Saturday, November 28, 2015

Arminius on Grace and Free Will

Every time I turn to the writings of Arminius I am ever more thankful for God's grace worked in the life of this man. Besides, the words of Arminius send the false accusations of the ignorant zealot scrambling every time. Here are his comments on God's grace and the free will of man.
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 succor 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 ascent. 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.


The Seeking Disciple said...

You made Triblogue again. Wow! You and Brennon are pretty close to being enshrined as permenent parts of their blog!

A.M. Mallett said...

Well, yes but it is a rather acerbic posting on Manata's part. Apparently he prefers to not to have water tossed on his burning strawman. Aside from his ranting and carrying on about my not linking to his post, he really doesn't have anything to state. Since I am banned from posting on their musings, I certainly am not going to respond and nor would I link to such a pit (unless I thought there was a theological need to do so).
The Triablokes are an interesting study in carnal excess in the church. I suppose we should thank God as always for the example they set.