Frequently Asked Questions

In the Calvinism vs. Arminianism debate, there are frequently asked questions, some of which I hope to capture in the Q&A format stated below. Some such questions are also addressed in the section for charges frequently made, shown here. If additional questions are requested, I can incorporate them into the expanding list below. As always, feedback is welcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question:  Does Total Depravity disprove Arminianism?

Answer:  It actually only proves the necessity of grace for God to intervene, and God does intervene because Jesus seeks (Luke 19:10), draws (John 12:32), knocks (Revelation 3:20), while the Holy Spirit convicts (John 16:8), pricks (Acts 3:27) and goads. (Acts 26:14)
Question:  Why do Arminians reject the example of Lazarus in spiritual regeneration?

Answer:  Because it has nothing to do with spiritual regeneration or salvation, since Lazarus was already saved. Jesus said what the purpose was, and it was so that the people would believe that He is the Messiah. No apostle ever appropriated this story in the manner that Calvinists do. Sometimes Calvinists are like theological scavengers, searching for theological parts, in order to manipulate for Calvinism.
Question:  Based upon 1st Samuel 16:14-16, 23, how do Arminians explain the fact that the evil spirit came from the Lord?

Answer:   I interpret it in the same way as 2nd Chronicles 18:18-22 (and the account of Job 2:3), since it uses similar language. One thing to remember is that the devil goes before God in Heaven, and makes accusations and demands. At Job 2:3, at the devil’s demands, God gave the devil permission to inflict harm on Job, and God accepted responsibility for what He allowed (i.e. you incited me to harm him without cause). So the devil left Heaven, on his way to harm Job. It was likely the same situation at the Samuel and Chronicles passages. Permission was granted from God, but God is not against us. The devil and demons, though, are definitely against us. God would have had it that Saul obey God and be a great king. So when he fails, and then the devilish demands start flying, God turns people over to judgment. So that’s how I see it. God is not against us, but for us. That is the ultimate take-away for me. In fact, God provided relief through David. I also like to view it from the perspective of the father of the prodigal son. He reluctantly acquiesced to his son’s demand, not only to leave, but also to leave with his share of the inheritance, which could have been quite substantial, and with it, his son was being unleashed upon whatever town that he was entering, fully financed for ungodliness. So as a result of the father’s permission to grant his son’s demand, the father caused harm to whomever his son impacted. However, in the father's act of permission, there was never any malintent on his part. He would have had it that his son never leave, never make any demands, and never misuse the money, and was gladdened when his son returned. I think that God is the same way, in His act of permission. He has no malintent.
Question:  How do Arminians respond to the claim that only Calvinism represents “The Doctrines of Grace”?

Answer:   Is it grace for everyone? If not, then wouldn’t it be more fair to call it the “Doctrines of [Limited] Grace” based upon the doctrine of Limited Atonement? Calvinism teaches that God’s saving grace is exclusive to a special class of a secret elect, who alone are allegedly, eternally prearranged for salvation. What Calvinists do in response is to use the approach that Arminians cannot criticize Calvinists in this regard, because what hurts Calvinists, hurts Arminians also, since we too limit God’s grace, insomuch that we deny Irresistible Grace. However, how can we be accused of limiting what Calvinists otherwise add? We cannot be accused of paring God’s grace down from Irresistible Grace, since we never elevated it to an Irresistible Grace.
Question:  Does the Calvinist doctrine of Unconditional Election represent orthodox Christianity?

Answer:  If you believe that God has chosen you for salvation for any reason except faith in His Son, then you have deviated from the Christian faith. However, as much as God cares about right-theology, God cares a whole lot more about right-character, and 1st Corinthians chapter 13 speaks to this point. But the irony is that while Calvinists believe that they are honoring God by preaching man’s depravity, they are actually dishonoring Christ with a special election with the Father. The irony is that while Calvinists think that they are honoring God’s sovereignty, they are dishonoring God’s sovereign decree at John 3:16.
Question:  Is this a true statement? “God doesn’t draw everyone.”

