There is an approach that is purely academic and does not result in knowing the Truth.
Points in conclusion:
1) Presumption 2) Laziness or indifference 3) irresponsibility
The five points therefore function as a summary of the differences between Calvinists and Arminians on the doctrines in question, but not as a complete summation of Calvinist theology. In English, they are sometimes referred to by the acronym TULIP (see below), though this puts them in a different order from the Canons of Dort. Total depravity is held by most Christians. Perseverance of the saints ( or once saved always saved ) is held by some christians who don not claim to be Calvinism, eg. some Southern Baptist.
This doctrine is derived from Augustine's explanation of Original Sin. 1.The Historical Origins of Calvin's Predestination
The doctrine of predestination is not unique to Calvin. It did not originate with him. It has been propagated since the time of Paul by a plethora of theologians who sought to articulate the method by which the "elect" were "eternally adopted" as "sons of God" . Of these theologians, it is commonly been recorded that the greatest influence on Calvin's doctrine of predestination was Augustine(Wendel 124). Calvin constantly read Augustine, quoted him at every opportunity, appropriated his expressions, and regarded his teachings as his ally in the face of controversy(Wendel 124).
Is the will of man in Bondage?
(Jeremiah 17:9) (Genesis 6:5) (John 3:19; John 8:34) (Romans 3:10-11)
John 6:44 44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. KJV
This is the Foundation of Predestination. The debate over unconditional election is not whether or not God elects or predestines people to salvation but upon what basis He elects them. Is that election based upon foreknowledge that those individuals will have faith in Christ, or is it based upon God’s sovereign choice to save them? As the word “unconditional” implies, this view believes that God’s election of people to salvation is done “with no conditions attached, either foreseen or otherwise.” Those who come to Christ become His children by His will, not by theirs. (Mark 13:20; Ephesians 1:4-5; Revelation 13:8; Revelation 17:8)
The doctrine of limited atonement affirms that the Bible teaches Christ’s atoning work on the cross was done with a definite purpose in mind—to redeem for God people from every tribe, tongue and nation (Revelation 5:9). Jesus died, according Matthew 1:21, to “save His people from their sins. This truth is seen in many passages throughout Scripture. In John 10:15, we see that He lays “down His life for the sheep.” Who are the sheep? They are the people chosen by God from before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). These are the same ones Jesus said were given to Him by the Father in order that He would fulfill the Father’s will by losing none of them and by raising all of them up in the last day (John 6:37-40). (Isaiah 53:8, 11, 12); (John 6:37-40)
The doctrine of irresistible grace recognizes that the Bible describes natural man as “dead in his trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1; Ephesians 2:5; Colossians 2:13), and, because man is spiritually dead, he must first be made alive or regenerated in order to understand and respond to the gospel message. A good illustration of this is seen in Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. In John 11:43, it is recorded that Jesus told Lazarus to “come forth” and that Lazarus came forth out of the tomb. What had to happen before Lazarus—who had been dead for several days—would be able to respond to Jesus’ command? He had to be made alive because a dead man cannot hear or respond. The same is true spiritually. If we are dead in our sins, as the Bible clearly teaches, then before we can respond to the gospel message and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ we must first be made alive. As Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3, one must be “born again to see the kingdom of God.” John 1:12-13 tells us that being born again is not the result of something we do—“the will of man”—but is a sovereign act of God. Ephesians 2:1-10. The Bible is also clear that the act of being born again or regenerated is a sovereign act of God. It is something He does which enables us to believe the gospel message, not something that comes as a result of our belief. The reason this doctrine is called “irresistible” grace is that it always results in the intended outcome, the salvation of the person it is given to
Once save always saved or the eternal security of the believer or elect. The Bible teaches that those who are born again will continue trusting in Christ forever. God, by His own power through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, keeps or preserves the believer forever. This wonderful truth is seen in Ephesians 1:13-14, where we see that believers are “sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchase possession, to the praise of His glory.” When we are born again, we receive the promised indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit that is God’s guarantee that He who began a good work in us will complete it (Philippians 1:6). In order for us to lose our salvation after receiving the promised Holy Spirit, God would have to break His promise or renege on His “guarantee,” which He cannot do. Therefore, the believer is eternally secure because God is eternally faithful.
The Synod of Dort (also known as the Synod of Dordt or the Synod of Dordrecht) was a National Synod held in Dordrecht in 1618–1619, by the Dutch Reformed Church, to settle a divisive controversy initiated by the rise of Arminianism. The Synod concluded with a rejection of the Arminian views, and set forth the Reformed doctrine on each point, namely: total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement (arguing that Christ's atoning work was intended only for the elect and not for the rest of the world), irresistible (or irrevocable) grace, and the perseverance of the saints. These are sometimes referred to as the Five points of Calvinism. The Decision of the Synod of Dort on the Five Main Points of Doctrine in Dispute in the Netherlands, popularly known as the Canons of Dort, is the explanation of the judicial decision of the Synod. In the original preface, the Decision is called:
Monergism describes the position in Christian theology of those who believe that God, through the Holy Spirit, works to bring about effectually the salvation of individuals through spiritual regeneration without cooperation from the individual. Monergism is most often associated with Calvinism (like Presbyterians and Dutch Reformed) and its doctrine of irresistible grace and in particular with historic doctrinal differences between Calvinism on the one hand and Arminianism on the other.
