The Options: Calvin, Arminius or Paul

The Three Options

There are three options when it comes to understanding God from a Biblical point of view and the question of His Power, Love and Justice. Each person who believes in the God of the Bible must chose, if he/she is to be consistent with scripture and rational thought, which of the three views makes the most sense. This is an important choice because whichever position is chosen as the most consistent with Scripture reflects the nature and character of God. The three positions are Calvinism, Arminianism and Universal Reconciliation.

Calvinism

States the God decides, in His sovereign will, who will be included in His Kingdom and when. Acknowledges the unmitigated sovereignty of God. Also states that God has chosen to limit the scope of this inclusion to certain people. Further states that those who are not selected have been selected to be tortured forever.

This position rightly acknowledges God’s sovereignty, but denies the scriptural attributes of Justice and Love as fundamental to God’s Nature. Makes God into the worst terrorist-torturer of all history

Arminianism

States that God loves and desires all people to repent and be in fellowship with Him ultimately. Acknowledges the scriptural attributes of God’s unconditional love. Also states that God is, for whatever reason whether self-imposed or imposed by some other obstacle, unable to accomplish this goal of the ultimate salvation of His creation. Therefore, due to God’s inability to overcome Man’s free will, God is incapable of saving a portion of His people and “allows” them to be condemned to eternal torture. It is said that it was God’s ultimate desire to have Man have the free choice about following Him and that God is unable to allow Man to have free choice and still cause Him to repent and be saved.

This position rightly acknowledges God as Love, as John proclaims, but denies that He is sovereign. It denies that He is powerful and wise enough to allow Man free will and at the same time assure that Man ultimately repents and is brought into God’s Kingdom. At the core, this position tears God from the position of Godhood and makes Him a demi-god, or smaller God.

Universal Reconciliation

States that God is both all loving and all powerful. Acknowledges that God is just and does provide full recompense for Sin. Acknowledges that God has the desire to see all people come to a saving relationship with Him through repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as the only way to God. Acknowledges that Man is unable to do that on His own and that God must “draw all men” to Himself and that “no one comes to the Father but by” Jesus. Therefore acknowledges God’s sovereignty in salvation and all matters.

This position takes the correct Biblical attributes from the previous two positions, God is All-Sovereign and God is All loving, and jettisons the philosophical, anti-Biblical parts of the previous two positions, namely that God is so unloving that He sends certain of His creation to  be tortured forever without any hope of relief or that He is so weak or unwise that He cannot allow Man to have free will and also cause Him to ultimately come to Christ and therefore save Him.

Conclusion

The position of Universal Reconciliation is the only position that is consistent with all the Biblically revealed attributes of God. The person who chooses Calvinism or Arminianism does great damage to the understanding and portrayal of God’s character and power in the world and thus damages their witness. They chose a position that is irrational and grossly illogical and that flies in the face of the bulk of revelation in the Bible. In short, they chose a position that robs God of essential Godliness. While most do this honestly and without malice, it is important to examine the belief one has on this topic to determine whether their position is honoring to God or whether it exalts Man. Both Calvinism and Arminianism create a special class of people that exalt those people but rob God. Thus, they fall short of the standard of “all glory to God”. Arminianism does this to a greater extent that Calvinism because of it’s pre-occupation with the so-called “free will” of Man. At least Calvinism acknowledges God’s sovereignty, although it does make God into an unloving tyrant that must delight in unendingly torturing ones created for that special place in eternity.

Let’s us think of God Biblically, not through the eyes of man’s traditions or illogical positions. 

Please consider the discussion on this by Professor Talbott from Willamette University. His case is logically rock solid. Click here to read his article.

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