Why The Calvinist/Arminian Debate is Important

Posted: October 11, 2010 by graysutanto in Uncategorized

1. To be a Christian means we must seek to understand all that the bible has to say in the best possible way, especially those things that are so clearly taught. Predestination is one of those things – therefore it is important that we hold to some sort of understanding of predestination, and the right understanding is what we must aim for.


2. God’s sovereignty hangs on it. Does God ever have a plan B? Is Jesus Christ THE plan from the very beginning or was he a back-up plan that God had when man sinned “against his will”? Does God ever fail or does He always ultimately get what He wants? Does God prioritize His glory first or does He prioritize man’s salvation and their free will?


3. God’s glory – the question as to how God glorifies Himself is at stake. Does God glorify himself through salvation alone or does he glorify himself in the just damnation of sinners? If God’s glory the manifestation of His attributes, which part of His attributes would we not have seen had He not allowed sin to come into the world from the beginning? If God’s glory diminished depending upon what we do?


4. God’s love. Does God love His elect conditionally or unconditionally? Is the love that He has for man conditioned upon what man does? or is the love that He has for man completely from His sovereign freedom? We must ask why God loves us. Does He love us because we chose Him, or do we choose Him because He first chose to love us.


5. An understanding of man’s sinful nature is at stake. Is man so sinful that he cannot even choose God or is man “not that bad” and can choose God? If no man can choose God, if every man are so depraved that they cannot, and do not ever want to seek God apart from God’s sovereign election, then there is no such thing as a non-believing “seeker”. Therefore it is a horrid idea to advocate anything that is “seeker-sensitive” for it is the idea that a church must make itself attractive to a people group that does not exist.


6. Evangelism depends on it. Without God’s sovereign election/ predestination of Christians, evangelism would be pointless. For it would make conversion/ regeneration dependent upon the ability of the evangelizer and the willingness to change by the one being evangelized to – rather than conversion depending upon the sole power of God. Without God’s sovereign work in a man’s heart, conversion/regeneration/being born-again is absolutely impossible. Becoming a Christian is a miracle, not a mere change of mind.


7. An understanding of WHY God saved you. Did God save you because He wanted to or because you wanted to save yourself? Does God save you out of grace or was He obligated to save you because you first chose Him? Did your ability to become a Christian come from God’s grace or did God’s grace come to you because of your ability to become a Christian?


8. Eternal Security. Is God strong enough to keep His elect or can we lose our salvation? Does our willingness to stay with God depend on us or with Him?


9. The Success of Jesus’ atonement. If Jesus died for all men without exception then with so many already in hell we would have to conclude He failed miserably. + without God’s sovereign election no one would have the desire to believe in the Cross/ Jesus at all.


10. Humility. Knowing whether or not your salvation was primarily caused by God, solely a work of God, and not by your choice determines and demands that we greatly humble ourselves. The only difference between the Christian and the non-christian is not his will to choose God, but simply grace alone.


11. God’s holiness. How does God feel about sin? Can a holy God really be holy without the manifestation of His wrath?


12. Finally, the GOSPEL is at stake. If God did not predestined the Cross, the sins of the gentiles, jews, herod and pilate just as Acts 4:27-29 said He did, the Cross would have never happened, and if it did happen it would have merely been one “good” accident that God had no part of.


Conclusion: VERY important.

  1. theologigal says:

    This IS indeed very important. I especially appreciate point #6 – how predestination is actually crucial to evangelism rather than inherently opposed to it, which is an argument I’ve often heard.
    There are quite a few people who I know and love who would ascribe to Arminian theology, and while I’m still certain of their salvation, I do feel this is still an important conversation to have as it greatly impacts their relationship with Christ and their growth in sanctification.
    Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Natalie says:

    I whole heartedly agree with Theologigal’s comment to this post. Thanks so much for your blog. I found it as I searched the internet for some support, even though I have many theological books on the subject of the Calvinist/Arminian debate. I don’t have too many friends who hold to the reformed thought. I was blessed to have this truth inpressed upon me early on upon my salvation. Thank you for your blog…please keep posting and updating it. I am enjoying what you have shared on here.
    In Christ. -Natalie Arnett

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