Calvinism, Arminianism, Calminianism
I want to make sure I have my facts straight. Arminianism comes from the The Five Articles of the Remonstrants (Holland, 1610). The Five Points of Calvinism were sort of reactionary. (Dort, 1618) What I mean is that the Arminian points were refuted tit-for-tat in the Calvinist 5 points. I do realize that Calvinistic theology was around before this, but the whole 5 point model was set up by the Arminians. (Correct me if I’m wrong)
Also – It was hard for me to locate the original wording of these points without fear that they had been re-interpreted by someone. So, if any reader has a more orginal rendering of any point, send it my way and I will fix this post.
Arminian Article #1: Free Will/Partial Depravity
Freedom of will is man's natural state, not a spiritual gift - and thus free will was not lost in the Fall, but cannot be exercised toward good apart from the grace of God. Grace works upon all men to influence them for good, but only those who freely choose to agree with grace by faith and repentance are given new spiritual power to make effectual the good they otherwise impotently intend.
T Calvinist Article #1: Total Depravity (or Total Inability)
As a consequence of the Fall of man, every person born into the world is enslaved to the service of sin. According to the view, people are not by nature inclined to love God with their whole heart, mind, or strength, but rather all are inclined to serve their own interests over those of their neighbor and to reject the rule of God. Thus, all people by their own faculties are unable to choose to follow God and be saved.
Arminian Article #2: Conditional Election
God elects men on the basis of foreseen faith which is exercised by libertarian free will, thus making man ultimately decisive. God has decreed to save through Jesus Christ, out of fallen and sinful mankind, those foreknown by Him who through the grace of the Holy Spirit believe in Christ; but God leaves in sin those foreseen, who are incorrigible and unbelieving.
U Calvinist Article #2: Unconditional Election
God's choice from eternity of those whom he will bring to himself is not based on foreseen virtue, merit, or faith in those people. Rather, it is unconditionally grounded in God's mercy.
Arminian Article #3: Universal Atonement Applicable Only to the Believer
Christ's death was suffered on behalf of all men and benefits all men alike. God then elects for salvation those whom he foresees will believe in Christ of their own free will.
Whatever the atonement accomplished, it did so universally for all alike, the atonement has no component which is decisive or effectual in gathering of the elect. Rather, the atonement is seen as a universally effective propitiation and the basis for a universal offer of salvation.
L Calvinist Article #3: Limited Atonement (or Particular Redemption)
The death of Christ actually takes away the penalty of sins of those on whom God has chosen to have mercy. It is "limited" to taking away the sins of the elect, not of all humanity, and it is "definite" and "particular" because atonement is certain for those particular persons.
Arminian Article #4: Resistible Grace
This point holds that God never overcomes the resistance of man to His saving grace. This resistance is never conquered by God because this would be a violation of man's libertarian free will. The grace of God works for good in all men, and brings about newness of life through faith. But saving grace can be resisted, even by the regenerate.
I Calvinist Article #4: Irresistible Grace
The saving grace of God is effectually applied to those whom he has determined to save (the elect) and, in God's timing, overcomes their resistance to obeying the call of the gospel, bringing them to a saving faith in Christ.
Arminian Article #5: Uncertain Perseverance
Those who are incorporated into Christ by a true faith have power given them through the assisting grace of the Holy Spirit, sufficient to enable them to persevere in the faith. But it may be possible for a believer to fall from grace.
P Calvinist Article #5: Perseverance of the Saints
Any person who has once been truly saved from damnation must necessarily persevere and cannot later be condemned. The word saints is used in the sense in which it is used in the Bible to refer to all who are set apart by God, not in the technical sense of one who is exceptionally holy, canonized, or in heaven.
Now, some say that you must embrace one or the other of these theological systems. However, I have read scripturally agreeable statements in writings about both of these systems, and scripturally disagreeable. In other words, based on the knowledge of the Word that I have, I agree with a little of both … and on some points, I can’t accept either the Calvinist or the Arminian point of view! Maybe that means I am inconsistent. Hmmm…. I will just deal with each one, one at a time, and work my way through them. Your help in the comments will be appreciated.