The resolution of the Calvinism and Arminian debate

Hopefully I am not opening a hornets nest here as the previous post on Calvinism/pre-destination did not go well. Yesterday there was a comment posted by Deliah saying the following:

Im a Christian and I dont agree with Calvinist doctrine at all. I think its a false doctrine made by some guy who misinterept a Bible scripture and built a church out of it. I dont understand election because we all have free will on rather we want to recieve Christ or not and He wants us to make that choice. If thats not the case then were all a bunch of robots being controlled by God who wants to damn most of the human race to Hell all for the good pleasure of His will according to Calvinism. What an offensive, ogarish way to protray the living God.

It was because of this comment that I decided to do this post. A good friend of mine, David Wilkenson (Not to be confused with the pastor),  wrote a paper on actual Molinism. He gave his permision for me to publish it here. Here is what he says about the paper:

So I did this research paper on this philosopher in the 1500’s named Molina. He was an absolutely brilliant man, who does a tremendous job reconciling perfect divine predestination with totally free will. It’s too bad that he was less known (or less listened to) among Protestants because what he has to say is in my opinion a nearly flawless resolution of the Calvinism and Arminian debate.

The paper can be found on Google Docs HERE or direct from this site by clicking Actual Molinism.

I am not doing this post to convince anyone, but just as some good food for thought, prayer and discussion. Hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

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16 thoughts on “The resolution of the Calvinism and Arminian debate

  1. Wickus,

    Thank you for posting this thread. I have visited a new Church here in San Antonio. It is a “Reformed” Church. I don’t know much about Calvinism, but I know that this Church follows the doctrines of Calvinism, as the Pastor of the Church mentioned it. I have asked God if this Church is right for me, and my family – and ironically, if I can even call it irony; you have posted this thread. I am hoping that others will comment on this, topic – my wife feels as if this Church may be a “cult”. She never really comments on things about the Church, but this is what she has told me. I’m asking for all who may have some insight on this to please help me out.

    Thanks in advance.

    Baldy

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  2. Hi Mr B

    I’m not an expert in the different ‘isms. The main reason for this post is to try to make sense of predestination. But let me share with you what I know.

    The two most famous Calvinist preachers that I know is John Macarthur and Paul Washer. Most people love Macarthur and many don’t like Washer. I guess that shows how different Calvinistic teachings can be.

    Here in South Africa we have the Dutch Reformed Church and the Reformed Church. They are also Calvinists, but if you compare their teachings with Macarthur and Washer, it is totally different. They have this strange teaching of infant baptism. They believe that if the baby is baptized, he is then part of the new covenant and therefore predestined as a child of God. Sounds a lot like the RCC. We all know that this teaching is a lot of nonsense.

    What I am trying to show is that Calvinism can differ from church to church. That is why I will not promote any church or ism. Find out what your local church teach and decide from there. I am sure the Lord will show you the truth about that church.

    Maybe someone else will be of more help.

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  3. If you want to get to the heart of the issue on Calvinisim, you have to go to the doctrine of Election. I know there are 4 other points – but that seems to be the one that is so distasteful for so many. I was actually listening to a message from MacArthur on my way in to work this morning (I have the blessing of a very long commute) on this doctrine.
    http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/60-2/Chosen-by-God-Part-1
    here’s a link to the first part – there are two more there.

    My favorite quote from the whole message:
    “Hey, you may not be the choice of the world but you are the choice of God.”

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  4. And my favorite quote from the bible is this:

    Joh 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
    Joh 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

    I listen to no man, or his created doctrines. Been there too many times in the past and will not go back. Only the bible for me

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  5. “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” John 15:16

    No one teaching the doctrine of election is teaching a man created doctrine.

    “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” John 15:19

    “For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. Deuteronomy 7:6

    And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” John 6:65

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
    In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:3-14

    and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. Revelation 13:8

    We who believe must not be so proud to believe that we accepted the Lord as our savior in some act of self-orginating wisdom, that we could see truth of the Gospel on our own. No, if we came to Christ on our knees with a broken heart, it’s because God had the grace on us to plant a seed of his own will in our fallen despicable hearts.

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Peter 1:3 ESV

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  6. thanks justasheep. the Word is clear. anyone who is like-minded with the Scripture is holding the Truth above the mind of any man. what you said:We who believe must not be so proud to believe that we accepted the Lord as our savior in some act of self-orginating wisdom, that we could see truth of the Gospel on our own. No, if we came to Christ on our knees with a broken heart, it’s because God had the grace on us to plant a seed of his own will in our fallen despicable hearts. amen!

