- The thoughts of a 21st century Remonstrant

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Technical Terms

This post is to help clarify some of the technical terms and acronyms that are commonly used in the Arminian/Calvinist debate. There will be a permanent link to this on the side bar, and this post will be updated on an on-going basis.

Amyraldianism - Commonly known as 4 point Calvinism, is a belief system that accepts the doctrines of Calvinism, except for the doctrine of Limited Atonement.

Compatibalism - The belief (held by the majority of Calvinists) that Determinism and free will can co-exist. Compatibilistic free will is different to the more common understanding of free will (i.e. Libertarian Free Will). Under Compatibilistic Free Will, we are only as free as our nature, so that when confronted with a choice, we are only able to "choose" the predetermined choice.

Determinism - The belief that all events are predetermined with no possible alternative outcome [determined by God in the A/C debate]. Sometimes referred to as Exhaustive Determinism (ED) to clarify that it refers to all events.

Election - God's choosing of who will be saved. Arminians believe that God's election is conditional with the condition being faith. Calvinists believe that election is unconditional.

Infralapsarianism - Is the view held by the majority of Calvinists regarding the order of God's eternal decrees. The order is as follows:

  1. Decree to create man

  2. Decree to "allow" fall

  3. Election and Reprobation

  4. Atonement and Salvation for the elect

Libertarian Free Will (LFW) - The belief that man has the ability to make some choices which are not predetermined by God. [In the A/C debate, men are only able to do so by God's grace.] Commonly referred to as just "free will", "Libertarian" to distinguish it from the determined free will of the compatibilist.

OSAS - Once Saved Always Saved

PoE - Problem of Evil

Prevenient Grace - The Arminian doctrine of grace, where God acts graciously on men, which enables men to repent and believe.

Regeneration - The doctrine of being born again. Arminians generally believe that one becomes born again when they repent and believe. Calvinists generally believe that one must first be regenerated (sometimes called "quickened") in order to repent and believe.

Reprobation - The Calvinist doctrine, where God before the foundation of the world chooses who will be eternally condemned.

Supralapsarianism - Is the view held by a minority of Calvinists regarding the order of God's eternal decrees. The order is as follows:

  1. Election and Reprobation

  2. Decree to "allow" fall

  3. Atonement for the elect

  4. Decree to create man

Total Depravity - A doctrine shared by both Arminians and Calvinists, where man left to his own devices lacks the ability to repent and believe, as a result of original sin.

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