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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Arminianism, Calvinism, Semi-Pelagianism, and my own views

Arminianism should be called "Semi-Augustinianism" rather than "Semi-Pelagianism". True Arminianism embraces Augustine's Hard Deterministic views about the fall of man in his Older years. But they also embrace the free will views of Augustine's early years. So they properly should be called "Semi-Augustinian" or "Moderate Augustinians". The Calvinists seem to only want to embrace Augustines latter teachings. His Deterministic views and nothing else.

The real difference between Arminianism and Semi-pelagianism is that Semi-Pelagianism tought the grace of God must preceed the will of "some" people. Whereas Arminianism believes that the grace of God must preceed the will of "all men".

This is the fundemental difference. the difference that very few seem to notice. Also, classical and weslyian Arminianism both seem to teach that the will of man was destroyed and lost by the Fall of man. I don't think Semi-Pelagianism ever went that far. I know the greek Fathers never went that far. Nor did the Latin Fathers before Augustine. Nor did Augustine in his early Christian years.

My view is the Grace of God must preceed the will of "all men", but the will of man was never destroyed or lost by the fall for that would mean the Image of God (which man is) would of been destroyed and lost as well. Being an Image of God is not something man has. It is something man is. So fallen man is a "marred" Image of God. If God's Image was eradicated/annihilated in the Fall then man would cease to exist. But if God's Image is eternal then it can't be destroyed.

Thus I believe the will of man to be broken, bent, fallen, wounded, damaged, and weakened. But never destroyed.....nor lost.

I might be wrong but as far as Arminianism goes I probably would agree more with Philip Limborch of the Remonstrants in this regard.



Evie said...

Does Roman Catholicism lean more towards Calvinism or Arminianism?

Jnorm said...

Good question. It all depends.

Rome has 3 or 4 different schools of thought on the issue.

I'm shooting from the hip so I might not remember everything, but from what I can recall.

her schools are

1. Augustinian

2. Thomistic/Thomism

3. Congruent

4. Molinism

Out of the 4 systems #'s 1 & 2 are closer to Calvinism. Whereas #'s 3 & 4 are closer to Arminianism.

# 3 is a middle ground between Thomism & Molinism.....somewhat like Calminianism is in American Protestant Theology.

#1 is pretty rare in Roman Catholic theology. They are the minority. Thomism is the official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.

However, Molinism is the most popular among Roman Catholics.


Evie said...

Thanks for your response to my question re Rome's leaning toward Calvinism or Arminianism. Your answer requires much study which I will continue to do but I now have another query. Calvinists say that the word "WORLD" in John 3:16 only refers to believers of all different cultures and nations, but not to the unbelievers. I always thought the verse meant that Jesus died for every single person in the world, not just for those who would be saved. Would you give me your opinion again please?

Jnorm said...

Sure, I'm sorry for taking awhile to get back with you. I missed the e-mail blogger usually sends.

I posted a post on my blog about john 3:16 over hear. I did this sometimelast year.

But, What I do is I usually look at the first chapter of the Gospel of John first.

JOHN 1:9-10
"There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.

He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him."

The word "World" in John 1:9 seems to be talking about every single person. "Jesus enlightens everyman".

In John 1:10 it says Jesus made the World. It doesn't say Jesus made only the elect of the World.

As far As I can see, there is nothing in John 3:16 that would make the word "World" different from the word "World" in John chapter 1.

For the same "World" that God said he loved in 3:16 was the same World he was sent into in John 1:9 & John 3:17

The World God loved in John 3:16 was the same World he made in John 1:10. The same World he was in and didn't know him. This was the World God loved. The same world that he wants to save.....which is in verse 17 of chapter 3.

Another way of translating John 3:15 is

"so that "ALL WHO" believes will in Him have eternal life."

You can do the same in John 3:16. Turn the "whoever believes"

into "ALL who believes". That should make the passage a little clearer when moving on to verses 17 & 18.

One of the key passages is verse 18. What World are those who don't believe in? They are in the same World as those who Believe. The same World God said he loved in verse 16, they don't live on a different planet. They live side by side with those who believe.

They live in the same World that Jesus made, came into, and wants to save.......the same World God said he loved.

verse 31 should also help make verse 16 clear. God so loved the people of the earth. The same earth that Jesus was sent into and wanted to save.

All those who believe will be saved while all those who don't believe will be condemned. Both those who believe and don't believe live on the same World that God said he loved.

I should come back to this topic some time in the future. But I did touch on tis last year, and from what I can remember I think I said that John 3:16 is more than justmankind. I go on to talk about how it is talking about the "World" in general....Romans chapter 8 and 1st Corinthians...maybe 2nd Corinth...I'm not sure, but Romans 8 talks about creation moaining & groaning waiting to be made new when God makes the new heavens and the new earth.

The same picture is seen in 1st Corinth when God comsumes everything to be all in all.

and that takes place in the new heaven & new earth.

I hope I didn't go on a rant. Please forgive me if I have.

But I should come back to this topic sometime in the future.


Jnorm said...

Hey evie? I hope you don't mind me asking, but why don't you post more?


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