Archive for the ‘Arminianism’ Category

Jesus – the author and perfecter of faith

December 19, 2011

Jesus is described as the “author and perfecter” of faith. The Greek words chosen by the author are most interesting: ἀρχηγòν καὶ τελειωτὴ ν. Archegon refers to the origin, source, beginning, and then by extension, author. Teleiotes refers to one who completes and perfects. Consider what this means: Jesus is the origin and source of faith, the goal of faith, the one who completes and perfects faith. It surely does not seem that much room is left for the pot to boast about contributing his free will act of faith, does it? For the Christian these are precious words. When we are weak, when we are discouraged, when it seems that we cannot possibly go on, what is our sole confidence? Christ. God will not abandon His own. We are kept indeed by the power of faith, but it is not a merely human faith, but a divine faith, a gift from God! Why do some stumble and fall while others persevere? Is it that some are better, stronger, than others? No. The reason lies in the difference between having saving faith and a faith that is not divine in origin or nature. Many are those who make professions not based upon regeneration, and the “faith” that is theirs will not last. Jesus taught this truth in the parable of the soils in Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23. Some of the seed that was sown resulted in immediate growth. But the growth produced no fruit and did not last. These are those who have false, human faith that does not last. But those with true faith produce fruit and remain.

James White, The Potter’s Freedom, 2nd ed., 2009, p.293

Arminianism allows only for the governmental theory of the atonement

December 19, 2011

(if Christ died a theoretical atonement that makes salvation possible if we add our faith)

It also follows necessarily, since Christ by His death actually procured nothing that guarantees the salvation of any man, and yet some men are saved, that the most one can claim for His work is that He in some way made all men salvable. But the highest view of the atonement that one can reach by this path is the governmental view. This view holds that Christ by His death actually paid the penalty for no man’s sin. What His death did was to demonstrate what their sin deserves at the hand of the just Governor and Judge of the universe, and permits God justly to forgive men if on other grounds, such as their faith, their repentance, their works, and their perseverance, they meet His demands. This means, of course, that the actual salvation of those who are saved is ultimately rooted in and hangs decisively upon something that those who are saved do themselves in their own behalf. But this is just to eviscerate the Savior’s cross work of all of its intrinsic saving worth and to replace the Christosoteric vision of Scripture with the autosoteric vision of Pelagianism.

A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith, Dr. Robert L. Reymond page 479.

Arminianism cannot hold to penal substitution

December 19, 2011

A spillover from Calvinism into Arminianism has occurred in recent decades. Thus many Arminians whose theology is not very precise say that Christ paid the penalty for our sins. Yet such a view is foreign to Arminianism, which teaches instead that Christ suffered for us. Arminians teach that what Christ did he did for every person; therefore what he did could not have been to pay the penalty, since no one would then ever go into eternal perdition. Arminianism teaches that Christ suffered for everyone so that the Father could forgive the ones who repent and believe; his death is such that all will see that forgiveness is costly and will strive to cease from anarchy in the world God governs. This view is called the governmental theory of the atonement.

J. Kenneth Grider, “Arminianism” in Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Walter Elwell, ed., (Baker, 2001), p. 97.

NB Grider is an Arminian. He understands that Arminianism cannot hold to penal substitution without falling into the problem of double jeopardy – if Christ actually took away the sins of all then all must be saved. Arminianism really says that Christ make salvation possible not actual.

Arminian Limited Atonement

April 29, 2011

Let it not be thought that the Arminian by his doctrine escapes limited atonement. The truth is that he professes a despicable doctrine of limited atonement. He professes an atonement that is tragically limited in its efficacy and power, an atonement that does not secure the salvation of any. He indeed eliminates from the atonement that which makes it supremely precious to the Christian heart. In B. B. Warfield’s words, ‘the substance of the atonement is evaporated, that it may be given a universal reference’. What we mean is, that unless we resort to the position of universal restoration for all mankind — a position against which the witness of Scripture is decisive — an interpretation of the atonement in universal terms must nullify its properly substitutive and redemptive character. We must take our choice between a limited extent and a limited efficacy, or rather between a limited atonement and an atonement without efficacy. It either infallibly saves the elect or it actually saves none.

John Murray

Rob Bell’s theological blunders

April 29, 2011

Bell seems unaware that theologians of various traditions have talked about the two sides of God’s will (or two lenses through which God views the world). To be sure, there is mystery here, but it’s common to distinguish between God’s will of decree, whereby everything that he wills comes to pass (Eph. 1:11), and his will of desire which can be rejected (Matt. 7:21). And yet one of Bell’s main planks in support of universal reconciliation is that if God wants all people to be saved, then all people must eventually be saved. “How great is God?” Bell asks. “Great enough to achieve what God sets out to do, or kind of great, great most of the time, but in this, the fate of billions of people, not totally great. Sort of great. A little great” (97–99). The strong insinuation is that a God who does not save everyone is not totally great.

Kevin DeYoung, God Is Still Holy and What You Learned in Sunday School Is Still True: A Review of “Love Wins

At times, Bell ounds like a consistent Arminian who so values libertarian free will that man gets want he wants – even after death. The failure to observe two senses of the ‘will of God’ is of a piece with this tendency.