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Calvin vs. Arminius

What are your theological leanings: TULIP vs. DAISY?   350 members have voted

  1. 1. What are your theological leanings: TULIP vs. DAISY?

    • 100% Calvinist - TULIP all the way!
      82
    • 60% Calvinist 40% Arminian - Parts of TULIP are too absolute.
      33
    • 50% Calvinist 50% Arminian - Both positions have merit.
      70
    • 60% Arminian 40% Calvinist - Parts of DAISY are too absolute.
      23
    • 100% Arminian - DAISY all the way!
      70

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1,353 posts in this topic

For those who are not familiar with the debate or the acronyms, here is a brief summation of both.

Jacobus Arminius was a Professor of Divinity at Leyden University in Holland at the turn of the seventeenth century. He was the protege of Theodore Beza, who was John Calvin's successor. Arminius was a strict Calvinist early on, but later he developed a set of doctrines that were divergient from the widely accepted doctrines of Calvinism. Arminius's teachings concerning sin, selection, predestination, and eternal security attracted a following. Some time after his death in 1609 some of his followers consolidated his teachings into 5 concise points (Later identified by the acronym DAISY) and presented them in a formal letter of Remonstrance (or objection) to the Reformed Church of Holland in 1618. The Church conducted a formal inquiry into the claims of the Arminians, and thus, the Synod of Dort was formed. In 1619 the Arminians got their answers in the form of an article known as The Canons of the Synod of Dort. The synod answered each of the five points presented by the Arminians with five contrary points that we now call "The Five Points of Calvinism," otherwise known by the acronym TULIP. Thus, the Synod of Dort absolutely rejected Arminianism as heretical, and confirmed Calvinism as the true doctrine of Christ's church.

However, far from being dispelled, the controversy between these two doctrines exists in the church today. Although both Arminius' and Calvin's doctrines go much further and much deeper than the "boiled down" points outlined by the acronyms, they do suffice to provide the basics of what each theolgical position entails. The acronyms are provided below:

Calvinism

T = Total depravity/ Total inability. 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 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.

U = Unconditional Election. God's choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world rested solely in His own sovereign will. His choice of particular sinners was not based on any foreseen response or obedience on their part, such as faith, repentance, etc. On the contrary, God gives faith and repentance to each individual whom He selected. These acts are the result, not the cause of God's choice. Election therefore was not determined by or conditioned upon any virtuous quality or act foreseen in man. Those whom God sovereignly elected He brings through the power of the Spirit to a willing acceptance of Christ. Thus God's choice of the sinner, not the sinner's choice of Christ, is the ultimate cause of salvation.

L = 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, thereby guaranteeing their salvation.

I = Irresistable 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 external 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 means 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's grace, therefore, is invincible; it never fails to result in the salvation of those to whom it is extended.

P = Perseverance of the Saints. All who were 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 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.

Arminianism

D = Depravity (Partial depravity or Dead, but somehow alive). 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 so in such a manner as not to 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.

A = Arbitrary Selection (Abolition of True Grace). 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 termined 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.

I = Inequitable Limitation (of Christ's selection). 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 in Him are saved. His death enabled God to pardon sinners on the condtition 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.

S = Sovereignty (of the sinner). 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.

Y = Yielding Eternal Uncertainty. Those who believe and are truly saved can lose their salvation by failing to keep up their faith, etc. All Arminians 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. 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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Although we can debate the points here, the goal is just to see where you stand theologically. I personally am more Calvinist than I am Arminian. Some Christians have found a balance between both views, and so are more like 50/50.

So, if we are to debate these points, let's keep it healthy - especially when we get to the matter of eternal security. None of this, "Well you're going to hell if you fool yourself into believing..." Let us all remember that our salvation has been afforded by Christ, and our basis either way is in His blood.

So......where do you stand?

Endnote: The texts of TULIP and DAISY were cut-and-pasted from http://www.lifegoeson.net/InTruth/calvarmn.htm Credit where credit is due. :rofl:

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well stupid me, i viewed results without voting and now it won't let me vote!

personally, i find the calvanistic doctrine to be contrary to my view of a loving Father.

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Is there a "Neither" choice?

:t2:

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Well, I think you know where I stand. :noidea: Anything that declares that God is not 100% Sovereign and can fail at His plan is offensive and heresy in my book. I realize that others feel differently.

I really think that most people start from a wrong perspective. So many people think that human beings "deserve" something, or that they should get a "fair" deal. Once one realizes that all anyone deserves is hell, then the loving Almighty and the grace of His plan are revealed. Awesome!

