Classical Arminianism: The Theology of Salvation

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Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Classical Arminianism by F. A Theology of Salvation by F. This book is a valuable contribution to the Arminian-Calvinist debate. Forlines and Pinson have worked together to provide a good resource from an Arminian interpretation. Forlines is known for his work on this subject having previously published "Quest for Truth" with Randall House in This new book takes the content related to the doctrine of salvation from that ori This book is a valuable contribution to the Arminian-Calvinist debate.

This new book takes the content related to the doctrine of salvation from that original work arranging it in logical order in a more reader-friendly fashion. Pinson added his introduction to the work and edited the content related to the doctrine of salvation.

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This is an excellent resource for study of the Arminian view for those seeking to defend their theological position. Paperback , pages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

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To ask other readers questions about Classical Arminianism , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Classical Arminianism. Lists with This Book. Dec 28, Weston Durrwachter rated it liked it. Being somewhat of a sojourner when it comes to soteriology, I was excited to read this book. Unfortunately, this book wasn't as great as as I hoped it would be. Forlines writing was quite sporadic and I had a hard time connecting his thoughts throughout each chapter. The book would have been much more enjoyable to read if it was better organiz Being somewhat of a sojourner when it comes to soteriology, I was excited to read this book.

The book would have been much more enjoyable to read if it was better organized. Overall, I agreed with much of Forlines's criticisms of Calvinistic soteriology. Furthermore, I appreciated Forlines thoughts on Romans 9 while I don't fully endorse his view and his criticisms of Wesleyan Arminianism. Being a little unsure in matters of soteriology, I'm still a little uneasy about the possibility of apostasy.

Forlines makes some good points in his arguments that apostasy is possible, but I will have to continue to study those issues to better understand my own perspectives on the issue. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Arminian theology. It's a great book for those unfamiliar with Arminianism to read. While I hoped and expected for more in this book, I will say that it's a great place to start when looking for books on Arminian theology.

Mar 07, Chris Talbot rated it really liked it. If one seeks to understand God through His revealed word, the Bible, then theology is inevitable.

In a culture of diverse theological opinions, a biblical perspective on systematic theology is scarce to say the least. Even more rare is an academic Arminian theology, particularly since Calvinism is dominant in many evangelical seminaries in America. That is the precise reason F. The reason for this is found in his balanced treatment of biblical texts, leading to well-reasoned arguments on the nature of salvation and God.

Pinson reconstructed the material under more concise headings, and outlined the subject matter more sequentially. As for the book, its thesis is simple: Forlines accomplishes this goal with sound logic and diligence. He surveys a wide host of scholars, even citing those who generally oppose his viewpoints e. In so doing, he gives a fair evaluation to their theological statements, but logically reasons to reaffirm his own thesis. For example, he emphasizes the importance of fair scholastic evaluation even in dealing with the view of apostasy: The organization of the book is simple.

The emerging Baptist movement in 17th-century England, for example, was a microcosm of the historic debate between Calvinists and Arminians. The first Baptists—called " General Baptists " because of their confession of a "general" or unlimited atonement—were Arminians. The General Baptists encapsulated their Arminian views in numerous confessions, the most influential of which was the Standard Confession of In the s the Particular Baptists were formed, diverging strongly from Arminian doctrine and embracing the strong Calvinism of the Presbyterians and Independents.

Their robust Calvinism was publicized in such confessions as the London Baptist Confession of and the Second London Confession of This same dynamic between Arminianism and Calvinism can be seen in the heated discussions between friends and fellow Anglican ministers John Wesley and George Whitefield. Wesley was a champion of Arminian teachings, defending his soteriology in a periodical titled The Arminian and writing articles such as Predestination Calmly Considered. He defended Arminianism against charges of semi-Pelagianism , holding strongly to beliefs in original sin and total depravity.

At the same time, Wesley attacked the determinism that he claimed characterized unconditional election and maintained a belief in the ability to lose salvation. Wesley also clarified the doctrine of prevenient grace and preached the ability of Christians to attain to perfection fully mature, not "sinlessness". While Wesley freely made use of the term "Arminian," he did not self-consciously root his soteriology in the theology of Arminius but was highly influenced by 17th-century English Arminianism and thinkers such as John Goodwin , Jeremy Taylor and Henry Hammond of the Anglican "Holy Living" school, and the Remonstrant Hugo Grotius.

