth is no truth and we would be wise to always remember that. Let us not be swayed by the words, "Yea, hath God said...."

We, as Calvinists are quick to point this truth out to our detractors, do we not? Take away any of the infamous "5 Points" and then entire system falls to the ground. They are an integral whole in which the individual affirmations of doctrine complement each other and build upon one another. The bottom line, therefore, IMHO, is that when Arminius affirmed that Christ's death was "substitutionary", he redefined what the term generally means, i.e., "in the place of another", so that all that God required to establish reconciliation and to satisfy ALL which the law demanded was met. For the Lord's death, for Arminius, was incomplete in itself and it was man's role to supply that which was lacking so as to secure salvation.

In His Grace,


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Henry #15543 Fri Jun 25, 2004 4:30 PM
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That's why Wesley could write the wonderful picture of conversion in his song "And Can It Be that I Should Gain" and still have Calvinists saying it is an accurate picture:

Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature's night
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray, I woke the dungeon flamed with light
My chains fell off, my heart was free
I rose, went forth and followed Thee

Although, Wesley probably would have still said we could resist the quickening ray.


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
MarieP #15544 Fri Jun 25, 2004 10:19 PM
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Wesley actually strikes me as being kind of mixed up. His Arminianism had ostensibly (I actually haven't studied much about him) moved far from that of Aminius just like everybody else's did. But this odd Calvinism keeps sneaking up in his hymns- "And Can it Be" isn't the only one. Someone has said that everybody is a Calvinist when they pray. I'd add when they write hymns, too.


(Latin phrase goes here.)

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