A while back, I purchased a DVD titled, “Amazing Grace: The History & Theology of Calvinism.” This is a great video, and quite objective I might add, detailing how Calvinism started, the difference between Calvinism and Arminianism, and TULIP. I would urge you to invest in this DVD or borrow it from someone who may have it.
I am going to use this DVD as a base to start a five day intensive short study of the differences between Calvinism and Arminianism. Today is an introduction; each following day will be a look at the each of the five points of Arminianism and the Calvinism response, as shown in TULIP.
This is an introduction to the five points of Arminianism. Below are the basics of what Arminians believe. In case you were unaware, Arminianism is a system of theology started by Jacobus Arminius (1560 – 1609).
1. Man is never so corrupted by sin that he cannot savingly believe the gospel when it is put before him.
2. Man is never so completely controlled by God that he cannot reject God’s grace.
3. Election is a result of God, looking down through the corridors of time, foreseeing that a sinner will accept Christ. Therefore, God elects those who first elect Him.
4. Christ’s death did not assure the salvation of anyone, for it did not secure the gift of faith; what it did was rather create a possibility of salvation for everyone, if they would only choose to believe.
5. It rests with the believers to keep themselves in a state of grace by keeping up their faith; those who fail here fall away and are lost.
The clash between these two views comes down to a matter of free will and whether we have any at all as compared to what God wills. Some will say that God will override human will in all cases if God wills something different. Others say that God gave humans free will and because he created humans with free will, He will not override. Finally, there are some who do not believe humans have free will and that the sovereignty of God causes everything to happen. (HT: MS)
– Adam Smith