Advocates of both Arminianism and Calvinism find a home in many Protestant denominations, and sometimes both exist within the same denomination. Denominations leaning in the Calvinist direction are grouped as the Reformed churches and include Particular Baptists , Reformed Baptists , Presbyterians , and Congregationalists. The majority of Southern Baptists , including Billy Graham , accept Arminianism with an exception allowing for a doctrine of perseverance of the saints "eternal security".

Lutherans espouse a view of salvation and election distinct from both the Calvinist and Arminian schools of soteriology. The current scholarly support for Arminianism is wide and varied. One particular thrust is a return to the teachings of Arminius. Recent influence of the New Perspective on Paul movement has also reached Arminianism — primarily through a view of corporate election. The New Perspective scholars propose that the 1st-century Second Temple Judaism understood election primarily as national Israelites and racial Jews , not as individual.

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Their conclusion is thus that Paul's writings on election should be interpreted in a similar corporate light. Arminian theology usually falls into one of two groups — Classical Arminianism, drawn from the teaching of Jacobus Arminius — and Wesleyan Arminian, drawing primarily from Wesley. Both groups overlap substantially. Classical Arminianism is the theological system that was presented by Jacobus Arminius and maintained by some of the Remonstrants ; [15] its influence serves as the foundation for all Arminian systems.

A list of beliefs is given below:. On whether a believer could commit apostasy i. But this security was not unconditional but conditional—"provided they [believers] stand prepared for the battle, implore his help, and be not wanting to themselves, Christ preserves them from falling.

After the death of Arminius in , the Remonstrants maintained their leader's view on conditional security and his uncertainty regarding the possibility of believers committing apostasy. This is evidenced in the fifth article drafted by its leaders in They formalized their views in "The Opinion of the Remonstrants" The core beliefs of Jacobus Arminius and the Remonstrants are summarized as such by theologian Stephen Ashby:. John Wesley has historically been the most influential advocate for the teachings of Arminian soteriology.

Wesley thoroughly agreed with the vast majority of what Arminius himself taught, maintaining strong doctrines of original sin, total depravity, conditional election, prevenient grace, unlimited atonement, and the possibility of apostasy. Since the time of Arminius, his name has come to represent a very large variety of beliefs. Some of these beliefs, such as Pelagianism and semi-Pelagianism see below are not considered to be within Arminian orthodoxy and are dealt with elsewhere.

Some doctrines, however, do adhere to the Arminian foundation and, while minority views, are highlighted below. 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 determined or "settled" because people have not made their free decisions yet.

God therefore knows the future partially in possibilities human free actions rather than solely certainties divinely determined events. 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. Some Arminians, such as professor and theologian Robert Picirilli, reject the doctrine of open theism as a "deformed Arminianism". 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:. The majority Arminian view is that election is individual and based on God's foreknowledge of faith, but a second perspective deserves mention. These Arminians reject the concept of individual election entirely, preferring to understand the doctrine in corporate terms. According to this corporate election, God never chose individuals to elect to salvation, but rather He chose to elect the believing church to salvation.

Dutch Reformed theologian Herman Ridderbos says "[The certainty of salvation] does not rest on the fact that the church belongs to a certain "number", but that it belongs to Christ, from before the foundation of the world.

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Fixity does not lie in a hidden decree, therefore, but in corporate unity of the Church with Christ, whom it has come to know in the gospel and has learned to embrace in faith. Corporate election draws support from a similar concept of corporate election found in the Old Testament and Jewish law. Indeed most biblical scholarship is in agreement that Judeo-Greco-Roman thought in the 1st century was opposite of the Western world's "individual first" mantra — it was very collectivist or communitarian in nature.

As a result of the new covenant, God's chosen people are now the corporate body of Christ, the church sometimes called spiritual Israel — see also Covenant theology. These individuals act as members of the group to which they belong, and what happens to them happens by virtue of their membership in the group. These scholars also maintain that Jesus was the only human ever elected and that individuals must be "in Christ" Eph 1: This was, in fact, Swiss Reformed theologian, Karl Barth 's, understanding of the doctrine of election.

Joseph Dongell, professor at Asbury Theological Seminary, states "the most conspicuous feature of Ephesians 1: Whenever one is incorporated into him by grace through faith, one comes to share in Jesus' special status as chosen of God. Only as members of that community do individuals share in the benefits of God's gracious choice. Understanding Arminianism is aided by understanding the theological alternatives: Pelagianism , Semi-Pelagianism , Lutheranism , and Calvinism.

