Arminian Today

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Posts Tagged ‘Decrees of God

Quick Comparison of the Order of God’s Decrees

Here is a quick comparison of the three major order of God’s decrees.  This comes from the book, Jacob Arminius: Theologian of Grace by Keith Stanglin and Thomas McCall.  This is an excellent book.

Supralapsarian

God decrees to:

  1. Predestine; that is, elect some individuals (though not yet considered as created or fallen) to eternal life with God and reprobate others;
  2. Create (in some versions, this decree comes before predestination);
  3. Ordain or permit the fall, with ensuing guilt, corruption, and total inability;
  4. Appoint Christ as the foundation of salvation to redeem the elect;
  5. Provide the means of salvation: Holy Spirit to save, regenerate, and preserve the redeemed.

Infralapsarian

  1. Create;
  2. Permit the fall, with ensuing guilt, corruption, and total inability;
  3. Predestine; that is, elect some created and fallen individuals to eternal life with God, and reprobate, or pass by, the rest of the sinners;
  4. Appoint Christ as foundation of salvation to redeem the elect;
  5. Provide the means of salvation: Holy Spirit to save, regenerate, and preserve the redeemed.

Arminian

  1. Create;
  2. Permit the fall;
  3. Appoint Christ as foundation of election to redeem;
  4. Save, in Christ, (the class of) penitent believers, and condemn unbelievers;
  5. Provide means (grace) for repentance and faith;
  6. Save or condemn single, specific individuals foreknown to believe or not believe.

 

Written by The Seeking Disciple

09/05/2013 at 11:35 AM

Arminius on God’s Permission For Sin

Arminius makes the following interesting comments concerning sin and the fact that God permits evil.  Arminius is clear that God does not cause evil nor does He create evil but He does permit evil in His divine providence and His infinite wisdom.  We humans will never comprehend the wisdom of God nor His ability to take free decisions that are sinful and use them for His glory and honor such as in the case of Judas’ betrayal of Christ or the crucifixion itself as an act of indescribable love (Acts 2:22-24).  That God permits evil is the view of the Arminian.  That God causes evil must be the view of Calvinism.

Arminius writes,

X. The permission of sin succeeds, which is opposed to hindering. Yet it is not opposed to hindering, as the latter is an act which is taken away from the power of a rational creature by legislation; for, in that case, the same act would be a sin, and not a sin. It would be a sin in reference to its being a forbidden act; and it would be no sin in reference to its being permitted in this manner, that is, not forbidden. But permission is opposed to hindrance, in reference to the latter being an impediment placed on the capability and will of an intelligent creature. But permission is the suspension, not of one impediment or two, which may be presented to the capability or the will, but of all impediments at once, which, God knows, if they were all employed, would effectually hinder sin. Such necessarily would be the result, because sin might be hindered by a single impediment of that kind.

(1.) Sin therefore is permitted to the capability of the creature, when God employs none of those hindrances of which we have already made mention in the 8th Thesis: for this reason, this permission consists of the following acts of God who permits, the continuation of life and essence to the creature, the conservation of his capability, a cautiousness against its being opposed by a greater capability, or at least by one that is equal, and the exhibition of an object on which sin is committed.

(2.) Sin is also permitted to the will; not because no such impediments are presented by God to the will, as are calculated to deter the will from sinning; but because God, seeing that these hindrances which are propounded will produce no effect, does not employ others which He possesses in the treasures of his wisdom and power. (John xviii, 6; Mark xiv, 56.) This appears most evidently in the passion of Christ, with regard not only to the power but also to the will of those who demanded his death. (John xix, 6.) Nor does it follow from these premises, that those impediments are employed in vain: for though such results do not follow as are in accordance with these hindrances, yet God in a manner the most powerful gains his own purposes, because the results are not such as ought to have followed. (Rom. x, 20, 21.)

XI. The foundation of this permission is

(1.) The liberty of choosing, with which God formed his rational creature, and which his constancy does not suffer to be abolished, lest he should be accused of mutability.

(2.) The infinite wisdom and power of God, by which he knows and is able out of darkness to bring light, and to produce good out of evil. (Gen. i, 2, 3; 2 Cor. iv, 6.) God therefore permits that which He does permit, not in ignorance of the powers and the inclination of rational creatures, for he knows them all, not with reluctance, for he could have refrained from producing a creature that might possess freedom of choice, not as being incapable of hindering, for we have already seen by how many methods he is able to hinder both the capability and the will of a rational creature; not as if at ease, indifferent, or negligent of that which is transacted, because before anything is done he already [“has gone through”] has looked over the various actions which concern it, and, as we shall subsequently see, [§ 15-22,] he presents arguments and occasions, determines, directs, punishes and pardons sin. But whatever God permits, He permits it designedly and willingly, His will being immediately occupied about its permission, but His permission itself is occupied about sin; and this order cannot be inverted without great peril.

Arminius on the Decrees of God Concerning Salvation of Sinful Men

XV. ON THE DECREES OF GOD WHICH CONCERN THE SALVATION OF SINFUL MEN, ACCORDING TO HIS OWN SENSE

1. The first decree concerning the salvation of sinful men, as that by which God resolves to appoint his Son Jesus Christ as a saviour, mediator, redeemer, high priest, and one who may expiate sins, by the merit of his own obedience may recover lost salvation, and dispense it by his efficacy.

2. The SECOND DECREE is that by which God resolves to receive into favour those who repent and believe, and to save in Christ, on account of Christ, and through Christ, those who persevere, but to leave under sin and wrath those who are impenitent and unbelievers, and to condemn them as aliens from Christ.

3. The THIRD DECREE is that by which God resolves to administer such means for repentance and faith as are necessary, sufficient, and efficacious. And this administration is directed according to the wisdom of God, by which he knows what is suitable or becoming to mercy and severity; it is also according to his righteousness, by which he is prepared to follow and execute [the directions] of his wisdom.

4. From these follows a FOURTH DECREE, concerning the salvation of these particular persons, and the damnation of those. This rests or depends on the prescience and foresight of God, by which he foreknew from all eternity what men would, through such administration, believe by the aid of preventing or preceding grace, and would persevere by the aid of subsequent or following grace, and who would not believe and persevere.

5. Hence, God is said to “know those who are his;” and the number both of those who are to be saved, and of those who are to be damned, is certain and fixed, and the quod and the qui, [the substance and the parties of whom it is composed,] or, as the phrase of the schools is, both materially and formally.

6. The second decree [described in § 2] is predestination to salvation, which is the foundation of Christianity, salvation, and of the assurance of salvation; it is also the matter of the gospel, and the substance of the doctrine taught by the apostles.

7. But that predestination by which God is said to have decreed to save particular creatures and persons and to endue them with faith, is neither the foundation of Christianity, of salvation, nor of the assurance of salvation.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

01/24/2013 at 9:00 AM

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