Quotes about Theology-Arminianism


In Matt. 11:25 we read of a prayer in which Jesus said, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou didst hide these things from the wise and understanding, and didst reveal them unto babes; yea, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in thy sight.” In those words He thanked the Father for doing that very thing which Arminians exclaim against as unjust and censure as partial.


So in a Reformed system God’s highest value is His own glory, and in an Arminian system God’s highest value is the freewill of man.


Reformed theologians say that God deems His own glory more important than saving everyone, and that (according to Romans 9) God’s glory is also furthered by the fact that some are not saved. Arminian theologians also say that something else is more important to God than the salvation of all people, namely, the preservation of man’s free will. So in a Reformed system God’s highest value is His own glory, and in an Arminian system God’s highest value is the free will of man (Wayne Grudem and Jeff Purswell).


The two theologies thus conceive the plan of salvation in quite different terms. One makes salvation depend on the work of God, the other on a work of man; one regards faith as part of God’s gift of salvation, the other as man’s own contribution to salvation; one gives all the glory of saving believers to God, the other divides the praise between God, who, so to speak, built the machinery of salvation, and man, who by believing operated it.


What the Arminian wants to do is to arouse man’s activity; what we want to do is kill it once and for all, to show him that he is lost and ruined, and that his activities are not now at all equal to the work of conversion; that he must look upward. They seek to make the man stand up; we seek to bring him down, and make him feel that he lies in the hand of God, and that his business is to submit himself to God, and cry aloud “Lord save, or we perish!”


Born, as all of us are by nature, an Arminian, I still believed the old things I had heard continually from the pulpit, and did not see the grace of God. When I was coming to Christ, I thought I was doing it all myself, and though I sought the Lord earnestly, I had no idea the Lord was seeking me.


Arminianism is thus guilty of confusing doctrines and of acting as an obstruction to a clear and lucid grasp of the Scripture; because it mis-states or ignores the eternal purpose of God, it dislocates the meaning of the whole plan of redemption. Indeed confusion is inevitable apart from this foundational truth.


Thus the Calvinist says that God elects unbelievers and predestines them to become believers. The Arminian, on the other hand, says that God elects believers and predestines them to become His children… The question…is this: Are faith and repentance produced by free will and thus the cause of election, or are they produced by the Holy Spirit and thus the effect of election? According to Arminianism, election is that act of God whereby He foreordains to eternal life those whom He foresees will respond in faith to the gospel. According to Calvinism, election is that act of God whereby He foreordains to eternal life those who, because of sin, cannot respond in faith to the gospel.


There are several problems with the Arminian view:

1. The doctrine of prevenient grace, on which the Arminian view of conditional election is based, is not found in Scripture.

2. Note well that there is no reference in [Romans 8:29] to faith or free will as that which God allegedly foresees in men. It is not what He foreknows but whom.

3. [Arminianism] assumes that fallen men are able and willing to believe in Christ apart from the regenerating grace of God, a notion that Paul has denied in Rom. 3:10-18.

4. Would not this view give man something of which he may boast? Those who embrace the gospel would be deserving of some credit for finding within themselves what others do not.

5. This view suspends the work of God on the will of man. It undermines the emphasis in Romans 8:28-38 on the sovereign and free work of God who foreknows, predestines, calls, justifies, and glorifies. It is God who is responsible for salvation, from beginning to end.

6. Even if one grants that God elects based on His foreknowledge of man’s faith, nothing is proven. For God foreknows everything. One must determine from Scripture how man came by the faith that God foreknows. And the witness of Scripture is that saving faith is a gift of God (Eph. 2:8-10; Phil. 1:29; 2 Pet. 1:1; 2 Tim. 2:24-26; Acts 5:31; 11:18).


If God truly desires for all to be saved in the way the Arminian contends, and if He knows what it is in the means of persuasion contained in the gospel that brings people to say yes, why doesn’t He orchestrate the presentation of the gospel in such a way that it will succeed in persuading all people to believe? The point is this: Surely the God who perfectly knows every human heart is capable of creating a world in which the gospel would prove successful in every case. And if God desires for all to be saved in the way the Arminian contends, why didn’t He?


Since this drawing of people by the Father to the Son is always efficacious, it cannot refer to the so-called enabling grace of Arminianism. Do you recall what the Arminian believes? He believes that God restores in all men a power or an ability sufficient to enable them to come to Christ. Clearly this “universal enablement” cannot be the drawing that Jesus describes, Why not? Because millions and millions of men and women do not, in fact, come to Christ! And yet Jesus says that all who are given by the Father are drawn by the Father and shall come to Christ. There is no escaping the clear and unequivocal language of our Lord Jesus Christ: no one can come unless drawn by the Father; but if one is drawn by the Father he shall come.


On the Arminian view, God’s justice makes it absolutely necessary that He do for one lost and undeserving sinner what He does for all. God was obligated by His own righteous character…to provide as much help, opportunity, and inducement unto salvation for Judas Iscariot as He did for the apostle Paul. Or, to put it in other terms, God is not sovereignly free to do for one sinner what He declines to do for another. He must do the same for


Since mankind is hopelessly dead in trespasses and sins and can do nothing to obtain salvation, God graciously restores all men sufficient ability to make a choice in the matter of submission to Him… In His foreknowledge He perceives what each one will do with this restored ability, and elects men to salvation in harmony with His knowledge of their choice of Him.