Arminianism, like any major belief system, is frequently misunderstood both by critics and would-be supporters. Arminian beliefs compared to other Protestants. This table summarizes the classical views of three Protestant beliefs about salvation. Many Calvinist critics of Arminianism, both historically and currently, claim that Arminianism condones, accepts, or even explicitly supports Pelagianism or Semi-Pelagianism.

Arminius referred to Pelagianism as "the grand falsehood" and stated that he "must confess that I detest, from my heart, the consequences [of that theology]. Ever since Arminius and his followers revolted against Calvinism in the early 17th century, Protestant soteriology has been largely divided between Calvinism and Arminianism. The extreme of Calvinism is hyper-Calvinism , which insists that signs of election must be sought before evangelization of the unregenerate takes place and that the eternally damned have no obligation to repent and believe, and on the extreme of Arminianism is Pelagianism , which rejects the doctrine of original sin on grounds of moral accountability; but the overwhelming majority of Protestant , evangelical pastors and theologians hold to one of these two systems or somewhere in between.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. They should not be confused with, respectively, Armanism and Armenians. Evangelicalism Charismatic movement Neo-charismatic movement. Nondenominational churches House churches. History of Calvinist—Arminian debate and Free will in theology. The Five Articles of Remonstrance. History in the United States. Articles of Religion Assurance of salvation Conditional preservation of the saints. Four sources of theological authority.

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John Wesley Charles Wesley. Holiness movement Conservative holiness movement Pentecostalism Evangelicalism. Conditional election and Corporate election. History of Calvinist—Arminian debate. Total depravity Original sin Prevenient grace Synergism Unlimited atonement hypothetical universalism Substitutionary atonement Satisfaction theory Penal substitution Moral government Libertarian free will Conditional election Individual election on the basis of foreseen faith Corporate election Conditional preservation of the saints. The doctrine could be upheld if it is implied in other biblical teachings and not negated by scripture.

For instance, the Bible teaches that there is only one God and that three persons claim to be God. So the conclusion we are forced to reach in order to avoid heresy is to affirm that there is a God who is one in essence but three in persons. There is no one verse that explicitly teaches this to be true, but it is strongly inferred by other teachings and not negated elsewhere in scripture.

What Is Classical Arminianism?

So does the doctrine of prevenient grace operate in the same manner? This paper believes that it does. First, what other clear teachings of the Bible imply the doctrine of prevenient grace? One, the Bible declares that God is genuinely remorseful when sinners do not respond to His calling. Jesus was clearly distraught when Jerusalem was unwilling to be gathered to Him Matt. We know that Judah failed to listen to God, the solution that the Calvinists offers is that God only offered them an external call rather than the inward call that would have resulted in their repentance.

In other words, the true intentions of God cannot be discerned from his words. It would seem that prevenient grace better explains these passages in that it teaches that God genuinely wants them to repent but they refused His grace; thus explaining His saddened reactions. Second, Scripture charges us to preach the gospel, without exception, to all of humanity. Walls and Joseph R. IVP, , How would this work if prevenient grace were not true? On one hand, Jesus is offering salvation to those who believe. But why make such an offer to everyone if He does not give the grace to everyone enabling them to believe?

On the other hand, He condemns those who refuse to believe. But would it be considered just to require someone to do something they lack the capacity to do? The Calvinists are, of course, aware of such passages.

It invites all men without distinction to drink freely of the water of life and live. Outwardly, He gives the appearance that He desires all to be saved, but inwardly He withholds grace to make it so. The only reason, therefore, someone ultimately winds up in hell is because God chose not to save them. But are there any passages that demonstrate prevenient grace to be false and irresistible grace is true? Often, Calvinists typically point to John 3: But all these passages indicate is that grace is necessary in order to respond positively to the gospel invitation.

No one can say that Jesus is Lord, without the working of the Holy Spirit in our minds and wills. Furthermore, it cannot be definitively demonstrated that it contradicts the Bible. Lastly, the alternative irresistible grace makes God the ultimate reason as why people go to hell. He could have saved them while leaving their will in tact, but simply chose not to. The Extent of the Atonement According to Calvinism Calvinists believe that while Christ was sufficient to save everyone, it is only intended for those that God unilaterally determined to be the elect.

