Calvinisim and Arminianism

Calvinism is a theological word (coming from Calvin), that reflects an attempt to organise and synthesise biblical information concerning the call and the response of man to God, and the overall power of God to protect the ‘called’ who 'believe'. Calvinism as a theological idea communicates the following:

  1. Total depravity; sin includes for all of humanity, furthermore we are by nature incapable of following God without His divine help. This does not mean every person is fully depraved and evil, as sin is a path.
  2. Unconditional election means that our salvation is unconditionally placed in God's choice from eternity past and not based on individual human merit.
  3. Limited atonement means that it was designed for some but not all of humanity. Jesus The Christ provided atonement for all men but applied only to those who believe. This is called the 'half point’ which diverges slightly from traditional Calvinism.
  4. Irresistible grace: the certainty of salvation for those whom 'God has called'. The Holy Spirit overcomes man's natural resistance to God's call for everyone who receives the call.
  5. Perseverance/preservation of the saints, is the eternal security of the believer and that nothing man can do eclipses God's call.

See predestination

The other position and in some opposition to Calvinism is Arminianism, another Christian movement and a liberal reaction to the Calvinist doctrine of predestination. In essence early in the 17th century this movement asserted that God’s sovereignty and man’s free will are compatible.

The five points of the Arminian Remonstrance (demonstration statement) is as follows:

  1. Election (and condemnation on the day of judgment) was conditioned by the rational faith or non-faith of man.
  2. The Atonement, while qualitatively adequate for all men, was efficacious only for the man of faith.
  3. Unaided by the Holy Spirit, no person is able to respond to God’s will.
  4. Grace is not irresistible.
  5. Believers are able to resist sin but are not beyond the possibility of falling from grace. The crux of Remonstrant Arminianism lay in the assertion that human dignity requires an unimpaired freedom of the will.

The predesniation challenges for these two positions are refocused if we try to view humanity from a viewpoint that is not bound by time and space in the linear form that we naturally experience human life: day by day, from year 1 to 100. Instead, if we realign ourselves with the scriptural position that God is the great I am, the Alpha and the Omega, the before and after, we can find ouselves refocusing on miracle of Christ and Christ crucified, because this event is both an event in time, from outside time and for all time. In comprehending this our understanding of predestination becomes realigned with God and not our own ideas.

When we open our mind on this subject, memories of scripture return to our thoughts and make much more sense. Like, Christ knowing who are His, and for both Testaments the chosen role of Israel, for the New Testament Jesus and Paul talk about the behavioural evidences of a true believer not by works, by manifestation evidence. The First (Old) Testament scriptures refer to the Messiah and Redeemer being efficacious then yet before his birth, all this now makes sense if we look at the condition of predestination outside of our human limitation of time and space.

In short, avoid division altogether by agreed that God knows all and has given us Christ crucified and Christ knows who are his.

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