This position is often presented in contrast to synergism, the belief that God and individuals cooperate for salvation. Lutherans generally adhere to a modified and less stringent form of monergism. Monergism states that the regeneration of an individual is the work of God through the Holy Spirit alone, as opposed to Synergism, which, in its simplest form, argues that the human will cooperates with God's grace in order to be regenerated
The doctrine of open theism states that God is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient, but differs on the nature of the future. Open theists claim that the future is not completely knowable because people have not made their decisions yet, and therefore God knows the future in possibilities rather than certainties. As such, open theists resolve the issue of human free will and God's sovereignty by claiming that God is sovereign because he does not ordain each human choice, but rather works in cooperation with his creation to bring about his will. This notion of sovereignty and freedom is foundational to their understanding of love since open theists believe that love is not genuine unless it is freely chosen. The power of choice under this definition has the potential for as much harm as it does good, and open theists see free will as the best answer to the problem of evil. Well-known proponents of this theology are Greg Boyd, Clark Pinnock, Thomas Jay Oord, William Hasker, and John E. Sanders.
Some Arminians, such as professor and theologian Robert Picirilli, reject the doctrine of open theism as a "deformed Arminianism". Joseph Dongell stated that "open theism actually moves beyond classical Arminianism towards process theology." There are also some Arminians, like Roger Olson, who believe Open theism to be an alternative view that a Christian can have. The majority Arminian view accepts classical theism – the belief that God's power, knowledge, and presence have no external limitations, that is, outside of His divine nature. Most Arminians reconcile human free will with God's sovereignty and foreknowledge by holding three points: Human free will is limited by original sin, though God's prevenient grace restores to humanity the ability to accept God's call of salvation. God purposely exercises his sovereignty in ways that do not illustrate its extent – in other words, He has the power and authority to predetermine salvation but he chooses to apply it through different means. God's foreknowledge of the future is exhaustive and complete, and therefore the future is certain and not contingent on human action. God does not determine the future, but He does know it. God's certainty and human contingency are compatible
All these ting are not Known to Calvin, he offers the grieving father an explanation as to the why of his son’s death because according to Calvin All things are the product of the Will of God for his good and Glory, even when there is little or no evidence the Will and Counsel of the Omnipotent God is purported.
By Nature, he means by God’s determinism. They are in a state where they cannot resist the Grace of God, they are the Elect. On the other hand the rest are also determined, but to damnation and cannot (not would not) receive this effectual calling.
According to Calvin the answer is no, for all we can do is determined by God from eternity. Dam and Eve only did what they were determined to do. Our Freedom is only apparent but flows assuredly from the mind and will of God so that even evil in the world is ordained by God, the devil is then the agent of God for his ultimate Glory
When it comes to the first three options, most Calvinist would agree that a person is not forced to make a choice, is responsible for their choices, and is the active agent behind those choices. They would reject the forth believing that a person is not free to do whatever they desire (for example, no matter how much one desires, he or she cannot read the thoughts of another person, It is important to note at this point, there is no conflict. No matter what theological persuasion you adhere to, most of historic Christianity has agreed that the first three are true, while the fourth is false. It is with the fifth option there is disagreement.
The term libertarian in a metaphysical or philosophical sense was first used by late-Enlightenment free-thinkers to refer to those who believed in free will, as opposed to determinism. The first recorded use was in 1789 by William Belsham in a discussion of free will and in opposition to "necessitarian" (or determinist) views
Matt 12:33-35 3 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. 34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
Luke 11:11-13 11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? KJV
Think about all that goes into making “who you are.” We are born in the fallen line of Adam. Spiritually speaking we have an inbred inclination toward sin. All of our being is infected with sin. This is called “total depravity.” Every aspect of our being is infected with sin, even if we don’t act it out to a maximal degree
Pink was born in Nottingham, England on 1 April 1886 and became a Christian in 1908, at the age of 22. Though born to Christian parents, prior to conversion he migrated into a Theosophical society (the occult gnostic group which became precursor of the New Age movement, popular in England during that time), and quickly rose in prominence within their ranks. His conversion came from his father's patient admonitions from Scripture. It was the verse, Proverbs 14:12, 'there is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death,' which particularly struck his heart and compelled him to renounce Theosophy and follow Jesus.
