Thursday, June 23, 2011

Odd Thought From the Net

A Calvinist fellow made an unusual observation earlier that I thought deserved a bit of reflection. He stated ...

 I think you may wish to revise your statement about being a follower of classic Arminianism: you deny predetermination in eternity by God, as well as other classic Arminian doctrines.

Suffice to state that while unusual it is also quite peculiar and in my opinion certainly inaccurate. The comment came completely out of the blue unrelated to the discussion at hand and as far as I can tell the gentleman has neither expressed Arminius view on predestination nor offered how I might possibly differ from those views. Several of Arminius' comments are noted in one of the sidebars including his comments on predestination taken from his Declaration of Sentiments. In reviewing those comments I can confirm my agreement with the whole of his presentation as can most other classical or Reformed Arminians.

Arminius viewed predestination as a Christocentric doctrine with the eternal foreknowledge of God being the indication of every man's destination. It is not a picture of God peering down through the annals of time to select believers. It is God eternally knowing those who trust in Christ. He knows because He is God and from our perspective, it is described as foreknowledge. Arminius offers this in the following manner.

To these succeeds the fourth decree, by which God decreed to save and damn certain particular persons. This decree has its foundation in the foreknowledge of God, by which he knew from all eternity those individuals who would, through his preventing grace, believe, and, through his subsequent grace would persevere, according to the before described administration of those means which are suitable and proper for conversion and faith; and, by which foreknowledge, he likewise knew those who would not believe and persevere.

The full text of this Sentiment is found here.

I've offered the curious fellow the opportunity to reply here if he wishes.


Anonymous said...

"Strict predetermination in eternity by God" is exactly what Arminius was arguing against! You're quite the "Classical" Arminian, A. M. M.

A.M. Mallett said...

It was a perplexing comment that just seemed senseless to me. I almost think he was trying to state that Arminius held to a Calvinist understanding of predestination and that if I disagree with determinism I am somehow at war with my "inner self"... totally odd.