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His Chosen Ones – Part 2

posted Nov 15, 2016, 10:26 AM by First Baptist


 

In this series of articles, we’re trying to understand the interplay between God’s will & man’s with respect to salvation. Why is it that some people are saved and others are not?

 

Much of what appears below was adapted from an unpublished book by Dr. Vic Gordon.

 

Major Views

 

There are 5 major views on this matter of the interplay of wills in the matter of salvation. Each can be summarized through the pool analogy from Part 1:

 

Picture people in a swimming pool on a hot day. Being in the pool represents salvation. Question: How did they get in the pool? Were they pushed? Did they jump? Both? If so, which happened first?

 

1.      Augustinian view (also held by Aquinas, Luther, Calvin and Jonathan Edwards)

 

According to this view, God pushes people into the pool, and keeps the people He does not push into the pool away from it so they won’t get in.

 

A major problem with this view is making a biblical case for a doctrine of Reprobation, or the idea that God predestines people to eternal damnation. Another problem is that it negates or greatly limits the role of the human response in salvation.

 

2.      Neo-Reformation view

 

According to this view, God pushes people into the pool, but doesn’t keep anyone out of the pool.

 

This view emerged after the original Reformers (Luther, Calvin) and was in response to the problems with the Augustinian view.

 

3.      Arminian view (also held by John Wesley)

 

According to this view, people jump into the pool on their own, but God is at poolside encouraging & helping them get in.

 

Jacob Arminius went beyond the Neo-Reformers and questioned the idea of predestination altogether. A major problem with his view is that he sucks the meaning out of the biblical word “predestination” (proorizo) and makes it synonymous with God’s foreknowledge.

 

4.      Pelagian view

 

According to this view, people jump into the pool on their own.

 

This view argues there is no predestination or election; everybody simply decides for himself or herself. Although this view has been condemned by the Church as heresy, it is probably the most widely-held view of American Christians.

 

 

Next week: We’ll look more carefully at Calvin-Arminius debate.

 

 

Pastor Dan

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