Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Second Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

Daily Bible Verse

Friday, December 02, 2011

Is Universalism Possible? An Arminian Perspective | Wesleyan Arminian

I'm always amused when Arminians misrepresent the Calvinist position. However, this one is particularly amusing since the Arminian here wants part of the blame to go to Calvinists for the doctrine of universal salvation. Calvinists have never taught that everyone will be regenerated. How does it follow that universalists borrowed from Calvinism? The fact is the logical implication of Arminianism is that God wants everyone saved but cannot do anything at all about it. And the other fact is that universal atonement implies either a generic redemption that saves no one at all or it implies the very universalism against which the Arminians so protest. I guess salvation for the Arminian is just a game of chance since there is no guarantee that anyone will be saved at all. The Arminian god is not omnipotent and he is not omniscient despite the protests of the Arminian. If God knows the future then God must have determined it, otherwise it is not the future but simply contingent variables which could go in many possible directions. The article cited says:

Arminians believe that God’s wrath was fully manifested at the cross. Hell is not necessary in that sense. Jesus’ sacrifice was intended for everyone, and it is of benefit for everyone who believes. For Arminians, hell would become unnecessary if everyone believed (for humanity, not fallen angels).

And for Pelagius the cross would be unnecessary if everyone would just choose not to sin. Libertarian free will implies equal ultimacy between choices. If the Arminian view is correct then the doctrine of even a partial depravity would go against their doctrine of "libertarian free will". John Wesley, you will remember, was an Anglican priest. Realizing the conflict, Wesley re-interpreted the The Thirty-nine Articles concept of prevenient grace. Articles IX and X taken together meant that regeneration is a grace that precedes believing since man is totally unable to repent and believe due to original sin and total depravity. Wesley, however, reads the semi-pelagianism of Eastern Orthodoxy and Rome into the Calvinist doctrine of prevenient grace expressed in the Thirty-nine Articles and instead makes grace common and resistible. Thus, the Wesleyan view is actually a form of pelagianism as my comparison of the two comments above illustrates. Semi-pelagians admit there is a "bent" toward sinning but that bent can be overcome by the will assisted by common grace or the Wesleyan perversion of the Reformed doctrine of prevenient grace. What Wesley cannot explain is why the will so often and so regularly chooses to reject salvation? I guess a common grace has no real power to cancel out the power of sin such that the "redeemed" will of the Arminian view is actually enabled to overcome the original depravity of the human nature? More often than not the Arminian fails to convince anyone to become a Christian. The Arminian god is not the monster revealed in the Bible. In fact, the Arminian god is not the Sovereign LORD of Holy Scripture at all. But neither is such a god as the Arminians have vainly imagined able to save. Instead he wrings his hands helplessly hoping someone will consent to be saved. Humankind is a faceless crowd with no particular redemption that is efficacious to actually overcome the fallen nature and redeem particular individuals. In short, Arminianism has more affinity with Pelagius, Papists and Universalists than with Biblical Christianity.

To see the remarks at the Wesleyan Arminian site click here:

Is Universalism Possible? An Arminian Perspective | Wesleyan Arminian

Addendum:  Gordon H. Clark's book, Christian Philosophy, (Unicoi: Trinity Foundation, 2004) pp. 234-235, should be required reading for all seminary students on both sides of the Arminian/Calvinist debate.  Clark says:

. . . In opposition to all this, the Christian--i.e., the Biblical view--is that God is the legislator.  Not Law, but the Lawgiver is supreme.
Divine Sovereignty
If then the personal God is supreme and all laws depend upon His ordinance, it follows that there is no superior law to restrict his sovereignty.  Most people find it easy to conceive of God as having created or established physical law by divine fiat.  He might have created a different kind of world, had he so desired.  It does not seem to stretch the imagination much to picture a world where freezing points are so arranged that we would have to put water in the radiator to prevent alcohol from freezing.   And why could not lead, like water, expand on cooling?  Nor does it bother theologians to suppose that various details of the Mosaic ritual might have been different.  Instead of requiring the priests to carry the ark on their shoulders, God might have forbidden this and ordered it to be borne on a cart drawn by oxen.  But for some particular reason people find difficulty in applying the same consideration to ethics.  Instead of recognizing God as sovereign in the moral sphere, they want to subject Him to some independent, superior, Platonic law.  This is inconsistent.

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