Calminians – Is there a middle ground?

At the Society of Evangelical Arminians, the blogger asks us to name that theological position,

God created humankind to be in His image, and thus, humanity was created perfect. But, when Adam and Eve fell, them and all of their descendants became so entrenched in sin that it became impossible for them to accomplish any true good. Their hearts became devoted to evil. But God, in His mercy did not want humanity to fully suffer from its sin. So, He provided for each human an amount of grace to prevent them from reaping the full measure of their sin. God also wanted to redeem humanity. So, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, so that whoever would have faith in Him would be redeemed by the cross. But, because of humanity’s depraved state, no one can generate such faith. Therefore, God provides sufficient grace, so that whoever comes to have faith in Christ alone does so by that grace of God.

I would say Arminians, of course, while others might say Calvinism. The blogger, Martin Glynn, goes on to show that in the grand scheme of things, Arminianism and Calvinism are separated by a very thin wall. Not sure I would agree with him on that.

I am essentially an Arminian, believing that every person has the free will to choose to follow God – yet I find that the grace of God must act as a preceeding agent, the call, to the person before they can respond. We cannot do good – holy and righteous – things on our own.

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. (Romans 7:18 NKJV)

We cannot come to God unless He first calls, but I believe that everyone will have that chance – not just a select few. For me, when I see the words ‘election’ and predestined, I think of the Church.

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30 NKJV)

What do you think?

You Might Also Like

14 Replies to “Calminians – Is there a middle ground?”

  1. The Calvin/Arminian split was relatively modern. Augustine gives us this:

    “Now against the sacrilegious and impious darings of reason, we assert both that God knows all things before they come to pass, and that we do by our free will whatsoever we know and feel to be done by us only because we will it.” – City of God, V.9

    It is not an emphasis of one against the other, but rather a full embracing of both positions. Clearly both are supportable in scripture, but Augustine is also very familiar with classical philosophy so his views are both motivated by scripture and with a consideration of the philosophical difficulties.

    I haven’t read Calvin and Arminius directly, but it seems that they tried to re-visit the issue without regard to the classical philosophy problems while looking for a clean cut, simple understanding.

  2. I agree with you entirely that it is not “an immediate concern nor one of salvational value”. We must all accept Jesus as our savior. Whether we believe this acceptance of salvation came about by freewill or God’s working in our heart or both – or simply ignore the issue entirely – is totally irrelevant to the salvation process.

  3. Personally, I think there IS a middle ground. Its all God. What HE said will happen will happen. But we somehow still have a responsibility to choose Him. Honestly, I’m not sure I can currently support that last statement from Scripture, just from a logical conclusion that we are told of the need to believe and so the responsibility must lie with us.

    No one seeks God without Him first seeking them (Romans 3:10-12). It is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6). God is both the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), without which it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Christ is the author of our salvation (Hebrews 2:10). Salvation is a free gift from God (Ephesians 2:8-9). If we are saved, it is because God chose us to be saved from the beginning (John 6:37; 2 Thessalonians 2:13). If we are saved, God will be faithful to sanctify us (1 Thessalonians 5:23-25). If we are saved, it is because GOD predestined us to be saved (Ephesians 1:5; Ephesians 1:11-12; 2 Thessalonians 2:13). If we are saved, God will conform us to the likeness of His Son (Romans 8:28-30). If we are saved, we have been sealed by God until the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30), to the fact that God will be faithful to complete the work He began (Romans 8:28-30; Philippians 1:6). It is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose (Philippians 2:13).

    It is obvious that who ever believes in the Son has eternal life, and who ever does not believe will not see eternal life (John 3:36). We have to turn from sin, turn to God, which will engender evidence of our faith (Acts 26:20). We are told to not harden our hearts because of sin’s deceitfulness (Hebrews 3:13).

    All the days of your life were ordained & written in God’s book (Psalm 139:16). God calls people by name before they are born (Isaiah 49:1-5). He knew you before you He formed you in the womb (Jeremiah 1:4-5). God foreknew His people (Romans 11:2).

    It seems strange that God wants all to be saved (1 Timothy 2:3-4), and Jesus invited all to come to Him (Matthew 11:28). And yet no one can come to Christ unless the Father who sent Christ draws him (John 6:44). Only those God has specifically granted permission can come to Christ (John 6:65). All the Father gives to Christ will come to Him and never be driven away (John 6:37; 17:24). Everyone who has heard and learned from God the Father will come to Christ (John 6:45).

    Some are still destined to doom (John 17:12). People are blind to their need and the truth (Isaiah 6:9-10; Matthew 13:14-15). Satan blinds people (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). Each person dies for his own sins (Deuteronomy 24:16; Eze 18:4). God has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for a day of disaster (Proverbs 16:4). No one can come to Christ unless the Father who sent Christ draws him (John 6:44). Some people’s names are not written in the book of Life (Revelation 13:8, 17:8). Some people will stumble and are destined to disobey the message (1 Peter 2:8). Yet God is not responsible for our committing sin (Ezek 28:15). Indeed, people’s lack of faith does not nullify God’s faithfulness (Romans 3:1-23).

    I think its all God, but we need to believe. God authors that faith. But we seem to be responsible for exercising that belief.

    This is a tough doctrine. I dont know how to defend the belief that we are responsible for our lack of faith. It seems I rambled. Did what I say make sense?

Leave a Reply, Please!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.