July 31, 2011


For those who frequent my site (both of you), I am sure that you noticed that I disagree with Calvinism. Indeed I have a lot of negative things to say about Calvinism, mostly because I find much of the recent push for it to be bad for the Church in general (otherwise it would just be one of those things I disagree with but don't say much about, like Open-theism, Mormonism or Nicolas Cage). I am not alone with my opinion on this.

However, I do want to make the point that I am not a Non-Calvinist. Well, to some degree I am, in the sense that I am indeed not a Calvinist, but I don't define my soteriology based off of my opinion of Calvinism.

I am an Arminian, and very proud to be one. Jacob Arminius himself was a great theologian, and a great man of God, and while I don't agree with him on everything, I do agree with his commitment to biblical theology, orthopraxy, and concern for the character of God. I am not an Arminian because I am not Calvinist. Instead, I am not Calvinist because I am already Arminian.

Some may say that they don't like to be extreme. Believe me, I understand that. I always shy away from extremes. But considering that Arminianism isn't extreme at all, and represents a very balanced approach to divine soveriegnty, human autonomy, and general soteriology, it is surprising that this would be an objection.

Some may say that they don't like theology, they are fine with "Jesus is the Son of God, and He saved me." What they fail to understand though is that that is theology. It is like 1+1=2 is math just as much as calculus is. There is nothing wrong with having a thought-out robust theological understanding. Indeed, it is invaluable for being asked a lot of questions, and needing to aply our worldview to new situations. Systematic theology allows us to be flexible in our practice, because we know what we believe, and why we believe it.

Those of you are are simply Non-Calvinist, I would encourage you to really look into Arminianism, especially Arminianism as it is defined by Arminians. You do not have to choose between Calvinism and not having a thought-out systematic view of salvation. There is a stance you can take.


SLW said...

I liked the post for a number of reasons, but particularly so because I neither am a fan of Open-theism, Mormonism or NICOLAS CAGE!

Anonymous said...

Great points! I am shocked by the number of "Jesus and me" self styled non-theologians I meet that seem to think they have sole possession of some warm and fuzzy middle ground of their own doctrinal making. Either Atonement is unlimited or not, grace is resistible or not, election is conditional or not. There is no reasonable Calminian theology!

I also completely agree that Arminian doctrine is the "very balanced approach" to understanding soteriology. Indeed, Arminius himself fully realized that the monergism of Reformed theology had way over-reacted to Roman Catholic works-based salvation. Thus he correctly and biblically restored the vital concept of loving justice to clarify God's character in systematic theology.