Desiring to grow in knowledge of the Bible, Pink emigrated to the United States to study at Moody Bible Institute. He left there after only two months and began his first pastorate in Silverton Colorado. In 1916 he married Vera E. Russell (8 January 1893 – 17 July 1962), who was from Kentucky. However, he left after just two months for Colorado, then California, th
they want to see God as the author and finisher of our faith in a way that man plays no part in and thus establishes God's ultimate Sovereign Grace, thus the saying " by Grace alone" is accomplished by his eternal decree.
This is a marvelous verse and tells us how great God is, but it says nothing about whether God has given man a will and to what extent he can exercise that will. It says nothing about whether a sinner can believe on Christ savingly. To say that God worketh all things after the counsel of his own will is not contrary to the doctrine that God created man with a will and with the ability to respond to God or to reject God. It is the Calvinist that creates this alleged “problem” and then answers it by his own logic rather than by the plain teaching of Scripture.
This statement was made by king Nebuchadnezzar after he was punished by God and his reason had returned to him and he had repented of his pride. This verse is stating simply that God is God and He rules ultimately over the affairs of men. The verse says nothing about whether or not man can accept or reject the gospel, about whether God’s grace is resistible. It says nothing about whether God sovereignly chooses some men to election and some to reprobation. For a sinner to refuse to repent is not to “stay God’s hand,” because God’s eternal program rolls right on regardless of what individual men do in these or any other matters.
NOTE:- WHAT IS THE WILL OF GOD? Rom,12:2 * Ga.l1:4 * Col,4:12 * 1The,4:13 *2Tim,1:1 * Heb,8:10 * Heb,10:7 * Rev,3:12
The context of this verse is God’s determination to judge the nations. “This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations” (verse 26). Indeed, when God purposes something His will cannot be thwarted. But this verse says nothing about Sovereign Election or Sovereign Reprobation or Irresistible Grace or any of the points of TULIP theology.
This verse means that there is no ultimate counsel against the Lord and that He always has the final say. We know from other Scriptures that the devil and sinners have made many counsels against the Lord, but that counsel cannot stand. It does not follow that man has no will that he can exercise either for or against the Lord. He can definitely exercise such a will and he does and by so doing he hangs himself with his own rope, because God always has the final say, and He has said that “he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16).
As we have said, the Calvinistic doctrine of Total Depravity does not end simply with man in a totally unrighteous condition, with a fallen and corrupt nature and heart and unable to save himself by his works. This doctrine also involves something that is called the “bondage of the will.”
When Dr. Khoo speaks of “human inability,” he means not only that the sinner is unable to save himself by his deeds but also that the sinner is unable to respond in faith to God’s offer of salvation.
This passage says nothing about the sinner not being able to believe and nothing about the condition of his will in regard to the accepting or rejecting the gospel. It says the sinner is dead in trespasses and sin, walks according to the course of this world and according to the prince of the power of the air, is a child of disobedience, and is by nature the child of wrath. THE CHILDREN OF WRATH BY NATURE MUST BE THOSE WHO ARE PRDESTINED TO HELL? HOW THEN CAN PAUL SPEAK OF THAT STATE AS BEING PASSED “WERE”
This verse teaches that the unsaved man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God and has no natural ability to discern spiritual things. Yet it says nothing about the condition of the unsaved man’s will or whether he can believe the gospel or not. To say that the sinner does not naturally receive the things of the Spirit of God is not to say that he cannot. Apart from divine enlightenment, conviction, and drawing, no sinner would respond to the Gospel, but this enlightenment, conviction, and drawing is extended to every sinner (Jn. 1:9; 16:8; 12:32). “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (Jn. 1:9).
In light of the following passages, it is obvious that 2 Thess. 2:13 is not stating the exact order of things. The chief passage on the New Birth is John 3. In verse 1-8 Jesus instructs Nicodemus that he must be born again or he cannot see the kingdom of God. In verse 9, Nicodemus asks Jesus how this can be. In verse 10-21, Jesus answers this question and explains how a man is born again, and the answer is that he is born again by believing (Jn. 3:14-16)! This is exactly what the Calvinist says the sinner cannot do. How can a dead man believe, he reasons? Well, if we are going to take the “dead man” analogy literally, a dead man can’t sin either
IF – (definition) in a possible or imagined situation a. used for introducing a situation that may happen or may be real, especially when talking about its results If we miss the last bus, we'll have to walk home.
b. used for introducing a situation or condition that must exist before something else happens Okay I'll come with you if you'll promise not to go too fast.
Doctrines that divide: The Spirit of Calvinism and Arminianism
Doctrines that divide
The spirit of Calvinism and Arminianism
By Dean Holderwww.zebachsd.com
2 Tim 2:15-18
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman
that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will
increase unto more ungodliness.
17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is
Hymenaeus and Philetus;
18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the
resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of
1 John 4:1-3
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits
whether they are of God: because many false prophets
are gone out into the world.
2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that
confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ
is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit
of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come;
and even now already is it in the world.
