Thank you very much Acvavra for inviting me to my first official debate. Discussing Calvinism and Arminianism is one of my favorite topics. I hope that God will be glorified in our exchange and that we will leave satisfied.
I would like to note a few things:
1. You have allowed me to use other Bible translations (see comments)
2. The acronym TULIP was developed much after Calvin’s death and never actually belonged to him. It can be misleading to what Calvinists actually believe.
3. Cult tends to have ambiguous connotations associated with it and by it. Would you mind specifying exactly what you mean by "Calvinism is a cult"
4. I may be wrong, but I am under the impression that because you are the one making the claim that it is therefore your burden to substantiate the claim. So, what I will do is first give a simple explanation of the debate historically and will leave you with the burden of providing the verses initially to substantiate your claim, or make corrections at which I will then response to your verses/corrections to my defense. Would that be ok?
To the points!
1 Total Depravity
The first thing to note about Total Depravity is that neither side of the debate disagrees with it. Historically Arminianism has always upheld the doctrine of Total Depravity just as Calvinism has. Total depravity basically teaches that all of the human being is tainted with sin to the extent that without the grace of God man left to his own devices would never initiate faith from within himself. The only circles that reject Total Dipravity are Pelagianists and Semi-Pelagianists. Arminians (free-willers) are not semi-pelagianists.
The dividing point is actually a point between behind the TULIP as a whole. Its particular placement would not fit between any particular letter but it does fit with the whole. It is the issue of how God effectually remediates the fallen nature of man. This is called Prevenient Grace by both sides. To the Calvinist, Prevenient Grace is accomplished by Regeneration of the elect by the Holy Spirit which inevitably results is the saving of that person. For the Arminian, Prevenient Grace is in some manner bestowed to all of humanity that to some form and degree restrains the sinful fallen nature of man so that when presented with the gospel message they have the possibility of accepting or rejecting it. The scope, degree, and time of the Arminian mode of Prevenient Grace seems to differ person to person.
2 Unconditional Election
When discussing Election it is important to note that again neither side rejects electtion or predestining. The argument is whether God elects unconditionally as the Calvinists believe or if God predestines by foreknowing that man would first choose Him and then electing them based on that foreknowledge as the Arminians do.
3 Limited Atonement
Probably the most debated point. It is more of a logical necessity of the other points. Limited Atonement deals with the efficacy of the atonement. For whom was the atonement accomplished for. There are essentially only three possible results of the atonement scenario:
1 (Calvinism) The atonement was for the elect only and accomplished it for the elect definitely
2 (Arminianism) The atonement was for the whole of humanity and is only effectual for only those who believe
3 (Universalism) The atonement was for the whole of humanity and is effectual for all
The Calvinist view and Arminian view are extremely similar. The difference is in the defining and operations of the elect. Limited Atonement was established to simply state that if Christ had effectually atoned for all people then either he A) succeeded thus all people are saved or B) failed thus having its own theological implications of God failing to accomplish something. So, Limited Atonement is necessary to show that only the elect (Calvinism), or those who believe (Arminianism, also considered elect) receive the effect of the atonement as opposed to all of humanity.
4 Irresistible Grace
Irresistible Grace, like all of the point in the acronym can be misleading. It teaches that the elect cannot reject the call of salvation. This is accomplished because after regeneration the person is compelled not just by God but also by their changed nature and thus there is nothing resisting their confession. What is misleading about this point is that many people take it and erringly conclude that the God in all ways cannot be resisted. That is not what the point teaches. Calvinists very much do believe that God can be resisted. Calvinists see two modes of will in scripture with regard to God. A Decretive will and a Revealed will. The decretive will is that which cannot be resisted and must come to pass. Examples of Gods decretive will would be: Creation, the crucifixion of Christ, the predestining of the elect, Regeneration. Gods Revealed will can be resisted. Examples of Gods revealed will would be: the commandments (not just the ten), Gods desire that none should perish, etc. More often than not most Arminians also share the same view on the different wills of God that Calvinists do and may use different terms such as Permissive will and the such. Point being, when examined, Irresistible Grace differs from Arminianism in that Regeneration is not in Gods decretive will, and thus may be resisted.
5 Perseverance of the Saints
I will not go into detail on this point as you said we are debating the first four points. I would like to note that I find it inconsistent to believe in point 5 and yet not points 2, 3, and 4 along with the manner of which God accomplishes Prevenient Grace.
Understand? Let's tie. You set up the next debate so I can follow your rules. I will wait for you to issue me a challenge.
Ok that might take me some time. I will PM you with questions before I form the debate. How do we tie?
Message me as much as you want.
kool, I accept a tie.
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