Answer:   It depends upon which drawing that is being referenced. It is the Father’s drawing at John 6:45 that is pre-Calvary, or is it the Son’s drawing at John 12:32 that is post-Calvary? The former is of those who had heard and learned from the Father; the latter is of all men.
Question:  Is Arminianism “man-centered”?

Answer:  It’s actually “Christ-centered” and “Christ-exalting,” insomuch that no one has any standing with God the Father apart from faith in Christ, and that there is no secret path to the Father by hidden election. “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’” (John 14:6) Arminianism trumpets Christ’s preeminence; Calvinism trumpets a secret brotherhood by means of an alleged, special election.
Question:  Can the wicked deny God the pleasure of redeeming them, through their refusal to turn to Him?

Answer:   Ezekiel 18:23 teaches that God takes pleasure when the wicked turn from their sins and He heals them, and so God is denied this pleasure by the refusal of the wicked, but God also takes pleasure in the Gospel plan of salvation, and so the ultimate fulfillment of God’s pleasure, in this regard, is when the wicked positively respond to the plan of salvation and turn to Him.
Question:  Why did God create those whom He knows will not come to Christ, and thus have to spend eternity in the agonies of Hell?

Answer:  What if God also knows that the same man will have a child who will grow up to love the Lord and become a Christian? If God prevents the birth of the father, then how can the Christian son be born? To explain how people are interconnected this way, consider Jesus’ parable of the wheat and the tares at Matthew 13:29, in which it was stated that an “enemy” sowed the tares in the field (not God), and the parable instructs the angel not to uproot the tares, because it would otherwise disturb the wheat, and that things will get sorted out in the final harvest. So I believe that Jesus’ parable resolves this particular conundrum.
Question:  How come Arminians don’t believe in Election and Predestination, even though both are taught in the Bible?

Answer:  Arminians believe that biblical predestination is what God does, and not necessarily meaning that God does everything. Moreover, Arminians believe that God’s predestination are contingent actions. In other words, if God knows a person’s heart, and knows what they will do in any given situation, God may determine His intervention accordingly, and which is why we find God’s foreknowledge closely associated with His predeterminations. See Acts 2:23 and Romans 8:29 as examples. As for Election, Arminians believe that Election is not a matter of God picking certain people to be saved, but rather that God has established salvation in Christ, insomuch that if Jesus is the Elect of the Father, those who are in Christ, are elect with Christ, because they are in Christ’s body and are Christ’s bride.
Question:  Where does it say that God intends to save all people?

Answer:  Would you agree that Matthew 25:41 teaches that God didn’t intend Hell for mankind? Look at the verse carefully and note who Jesus said that Hell was prepared for. Where does the verse mention that Hell was prepared for anything other than the devil and his angels? Obviously, fallen man follows the devil to Hell, but it’s clear that the original intention for mankind was something other than Hell, or else the verse would have more accurately stated that Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels and the alleged non-elect. 
Question:  Is Election grace?

Answer:  Election isn’t grace, which John 1:17 makes clear: “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” The life, death and resurrection of Jesus are grace. That’s how God showed us grace. God is quite “picky” when it comes to election, hence we’re elected IN Christ. Grace is necessary for election to exist, not the other way around.
Question:  How is Jesus going to deal with saved Calvinists in Heaven?

Answer:  I’m guessing that every Calvinist who is saved, is going to one day have a private, one on one conversation with Jesus, in which Jesus has a Jonah-like conversation with the saved Calvinist, in which Jesus explains the facts of life. I think that Jesus is going to remind them of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world...”, and then ask, “Do you think that I meant that?” I’m guessing how the conversation might go, but quoting Scripture would not be unprecedented. And when, not if, Calvinists bring up “the elect,” I imagine that Jesus will explain that “the elect” are all those who know Him, and are His sheep, and that He desires that all come to know Him, which is also very plainly stated in Scripture. This would be a chance for the Calvinist to get every argument off of their chest, but in that day, I imagine that every saved Calvinist will hardly remember what their arguments even were.
Question:  Is Calvinism a heresy?