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unt
o you of the common salvation, it was needful f
or me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye
should earnestly contend for the faith which wa
s once delivered unto the saints.
4 For there are certain men crept in unawares,
who were before of old ordained to this conde
mnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our
God into lasciviousness, and denying the only
Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, thou
gh ye once knew this, how that the Lord, havin
g saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afte
rward destroyed them that believed not.
2 Peter 2:1-3
But there were false prophets also among the p
eople, even as there shall be false teachers amo
ng you, who privily shall bring in damnable her
esies, even denying the Lord that bought them,
and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways;
by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evi
l spoken of.
3 And through covetousness shall they with fei
gned words make merchandise of you: whose j
udgment now of a long time lingereth not, and t
heir damnation slumbereth not.
Studying God’s Word begins with Humility
If any man will do his will, he shall know of the
doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I spea
k of myself.
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of
sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form
of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became th
e servants of righteousness.
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom an
d knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his
judgments, and his ways past finding out!
34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord?
or who hath been his counsellor?
The secret things belong unto the Lord our God
: but those things which are revealed belong unt
o us and to our children for ever, that we may d
o all the words of this law.
Influenced by Calvinism
"Total depravity," also called "total inability," asserts that as a consequence of the fall
of man into sin, every person is enslaved to sin. People are not by nature inclined to lo
ve God but rather to serve their own interests and to reject the rule of God. Thus, all pe
ople by their own faculties are morally unable to choose to follow God and be saved b
ecause they are unwilling to do so out of the necessity of their own natures. (The term
"total" in this context refers to sin affecting every part of a person, not that every perso
n is as evil as they could be).
"Unconditional election＂ or “sovereign election” asserts that God has chosen from
eternity those whom he will bring to himself not based on foreseen virtue, merit, or
faith in those people; rather, his choice is unconditionally grounded in his mercy
alone. God has chosen from eternity to extend mercy to those he has chosen and to
withhold mercy from those not chosen. Those chosen receive salvation through
Christ alone. Those not chosen receive the just wrath that is warranted for their sins
"Limited atonement," also called "particular redemption" or "definite atonement",
asserts that Jesus's substitutionary atonement was definite and certain in its purpose and
in what it accomplished. This implies that only the sins of the elect were atoned for by
Jesus's death. Calvinists do not believe, however, that the atonement is limited in its
value or power, but rather that the atonement is limited in the sense that it is intended
for some and not all. Hence, Calvinists hold that the atonement is sufficient for all and
efficient for the elect. The doctrine is driven by the Calvinistic concept of the
sovereignty of God in salvation and their understanding of the nature of the atonement
"Irresistible grace," also called "efficacious grace", asserts that the saving grace of God
is effectually applied to those whom he has determined to save (that is, the elect) and
overcomes their resistance to obeying the call of the gospel, bringing them to a saving
faith. This means that when God sovereignly purposes to save someone, that individual
certainly will be saved. The doctrine holds that this purposeful influence of God's Holy
Spirit cannot be resisted, but that the Holy Spirit, "graciously causes the elect sinner to
cooperate, to believe, to repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ
"Perseverance of the saints" (or preservation) of the saints (the word "saints" is used to
refer to all who are set apart by God, and not of those who are exceptionally holy,
canonized, or in heaven) asserts that since God is sovereign and his will cannot be
frustrated by humans or anything else, those whom God has called into communion with
himself will continue in faith until the end. Those who apparently fall away either never
had true faith to begin with or will return to the faith
Most objections to and attacks on Calvinism focus on the "five points of Calvinism,"
also called the doctrines of grace, which are a point-by-point response to the five points
of the Arminian Remonstrance and which serve as a summation of the judgments
rendered by the Synod of Dort in 1619. Calvin himself never used such a model and
never combated Arminianism directly, as Calvin died before Arminius's birth. The
Articles of Remonstrance were authored by opponents of Reformed doctrine and
monergism. They were rejected in 1619 at the Synod of Dort, more than 50 years after
the death of Calvin.
The Synod of Dort (also known as the Synod of
Dordt or the Synod of Dordrecht) was a National
Synod held in Dordrecht in 1618–1619, by the D
utch Reformed Church, to settle a divisive contro
versy initiated by the rise of Arminianism. The S
ynod concluded with a rejection of the Arminian
views, and set forth the Reformed doctrine on eac
h point, namely: total depravity, unconditional ele
ction, limited atonement (arguing that Christ's ato
ning work was intended only for the elect and not
for the rest of the world), irresistible (or irrevocab
le) grace, and the perseverance of the saints. Thes
e are sometimes referred to as the Five points of
Calvinism. The Decision of the Synod of Dort on
the Five Main Points of Doctrine in Dispute in th
e Netherlands, popularly known as the Canons of
Dort, is the explanation of the judicial decision of
These "preoccupations" often took the form of controversy for John Calvin. One of
his most formidable opponents to his doctrine of predestination was a former Carme
lite friar, Jerome Bolsec(McNeill 172). Bolsec charged Calvin with making God the
author of sin with his doctrine of predestination(McNeill 172). Calvin took Bolsec's
charges before the city government in 1551 which led to the eventual banishment of
Bolsec(Walker 478). This episode led Calvin to an even greater insistence on the vit
al importance of predestination than ever before(Walker 478).
