Sunday, June 5, 2011

I Have a Quick Question for Arminians:

Alan Kurschner has posted a great question for Arminians.

Since you believe that God is all-powerful and all-loving, why does God not cause everyone to be saved? What is so all-mightily restraining his will to be able to save all people?

If you respond by saying that it is the resisting free-will of the unbeliever that impedes God to change their hearts, then why pray, "God, change the unbeliever's heart"? If God is "all-loving" as you claim, should not his love for the hell-bound be more important than him "respecting" the resisting free-will? What sort of divine love is that in your worldview?

At the end of the day, your theology results in the difference of someone becoming saved—not through God's love and power—but through a felicitous factor in the sinner.

though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls" —Apostle Paul

I got to admit that I really want to see an answer to this question.

I Have a Quick Question for Arminians:
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  1. This isn't really anything new, Marcus. On why we pray for God to change people's hearts, it's because we believe He has the power to act on people's hearts and influence their lives. In fact we believe it's necessary for anyone to come to Him.

    On free will, the reason God allows free creatures to reject Him is because He doesn't want puppets worshiping Him. If God were the one controlling what we choose, then how on earth can we consider that a genuine relationship. Relationships are understood in the context of two individuals mutually coming into it together. If God simply stripped those who reject Him of their freedom and forced them to love Him, what kind of love is that? Can a puppet love?

    In fact, that would be very unloving of God, to force something on someone they wouldn't want.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Brennon. I appreciate that you consider God's influence on people's hearts to be mandatory. As a matter of fact you are the first confessing Arminian that I have ever known who said that. Others like George Bryson seems to deny that and leaves it up to an indivdual's free will and Norman Geisler says that Jesus offers only the possibility of salvation - not propitiation.

    How far do you take the need for God's action on the sinners' heart for salvation? It seems to me that the Bible tells us that without God we cannot respond to God's love at all...we are hopelessly enslaved to sin without Jesus. Is that how you understand historic Arminianism?

  3. The only "good" thing man's free will can do is to submit to death. Over and over and over....

    "I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily."
    I Corinthians 15:31

    "...Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done."
    Luke 22:42

  4. Martin Glynn has answered the question, and Kurschner's response:



  5. Hey, Matthew. Thanks for pointing out Martin Glynn's responses. I think I still have a misunderstanding. Martin wrote:

    "So, let me say directly and simply: God, in His sovereignty, created us with the capacity to follow after Him or to reject Him because part of His purpose in creating us is to have with us the kind of relationship which is grounded in love, trust, and devotion instead of necessity and servitude."

    How does this not go against John 6:44 which say the exact opposite: No one is able to come to Christ unless drawn by the father?

    There are two problems with Kurschner's use of dysphemism here, though: A) "impede" implies "overpowering" something, and I took the time to explain that in Arminianism a human can't overpower God (and this was the point of my analogies. If he finds this incongruous then he should read some Arminian source material); and B) Kurschner was claiming to speak for Arminians using a term that Arminians don't use. Point one just means that he misunderstands us. Point two makes his whole original question misleading, and that is a major reason why I don't take him seriously.

    I'm not sure how else to understand Martin's use of "impede" in any way other than how Alan took it. I mean if God only wants everyone to be saved and the only way a person can be lost is if they choose to reject God against God calling them into salvation, how is that not overpowering the will of God?