Answer:  The answer is in regards to how closely Calvinism (or Arminianism) pertains to Galatians 1:6-9. When Calvinists like Charles Spurgeon declare Calvinism to be the Gospel, then it becomes a High Stakes claim, and had better be the correct Gospel, or else the downside risk is that it encroaches upon the warnings of Galatians 1:6-9. I can see in Scripture where Paul specifically states what the Gospel is (i.e. 1st Corinthians chapter 15), and gives a sample Gospel sermon (i.e. Acts 17’s message to the Athenians), and I’m not seeing Calvinism, but rather, elements of the message which appears to run counter to Calvinism. So I think that if I was still a Calvinist, that I would take deep consideration as to what I was alleging as the Gospel. To say that it’s just afuller presentation of the Gospel,” really only slightly lessens the stakes. This is something that should warrant a lot of prayer, before moving forward as being the Gospel in any form.
Question:  Is faith a gift?

Answer:  When asked in the context of Calvinism, the Calvinist intends to imply that faith is an irresistible gift for Calvinism’s elect, in which Ephesians 2:8 is often cited as the proof-text. However, the real gift is salvation, since the eternal life of salvation is offered as the free gift of God that is accessed through faith.” (Ephesians 2:8) Romans 6:23 states: For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The subject of Ephesians 2:8 is salvation, set in contrast to the works of the Law, in which the unbelieving Jews mistakenly thought that they could earn salvation.
Question:  Does Total Depravity necessitate the use of an Irresistible Grace?

Answer:  Calvinists often like to point out “there is no way to rescue people from their total depravity except by complete regeneration prior to faith,” but if true, then this would have the very negative implication of speaking of God’s Total Inability to reach sinners except by an Irresistible Grace. Although Calvinists loathe such an inference, complaining that it’s “turning things around,” in actuality, it simply states the facts of their conclusion. If Calvinists instead wish to assert that God had a choice in whether or not to use Prevenient Grace to enable an unregenerate sinner to freely receive His free gift of grace, but simply chose instead to use Irresistible Grace, then while that would relieve the offending implication, it would also come at the cost of admitting to the real potential and plausibility of the competing Arminian perspective. So Calvinists are faced with the dilemma of having to “pick their poison” so to speak.
Question:  If true love necessitates Free-Will, then how can there be love in Heaven, if there is no Free-Will in Heaven to commit sin?

Answer:  The presumption that there is no Free-Will in Heaven to commit sin, may be incorrect. For instance, Paul spoke in Romans chapter 7 about how we suffer from the Fallen Nature, desiring to do right, but often succumbing to doing wrong. But when we receive our resurrection body, and the accompany divine nature, we will gain a volition like God’s, in which although we may have the choice to do wrong, such a choice may not be feasible, given our new nature, and ultimately being a nature that we chose, insomuch as having chosen to love God on earth, and desiring to be with Him. For instance, it is presumed that the angels had a free choice, and when 1/3 fell from God, while 2/3’s remained faithful. Thus, they were confirmed in their state, and though while not  having a feasible choice to become unfaithful, both sides essentially chose what God confirmed them in. (For more on this point, refer to the commentary from Ron Rhodes here.) What is meant by feasible, is that a mother, for instance, has the Free-Will to smother her baby and to take its life, but though such a choice is technically possible, it is not feasible, given a mother’s inherent nature to protect her baby (excluding those who are mentally insane). So in Heaven, although it may be technically possible to sin, it may not be feasible to do so, and like the angels, it’s something that we chose, insomuch that we have chosen now on earth to love God, and desire to be with Him.
Question:  Is Arminianism like Christ crossing His fingers on the cross and saying, “Gee I really hope they choose me! I really hope this works”?

Answer:  I see this as poking fun of the God described by Jesus in the “Parable of the Wedding Feast.” After all, if God does carry about His dominion in such a manner as the Wedding Feast invitation, and if God sees value in providentially governing in such a manner as condescending to man with an offer of the Gospel, then I can’t see how making fun of it would be a good idea.
Question:  What is the discernable difference between Double & Single Predestination to a person who is sitting in Hell?