Early Opponent to Calvinism
Depravity is total: Arminius states "In this [fallen] state, the free will of man towards the true
good is not only wounded, infirm, bent, and weakened; but it is also imprisoned, destroyed, a
nd lost. And its powers are not only debilitated and useless unless they be assisted by grace, b
ut it has no powers whatever except such as are excited by Divine grace."
Atonement is intended for all: Jesus's death was for all people, Jesus draws all people to hims
elf, and all people have opportunity for salvation through faith.
Jesus's death satisfies God's justice: The penalty for the sins of the elect is paid in full through
Jesus's work on the cross. Thus Christ's atonement is intended for all, but requires faith to be
effected. Arminius states that "Justification, when used for the act of a Judge, is either purely
the imputation of righteousness through mercy… or that man is justified before God… accor
ding to the rigor of justice without any forgiveness." Stephen Ashby clarifies: "Arminius
allowed for only two possible ways in which the sinner might be justified: (1) by our absolute
and perfect adherence to the law, or (2) purely by God's imputation of Christ's righteousness."
Grace is resistible: God takes initiative in the salvation process and His grace comes to all pe
ople. This grace (often called prevenient or pre-regenerating grace) acts on all people to convi
nce them of the Gospel, draw them strongly towards salvation, and enable the possibility of si
ncere faith. Picirilli states that "indeed this grace is so close to regeneration that it inevitably l
eads to regeneration unless finally resisted."  The offer of salvation through grace does no
t act irresistibly in a purely cause-effect, deterministic method but rather in an influence-and-r
esponse fashion that can be both freely accepted and freely denied.
Man has free will to respond or resist: Free will is limited by God's sovereignty, but God's so
vereignty allows all men the choice to accept the Gospel of Jesus through faith, simultaneousl
y allowing all men to resist.
Election is conditional: Arminius defined election as "the decree of God by whic
h, of Himself, from eternity, He decreed to justify in Christ, believers, and to acc
ept them unto eternal life." God alone determines who will be saved and his
determination is that all who believe Jesus through faith will be justified. Accor
ding to Arminius, "God regards no one in Christ unless they are engrafted in hi
m by faith."
God predestines the elect to a glorious future: Predestination is not the predeter
mination of who will believe, but rather the predetermination of the believer's fu
ture inheritance. The elect are therefore predestined to sonship through adoption
, glorification, and eternal life.
Christ's righteousness is imputed to the believer: Justification is sola fide. When
individuals repent and believe in Christ (saving faith), they are regenerated and
brought into union with Christ, whereby the death and righteousness of Christ ar
e imputed to them for their justification before God.
Eternal security is also conditional: All believers have full assurance of salvatio
n with the condition that they remain in Christ. Salvation is conditioned on faith,
therefore perseverance is also conditioned. Apostasy (turning from Christ) i
s only committed through a deliberate, willful rejection of Jesus and renunciatio
n of saving faith. Such apostasy is irremediable
John Wesley has historically been the most influential advocate for the teachings of Arminian soteri
ology. Wesley thoroughly agreed with the vast majority of what Arminius himself taught, maintaini
ng strong doctrines of original sin, total depravity, conditional election, prevenient grace, unlimited
atonement, and possibly apostasy.
Wesley departs from Classical Arminianism primarily on three issues:
Atonement – Wesley's atonement is a hybrid of the penal substitution theory and the governmental t
heory of Hugo Grotius, a lawyer and one of the Remonstrants. Steven Harper states "Wesley does n
ot place the substitionary element primarily within a legal framework...Rather [his doctrine seeks] t
o bring into proper relationship the 'justice' between God's love for persons and God's hatred of sin..
.it is not the satisfaction of a legal demand for justice so much as it is an act of mediated recon
Possibility of apostasy – Wesley fully accepted the Arminian view that genuine Christians could ap
ostatize and lose their salvation, as his famous sermon "A Call to Backsliders" clearly demonstrates.
