The Instigator
Pro (for)
14 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

John Calvin(Pro) vs. Jacob Arminius(Con)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/30/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,713 times Debate No: 22446
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (23)
Votes (2)




"ARMINIANISM is a teaching regarding salvation associated with the Dutch theologian Jacob Arminius (1560-1609). The fundamental principle in Arminianism is the rejection of predestination, and a corresponding affirmation of the freedom of the human will. Shortly after his death, the followers of Arminius (later called Arminians) presented a statement to the governing authorities of Holland in which they set forth five articles of doctrine. These were: (1) that the divine decree of predestination is conditional, not absolute; (2) that the Atonement is in intention universal; (3) that man cannot of himself exercise a saving faith, but requires God's help to attain this faith; (4) that though the grace of God is a necessary condition of human effort it does not act irresistibly in man; (5) that believers are able to resist sin but are not beyond the possibility of falling from grace. In essence, the Arminians maintained that God gives indispensable help in salvation, but that ultimately it is the free will of man which decides the issue." [1]
The term "Calvinism" is used by various groups to identify their
beliefs with one of the most prominent leaders of the reformation, John Calvin.
Groups that call themselves "Calvinists" agree with the teachings of Calvin in
varying degrees: from holding simply to the "five points of Calvinism"
(regarding man's salvation by the grace of God) to adhering to the teachings of
Calvin not only in matters of man's salvation but also in matters relating to
how we should worship God, how we should live the Christian Life, and what sort of government and order should be used in God's Church. Those who do so, do not do so because they would follow the teachings of men, but because they believe these teachings, revived at the time of the reformation in Switzerland, the Netherlands, other countries, and especially Scotland, were in truth the teachings of the Prophets, Apostles, and Christ himself, as laid down in the Holy Scriptures, though for the most part hidden for many centuries under the erroneous teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church.

The "Five Points of Calvinism" were not
formulated by Calvin, but rather by the Synod of Dort in 1618-1619, which was a gathering of many great leaders and teachers of the reformed churches throughout Europe. This Synod, in response to the heresies of James Arminius, then spreading throughout the Dutch churches, released "The Canons of Dort," which addressed five major doctrines then in dispute. Since then these doctrines, as asserted at Dort, have been summarized and labeled as the "Five Points of Calvinism." Although Calvin himself never set forth such a system of five points, these teachings are a compendium of what John Calvin and others (such as Martin Luther, Augustine, the Apostle Paul, & Christ himself) taught
regarding salvation and are all founded on the holy Scriptures. Often the "Five
Points" are referred to as "TULIP":

Total Depravity
Limited Atonement
Irresistible Grace
Perseverance of the


Debate rules:
No character attacks +

Heavy use of sources requested +

Cite sources in text +

Multiple Bibles may be used, if you use anything outside of the KJV or ESV, please defend the translation. +

The Apocrypha may be cited, but it shall not be treated as authoritative. (If it contradicts the Bible, the Bible is granted overruling authority.)+

You must be familiar with Arminian theology. +

You assume the content of scripture as true, God breathed, authoritative and sufficient.

You assume the God of the Bible is real and understand him as described in the Bible.


This is a five round debate.

Round 1: Acceptance. Declaration of position, refinement of position. If the above description of Arminianism is not sufficient, provide your own. Cite a recognized Church authority that supports your view. (i.e. If I declared a revision to the description of Calvinism, I could cite the Westminster confession of Faith). I'd like this debate to be authentic. I'm not trying to put words in your mouth by limiting your position to the above terms.

Round 2: Opening Statements - Define the nature of God, the nature of Christ, the nature of the Holy spirit. Define Baptism and it's roles. Define Salvation and it's source, purpose and attainability. Define the fallen state of man. Define the promises of the old testament. Define the fulfilment of prophecy. Define every possible position for your argument. Use this round to establish your position, rather than attacking the opposition.

Round 3: Argue the opponents position.

Round 4: Argue the opponent's position.

Round 5: Provide synopsis of points. Conclude. Shake hands (figuratively). [1] [2]


Challenge Accepted.
I will argue the opposite of Pro.
There is no church that would agree with my position, but I will try my best.
Debate Round No. 1


Who is John Calvin?

John Calvin was a French theologian who arose during the early reformation of the protestant church. John Calvin is a 2nd generation reformer, assuming prominence in his position after Martin Luther defied and challenged the authority of the Holy Catholic Church. Every protestant sect, whether Arminian, Calvinistic or otherwise, owe their religious freedom to the courage of the great reformers.

What are the points of Calvinism?

