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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « The Trial | Main | Are We Saved by Free Grace or Free Will? »

    A Contrast of Missionary Strategies

    Both the Calvinst and the Arminian are eager to reach the lost with the gospel so they each send out missionaries to the lost and unreached people groups. Both indiscriminately preach the gospel to all people. But this is where the similarity ends. The Calvinist, and his or her sending local church, earnestly pray for the souls of real people, that God will save individual sinners - those the missionary is working with; that God would have favor on them. That he would germinate the seed which they are planting and bring these individuals to life.

    The Arminian, and his church, on the other hand, do not pray for God to save individuals nor do they pray he would have favor on certain people over others. For as soon as he prays for someones salvation he is asking God to change their heart, in which case he is no longer an Arminian, but believes God can do something to the will of the person being prayed for... and since, according to them, God is obligated to grant the same favor to all people, he cannot consistently pray that God would have favor on certain individuals and not others. It all becomes very impersonal because the Arminian can only consistently pray for the mass Of humanity that God would do something He is already doing for them - giving them equal opportunity ... without any thought to the individual. Otherwise, they reason, God would be unfair. But does not Jesus himself say, "Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ (Matt 20:15)

    Of course the hypercalvinist neither sends nor prays for he erroneously reasons that "When God decides to save the heathen, He will do it without any help."

    Posted by John on November 19, 2013 01:20 PM

    Comments

    Of course this is not what most Arminians actually do in practice. It a vehicle I am using to make an argument from consistency

    John, this has practical applications that go far beyond what meets the eye.
    Take all of the church planting movement strategies and their frantic search for a "man of peace" who will get the whole ball rolling. It is all about methods, nothing about a rock solid conviction about "God having people in that place".
    Thanks for the post.
    Wish more could see it.
    John

    As an associate evangelist with the Open Air Mission in England I regularly go to Canterbury and hand out tracts.

    If I did not believe that salvation was a gift that God gives to the elect I would soon give up because peoples' hearts are too hard to be saved. Their own "free will" will never choose Christ.

    However, because I believe that God's purposes are NEVER thwarted I am confident as I go forth to share the Gospel. The elect WILL be saved, not one will be lost!

    see www.bobhutton1.blogspot.com or www.bobhutton1.blogspot.co.uk

    I have used this argument with a Methodist Pastor who is a good friend, and it never penetrates. The contradiction is so obvious, yet, not visible to so many who cling to libertarian free will. When I suggest that he is really an Open Theist, not an Arminian, the rockets go off. He gets angry and tells me that he believes in the Sovereignty of God. The argument reminds me of a college professor I had who told us at the outset of a Introduction to Philosophy course,I took (way back in 1965) that we would learn in the class that there was no such thing as absolute truth, and when he was challenged by a student that he had made an absolute truth statement, he went apocalyptic.

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