Harper summarizes as follows: "the act of committing sin is not in itself ground for the loss of salva
tion...the loss of salvation is much more related to experiences that are profound and prolonged. We
sley sees two primary pathways that could result in a permanent fall from grace: unconfessed sin an
d the actual expression of apostasy."  Wesley disagrees with Arminius, however, in maintaining
that such apostasy was not final. When talking about those who have made "shipwreck" of their fait
h (1 Tim 1:19), Wesley claims that "not one, or a hundred only, but I am persuaded, several thousan
ds...innumerable are the instances...of those who had fallen but now stand upright."[
Christian perfection – According to Wesley's teaching, Christians could attain a state
of practical perfection, meaning a lack of all voluntary sin by the empowerment of th
e Holy Spirit, in this life. Christian perfection (or entire sanctification), according to
Wesley, is "purity of intention, dedicating all the life to God" and "the mind which w
as in Christ, enabling us to walk as Christ walked." It is "loving God with all our hea
rt, and our neighbor as ourselves". It is 'a restoration not only to the favour, but li
kewise to the image of God," our "being filled with the fullness of God". Wesley
was clear that Christian perfection did not imply perfection of bodily health or an inf
allibility of judgment. It also does not mean we no longer violate the will of God, for
involuntary transgressions remain. Perfected Christians remain subject to temptation,
and have continued need to pray for forgiveness and holiness. It is not an absolute pe
rfection but a perfection in love. Furthermore, Wesley did not teach a salvation by pe
rfection, but rather says that, "Even perfect holiness is acceptable to God only throug
h Jesus Christ."
“God preordained, for his own glory and the display of His attributes of mercy a
nd justice, a part of the human race, without any merit of their own, to eternal sa
lvation, and another part, in just punishment of their sin, to eternal damnation.”
“By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God, by which he determined w
ith himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every man. All are not cr
eated on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal da
mnation; and, accordingly, as each has been created for one or other of these ends
, we say that he has been predestinated to life or to death.”
Book 3 of The Institutes of the Christian Religion in chapter 21
Modern day Calvinist Evangelist John Piper supports this teaching
“God preordained, for his own glory and the dis
play of His attributes of mercy and justice, a pa
rt of the human race, without any merit of their
own, to eternal salvation, and another part, in ju
st punishment of their sin, to eternal damnation.
Did God predestine/ pre-determined Sin as stated by John Piper?
If He did, then Satan cannot be the author or Father of Sin, he would be a kind of
agent acting on behalf of God and as such is an integral part of the whole plan for
God to “magnify his mercy and grace and patience… and justice and wrath ,,, “ as
stated by Piper.
In a Mystical book written around
1894 by Eliphas Levi called “The
Book of Splendours” which is a co
mmentary on the Jewish Kabalah st
ates openly what would be the logi
cal outcome of following the prede
stination doctrine of Calvinism as s
tated by John Pipers assertion that
God’s plan included Sin.
Calvin’s Scriptural support
He begins with Abraham, showing how the Lord chose this man to be His special repres
entative out of all the people of the world
Israel, who descended from Abraham, was also then chosen by God. Calvin quotes verse
s such as Deuteronomy 7:7-8 which says, “The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor cho
ose you, because you were more in number than any people: for ye were the fewest of all
people: but because the Lord loved you.”
“the grace of God was displayed in a more special form, when of the same family of Abra
ham God rejected some,” and then he refers to Malachi 1:2-3 which explicitly states, “Wa
s not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau.” (21:6)
Calvin quotes this very text from Malachi in Romans to substantiate predestination. He th
en quotes from Romans 9:15, itself another quote from the Old Testament: “For he (the Lo
rd) saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compass
ion on whom I will have compassion.” Calvin then later asks, “And what pray, does this
mean? It is just a clear declaration by the Lord that he finds nothing in men themselves to i
nduce him to show kindness, that it is owing entirely to his own mercy, and, accordingly, t
hat their salvation is his own work. Since God places your salvation in himself alone, why
should you descend to yourself?” (22:6)
“We shall never feel persuaded as we ought that our salvation flows from the free
mercy of God as its fountain, until we are made acquainted with his eternal election
In Volume 4 of John Calvin’s Tracts and Letters, a letter written by Calvin in April of 1541 can be f
ound. It is a fairly lengthy letter written to Monsieur de Richebourg because his son Louis, a young
man, had recently died. Louis had been a student of Calvin at the Academy in Geneva, and the imp
act of his young friend’s death can be heard at the beginning of this letter to the deceased’s father:
“When I first received the intelligence of the death…of your son Louis, I was so utterly overpowere
d that for many days I was fit for nothing but to grieve…I was somehow upheld before the Lord by
those aids wherewith he sustains our souls in affliction, …however, I was almost a nonentity.”
Then listen to how Calvin uses the doctrine of predestination to minister to this grieving father:
There is nothing which is more dispiriting to us than while we vex and annoy ourselves with this so
rt of question – Why is it not otherwise with us? Why has it so happened that we came to this place
? [In other words, why has God allowed this to happen to us?] …It is God, therefore, who has soug
ht back from you your son, whom he committed to you to be educated, on the condition, that he mig
ht always be his own. And therefore, he took him away, because it was both of an advantage to him
to leave this world, and by this bereavement to humble you, or to make trial of your patience. If yo
u do not understand the advantage of this, without delay, first of all, set aside every other object of c
onsideration, and ask of God that he may show you. Should it be his will to exercise you still furthe
r, by concealing it from you, submit to that will, that you may become the wiser than the weakness
of your own understanding can ever attain to.”
