Calvinism & Arminianism: Election 2007

The sotereological frameworks of Calvin and Arminius have been widely debated since their codification and there remains today an ongoing kerfuffle, especially in hyperventilated world of the blogosphere where anonymity often shields the purveyors of ideas from having to support them by examining their underpinnings. The positions taken are often of the ‘I’m right because my beliefs are beyond challenge’ sort and any engagement usually degenerates (with proper Christian faux-humility – e.g. ‘forgive me for disagreeing’, ‘we pray you’ll come to understand your error’, etc.) into disagreement without adequate consideration of the opposing position. What I often discover being left out of these C&A spats is any discussion of one of the fundamental differences between the two schools of thought, the concept of election. Because an understanding of divine election is so critical to being an educated participant in the debate, my contribution to the conversation will be to outline the different positions that are taken, starting with the classical Calvinist and Arminian positions.

God is glorified and our faith enriched when we all contribute to the conversation and I would encourage anyone who has something to add to do so. That said, I have but one requirement and that would be that sources and citations be included with your statements. This helps all who read the threads to follow up and explore our points further AND it prevents us from furthering mythological positions that have no actual support. As an example, the Arminian position is often misrepresented on several points. For one, there is a meme that winds up in many posts that states Arminian theology as seeing humankind as less than totally depraved. Though it is completely untrue, this idea is passed from person to person without any real effort made to discover whether or not it is correctly representative of the theology. This lack of scholarship is not glorifying when discussing the matters of God.

So, on with the show…

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