Answer:  None. The non-elect are toast, either way. If one isn’t “sovereignly Regenerated” (prior to faith, as per Calvinism), then it’s impossible to get saved, either way.
Question:  Does Arminianism imply that God cannot help people?

Answer:  No one is saying that when a person cries for help that God “cannot help,” but rather that God’s offer of rescue is explicitly conditional upon acknowledging Him and seeking Him, as He has explicitly said so: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2nd Chronicles 7:14, KJV) Notice the conditional word “if.” God is near, and desires that we seek Him: “And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us....” (Acts 17:26-27, KJV) God is both willing and able, but requires our assent, which is based upon God’s sovereign choice, personal preference and personal standards, and there reasonably is value in having a kingdom of people who chose to love and be with God, under otherwise adverse circumstances.
Question:  Is there Free Will in Heaven?

Answer:  How else did Lucifer and 1/3 of the angels rebel, if not for Free Will? Upon either remaining with God, or turning to Lucifer, if one was confirmed in that state, then their Free Will decision becomes a permanent part of their character and nature. They could still have Free Will, though being consistent with their nature, and as Christians, we look forward to putting on the holy nature of God, when we go to Heaven. As an example, it is not within a mother’s nature that she harm her child. Though it is physically true, it is not practically true, and yet she still loves her child anyway. In this way, both love and Free Will could exists in Heaven.
Question:  Is it accurate for Calvinists to allege that if and when unilateral and monergistic regeneration is applied to one who is of the Calvinistically elect, that there is “no violence to the will” of the individual?

Answer:  If unilateral and monergistic regeneration is performed on an unwilling participant, as being someone who is unregenerate, totally depraved and totally opposed to the kingdom of God, in order that they may irresistibly be made willing, then yes, violence is indeed done, no matter whether a creed denies it. Conversely in Arminianism, regeneration is performed upon a willing participant: “...after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.” (Ephesians 1:13) Thus only in Arminianism can it be said that no violence is done.
Question:  Does the Bible ever say to pray to ask Jesus into our heart?

Answer:  Although there is no specific verse which bids us to “invite Jesus into our heart,” I infer that by the “Indwelling,” the heart (or what it is symbolic of, as the “temple,” according to 1st Corinthians 3:16) is the desired destination of God within the believer. God lives inside our heart: “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.’” (John 14:23) So it is an abode. It is in believer. And it is personal to the believer. God dwells in us. So to call upon the Lord in prayer according to Romans 10:9-10, receives Gods salvation, so that God would take up His rightful and desired place in the abode, temple or heart of the believer, and I do see Revelation 3:20 as part of that overall picture.
Question:  Is “Free Will” a pagan term?

Answer:  No. Rather, it is a biblical term: “I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee.” (Ezra 7:13, KJV)

This is one of 17 references to “freewill” that occurs in the Bible, as found in the King James Translation of the Bible. Additionally, you also have Genesis 49:6 which states: “Let my soul not enter into their council; Let not my glory be united with their assembly; Because in their anger they slew men, and in their self-will they lamed oxen.” Luke 12:57 states: “And why do you not even on your own initiative judge what is right?” But if their initiative was actually someone else’s, then what would be the point of the criticism? See also 1st Peter 5:2.
Question:  If it is perceived by Arminians that God would be unjust to unconditionally elect individuals to salvation, then wouldn’t there be a sense of compounded injustice if God should unconditionally elect entire corporate groups to salvation?

Answer:  It should be noted that this is not how the question was originally phrased, but when the question was more thoroughly developed, it is more readily apparent what the fundamental flaw is, since obviously Arminians don’t teach that either individuals or corporate groups are unconditionally elected to salvation. Here is how the question was originally phrased: “If there is a perceived injustice in an individual election, then wouldn’t there be a compounded injustice in a corporate election?” It should also be pointed out that when one becomes sealed in Christ (described at Ephesians 1:13), then in the Corporate Model, such a person gains access to all the Father’s deferred heavenly spiritual blessings, such as a Christian’s eternal election to holiness, eternal predestination to adoption as sons, redemption through Christ’s blood, an inheritance, ect.

