One way to boil down the essential differences between these two views is to pose this question: is man able to choose God prior to God’s intervention? That is, are men only drowning and in need of choosing to grab the life ring God how thrown them in Jesus (Arminianism); or are men already at the bottom of the sea, dead, in need of discovery and resuscitation by God (Calvinism).
Though the Synod of Dordt (and other such convocations) rejected Arminianism as unbiblical, many professing Christians believe it to be true today. Why?
One reason is that human nature drives man to be in control. Individuals naturally want to believe this. So they want to think they “make a decision” for Christ. They want to believe they have enough goodness in them to recognize the goodness of God and embrace Him. Humans want to believe their problem is not their corrupt nature so much as a lack of knowledge of this God who loves them.
They also misunderstand God’s love. They think His love is not “true” love when He predestines them. However, the Bible makes it clear that it is God who initiates and accomplishes this redemptive relationship (Ephesians 1; Romans 9, etc.). God chooses men, not vice versa.
Submitted by Julianne at semper reformanda
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