Arminian Today

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Quick Overview of Lapsarianism

In Calvinism, there are three major views regarding the divine viewpoint of the atonement of Christ and the purpose of the atonement.  I will present all three views below.

Supralapsarianism

1.  The decree to save (elect) some and reprobate others.
2.  The decree to create both the elect and the reprobate.
3.  The decree to permit the fall of both the elect and the reprobate.
4.  The decree to provide salvation only for the elect.

Infralapsarianism

1.  The decree to create human beings.
2.  The decree to permit the fall.
3.  The decree to elect some and reprobate others.
4.  The decree to provide salvation only for the elect.

Sublapsarianism

1.  The decree to create human beings.
2.  The decree to permit the fall.
3.  The decree to provide salvation sufficient for all.
4.  The decree to save some and reprobate others.

Either view one holds, to be a consistent Calvinists one must hold to particular redemption or limited atonement.  To hold to the other major points of Calvinism while rejecting limited atonement would be based simply on a personal decision to do so and would not be congruent with the other points.

If you are wondering, most Arminians would somewhat comfortable with Sublapsarianism but we would disagree with point 4 only in that we believe God decreed the giving of His Son for all but those who reject Christ and His gospel to worship false gods (Romans 1:18-32) do so because of their own free will and not because God has not chosen to save them.  Their rejection of the gospel leads to their condemnation (John 3:18) and not by God’s decree.  We would argue that God decreed to save all who repent of their sins and place their saving faith in Christ Jesus.  The reprobate would be thus so because of their own sinfulness and rejection of Christ rather than a decree.

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Written by The Seeking Disciple

01/16/2013 at 11:48 AM

3 Responses

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  1. SD – Thanks for being so succinct on this sometimes confusing issue. I always thought that Arminians were sublapsarian. I see now that I was wrong. I would not agree to #4 either.

    I do have a question, though. On #2 of both supra and infra doesn’t “permit” soften the language a bit? I would think it would be “render certain the fall” or “the decree to cause the fall.” If you’re thinking that decree keeps it from being “softened,” why not just say, “decree the fall?”

    Whaddyathink?

    drwayman

    01/16/2013 at 12:30 PM

    • Well I merely was borrowing the language from Erickson’s Christian Theology text. He uses the word “decreed” though I agree with you that the language is soft when it comes to hard determinism.

  2. Thou art correct. John3:18 is a wonderful passage that refutes Calvinism. Many say, No believers in Hell. Hell will be populated by believers (post death of course) as they will meet Jesus after they die Heb.9:27

    All eternity to think about the worst decision they ever made while on the Earth. Those crazy Arminians were right after all.

    ________________________________

    stacy0063

    01/16/2013 at 2:02 PM


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