Arminian Presuppositions

More often than not in theological discussions people argue over their conclusions instead of taking time to examine their presuppositions. I recently spent some time in a forum in which several Arminians [they don’t like to be labeled that way even though that is what they are, at best] and Calvinists were engaged in an intense discussion regarding the theological order of faith and regeneration. Of course, as is usual in such discussions, there were a number of theological rabbits that ran across the trail, causing the participants to lose their focus and run off in all directions at once. As the battle continued, I observed a number of beliefs on which the Arminians seemed to base their conclusions on the issue. There is no doubt we Calvinists also have certain presuppositions on which we base our conclusions. What we must all do is be certain to test our presuppositions in the light of Scripture before we use them as the foundation of our belief system. The following were some of the presuppositions I observed in the course of that discussion:

1. God loves all sinners equally and in the same way. God doesn’t show favoritism in any way.

2. The terms, “world” and “all” always refer to every single member of the human race without exception.

3. God would not be fair unless he at least gave everyone a chance to hear the gospel and believe. He owes everyone an opportunity. If God has chosen some and passed over others, then God is not being fair or acting fairly.

4. God would never command or invite sinners to do anything they are unable to do. If God calls sinners to believe the gospel, sinners must have the ability to believe it.

5. Sinners are not condemned because of sin, but only because of unbelief. Based on this presupposition, they believe if Jesus didn’t provide salvation for all, God would have no basis on which to judge sinners.

6. If God has truly chosen who will be saved and determined that they will certainly believe the gospel, there is no need to preach the gospel to anyone.

7. The Holy Spirit convicts all sinners in the same way, and it is this conviction that causes some sinners to believe the gospel.

8. The terms “call” and “calling” refer to the general and universal invitation of the gospel.

9. Some sinners are worse, by nature, than others.

10. Some of these “free will” believers seem to believe, along with the Pelagians, sinners do not have Adam’s guilt imputed, or even his nature transmitted to them.

11. Choice and “free will” are synonymous. If a person acts freely and voluntarily, he must have “free will.”

12. If God has predetermined anything that will occur, then he must “force” people to act against their wills.

It is altogether likely I have omitted some of their presuppositions in this list. If you can add to the list, please let me know. My assumptions concerning these presuppositions are based on plain statements the proponents of “free will” have made during debate. If you feel I have represented this position unfairly, please let me know and we can discuss the issue.

My intention over the next few days and perhaps weeks is to examine these presuppositions in the light of Scripture. I invite you to engage in the discussion. If you can produce verses of Scripture in their proper context to show these presuppositions are true, I would love to discuss those Scriptures with you.

Please follow the rules for commenting here and please don’t expect me to respect your opinions any more that I would expect you to respect mine.


2 Responses to “Arminian Presuppositions”

  1. January 5, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    One constant presupposition in all false theologies is the denigration of Sovereign Creator God and the elevation of man and/or creation. I look forward to seeing more – may God have mercy on all who fail to see Him rightly.

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