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  7. As today we see the steady march of Turkey’s relations away from the EU and Israel and closer to Iran and Russia.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16306376
    Turkey retaliates over French ‘genocide’ bill
    “Ankara is recalling its ambassador and freezing political visits as well as joint military projects, including exercises, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.”

    The prophecy of Ezekiel 38, and the alignment of nations that would have been unthinkable a few years ago gradually takes shape.

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  8. “We who believe must not be so proud to believe that we accepted the Lord as our savior in some act of self-orginating wisdom, that we could see truth of the Gospel on our own. ”

    The holy spirit whom Jesus sent and told his disciples about was poured out for the whole world back on the day of Pentecost, remember that?

    But right, I am one of those who is so proud to think that I heard the truth of the gospel and being convicted by the holy spirit and pricked in the heart, believed and responded in faith towards God in Jesus Christ. So I am one who did not repent on my knees with a broken heart, how wonderful that you and those who speak this way know how each and every individual has come to the Lord or should come to the Lord

    Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

    I really love it when the only argument you can come up with is to put words into my mouth or in this case my fingers typed that were never spoken. Oh yes I accepted the Lord in some act of self originating wisdom, that is exactly how it happened. You are so wise and so all knowing apparently. Since the holy spirit is still working on the hearts of man, at least as far as I know from the scriptures, I do believe, an important part of salvation and being baptized into the body of Jesus Christ. Baptized with the spirit and with fire.

    Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    So I guess none of these men repented as Peter instructed them right?

    Act 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
    Act 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

    Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    Act 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
    Act 2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
    Act 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

    Joh 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
    Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
    Joh 16:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
    Joh 16:10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
    Joh 16:11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
    Joh 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
    Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
    Joh 16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
    Joh 16:15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
    Joh 16:16 A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.

    Gen 15:5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
    Gen 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
    Gen 15:7 And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.

    I am done with this debate because the ones of you who listen to the words of men in preaching doctrines out of context, and taking scriptures out of context will continue to do so You try to say you came up with this from the bible but then tell me that you are listening to all of these great sermons and preachers, yeah right?
    You can just as easily listen to the words of the bible now and read them for yourself without any of the preconceived notions. Go ahead and follow Calvin, or Luther, or John MacArthur, or Paul Washer or any of the other ones you find that you like. All of them have some truth, but none have the very words of life that we have in our bibles.

    I am thankful for the reformation in that finally the truth could be out for common man to read on his own, once he learned to read, and they did not have to be led by false priests, but now we have those who pick the reformers who wrote up all their own theology books, etc.

    Many men died so that the bible could be printed in languages we can read. But I do not base my beliefs on any of their writings, nor the writings of Augustine which many of them still followed after leaving the Roman Catholic Church, however keeping the sacrament of infant baptism etc. So they had all the truth right?

    As I said there is a real lack of awareness of the role of the Holy Spirit in all of this, and I think as the reformers were coming out of darkness of the Roman Catholic Babylonian system, they taught as they were learning.

    Now because many in the church today have taken the truth of the working of the holy spirit out of context and made blasphemous doctrines does not mean that He still does not work in leading us to Jesus. As we are told in the scriptures.

    And I think I will just take my proud self off this blogsite now and not return to earnestly contend for the faith once entrusted to the saints.

    Faith come by hearing and hearing the word of God.

    Act 14:27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.

    Gal 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

    Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
    Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
    Rom 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
    Rom 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
    Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

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  9. I’m sorry Roma – I didn’t mean to accuse you of anything. I can sometimes be brusque in the interest of being brief or getting a message typed before I have to go on to some other responsibility at home.

    I do disagree with your assessment that the ism many refer to as Calvinism is based on some kind of heresy, and tried to do my best to point it out scripturally. I hope you wouldn’t abandon the fellowship of watchers here over a fine distinction of Arminianism vs Calvinism. I believe we both hold the scriptures in the same regard – yet from the text reach a shade different emphasis based on the context.

    If you criticism is less my emphasis on God’s sovereignty over the universe and his role in election – and more of my citing guys like Macarthur, washer et al, I have more ground to agree with you and see your point. I think today we put some men who are able and eloquent bible teachers up on such a pedestal that leads them into great struggles with their own sin nature especially with pride. If you are doing this, You are right in pointing out that the existence of so-called “rock-star preachers” is a very disturbing thing, if you’ll allow me to make that assumption (which I admit I’m putting words in your mouth but am guessing they are things you’d agree with). I don’t think that we should discount that some men have been called to be elders and teachers in the church – and we should heed their exhortations from the scriptures, all the while being like the Bereans. The emphasis though is probably better placed on encouraging the elders and leaders in our own local fellowship to grow and able men that are able to give sound teaching according the scripture.