The Westminster Confession of Faith is a Reformed confession of faith. Drawn up by the
1646 Westminster Assembly as part of the Westminster Standards to be a confession of t
he Church of England, it became and remains the 'subordinate standard' of doctrine in th
e Church of Scotland, and has been influential within Presbyterian churches worldwide.
In 1643, the English Parliament called upon "learned, godly and judicious Divines", to m
eet at Westminster Abbey in order to provide advice on issues of worship, doctrine, gove
rnment and discipline of the Church of England. Their meetings, over a period of five ye
ars, produced the confession of faith, as well as a Larger Catechism and a Shorter Catech
ism. For more than three centuries, various churches around the world have adopted the
confession and the catechisms as their standards of doctrine, subordinate to the Bible.
1. Are we Free moral agents?
2. What is the quality of our Freedom?
Does a person have free will?
What do you mean by “free will”?
Do you mean:
1. That a person is not forced from the outside to make a choice?
2. That a person is responsible for his or her choices?
3. That a person is the active agent in a choice made?
4. That a person is free to do whatever they desire?
5. That a person has the ability to choose contrary to their nature (
who they are)?
Libertarian Freedom: “The power of contrary choice.”
If you ask whether a person can choose against their nature (i.e. libertarian fre
edom) the answer, I believe, must be “no.” A person’s nature makes up who th
ey are. Who they are determines their choice. If there choice is determined, th
en the freedom is self-limited. Therefore, there is no “power” of contrary choi
ce for we cannot identify what or who this “power” might be.
St. Augustine was the first to deal with this issue in a comprehensive manne
r. Until the forth century, it was simply assumed that people were free and re
sponsible, but they had yet to flesh out what this meant. Augustine further el
aborated on the Christian understanding of freedom. He argued that people c
hoose according to who they are. If they are good, they make good choices.
If they are bad, they make bad choices. These choices are free, they just lack
liberty. In other words, a person does not become a sinner because they sin, t
hey sin because they are a sinner. It is an issue of nature first. If people are i
dentified with the fallen nature of Adam, then they will make choices simila
r to that of Adam because it is who they are. Yes, they are making a free cho
ice, but this choice does not include the liberty or freedom of contrary choic
If we are Free in the sense that we can choose between two things Without coercion.
then we are responsible for rejecting The Grace of God or accepting it. God’s judgement
then on the wicked is seen to be Just and the Glorification of the Righteous to an eternal
home in Heaven is the reward of their faithfulness in continuing in the TRUTH unto the end
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and
death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve;
whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the
gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have
dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and
over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and
female created he them.
King James Version (KJV)
3 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of ever
y tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, a
nd did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God am
ongst the trees of the garden.
9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go,
and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he
shall rule over thee.
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of i
t: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
The Genesis Account
The choice made by Eve and then Adam is as a result of their personal choice to disobey
God and follow the lie of Satan, which brought death and sin into the world. A simple reading of these
Scriptures without any Calvinist imposition would present the simple fact that the responsibility
for their transgression rests squarely upon them and so brought the
Condemnation of a Holy God. Nothing in this Biblical account suggest or implies that
God had orchestrated and determined their fall into sin, any attempt to do so is purely
reading into the scriptures what is not there and will surely bring down the curse and
promise of God written in the book of Revelation 22:18,19 For I testify unto every man that heareth
the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God
shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away
his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in
In Proverbs 30:4,6 it sates 5Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
6Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
All liers against the Holiness of God shall find themselves cut off from the promise of eternity
12And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work
14Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may
enter in through the gates into the city. 15For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and
murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
There is no true Freedom to choose in Calvinism, all things flow from God
and are determined by Him . What then are the implications?
Arthur Pink begins his book “The Sovereignty of God” with three chapters on “God’s
Sovereignty.” After citing the following key verses such as Eph. 1:11, which says that
God worketh all things after the counsel of his own will, he concludes with these words:
“The Lord God omnipotent reigneth. ... No revolving world, no shining of star, no
storm, no creature moves, no actions of men, no errands can come to pass otherwise
than God has eternally purposed” (p. 46).
Arthur Pink was born in Nottingham, England on 1 April 1886 and became a Christian in
1908, at the age of 22. Though born to Christian parents, prior to conversion he migrated
into a Theosophical society (the occult gnostic group which became precursor of the New
Age movement, popular in England during that time), and quickly rose in prominence
within their ranks. His conversion came from his father's patient admonitions from
Scripture. It was the verse, Proverbs 14:12, 'there is a way which seemeth right unto a
man, but the end thereof are the ways of death,' which particularly struck his heart and
compelled him to renounce Theosophy and follow Jesus.
