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Arminianism vs. Calvinism Controversy 4 of 5


Bible knowledge is a tool not a trophy


(Continued from The Arminianism vs. Calvinism Controversy page 3)


The first three letters T, U and L of TULIP and the D, A and I of DAISY were discussed in the earlier parts of this article.

Calvin’s TULIP and DAISY

The acronym TULIP stands for the five pillars of Calvinism:


T

Total depravity of man (man is totally unable to love God)

U

Unconditional election (God chooses whom He wishes)

L

Limited atonement (Christ died only for the elect)

I

Irresistible grace (those God chooses cannot resist the calling)

P

Perseverance of the saints (those God chose, God is faithful to keep until the end)


Then there is the Calvinist’s version of the Arminianist view, the DAISY:


D

Diminished Depravity (Free Will or Human Ability)

A

Abolition of true Grace (election is conditional)

I

Impersonal Atonement (Universal Redemption or General Atonement)

S

Sovereignty of the sinner (man’s will can turn away from God)

Y

Perseverance of the saints (those God chose, God is faithful to keep until the end)


The Calvinist now bring their own I or Irresistible Grace (those God chooses cannot resist the calling).


Paul wrote in Romans 8:28-30 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”


Jesus said in John 6:37, 39 and 65, “All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out. (39) And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. (65) And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.”


The Arminianist counters with a verse in the same context above to justify the S or Sovereignty of the sinner (man can by free will turn away from God)


John 6:40 “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which sees the Son, and believes on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”


The current Calvinist argument assumes something the original Arminianist did not. Arminius believed that the free will to choose is a result of God's illumination, and not a result of man's absolute sovereignty. Man could not be in a position to choose if he/she did not know God. Knowing God is knowledge and understanding on the intuitive level, and not on the humanistic rational level.


The main concept in man’s own free will, is illustrated in both the Old and New Testaments, is that we have a choice; Love of God, or our desires will be the motivating factor in our choices in life.


In Psalm 37:4 “Delight Yourself also in the LORD; and he shall give you the desires of your heart.”


In Psalm 140:8 “Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves.”


Ephesians 2:3 “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”


And:

Romans 1:1 “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God”


The big question is do we have free will, or do we follow our desires? Which comes first, our desire to do something followed by a decision, or our decision to do something we desire?




                                        



Modernist theology has polluted modern Arminianism into the theology that Calvinists accuse them of; preaching our sovereign free will.


Jesus himself shows that a choice through free will is expected:


Jesus explaining the parable of the sower in Luke 8:13 said, “They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.”


Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter You in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.”


Jesus continued in Matthew 7:15-16, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. You shall know them by their fruits


We are to be discerning, an act of free will in deciding Yea, or nay.


Jesus in Luke 12:56 said, “You hypocrites, You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that You do not discern this time?”


Does this not imply that Jesus expected us to exercise our free will?


The Old Testament is also a witness. Solomon wrote in Proverbs 1:22-33:


How long, You simple ones, will You love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?

Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.

Because I have called, and You refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;

But You have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof

I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;

When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.

Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:

For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:

They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.

Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.

For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

But whoso listens to me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.


Calvin, should maybe be quoted in this context. In the “Institutes of the Christian Religion,” 2nd book, Chapter 16, Calvin wrote:


“Attention should be paid to what we have elsewhere observed, that the office of Redeemer was assigned him (Christ) in order that he might be our Saviour. Still, however, redemption would be defective if it did not conduct us by an uninterrupted progression to the final goal of safety. Therefore, the moment we turn aside from him (Christ) in the minutest degree, salvation, which resides entirely in him, gradually disappears; so that all who do not rest in him voluntarily deprive themselves of all grace. (my emphasis)


The Calvinist Arminianist debate Continues on page 5 with the P and Y TULIP and DAISY petals





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