Note: Calvinist, James White, weighed in on the Corporate Model approach, and concluded that gets away from the concept of God choosing a “specific people,” and instead simply amounts to God choosing “a plan.” However, I would reply that God’s choice is that all men everywhere should repent and turn to Christ (Acts 17:30; 2nd Peter 3:9), rather than just a “certain number,” and those who do, have access to all that comes with being Christ, based upon what God has, by His authority, deferred in Christ.
Question:  If God does not predestine sin, then is God surprised when sin occurs?

Answer:  No, God is not surprised by man’s sin, and in fact, since God is fully aware of mans’ evil intentions (not caused by God), God uses this knowledge to accomplish His own desires. For instance, God knew the evil intentions of Joseph’s brothers, according to Genesis 50:20, and God also knew that if they were presented with the option of selling Joseph instead of killing them, they would take it, and thus God arranged to lead the Arab Traders to arrive at precisely the time and place where Joseph would be spared death. In this way, what the brothers meant for bad, God meant for good, but not that God meant what they meant, and that’s the error of Calvinists. God neither wanted nor intended man’s evil intentions, but God will use His knowledge of man’s evil intentions in order to bring out the good out man’s intended evil. In this way, God’s impeccable character shines through, while Calvinists continue to dishonor God in their theology.
Question:  Is Calvinism akin to a form of racial pride?

Answer:  In fairness, I can see how the comparison of Calvinism to racial pride as being over the top.  For me, I was primarily drawing upon my own experiences in the Calvinist church. Once when I was asked whether I believed in the “Doctrine of Election,” my answer to the affirmative was greeted with cheers and a High Five. However, I also recall asking one particular Calvinist why we felt that it was somehow ok to call ourselves “Reformed,” since it creates an atmosphere of superiority over other great, non-Calvinist Christians, such as “Billy Graham,” and I was told that we needed to be able to respond to others in a way that distinguishes our beliefs. For me, I had a very Supralapsarian perspective, in which I had come to think that God creates an elect class, like David, and a non-elect class, like Goliath, in which the latter exists for no other purpose than for the spiritual development of the elect class. Since having left Calvinism, I now see this as comparable to racial pride, and I even see a resemblance to the caste-racism of the Hindu Upper & Lower castes. If the Caste System of Hinduism is “disgusting,” then why isn’t Calvinism’s Caste Theology also “disgusting”? So while I can certainly see the objections against comparison Calvinism with racial pride, Calvinism’s cliquishness, the “We’re Reformed” label, and Calvinism’s caste system theology, all nonetheless seem to point in that direction.
Question:  When Calvinists speak of “God restraining evil,” what is there to restrain except Himself, if moral creatures aren’t autonomously free?

Answer:  I think that Calvinists would have to explain the matter of restraining evil from the perspective of a “Revealed Will,” in which by the “Secret Will” or “Sovereign Will,” God (as described Calvinism) meticulously determines, guides and causes all evil, period. Nevertheless, Calvinists want to know whether if one is autonomously free, how could God restrain them and be volitionally consistent? The answer can be explained from 1st Corinthians 10:13, since God restricts the parameters, by not allowing you to be tempted beyond what you are able to handle, as He will only allow you to face what you can handle and what is common to man, and with the temptation, He provides the way of escape. So autonomous freewill is the reason why one person takes the divinely provided way of escape or not. So in this way, there is both restraint with the parameters and range of choices that God restricts, and also freedom with respect to the range of choices which are allowed (i.e. to take the way of escape or not). However with Calvinism, it requires that God will not allow a person to choose anything other than what is scripted and decreed so that only that which is determined may come to pass, and thus with Calvinism, God (according to Calvinism) not only provides the “way of escape,” but also determines whether or not you will take it.
Question:  If man has a freewill, then how can we be guaranteed that the persons who penned the Bible did not sometime exert their free will, apart from the sovereignty of God, and put some mistakes in it?

