Monday, December 21, 2009

Putting the "hyper-Calvinist" argument to rest...

Ok, so that probably will not happen, but here's my take on the whole "faith vs. works" issue that seems to be so often blown out of proportion in the Calvinist vs. Arminian debates:

My thesis is simply the following -- The decision made in faith to follow Christ cannot be considered a "work," precisely because it is not an action which requires an obligatory response from God; in other words, it does not require God to do, or give, or provide something to us. (Romans 4 spells this out pretty clearly, if you're needing a biblical reference point.) Rather, it is the response of humble surrender which results from the recognition that God has already done the work on our behalf, and has given us the gift of faith by the Spirit. Our response, and the acceptance of that gift, cannot be classified as any sort of work, because God is not obliged to give us grace as a result of our faith. God has already given grace and faith to us, and our surrender to that reality is not an action, but a reaction, such that it places no stipulation upon God.

As such, any resort to language of "works" with regard to the human decision of willing to surrender to Christ/God is a straw man; it is simply an argument that results from a misunderstanding of the definition of the word "work." Of course, this does all beg the question of whether God's gifts of grace and faith are given to all humanity -- I believe they are (Scriptural citations available upon request. ;-D). But the bigger question, from my perspective, is whether all humanity will eventually surrender to God's grace, or whether some will remain defiant forever. Unfortunately (or - actually - fortunately!), only God can answer that question. But I think my thesis here is viable and offers a genuine alternative to the rigid "double-predestinarian" view held by some believers. I'm going on record: Five-point Calvinism is incorrect.


Phil said...

Wow, congratulations! You've just solved the whole problem/dilemma in a blog post.

Geoff Dargan said...

I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or not... ;-)