The non elect experience the common grace of God everyday of their lives and experiencing great joy along the way. The Extent of the Atonement According to Arminianism Arminians, on the other hand, believe that the atonement of Christ was intended for everyone but only applied to those who would freely in the libertarian sense believe.

To believe that Christ provided salvation for only some, would strongly imply that God does not sincerely love the non elect. All Christians agree that God is love. The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! Furthermore, Peter writes that God desires the salvation of all men 2 Pet. Jesus bitterly wept over state 44 Roger E Olson. The General Council of the Assemblies of God , http: The free gift came to all men without exception in the same way that judgment came to all men without exception. Among the impressive is 1 Timothy 4: In addition, we must consider statements like 2 Peter 2: The conclusion is inescapable.

The passages that seem to restrict the scope of salvation are easily reconciled with the passages that universalize the scope of salvation. For if Christ died for everyone, then that would entail His church. But the converse is not true, it is very difficult to make the 45 Erickson, Christian Theology, For one, as the Calvinists do, would have to believe that God expresses a desire to save all men but inwardly only wants a portion to be saved.

His actions would contradict His speech. Possible Objections Although it seems that a general atonement was made for all without exception; this does not mean that Calvinists have not posed some challenging objections. First, Arminians face a similar problem that Calvinists do. Arminians concede that God has the power to force someone to believe.

After all, it would be more loving to force someone to go to heaven than it would be to send them to hell. He loves the sinner and He loves His own justice.

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Editorial Reviews. From the Inside Flap. In this current environment of growth among Classical Arminianism: The Theology of Salvation - Kindle edition by J. This new book takes the content related to the doctrine of salvation from that original Classical Arminianism: The Theology of Salvation and millions of other .

Arminius contends that to satisfy both His love for sinners and His justice, God served as substitute for sinners on the cross. He writes, He gave satisfaction to his love for the creature who was a sinner, when he gave up his Son who might act the part of Mediator. But he rendered satisfaction to his love for justice and to his hatred against sin, when he imposed on his Son the office of Mediator by the shedding of his blood and by the suffering of death; Heb.

So the Calvinist still has to face the daunting challenge. If God can justly appoint who the elect are without regards to the 47 The Works of Arminius, trans. This is the predicament a Calvinist faces if he endorses either supralapsarianism or infralapsarianism and compatibilism. Since the Arminian rejects all of those, this is a predicament that is only unique to Calvinism. Some also argue that general atonement necessarily leads to universalism. If Christ died for everyone, so they say, then everyone must be saved.

His salvation is universal in scope but not in application. But some argue that this somehow limits the power of the atonement. They can argue that perhaps the application of the atonement is guaranteed but until then, the atonement is considered provisionary. Miethe counteracts this objection with a syllogism: The Bible unquestionably teaches an unlimited atonement 2.

The Bible also teaches that same will be saved 3. Surely there is a great difference between saying that something is effective for some, given free will, and saying it might not be effective for any. Both affirm the depravity of man, believing that the unredeemed are unable and unwilling to respond to the gospel call.

Both affirm necessity of grace, believing that without it, the unredeemed are hopelessly lost. Both affirm the urgency of preaching the gospel, believing that God has ordained the preaching event as the primary means to expand His kingdom. This being said, however, it has been adequately demonstrated that Classical Arminianism is to be preferred for several reasons. First, Classical Arminianism properly places Jesus Christ at the foundation of election.

Both schemas of Calvinism appoint the elect to salvation logically prior thus inadvertently treating Jesus as the means of salvation rather than the source. Second, Classical Arminianism clearly teaches that God is not the author of evil and holds man responsible for his sins. Although Calvinist asserts the same thing, it would seem to be inconsistent with their compatibilism.

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For God, according to compatibilism, could decree that every man repent and do only good without violating their free will. The Grace of God and the Will of Man. While it is true that God allows earthly blessings to come to them in this life; what is the point if He God withholds the grace necessary in order to enjoy the blessings in the next? Lastly, Classical Arminians have more freedom in the presentation of the gospel. Calvinists can tell a room full of people that Christ died for them and they should repent because they are uncertain as to whom the elect are. Hopefully, a well articulated Arminianism will rise and present itself as a viable option within Christendom.

The Works of Arminius, trans. Grand Rapids, Baker Book House, A Reply to Thomas Schreiner. The Quest for Truth: The Transforming Power of Grace. Grace Faith Free Will: A Journal of Christian Thought 2 Baker Book House, A Response to Brian Abasciano. Elect in the Son: