Arminian Grace?

Arminian Grace? December 2, 2005

Last night in my offline life I had an interesting conversation about calvinistic theology. Since I have been stressing the charismatic side of my theology for a while I thought perhaps I would emphasize in this post my reformed roots.

The trouble with blogs is that all too often the archives disappear into the mists of time and nobody reads them. I linked in my post on defining a reformed charismatic to a number of my old posts including a whole series I did on the TULIP acronym. These posts and the archives of others make a good start for people who want to see what reformed bloggers think of the doctrines of grace.

I would love to see more blogging which interacts with old posts by other bloggers- so that for example someone does a series on the doctrines of grace could go back and finds quotes from those who have spoken of the subject before and either agree or disagree with them – it is good for old posts to be dusted off and see the light of day again!

I have just been digging around in Tim Challies archives and found some interesting posts on the subject of predestination firstly this serious one entitled As Many as wanted salvation were saved:

It has become something of a cliche, but it bears mentioning that God does not condemn anyone to hell. He does not need to. Humans condemn themselves to hell with their willful rejection of their Creator. Nobody forced Adam and Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit. As free moral agents they chose to reject God, knowing full well that they were disobeying Him. Since that time every other human being has deliberately chosen to disobey God. We each condemn ourselves to hell by this act of rejection. Yet God is gracious to extend grace to some, providing them the promise and assurance of a return to Paradise…..

I would like to point out that questions of this nature are not limited to the Reformed understanding of Christianity. Even Arminians must wrestle with this question: “Why would God create humans that He knew would reject Him and go to hell?” If God is truly sovereign and omniscient, knowing the end from the beginning as He claims in the Bible, He must know who will accept and reject Him. He must have known this from eternity past. Yet He still went ahead and created billions of men and women who would choose hell over heaven. So regardless of whether a Christian is Reformed or Arminian, He must deal with difficult questions pertaining to God’s foreknowledge.

Then secondly this humorous one which although it is indeed a parody does make a helpful point and reminds me of Spurgeons provocative statement which I echoed in a blog post “You never heard an Arminian Prayer

Arminian “grace!” How strange the sound,
Salvation hinged on me.
I once was lost then turned around,
Was blind then chose to see.

What “grace” is it that calls for choice,
Made from some good within?
That part that wills to heed God’s voice,
Proved stronger than my sin.

Thru many ardent gospel pleas,
I sat with heart of stone.
But then some hidden good in me,
Propelled me toward my home.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Because of what we’ve done,
We’ve no less days to sing our praise,
Than when we first begun.

Sorry, I forgot to HT the person that led me back to Challies.

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