    So to have me sum up – I think we disagree in a slight way over election/free-will, and I take your wise counsel when it comes to putting men up on pedestal and hope you can forgive me for my words that came across as harsh or putting words in your mouth.

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  10. there might be some slight difference between what justasheep and roma believe but what is that among friends? it is not a major doctrinal issue that need separate anyone for what i can see. we quote all kinds of people here and make our own statements but still-as it was wise to note-we tend to be bereans here and certainly encourage that for others too. (part of why i like this site so much) end of the day–we are trusting the Holy Spirit-our Helper and Teacher (john 14:16,17,26) to wave a red flag for us if there is error in matters of what the Scripture says. He is the One Who really does the edifying of spirits of any and all. i pray that we are letting Him be the One to graciously enlighten those who are in need of more light (i sure fit that catergory). washer and macarthur are good teachers with the gift of exhortation but it is the Holy Spirit Who we must rely upon to illumine the Word of God-this we know and can continue to encourage each other in. justasheeps’ comment written above spoke in a general way-that the humble-the poor in spirit are the ones in all the worlds peoples to respond to the Call of God by His Gracious Choosing-if i understood his bottom line. (if i’m wrong-i’m wrong for Jesus to make right)……..

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  11. Hi All,

    I wanted to thank those of you who have responded to this thread. Life is short. I just lost my mother over the Christmas Holiday, it it has been a very hard moment for me. I do realize that life goes on. Now is a time for me to get even deeper into the Word of God, and realize that life is Individual. And it truly is individual.

    Men often get caught up into their own self importance, that they miss the mark. The mark is Christ.

    I beleive that I have found the answer concerning “election”; “predestinatioin”; being “chosen” vs being “called”; and “free will”. It is both. Meaning there are those that God has sovereignly chosen – and there are those who will hear his voice when they are called. It is their choice, and they will chose to believe in Him. It is an open invitation.

    Again Wickus, thank you for posting this very important topic. It seems to cause a lot of confusion amoung the body of Christ, and it has even cause those to separate themselves from Bible teaching Churches because of theolgical beliefs – that has absolutely nothing to do with Salvation. That was a very deep statment that I just made. But it’s about obedience that reflects a life of belonging to Christ, it has absolutely nothing to do with us, and what theolgcical beliefs we may interpret in our own thinking….but it is, and always will be ALL to do about Christ.

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  12. mr. baldy, God bless you brother at this difficult time. i praise God for the powerful work of His Holy Spirit Who is your Comfort and for your family as well-He is faithful-and Who is giving your heart the blessing of Wisdom that goes even deeper that your well spoken words. it is both-that is it all about Jesus or it is about nothing at all. we know—–He Chose the Cross. from the Cross He Calls with an Echo from Eternity that any man whose heart has been made humble (His ways with each of us will either work repentance or stir up pride) may come and receive that Gracious Offering and be saved in that repenting believing choice from the broken heart found in sinners who know their deepest need. hallelujah! what a Saviour is our God and King Jesus Christ the Lord! may His tenderest Mercies pour out upon you mr. baldy and family and upon us all who are longing to see That Face and touch Those Scars that so loving prove that God is Alpha and Omega-the Beginning and End of it all. in Him everything is Right. and Peace. and Joy. and Life Without End>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>love to you all in His Dear Name.

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  13. Mr. Baldy – our hearts go out to you as you are seperated from your mom. Praying for you and your family that he will comfort you as only he can, as we wait for the day when he wipes every tear from our eyes.

    Thank you for what you’ve said – in the end what is there is only that we know Jesus Christ crucified and him crucified.

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  14. Mr Baldy, so sorry to hear about your loss. I lost my nephew, only 53 years old unexpectedly on New Year’s morning and a good friend just yesterday. Many in my family have gone on. All I can say is that I praise God that they all knew our Lord Jesus and that I will see them again. Thanks for posting your resolution to this matter as well.

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  15. praise God for the hope that is alive inside you romalynn. was thinking of folks here on this site knowing that we are all grappling with very big things that just come with living in a sin-cursed world-in sin-cursed bodies—but our hope in Jesus takes us out and above all that into the realm of Peace and even Joy while tears roll down our faces in the here and now. thank God for the future and hope that rests in hearts that believe. i am encouraged by each and all of you that your faith in Christ Jesus shines out in dark days giving God all the Glory. God bless you and the family. i continue to think of mr. baldy and his family as well-praying for the Mercies of the God of all Comfort into every hurt and need. love to all in Jesus’ name.

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