The foundational error of Calvinism is to assign a definition to divine “sovereignty”
(a word that nowhere appears in Scripture but that is used in reference to God’s
Kingly omnipotence) that makes it impossible for man to have a choice in salvation,
even though the Bible says that he does, and then building upon that faulty foundation.
VERSES USED TO SUPPORT CALVINIST DEFINITION OF
Ephesians 1:11 -- “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated
according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”
Daniel 4:35 -- “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth
according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and
none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”
What does it mean that God does according to his will? Does it mean that he can
and will do evil as part of his divine will as Calvinism purports he does? First we need
to ask what is the Will of God according to what is stated in the Bible?
In Romans 12:1,2 it states 1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is
your reasonable service. 2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable,
and perfect, will of God.
Gal 1:4 4Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, acc
ording to the will of God and our Father:
Col 4:12 12Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring ferve
ntly for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God
Heb 8:10 10This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares t
he Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God
Rev 3:12 12Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no
more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, wh
ich is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him
my new name.
Isaiah 14:27 -- “For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his
hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?”
The context of this verse is simple and clear and speaks of God’s determination to
judge the nations. In verse 26 it states This is the purpose that is purposed upon the
whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. The
condemnations upon the Nations is due to sin and rebellion as stated in Psalms 2:1-5
1Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against t
he LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
3Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
4He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
5Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
Nothing stated in these verses suggest or supports any idea of Sovereign reprobation,
election, limited atonement or any other part of Calvin's five points of Grace. It
simply states the fact that, when God purposes something His will cannot be
Proverbs 21:30 -- “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.”
VERSES THAT ARE USED TO SUPPORT THE CALVINIST DOCTRINE
OF TOTAL DEPRAVITY (THE BONDAGE OF THE WILL)
According to the Calvinist doctrine of Total Depravity, man is not only unrighteous and dead
in trespasses and sins, he is like this in such a sense that he cannot even believe on Christ, he
cannot make any choice in regard to his salvation. Ever since the fall, man’s will has been in
bondage so that he cannot respond to God’s offer of grace, contrary to the many scripture
verses of invitation by God to receive his free gift of salvation: Joh 7:37 37In the last day,
that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto
me, and drink.
Isi 45:22 22Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there
is none else. (See also Rev 3:20-22; Matt 11:27-29; Joh 4:14; Rev 22:17; Joh 4:7-14 )
In the words of the Westminster Confession, Total Depravity is
defined as follows: “Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly
lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation;
so as a natural man being altogether averse from that good, and
dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to
prepare himself thereunto.”
“Man’s freedom of choice has been forfeited since the Fall. ... The Bible teaches human
inability and total depravity” (Arminianism Examined, p. 4).
Dr. Jeffrey Khoo, a Presbyterian who heads up
the Far Eastern Bible College in Singapore
When Dr. Khoo speaks of “human inability,” he means not only that the sinner
is unable to save himself by his own works but also that the sinner is unable,
incapable of responding to God’s free offer of salvation.
1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of
the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling t
he desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are save
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness towar
d us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before
ordained that we should walk in them.
11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircum
cision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and st
rangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ
1 Corinthians 2:14 -- “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for
they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually
2 Thessalonians 2:13 –
“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord,
because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of
the Spirit and belief of the truth.”
Arthur Pink uses this verse as proof for the Cal
vinist doctrine that the new birth precedes faith.
Scriptures that proves that Salvation involves our cooperation with God in a
definite way through obedience, and so, it is man who finally determines his Fate
through the exercise of his Free choice to the provisions made by God in Christ.
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should n
ot perish, but have everlasting life.
17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be s
18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he ha
th not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light,
because their deeds were evil.
20For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reprove
21But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in
Nothing in the above scriptures suggest or states that the choices made by men are determined, but tha
t it is they who bring their own condemnation or salvation to bare upon them through the acceptance or
rejection of the Grace of God found in Christ Jesus. Responsibility for being saved or lost therefore is deter
mined by the human agent exercising his free choice, while the plan of redemption is a free Gift provide
d by God so that none can boast. Eph 2:8-10
8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained
that we should walk in them.
2 Tim 2:19-26
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having th
is seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every
one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold an
d of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to hono
ur, and some to dishonour.
21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be
a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's u
se, and prepared unto every good work.
22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith,
charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure
23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that
they do gender strifes.
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentl
e unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if
God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowl
edging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare o
f the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
But after that the kindness and love of God our
Saviour toward man appeared,
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have
done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by
the washing of regeneration, and renewing of th
e Holy Ghost;
6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus
Christ our Saviour;
7 That being justified by his grace, we should be
made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will
that thou affirm constantly, that they which have
believed in God might be careful to maintain go
od works. These things are good and profitable u
1 John 2:28-3:5-12
28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and
not be ashamed before him at his coming.
29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.
3 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons
of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know t
hat, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin
6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is rig
8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose t
he Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin,
because he is born of God.
10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not right
eousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Be
cause his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.