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DFW Theology & Apologetics Meetup Message Board › Calvinism vs Arminianism vs Christian Universalism

Calvinism vs Arminianism vs Christian Universalism

Peter S.
shepherd
Hurst, TX
Post #: 5
I would like to take a moment and compare what Calvinists believe vs what Arminianists vs what Christian Universalists believe. If I misrepresent either view, please let me know.

CALVINISM

  • There is one God.
  • There is one Mediator between God and men, and that Mediator is the very and eternal God himself.
  • The one Mediator gave himself a ransom for a part only of mankind.
  • All those for whom the Mediator died will be saved.
  • God's purposes in the creation of the human race embraced the final holiness and happiness of a part, and the endless misery of the rest.
  • God's purpose in reference to the final destiny of his creatures cannot be defeated.
  • God has the power to make all his creatures holy and happy.
  • God wills the salvation of a part of his creatures, and the damnation of the rest.
  • God's will in reference to the ultimate destiny of his creatures will be done.
  • God can save all mankind, but will not.
  • The object of Christ's mission to our world was to save a part only of mankind from endless misery.
  • Christ will succeed in accomplishing the object of his mission.
  • All for whom Christ died will be saved.
  • A glorious and happy destiny awaits a portion of the human race, and a most inglorious, unhappy and miserable destiny awaits the rest.



ARMINIANISM

  • There is one God.
  • There is one Mediator between God and men, and that Mediator is the very and eternal God himself
  • The one Mediator gave himself a ransom for all.
  • Apart only of those for whom the Mediator died will be saved.
  • God's purposes in the creation of the human race embraced the final holiness and happiness of all mankind.
  • God's purpose in reference to the final destiny of a part of his creatures will be defeated.
  • God has not the power to make all his creatures holy and happy.
  • God wills the salvation of all his creatures.
  • God's will in reference to the ultimate destiny of a part of his creatures will not be done.
  • God would save all mankind, but cannot.
  • The object of Christ's mission to our world was to save all mankind from endless misery.
  • Christ will succeed in accomplishing a part only of the object of his mission.
  • Some for whom Christ died will not be saved.
  • A glorious and happy destiny awaits a portion of the human race, and a most inglorious, unhappy and miserable destiny awaits the rest.



CHRISTIAN UNIVERSALISM

  • There is one God.
  • There is one Mediator between God and men, and that Mediator is "the Man Christ Jesus."
  • The one Mediator gave himself a ransom for all.
  • All those for whom the Mediator died will be saved.
  • God's purposes in the creation of the human race embraced the final holiness and happiness of all mankind.
  • God's purpose in reference to the final destiny of his creatures cannot be defeated.
  • God has the power to make all his creatures holy and happy.
  • God wills the salvation of all his creatures.
  • God's will in reference to the ultimate destiny of his creatures will be done.
  • God can save all mankind,and will.
  • The object of Christ's mission to our world was to save all mankind from their sins.
  • Christ will succeed in accomplishing the object of his mission.
  • All for whom Christ died will be saved.
  • A glorious and happy destiny awaits every individual of the entire human race.


The Bottom Line


  • The Calvinist God has the ability and power to save all mankind but refuses to do so.
  • The Arminian God would like to save all mankind but does not have the power and ability to do so.
  • The Christian Universalist God has the power, the ability, and the desire to save all mankind and will do so.

Which God do YOU believe in?
Todd H.
Hedgcoth
Group Organizer
Bedford, TX
Post #: 15
Hi Peter.

I think we as Christians should draw our conclusions about God from what the Bible says. You outlined 3 views of God and his plan for salvation. I think the view that has the strongest support from the Bible is the "Calvinist" view.

It's a nice idea that God will save everyone one day. I think everyone would like to believe that. But there's one problem. It's not biblical. We can either choose to believe whatever we want to believe about God or we choose to believe what the Bible says about God -- even if it's not what we want to hear.

What is the biblical support for Christian Universalism? I think that would be a good discussion.

