Sunday, January 20, 2008

Arminian objections and misconceptions.

I was hoping that someone here could answer this for me. If we are so depraved that we are dead and dead in our sins and unable to respond, after all dead people do not respond, then how can a believer who is dead to sin still sin? I mean dead is dead right? Would this not be why we have prevenient grace that enables a person to either accept/reject the gospel? And while we are at it, why is accepting a gift called a work by Calvinists, it is still all of grace. Just accepting something that you do not deserve does not mean that you can boast or take credit that is just silly.

When Scripture (and Calvinism) refers to the deadness of mankind, it is talking about man's inability in one direction, IE Upward and God-ward. The direction of Spiritual good. The direction of God's righteousness. The direction of being able in and of itself to please God.
Being "dead" in sin has no biblical application that extends beyond that.
So, to say man is dead in his sin, does not mean he is literally dead and therefore being dead he cannot sin or being dead he cannot do anything!

Arminians need to follow the teaching/description of being "dead" as far as scripture applies it.

Think of man, all men, being on a "horizontal plain". All men are born as sinners and are equal in that sense. We are all like "worms" comparing ourselves to other "worms", but still worms.
On the horizontal plane, we are unable to rise above it and interact with the life of God. Let us call that realm the Vertical plane.
Man has no inherent ability to traverse from the horizontal to the vertical. Man is "dead" meaning spiritually unable to bridge the two planes.

Being "regenerated" or being "Born again" or being "made spiritually alive" bridges the gap between God and man.
Until that happens by God's grace alone, there is no "spiritual life" in man, but death only, leading to ultimate physical death and eternal death.

Hope that helps.

As far as "Prevenient grace is concerned, I do not find the concept in scripture. I see it as a way of holding on to libertarian freedom. A concept scripture does not teach in any way, shape or form.
Prevenient grace only facilitates the idea that men still have the ability to make use of God's grace. Such an idea is not compatible with "Grace".
And that answers your last objection as to faith and works. If one person makes better use of this supposed "prevenient" grace, then the difference between the saved and the unsaved is not "God's grace" but rather mans use of this thing called "Prevenient grace".
It makes real grace, into prevenient grace, which in turn depends upon the will and nature of man. It turns Grace into a work.
It is not about "simply" accepting a gift. It is all about a dead man being resurrected from his own spiritual grave!
It is like Lazarus being raised from the tomb. He did not accept anything! He was like an illustration of the old words in that Hymn Amazing grace. He was blind and made to see. He was lost and found. He was dead and stinketh, but was commanded to come forth! That is the new birth physically and graphically illustrated by Jesus Himself!


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