Answer:  Even if we accepted the argument that the apostles had no freewill during the writing of the later canonized letters, and were irresistibly overpowered, and did not willingly and joyfully submit to the Holy Spirit in the articulation of His thoughts, how would the loss of freewill in that particular moment of time, be in any way indicative of the rest of their lives? That’s what I don’t get, and yet it is a key extrapolation being attempted. Two additional points: (1) From a practical standpoint, sometimes Pastors will say and pray from the pulpit, “And now may God cause me to step aside, and the Holy Spirit take over.” In this way, a person is voluntarily and willingly yielding to the will of the Holy Spirit to speak an inspired message through them, and it is implicit that the pastor believes that this can happen, even through their own freewill, or else they wouldn’t have asked for it in the first place. (2) Balak hired Balaam to curse Israel, as per Numbers 23:11-12, and notice what is said: “Then Balak said to Balaam, ‘What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, but behold, you have actually blessed them!’ He replied, ‘Must I not be careful to speak what the Lord puts in my mouth?’” Notice that by Balaam’s own freewill that he is fearful not to disobey the words that God gives him, and that he has worked it out in his own mind that it would be dangerous for him not to comply. Therefore, if a lesser prophet should yield to God in such a manner, then how much more of those who are faithful prophets, such as Isaiah and Jeremiah?
Question:  Do Arminians understand “Reformed Theology”?

Answer:  Yes, Arminians understand Calvinism, and which is why Arminians reject it. But calling the opposition less intelligent or less informed, in this manner, helps position Calvinists as superior, and plays well to a sympathetic Calvinist audience. However, from the Arminian standpoint, unless one buys into the theological gymnastics of Calvinism, one doesn’t “understand” it. Only Calvinists understand that God is the author of all, but not the author of sin. Of course, if Calvinists had such superior knowledge, then why must they so often defer to “mystery”?
Question:  Does Calvinism provide a basis for a bona fide offer of the gospel for all?

Answer:  A Calvinist will say that they do not know who the elect are (as defined by Calvinism), and therefore they indiscriminately preach to all men, including those that they may not know who were born damned, as non-elect. However, Jesus and the Holy Spirit would know who is who, and therefore Calvinists are in a difficult spot to explain why Jesus and the Holy Spirit would evangelize the alleged non-elect, who would have no Savior, as per Limited Atonement. This is why when Jesus indiscriminately says to “repent,” that Calvinism is disproven. For when Jesus tells someone to repent, it is implicit that there is some benefit in them doing so. But if Jesus already knew that He wasn’t their Savior and that they were excluded from the opportunity of life, then why imply that repentance would do them any good? If they have no Savior, then their repentance is as pointless as the repentance of demons, unless repentance is made on general principle. So the call to repentance implies an Unlimited Atonement, and then which gives rise to a meaningful offer of the gospel. Calvinists need to abandon Limited Atonement in order to preserve the authenticity of the Gospel.
Question:  Is trying to explain how God’s sovereignty and human responsibility are intertwined a futile effort?

Answer:  The question contains an assumption of Calvinism, which is that God’s “sovereignty” is something that determines all human action, and thus how can there be human responsibility if humans have all of their actions determined for them? So the solution to unraveling the Calvinist riddle is to first recognize the underlying assumption, which Calvinists often make. God’s true sovereignty can be easily reconciled with human responsibility, and one of the clearest examples in Scripture of God’s real sovereignty & human responsibility can be seen at 1st Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” So God’s sovereignty is that He: (1) limits the parameters of temptations, and (2) provides a way of escape. Man’s responsibility is whether the way of escape is taken or not. So when you look at biblical sovereignty, you can clearly see how God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility are not an “inscrutable mystery,” but are easy to understand. The difficulty only arises when one assumes that God’s sovereignty = exhaustive Determinism. So simply ditch Calvinism, and the fog of Calvinism clears. Moreover, upon close inspection, Calvinism has great difficulty at 1st Corinthians 10:13, because if God determines “whatsoever comes to pass,” then God not only “provides” the way of escape, but also determines whether you will, or won’t, take the way of escape. Moreover, Calvinism’s misconception of divine sovereignty also means that every temptation will overtake you, and that no temptation can be resisted, unless God determines that you take the way of escape. Calvinism is a flawed theology which breeds a number of human disorders: (1) It breeds Narcissism in thinking that you are more special to God than your neighbor. (2) It breeds Sociopathy in which people become accustomed to the false idea of the alleged “non-elect,” so that people lose normal, healthy levels of empathy toward others, and which results in some of the “believably unbelievable” statements that we sometimes see from High Calvinists. (3) Calvinism leads people to the conclusion that all of their sins are things that God determined for them to do, for whatever mysterious reason, and thus experience Disassociation with their own acts. So Calvinism is emotionally unhealthy, unbiblical and does not serve the common good.
Question:  Is Calvinistic predestination about deciding the final outcome for individuals, Heaven or Hell, and not about the day to day details of life?