Todd
Peter S.
shepherd
Hurst, TX
Post #: 6
Todd, I guess you can go to I Corinthians 15:22:

for even as in Adam all die, so also in the Christ all shall be made alive,

In philosophy, or logic, this statement is called, I believe, a parallellism. It has two sides to the equation. The all on the left side = the all on the right side. Everyone that died through Adam (the whole human race) will eventually be made alive through Christ.

23 and each in his proper order, a first-fruit Christ, afterwards those who are the Christ's, in his presence,

everything in order.

24 then -- the end, when he may deliver up the reign to God, even the Father, when he may have made useless all rule, and all authority and power --

25 for it behoveth him to reign till he may have put all the enemies under his feet --

26 the last enemy is done away -- death;

27 for all things He did put under his feet, and, when one may say that all things have been subjected, [it is] evident that He is excepted who did subject the all things to him,

28 and when the all things may be subjected to him, then the Son also himself shall be subject to Him, who did subject to him the all things, that God may be the all in all.

Once all become subject to Jesus, Jesus Himself will be subject to the Father, and God will be all in all.

Much has been written on this subject, but it is definitely very biblical, that all will eventually be reconciled to the Father, who is not willing that ANY (of His creation) perish, but that ALL come to repentance.

Peter
A former member
Post #: 10
I look forward to joining the meetup tonight - finally! This looks like a very intriguing conversation....

Calvinism is a bit misrepresented in that God does not want any to perish, but tainted by sin of the human race, none of us can choose our way back. That is, God has to help us to choose. We can only receive Jesus' gift through faith by grace. It's not God's wanting others to perish so much as God calling believers to faith. If one were to use the verse about God not wanting any to perish to suggest universalism, what of all the passages on hell and separation from God and the weeping and gnashing of teeth? Clearly, the Bible indicates that the presence of God is not for everyone.

Following your logic here, if everything God wants happens, God would be desiring that people commit crimes against each other and so forth. Yes, God does want all to be saved, but because of the battle in the spiritual realm, it just ain't so. The world is fallen, and people will fall with it, not because God wants that, but because free will (not powerlessness on God's part) opens the door for things to happen contrary to God's perfect (desired) will. On the other hand, God is powerful, and God's ultimate, big-picture plan will happen, not only for this world but for each person who belongs to Jesus. God's permissive will allows bad things to happen to good people so that God's glory will ultimately be revealed. God can make good things out of the tarnishings and vile events, even though the nasty stuff should never exist in the first place. Does any of this make sense?

I Corinthians 15:22 is a perplexing passage that Augustine especially puzzled over (and Calvin responded to him, about a millennium later) because of its suggestion that we all die - what does that mean for the passage in 1 Thes. 4 that says those who live in Christ will go to meet him "in the air" and not die?

As for universalism in this statement, you're right that it could be an inclusive set. All in Adam die... that is all humanity descended from Adam who are therefore tainted with sin. Read: everyone. But all in Christ will be made alive could be a subset. The "all" here might be coupled in each case with the prepositional phrase "all in Adam" or "all in Christ." I've not studied this specifically, but the nuance could be clearer in the Greek because of the endings that signal connection or grammatical dependence. ?? A quick glance at parallel translations indicates that it may not be so, but still, it may be worth considering.

The last enemy is done away with ... death is no more, once the new creation is established. This means an abiding with God eternally for believers. For unbelievers, it means eternal separation. We can't ignore all the passages that speak of two destinies.

Another interesting proposal I heard once - not one I subscribe to but worth a quick consideration although it also flies in the face of all the heaven/hell verses - is the notion that maybe God gives those who have not known or accepted Jesus another chance at death. Perhaps some people have never heard or experienced a true representation of who Jesus is - who of us have it all right? - and they get a purer revelation at the time of death. This is not a Calvinist notion, but it suggests a kind of universalism that leaves the necessity of Jesus' work in the picture.

Frankly, I don't buy it, but it addresses the question about people who've never heard...
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