Tuesday, April 07, 2015

It's all grace

James Arminius insists that every person must have the grace of God to be able to repent. The Holy Spirit provides this grace; it does not naturally survive the Fall. “This sufficiency [of grace] must be ascribed to the assistance of the Holy Spirit, by which he assists the preaching of the gospel as the organ, or instrument, by which He, the Holy Spirit, is accustomed to be efficacious in the hearts of the hearers.” [Arminius, Public Disputations] It is grace bestowed on all people, not just the elect (as in Calvin’s system): “This aid is afforded to all men, by innumerable methods both secret and manifest.” [Arminius, “The Apology or Defense”] Thus, God’s gracious blessing pours out through Christ to all humankind, and so makes salvation contingent only on a person’s willingness to accept it.— Prevenient Grace: God’s Provision for Fallen Humanity, page 118

<idle musing>
I wish some Calvinists would understand that for Arminians, it is all grace, all the way. The difference is apportioned grace versus free grace. Arminians believe in Free Grace—free for all, unmeasurable, overflowing, supernatural grace.
</idle musing>


That's my 2 cents! said...

I believe the problem with Calvinists understanding the intent of Arminians falls into the realm of the Calvinist's expectation of God's nature.

I believe TULIP Soteriology betrays the very heart of Calvinism. Calvinism casts the very sinful human proclivity to want power and control over everyone and everything. They use a code to hide what is truly in their own hearts but most certainly not God's heart: God's glory. God's glory is his love, and it is in and through love that God expresses his sovereignty.

Satan is the only one who desires and uses the powers of manipulation and control. Satan is a bully, God is the anti-bully.

I'm working on an email to you and Debbie!

Grace and peace,


jps said...


You might be onto something there. I had a professor once who asked how sovereignty could be at the core of God. His argument was that before creation, there was nothing to be sovereign over. If that is so, then God had to create in order to be complete!


That's my 2 cents! said...

Wow, I never thought of it that way. If your professor is right then the belief that God has focused his concern on his sovereignty would have to be gross heresy.

Did your professor ever publish a paper concerning this matter? If so is it somewhere I would be able to read it?

jps said...

I don't believe he ever published it anywhere—at least, I've never seen it.

But, yes, it is a different way of looking at things, isn't it? That's why a triune God, whose core being is love, makes so much sense. Complete in himself, but because of the love, a desire to share with others via creation—not because of being incomplete, but because of a desire to share the love. That's what theosis is all about, becoming a partaker in that divine nature.