Answer:  That’s not what Calvinists teach. Consider the following quote from Calvinist, R.C. Sproul, and then keep reading, as you'll notice that he taught much more. Calvinist, R.C. Sproul, writes: “What predestination means, in its most elementary form, is that our final destination, heaven or hell, is decided by God not only before we get there, but before we are even born.” (Chosen By God, p.22) Now keep reading. Sproul also writes: “He knows all things will happen because he ordains everything that does happen. This is crucial to our understanding of God’s omniscience. He does not know what will happen by virtue of exceedingly good guesswork about future events. He knows it with certainty because he has decreed it.” (What Is Reformed Theology?, p.172) By “ordains everything that does happen,” Calvinism is indeed about determining the day to day details of life. Now keep reading some more. Sproul adds: “The Westminster Confession avers: ‘God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass….’ This statement refers to God’s eternal and immutable decretive will. It applies to everything that happens. Does this mean that everything that happens is the will of God? Yes.” (What Is Reformed Theology?, p.172) So that pretty much puts to rest the misinformation that Calvinism does not entail everything being divinely predetermined. When R.C. Sproul says what “predestination” means, he didn’t say that that was all that it meant. When Sproul elaborated, he added that predestination meant that everything is decreed, and that everything that happens (in some sense) is the will of God. The part about “in some sense,” is the Calvinists wiggle room to engage in obfuscation. High Calvinists connect the dots, unapologetically, in full grotesque detail, while Middle and Low Calvinists simply demand that you believe them, without being able to make a coherent, logical argument.
Question:  How does the Arminian explain why a holy God, who is Almighty, permitted evil to happen? Whether it’s sacrificing children in fires to Molech or the fall of Adam in Eden, why was it permitted, knowing that God could have stopped it? Do Arminians grasp that by God doing nothing, God is implicated in what happened, seeing as to how He had the power to prevent it? For example, if a cop saw a rape occur along a street corner and simply walked on by, wouldn’t a reasonable person think that the cop would be guilty of non-prevention of a crime? Now we know that a holy God cannot sin, so his permission of evil must have a far greater purpose than our minds can understand. The atheist cries “where is God?” when he studies the Holocaust, because he understands from his perspective that if there is a god, he must  either be powerless to stop it, and let six million go to the ovens, or is evil and willed to see it happen. The Christian, on the other hand, must face this permission of evil, and still somehow find a way to glorify God.

Answer:  (1) Ask the Calvinist if they feel that the father of the prodigal son was in any way “implicated” when he allowed his prodigal son to freely leave? Was the father “implicated” when he acquiesced to his son’s demand for a share of the inheritance?

(2) In terms of the wicked, when the wicked say to God that they don’t want God, and don’t need God, and then God permits them have their way, and experience the consequences of their choices, how is God in any way “implicated”?

(3) The real issue is that Calvinists see God as the crooked cop, abandoning innocent civilians, and then trying to obfuscate it, and justify it, by saying that it is “for God’s greater glory.”
Question:  If Arminianism is true, will Calvinists have to apologize for making God too mean? If Calvinism is true, will Arminians have to apologize for making God too nice?