1.> Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin)

2.> Unconditional Election

3.> Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement)

4.> Irresistible Grace

5.> Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved)

Explaining the T.U.L.I.P. doctrine

1.> Total Depravity: Romans 3:9-10 and 18

"I have already charged that all men, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, as it
is written: None is righteous, no not one; no one seeks for God....There is no fear of God before their eyes

The scripture constantly outlines the nature of man. It describes us as fallen, broken, unrighteous, sinful,
faithless, idolaters, haters of God, evildoers, slanderers, murderers, adulterers, thieves, worshipers of
false idols, fools, wicked and dark hearted.

  • The book of Romans states that none is righteous, which means that’ no one measures up to
    God’s standard
    ’. That is a total statement. It does not say ‘most are unrighteous’ or ‘ few are

    righteous’. The word of quantity is “none”.
  • There is a way that mankind can become righteous. Romans 14:23 Paul says,
    "Whatever is not from faith is sin."
    Hence, all things outside of faith are unrighteous. We can therefor understand that whatever is from faith is not sin.
  • We might say:” Obviously some are righteous, if righteousness is attainable.” Faith
    is not something we can manifest of our own free will. Faith is a product of
    grace. Meaning, it is a gift. We are given faith. Ephesians 2:8 states ” For by grace you have
    been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”
  • So we know that we are all totally depraved, because no one is righteous. We also
    know that righteousness is only acquired through faith. As a final point, we
    understand that faith in Christ is not something that a totally depraved heart
    can create by any strength of its own. Christ gives us faith as a gift. All
    righteousness, let me emphasize this, all righteousness before God is from God.
    We have no ability to manifest any real righteousness.

2.> Unconditional Election: Romans 8:28

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the
image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover
whom He did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

The scripture clearly teaches that God is omniscient.

  • He foreknew people, which mean he knew that they would be born.
  • The reason he knew that they would be born, is because he predestinated them for life.
  • So we understand that God knows about the future of mankind because he created the
    future of mankind.

Therefore, God specifically knows whom he will save and whom he won’t. That may sound evil, but remember:

  • You’re totally depraved. He does not owe you salvation.
  • You deserve judgment by every measure of law.
  • The fact that God is merciful to anyone is pure, free grace.
  • If you say:” That’s unfair!” then heed these scriptures: But who are you, O man, to
    answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made
    me like this?”(Romans 9:20).

3.>Limited Atonement: Matthew 1:21 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus,
for he will save his people from their sins. "

It is tempting to say that Christ died for the whole world. This would imply that everyone is automatically
covered by his sacrifice, even those
who did not accept Christ as Lord. The scripture is very clear, that Christ
died for his people.
  • …make many (not all) to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.(Isaiah 53:8)
  • ….I lay down my life for the sheep. (John 10:15)
  • ….yet he bore the sin of many (not the whole world),and makes intercession for the transgressors.
    (Isaiah 53:12)

Other sources include:

Exodus 4:21, 14:4, 8, 17; Deuteronomy 2:30, 9:4-7,
29:4; Joshua 11:19; 1 Samuel 2:25, 3:14; 2 Samuel 17:14; Psalm 105:25; Proverbs
15:8, 26, 28:9; Isaiah 53:11; Jeremiah 24:7; Matthew 1:21, 11:25-27, 13:10-15,
44-46, 15:13, 20:28, 22:14, 24:22; (etc.) [1]

4.>Irresistible Grace: The Westmintser Confession of Faith

"All those whom God has predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased, in His appointed and accepted time, effectively to call, by His word and Spirit, out of that state of death, in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly, to understand the things of
God; taking away their heart of stone and giving them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills; and by His
almighty power determining them to that which is good; and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ, yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace."

In this document, the author explains this point with accuracy. God calls his chosen with the Holy Spirit. He renews their mind to desire that which is good. Since they are now lovers of righteousness, they
will be drawn magnetically to Christ.

Isaiah 55:11
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my
statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them
. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
Romans 8:30
Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

5.> Perseverance of the Saints : (Once saved, always saved)

John 10:27-30 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant
mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Jude 1:24-25 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the
presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be
glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Once God chooses you for salvation, he will finish his work in you.
"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."
Philippians 1:6

Westminster Confession of Faith [2]



ThePhilosophersDeduction forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


I won't add further argument out of courtesy. All arguments extended.


I apologize for my forfeit, but luckily I didn't need that round anyway, as I only have 1 argument.

The resolution states: "John Calvin(Pro) vs. Jacob Arminius(Con)"
In debate, we always debate the resolution, correct?

So, Pro is John Calvin, and Con is Jacob Arminius.

I would like to point out that this debate is completely flawed, as Pro is not John Calvin, his name is (as according to his profile "-Private-". My name is David Ayad. Therefore, we can see that this debate is absolutely pointless, as the guideline for debating are that Pro much be John Calvin, and I must be Jacob Arminius. I can provide furthur evidence as to why this is proven in later rounds.
Debate Round No. 3


During Round one acceptance, Con said:"I will argue the opposite of Pro."
Based on this claim alone, we can say with absolute certainty that Con has thrown the debate.
He is NOT arguing the opposite position.

