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How Misunderstandings about Arminianism Spread

Below is how false ideas about Arminianism spread.  From where does this man get his information?  Notice he states with his cartoon that Arminius said he helped God out with his salvation.  Is that really the case?  Consider these words from Arminius:

Concerning grace and free will, this is what I teach according to the Scriptures and orthodox consent: Free will is unable to begin or to perfect any true and spiritual good, without grace. That I may not be said, like Pelagius, to practice delusion with regard to the word “grace,” I mean by it that which is the grace of Christ and which belongs to regeneration. I affirm, therefore, that this grace is simply and absolutely necessary for the illumination of the mind, the due ordering of the affections, and the inclination of the will to that which is good. It is this grace which operates on the mind, the affections, and the will; which infuses good thoughts into the mind, inspires good desires into the actions, and bends the will to carry into execution good thoughts and good desires. This grace goes before, accompanies, and follows; it excites, assists, operates that we will, and co-operates lest we will in vain. It averts temptations, assists and grants succour in the midst of temptations, sustains man against the flesh, the world and Satan, and in this great contest grants to man the enjoyment of the victory. It raises up again those who are conquered and have fallen, establishes and supplies them with new strength, and renders them more cautious. This grace commences salvation, promotes it, and perfects and consummates it.

I confess that the mind of a natural and carnal man is obscure and dark, that his affections are corrupt and inordinate, that his will is stubborn and disobedient, and that the man himself is dead in sins. And I add to this — that teacher obtains my highest approbation who ascribes as much as possible to divine grace, provided he so pleads the cause of grace, as not to inflict an injury on the justice of God, and not to take away the free will to that which is evil.

I do not perceive what can be further required from me. Let it only be pointed out, and I will consent to give it, or I will shew that I ought not to give such an assent. Therefore, neither do I perceive with what justice I can be calumniated on this point, since I have explained these my sentiments, with sufficient plainness, in the theses on free will which were publicly disputed in the university.

And yet below is a Calvinist man who constantly is putting out these lies about Arminius on Twitter.



Written by The Seeking Disciple

02/16/2013 at 12:57 PM

2 Responses

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  1. Typical. Nothing irks me like this type of ignorance. I visited his website and found the same kind of ignorance. Oy!

    William W. Birch

    02/16/2013 at 3:11 PM

  2. Delusions about Arminianism spread the same way that delusions about Pelagius spread!

    “That I may not be said, like Pelagius, to practice delusion with regard to the word ‘grace,’ I mean by it that which is the grace of Christ and which belongs to regeneration.”

    Did Pelagius practice “delusion” with regard to the word grace? No, but Augustine actually is the one who did. Grace to Augustine is always internal grace (a direct operation of the Holy Spirit), and essentially means ‘cosmic lottery’ just like to the Calvinists. Whereas Pelagius sometimes means external grace (the teaching ministry of the church) and sometimes internal grace (a direct operation of the Holy Spirit).

    Their disagreement was on when the internal grace is received. Augustine basically ignores external grace altogether, and makes internal grace to precede conversion. Pelagius treats external grace as all that is required before conversion, and then internal grace as being received at the point of conversion (which, of course, for him is believer’s baptism).

    The ‘delusion’ with respect to the word grace is exactly what is being practiced in the quote above. First, there is no distinction made between internal and external grace, just as this terminology had not yet been invented when Augustine and Pelagius were debating (which is what led to the misunderstanding between them). And second, this guy defines grace recursively: the word grace is in his definition of grace!!!! What is grace? He says “I mean by it that which is the grace of Christ and which belongs to regeneration.” So, as long as you define grace recursively as “grace means grace” then you avoid ‘delusion’ with respect to the term? Oh bravo!

    Let us be clear when we say grace which grace we mean in each context. There is the grace of nature (what things God has given to us all via nature, called grace because God gave it), there is external grace (the teaching ministry of the church, and the scriptures), and there is internal grace (direct operation of the Holy Spirit), and there is grace in judgement (i.e. mercy). Instead of practicing delusion with the term grace by using the bare term “grace” to mean all these different things, provide some sort of descriptives to indicate what grace you are talking about. Otherwise these debates on grace devolve into nothing but name-calling.

    Calling someone a Pelagian does not end the debate on grace, no matter what the Calvinists may think. This is nothing but a strawman tactic. And the fact is, Pelagius himself has been strawmanned. What the Calvinists claim he taught is nothing like what he actually taught. They say “Pelagius said we can save ourselves by works apart from grace.” He said no such thing. He only disagreed with Augustine on whether internal grace (direct operation of the Holy Spirit) precedes conversion or is received at the final point of conversion.


    02/16/2013 at 5:54 PM

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