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Christian Theology: 5 Ways Calvinism Differs From Arminianism

By    |   Wednesday, 20 Jan 2016 02:34 PM

The Christian Reformation that Martin Luther spawned evolved into a new Christian theology under the inspired teachings of John Calvin.

Dutch theologian Jacob Arminius embraced Calvinism early in his biblical studies before ultimately taking exception to some of the doctrines espoused by Calvin with regard to God's purposes in providing salvation to the elect.

Arminianism, while drawing much from Calvin holds different views on some key doctrinal points.

Listed are five ways in which Calvinism differs from Arminianism.

1. Predestination

Calvinism teaches that God ordained a portion of humanity to be saved, these individuals are referred to as "the elect" while the remainder of the souls born into mortality are destined to damnation.

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The Calvinist Corner explains predestination as it relates to God's sovereignty: "He has the absolute authority, right, and ability to do with His creation as He pleases. He has the right to elect some to salvation and let all the rest go their natural way: to hell."

Arminianism teaches man was predestined based on his free will, God foresaw who would respond to his call and their response is conditioned on their faith, not directed by God.

2. The Depravity of Man

Calvin deemed man to be in a state of total depravity or ungodliness as a result of the fall of Adam.

Man's redemption occurs only by God's gift of salvation bestowed upon the elect of his choosing and not through any efforts of man himself.

Arminius reasoned that while man is sinful by nature, due to Adam's fall, God's spirit influences man to seek redemption and it is the elect who listen to the Spirit and respond.

3. The Atonement

Calvinists believe Jesus Christ's atonement for sin is intended only for the elect. Arminianists believe Christ's atonement was universal in nature, that Christ died for the sins of all humankind and anyone who seeks God's forgiveness can claim the sacrifice on their behalf.

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According to Theopedia, "the atonement is seen as a universally effective propitiation and the basis for a universal offer of salvation."

4. God's Grace

Calvin proposed that God's grace was irresistible and the Holy Spirit would communicate the call to salvation unto the elect. Therefore, the elect are inevitably led to God and receive redemption through no effort of their own.

Calvinists point to John 6:44 "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."

Arminius rationed that individuals could reject God's call by yielding to the sinful nature of man and thereby willingly accept damnation.

5. Fall from Grace

Because Calvin furthered the belief that the elect were going to be saved regardless, he also held to the concept that those predestined for salvation could not fall away or lose the privilege that God bestowed upon them.

Calvinists reference I John 5:13 "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life" when referencing biblical support for the perseverance of the elect.

Arminius insisted that is was incumbent for the redeemed to endure to the end or risk loosing their salvation.

Calvinism holds to the belief that God alone is responsible for the salvation of the elect. While recognizing the power of the Almighty, Arminianism contends that man's choices determine who the elect are.

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The Christian Reformation that Martin Luther spawned evolved into a new Christian theology under the inspired teachings of John Calvin. Dutch theologian Jacob Arminius embraced Calvinism early in his biblical studies before ultimately taking exception to some of the doctrines espoused by Calvin.
christian, theology, calvinism, arminianism, differs
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2016-34-20
Wednesday, 20 Jan 2016 02:34 PM
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