Sunday, September 19, 2010

Three Views Calvinism, Arminianism and "iggyism": or just some theological riffing

I am fully aware that this is way over simplified... But for discussion.... any thoughts?

John CalvinFoundation laid by Augustine
John WesleyFoundation laid by Arminius
Foundation laid by Irenaeus and The Bible

Total Depravity - Human beings are so affected by the negative consequences of original sin that they are incapable of being righteous, and are always and unchangeably sinful; human freedom is totally enslaved by sin so we can only choose evil.
Deprivation - Human beings are sinful and without God, incapable (deprived) on their own of being righteous; however, they are not irredeemably sinful and can be transformed by God’s grace; God's prevenient grace restores to humanity the freedom of will.
Innocent until one sins – Man has a predisposition to sin. We have had our eyes open to see the difference between good and evil, given statutes and laws that step by step give us all the mercy and grace and forgiveness and blessings of God, yet have not the moral consistency to live it out.  All men eventually sin thus only by sacrifice of blood can man be forgiven.
Unconditional Election - Since human beings cannot choose for themselves, God by His eternal decree has chosen or elected some to be counted as righteous, without any conditions being placed on that election.
Conditional Election - God has chosen that all humanity be righteous by His grace, yet has called us to respond to that grace by exercising our God-restored human freedom as a condition of fulfilling election.
Conditional Election modified– All have been forgiven once and for all through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Yet, not all are saved. Man must lay down his free will as a living sacrifice and receive the Life of Christ Jesus in order to be saved. Once one has converted, he is predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.
Limited Atonement - The effects of the Atonement, by which God forgave sinful humanity, are limited only to those whom He has chosen.
Unlimited Atonement - The effects of the Atonement are freely available to all those whom He has chosen, which includes all humanity, "whosoever will."
Unlimited Atonement – Not only was the whosoever -will atoned for but the whole of creation. Except save the fallen Angels.

Irresistible Grace - The grace that God extends to human beings to effect their election cannot be refused, since it has been decreed by God.
Resistible Grace - God’s grace is free and offered without merit; however, human beings have been granted freedom by God and can refuse His grace.
Sustaining Grace – God’s grace sustains all creation. For if God so willed He could say, “no more” and nothing would exist. This is contrary to the character of God. There is the calling of the Holy Spirit or wooing, then the conversion. Conversion can be instant or may take a lifetime or be denied or forfeited, thus not accepting salvation and being later cast into the Lake of Fire.
Perseverance of the Saints - Since God has decreed the elect, and they cannot resist grace, they are unconditionally and eternally secure in that election.
Assurance and Security - There is security in God’s grace that allows assurance of salvation, but that security is in relation to continued faithfulness; we can still defiantly reject God.
Assurance and Eternal Security – Once one has gone through conversion he is no longer subject to this world, but is now subject to the works of Christ Jesus whose works are final and complete. No man can remove salvation from himself for it is not of himself as it is God’s salvation given to us by His Grace, through Faith in Jesus Christ

To sum it up, Calvinism denies that God is truly sovereign as He is subject to the system and is without a true free will. Armenianism puts too much on mans works to justify a person as only by the blood of Jesus are we justified and kept pure. It is not by works we are saved, nor is it by works our salvation is maintained, as it is God's salvation given to us through His Grace, through faith in His Son. A bit of a disclaimer, I wrote this up about 5 years ago, and re-reading it I am not satisfied with some phrasing or ideas.


Joe said...

I liked this so much that I linked your blog to mine. I hope you don't mind.

"Iggyism." I like that.

Joe said...

Would you mind e-mailing me a copy of this piece? I like it a lot and would like to use it for a discussion in my Sunday School class.

Bill said...

Really? God isn't sovereign because he's limited by the system? What you're saying is that since fallen man with is fallen will cannot choose God, God's choices are limited. You're making man sovereign and God subject to man's will.

Calvinism's first presupposition is that God is sovereign and acts according to his own will and that all of creation is subject to his will.

However, God is limited by his nature. He cannot do evil. He is faithful. What he promises he will do and he cannot... will not deviate from it. He is light and in him there is no darkness.

Read Ephesians 1 and 2. There you will read that he chose us IN CHRIST before the foundation of the world, "according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace."

Since before the foundation of the world, we have been united with Christ. According to the scriptures, we died with him and we were raised with him and we will be seated in the heavenly places with him. We didn't BECOME united to him at conversion (though we needed to be raised from the dead at a point of his choosing). That's why we have atonement and those who are not chosen do not, thus they are going to hell.

iggy said...


God can limit Himself... but to put God in a box assumes that the system is big enough to contain all God is. I see that as rather plain to see as impossible. A system is imperfect. Even my own ideas are imperfect and in a continuous state of review.

The first point, God is sovereign in the strict definition of what many Calvinist hold, would mean that God created evil. If as you stated,"However, God is limited by his nature. He cannot do evil." you cut across what many Calvinist hold true. To create evil is to have the capability to do evil.

I do not believe God creates evil. I hold that what you stated about God is true. That evil is not part of God's nature at all.

Personally I think you need to look over the chart closer. I am not saying that all are represented perfectly, not even my view, but that I tried to hold to the core of the teachings as many hold them.

If you were to read Calvin's works compared to most MODERN Calvinists, I think Calvin would be confused why his name is associated with MODERN Calvinists at all.

Thanks for you thoughts.