This debate was (without any doubt) a positional argument between the doctrines of Arminius and Calvin.

Pro has failed in the following regards:

1.> Round one was not simply for acceptance. Con was supposed to use round one to make any preferred amendments to my defining terms. Con made zero adjustments, meaning: He accepted the debate terms as posted.

2.> Round two was designed for opening statements. Con has the burden of defining the nature of God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. He was supposed to explain his doctrine. Instead, he forfeited by letting the clock run out.

3.> I extended my arguments and allowed the opposition the opportunity to recover. Instead, he tried to be clever. The rules are quite simple. Defend the doctrines of Arminius. This was Con's disrespectful, lazy attempt to win a debate without actually working for it.

My position for Calvinism remains unchallenged. Arguments extended.



Correction: I am arguing the opposite of Pro. Therefore, I help up my initial statement. I never said when I will argue Pro.

Actually, if there was no doubt that this was a certain type of debate, why on Earth is it possible for someone (like me) to turn it on you because of your poor resolution framing?

Pro has failed in the following regards: (Here, Pro explains why he failed.)

1. Con (I) was supposed to define anything if I felt like it. I didn't feel like it, therefore this is not a voting issue.

2. Sure, I forfeited, big woop. This is not a voting issue because Pro extended his arguments because he's such a kind fella.

3. a. Pro insults me (giving me conduct in this debate) in this entire point, claiming I am lazy and "tried to be clever." However, this is untrue, as I planned this debate to occur like this from the start, no proof? This point has just been proven subjective and will be thrown out due to the insulting nature of Pro's position.

3. b. If anyone is disrespectful, it is Pro, and I am working for a win at this debate. Pro misunderstands my entire position.

My position that I am not Jacob Arminius and Pro is not John Calvin remain unchallenged, extend my arguments.

Oh wait... does this mean that both of our cases were entirely dropped? Clearly, if I didn't attack Pro's and he didn't attack mine directly, this debate is at a standpoint draw.

Too bad no one can make arguments next round.
Debate Round No. 4


Arguments remain unchallenged. No further rebuttals required.

I apologize to the voting public. I will re-issue this debate to a worthy opponent.
If you are interested in debating this topic, send me a message.
I will issue the debate directly to avoid this drama in the future.

Vote Pro.


Yet again, Pro doesn't attack a single thing I said.

Thank you, but to be a fair voter, since both cases were dropped, and Pro forfeited last round because he saw it unfit to debate (probably because he too is lazy), this debate would end in a tie to be fair, or votes to Con due to my less jack-a$$ like responses and for fun!
Debate Round No. 5
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ThePhilosophersDeduction 5 years ago
fk do you mean votebomb slaves? Maybe once or twice people have votebombed my debates, and no one has voted for me in this one. calm yo' tits.
Posted by GenesisCreation 5 years ago
I'd like that. Just send me a direct challenge resolution at your leisure.
Posted by KeytarHero 5 years ago
Genesis, I wouldn't mind debating Calvinism with you but with a slightly different resolution. I'm middle of the road between Calvin and Arminius, so if I were to debate I wouldn't be supporting Arminius. We could debate the five points of TULIP, if you'd like, or some other aspect of Calvinism.
Posted by KeytarHero 5 years ago
Well, I had a feeling Genesis would win, though I didn't expect Deduction to try to win by not debating the resolution at hand.
Posted by GenesisCreation 5 years ago
I'm pretty annoyed. I was really looking forward to a descent debate.
Posted by LibertyCampbell 5 years ago
After reading round 3...

Posted by MikeyMike 5 years ago
This should be interesting.
Posted by KeytarHero 5 years ago
Yeah, I'm expecting GenesisCreation to win this one, especially since Con doesn't seem very confident.
Posted by annanicole 5 years ago
Oh, try this: God is all-powerful and all-knowing, so He can exercise His all-powerful power to place certain things in the realm of man's choice. He can choose not to know the outcome. How's that? And I wish I'd take the debate now, since I see that an agnostic is debating the theological doctrines of Calvin and Arminius, but we'll see how it goes.
Posted by KeytarHero 5 years ago

The traditional notion of God does not preclude Free Will. To believe so is to make the fallacy of confusing cause and effect. We are not forced to do something because God knows it will happen, God knows it will happen because we will do something. If God thought different, or if we did something else, then God will not be omniscient.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by imabench 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: con does have raging votebopmbing slaves, this is a counter measure
Vote Placed by KeytarHero 5 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: GenesisCreation swept this across the board. I can't say I agree with either side because I'm middle of the road between Calvin and Arminius. Deduction copped out of the debate in a major way.