Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Arminian Myth #3

From Roger E. Olson's Arminian Theology.

Myth #3: Arminianism is not an orthodox evangelical option.

Truth: Classical Arminian theology heartily affirms the fundamentals of Christian orthodoxy and promotes the hallmarks of evangelical Protestant faith; it is neither Arian nor liberal.

It is not Arianism,
--which denies the full deity of Christ
--which believes Christ was God’s first and greatest creation.
Arminius and Arminians affirm the full ontological deity of Christ.

It is not Socinianism,
--which denies the doctrines of the deity of Christ, the Trinity, the substitutionary atonement, and original sin.
Arminius and Arminians affirm all of these.

It is not Pelagianism,
--which denies original sin,
--which teaches that man has the natural and moral ability to live godly lives apart from a special operation of divine grace.
Arminius insisted that we are saved by grace, and he affirmed total depravity.

It is not Semi-Pelagianism,
--which affirms man’s ability to exercise good will toward God apart from special assistance of divine grace, believing man initiates salvation.
Arminius considered this heresy. He and Arminians believe grace is necessary to enable us to respond to God in the first place.

Do Arminians affirm fundamental tenets of classical Christian orthodoxy? (One accusation against Arminianism is that it is based more on philosophy than Scripture.)

From Arminius to modern-day Arminians, all affirm sola scriptura, the authority of Scripture above all. They also affirm sola gratia and sola fides, salvation by grace alone and through faith alone. Grace is the efficient cause of salvation, and faith is the sole instrumental cause of salvation, to the exclusion of human merit.

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