Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Monday, February 21, 2011

You May Be an Arminian If ....

The Society of Evangelical Arminians have posted a brief survey to help determine if whether or not a person is an Arminian.

Are You an Arminian and Not Even Know It?

The main questions are,
  • 1. Do you believe that Jesus died for every human being?

  • 2. Do you believe that humans are so depraved that they can do nothing to earn salvation and that they cannot choose to believe in Jesus without the intervention of God’s grace?

  • 3. Do you believe that a person can resist the convicting power of God’s grace?

  • 4. Do you believe that you are born again when you put your faith in Jesus?

  • 5. Do you believe in election?

  • 6. Do you believe in predestination?

  • 7. Do you believe in eternal security?

  • 8. Do you believe in the penal satisfaction view of the atonement?

  • 9. Do you believe that God exhaustively knows the future?

  • 10. Do you believe in the sovereignty of God?

I respond with NO on questions 1, 3, and 4, all three significant doctrinal distinctions between Calvinism and Arminianism, so I am fairly confident that doesn't make me an Arminian. There were some odd explanations for few of the questions. For example, according to the test giver, he seems to suggest that open theism falls (#9) within the realm of historic, Reformed Arminianism, even though I would think even Jacob Arminius would reject such a notion.

Additionally, I see a bit of inconsistency between how this test defines election and predestination. Exegetically, I understand the two doctrines as working in tandem. God elects in His decrees and then predestination is the out working of those decrees in the establishment of time. Charles Spurgeon illustrated this concept the best when he preached his sermon "Things that Accompany Salvation"

Election went through the world and marked the houses to which Salvation should come and the hearts in which the treasure should be deposited. Election looked through all the race of man, from Adam down to the last, and marked with sacred stamp those for whom Salvation was designed. "He must needs go through Samaria," said Election; and Salvation must go there. Then came Predestination. Predestination did not merely mark the house, but it mapped the road in which Salvation should travel to that house, Predestination ordained every step of the great army of Salvation, it ordained the time when the sinner should be brought to Christ, the manner how he should be saved, the means that should be employed; it marked the exact hour and moment, when God the Spirit should quicken the dead in sin, and when peace and pardon should be spoken through the blood of Jesus. Predestination marked the way so completely, that Salvation doth never overstep the bounds, and it is never at a loss for the road.

The quiz provides a little bit explanation as to why your answer will make you an Arminian. Go see how you do.

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Blogger David Kjos said...

#6: "Arminians assert that believers are predestined to final salvation, not that people are predestined to believe"

Not being an Arminian, I suppose I'm all messed up, but I've always thought belief was a condition for final salvation, so predestination to final salvation would imply predestination to belief.

But what do I know?

1:57 PM, February 21, 2011  
Blogger Gregg said...

Why did you say "no" to #4?

2:58 PM, February 21, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

When studied out in Scripture, "born again" is equivalent to the work of regeneration. Believing faith is a result of the new birth. Hence, a person cannot believe on Christ with saving faith until God regenerates him.

4:50 PM, February 21, 2011  
Blogger MSC said...

This survey is a little misleading because they have no questions about prevenient grace and free will. In particular, question #2 is misleading. Arminian theology negates the force of #2 by the belief that God bestows prevenient grace on all humans in the wake of depravity such that they now have libertarian free will, the ability to make choices contrary to one's desires.

7:47 AM, February 22, 2011  
Blogger donsands said...

Nice way to check my mind and heart.

This is waht I didn't understand on the Arminian side:

"Arminians assert that believers are predestined to final salvation, not that people are predestined to believe"

If God predetermined them to be saved, then He had to predetermine them to trust in Christ, right?

9:30 AM, February 22, 2011  
Blogger Johnny said...

Hi I'm kind of new to Reformed theology and have a lot of questions. If there is no way an elect person will not be saved, then aren't they already saved when God chooses them? It would seem this bypasses the cross and there's no need for a savior and no need to deal with sin.

6:56 PM, February 25, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Election is not alone, as is noted in Spurgeon's quote. Man's sin had to be paid for and God's wrath turned away. Election means God will most certainly and efficaciously apply Christ's cross work to specific sinners.

What you advocate has nothing happening to deal with sin, which is what the atonement and its application is.

7:52 PM, February 25, 2011  
Blogger thomas4881 said...

Anyone who reads the entire Bible multiple times using the literal interpretation will see the 5 points of Calvinism and think "yeah I just read all that in the Bible. What is the big deal"?. That is what happened to me. I'm very thankful I first read the entire Bible before ever hearing about Calvinism and Arminianism.

10:45 PM, March 04, 2011  

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