My son has a girl that likes him and takes him to her youth group every week. (They are 13). Today, he made the comment to me that the family was very nice, "even if the mom is wrong about Bible things". I asked him what he meant and he said "Well, she says that all children/babies automatically go to Heaven because they know no sin". I said - "Did you say anything?" He said - "No, I wanted to tell her she should read her Bible and get the truth about it, but I didn't want to be rude". LOL! It warms my heart to know he is paying attention. (and wouldn't be rude too, lol)

This was an excellent overview of the differing points, GMan. Thanks.

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Well, I put 100% Calvinistic. The only part I would stand to adjust on is limited atonement. But even I have to admit that if all the other points of Tulip are true, then Christ could not have died for every sinner, knowing they wouldn't all come?

I would say it was sufficient for all, but only effective for some.

But I'm with Calvin, God first, then Man...

Good post, it will be interesting to see how the votes go, and if I'm the only 100% calvinist on worthy boards willing to post that fact :noidea:

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there is nothing about armenianism that puts man before God. but i have real problems with the idea that God picked and chose who he would allow to be redeemed before they were born. that isn't a loving God. God's desire is for ALL to know and serve Him, freely of their own accord. scripture says "whosoever shall believe in me", not "whosoever I've selected to believe in me".

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nothing about armenianism that puts man before God. but i have real problems with the idea that God picked and chose who he would allow to be redeemed before they were born.

Calvinism = God Chooses Man

Armenianism = Man Chooses God

There's a very evident part of armenias (I don't know how to spell that! :noidea: ) that puts man's choice above God's. That is if God wanted someone saved, he couldn't do it if that man didn't let him... So God is some how incapable of saving someone who doesnt' want to be...Man's will over God's I.E. man before god.

i have real problems with the idea that God picked and chose who he would allow to be redeemed before they were born. that isn't a loving God. God's desire is for ALL to know and serve Him, freely of their own accord

What do you say (not arguing just curious how you view it) about Romans 9, when it says v.11 "though they werenot yet born and had done nothing either good or bad- in order that God's purpose of election might continue noe because of works but because of his call v12 she was told 'the older will serve the younger' v13 "as it is written Jacob I loved but esau I hated."

and vs.16 "so then it depends not on human will or exertion but on God who has mercy"

:D Just looking to see what you see... thanks Lady C

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But even I have to admit that if all the other points of Tulip are true, then Christ could not have died for every sinner, knowing they wouldn't all come?

I would say it was sufficient for all, but only effective for some.

How right you are. To say that Christ did that incredible work on the cross, but it 'didn't work' for everyone (because some don't accept it) is terrible, not to mention unBiblical.

there is nothing about armenianism that puts man before God.

All of Armenianism puts man before God. With Armenianism, His whole perfect plan of salvation is based on whether man accepts it or rejects it - giving man power and control. Only God is in complete and total control and not hindered by mere man.

but i have real problems with the idea that God picked and chose who he would allow to be redeemed before they were born. that isn't a loving God.

By what criteria are we defining "loving"? By what/whose standards?

What do you say (not arguing just curious how you view it) about Romans 9, when it says v.11 "though they werenot yet born and had done nothing either good or bad- in order that God's purpose of election might continue noe because of works but because of his call v12 she was told 'the older will serve the younger' v13 "as it is written Jacob I loved but esau I hated."

and vs.16 "so then it depends not on human will or exertion but on God who has mercy"

Excellent, mcm. Scripture is clear, and one can never go wrong with Scripture! :noidea:

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armeniesm (or however you spell it) = God chooses ALL men, and allows them the free will to accept Him.

calvanism = God chooses only the ones He wants, not only denying them the freedom to accept or deny, but unlovingly rejects all others, thereby ALSO denying them free will.

not very loving.

pending further study of romans 9, i would say this passage pertains to jacob and esau, and whom would be chosen to inherit his father's blessing and fulfill God's plan.

perhaps you could explain from a calvanistic point of view why John 3:16-17 says

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condem the world, but to save the world through him.

and does NOT say

For God so loved part of the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever God selected to believe in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to save everyone, but to save only those He decided in advance to love.

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armeniesm (or however you spell it) = God chooses ALL men

I think all can agree that not ALL men are saved. That makes the plan a failure. God is not a failure and His plan is not less than perfect. God is 100% sovererign and perfect and we much reject anything that claims otherwise.

but unlovingly rejects all others,

Again, by what standards are we judging "unloving"? By what definition? Do we hold God accountable to human definitions and standards?

perhaps you could explain from a calvanistic point of view why John 3:16-17 says

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condem the world, but to save the world through him.

and does NOT say

For God so loved part of the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever God selected to believe in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to save everyone, but to save only those He decided in advance to love.

whoever believes in Him shall not perish - who here is saying that that is untrue? It is absolutely true. Whoever believes in Him will not perish. As for what it doesn't say - we could go 'round and 'round about what Scripture doesn't say - but what's the point? What it says is what is important. :noidea:

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