Answer:  Arminianism teaches that God loves the whole world, and provided all men with the gift of His Son, while Calvinism teaches that God only loves a select few, and provided only a select few with the gift of His Son. So Calvinism does come across as stingy, while Arminianism depicts God as omni-benevolent. In this regard, Arminianism seems supported by Matthew 5:43-46.
Question:  If God desires all mean to be saved, then why does God allow the devil to steal the Word from people who otherwise could have been saved?

Answer:  Luke 8:11-12 states: “Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved.” The part that says, “so that they will not believe and be saved” affirms that they could have believed and been saved. But why does God allow the devil steal the Word which otherwise could have saved them? The answer is this: When people hear the truth, know the truth but reject the truth, God then gives them up and turns them over to the devil. 2nd Thessalonians 2:10-12 states: “Because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.” So they heard the truth, knew the truth but rejected the truth, and God gave them up and turned them over. However, that should be taken to imply a one-time event since, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2nd Peter 3:9)
Question:  How do Calvinists know that they are saved?

Answer:  When asked, Calvinists often will make reference to Romans 8:16-17, which states: “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” This is true, since the Holy Spirit does confirm within us that we are God’s. However, two truths ought to compliment one another, rather than two truths negating one another. For instance, Abraham was considered to be a friend of God because he believed God: “And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,’ and he was called the friend of God.” (James 2:23) So I would have prefer that Calvinists say: “I know that I’m saved because I trust in God’s promise for whosoever believes in His Son.” However, if Calvinists say that, then that would mean that their salvation depends upon something that they do, and Calvinists just can’t have that, at least not in a monergistic theology. For the Calvinist, salvation is purely an act of grace, in which the recipient is completely passive, and whatever the individual does, is a result of an Irresistible Grace.
Question:  How did sinless Adam and Eve arrive at the decision to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge?

Answer:  One Calvinist argues that we don’t become sinners when we sin, but we sin because we are sinners. Although you can make that argument for anyone who came after Adam and Eve, you cannot say that about Adam and Eve themselves, since they became sinners only after they had sinned. So how would they have come to that decision (to sin) without having a sin nature? The answer is free-will, we are no different, because if Adam and Eve chose to sin when it wasn’t within their nature to do so, then it stands to reason that we can equally make a decision to choose God, even when it’s not within our nature, either.
Question:  Jesus said that He gave His life at John 10:11, 15, so is there one passage in the gospels where Jesus said that He gave his life for anyone except his sheep, or believers?

Answer:  According to John 3:16, God loved the world and gave Jesus to the world, which reasonably, could only be in relation to His saving atonement. In what other way could Jesus have been given to the world, if not for His sacrificial substitution? (This is also why many Calvinists restrict John 3:16 to the alleged world of the elect. It is supposed by Calvinists that not being one of Jesus’ sheep is an unchangeable situation but yet at John 10:37-38, Jesus encouraged those whom He said were not His sheep, to become His sheep. So why encourage the non-sheep to believe if it is incurable? Also compare with Matthew 20:28, which may be compared to 1st Timothy 2:6: “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” So does “many” imply something less than all? This is where you can cite a hostile witness, John Calvin: “The word many does not mean a part of the world only, but the whole human race: he contrasts many with one, as if to say that he would not be the Redeemer of one man, but would meet death to deliver many of their cursed guilt. No doubt that in speaking to a few Christ wished to make His teaching available to a large number. At the same time we must note that in Luke (saying for you) He addresses the disciples by name and encourages the faithful as individuals to apply the pouring-out of His blood to their benefit. So when we come to the holy table not only should the general idea come to our mind that the world is redeemed by the blood of Christ, but also each should reckon to himself that his own sins are covered.” (Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries, Matthew, Mark and Luke, Vol. III, James and Jude, p.139) Additionally, Jesus states at John 12:47: “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.” Again, would this not presuppose that saving the world requires an atonement for the world, which of course, Arminians would argue as being consistent with the provisional type atonement illustrated at John 3:14 and Numbers 21:6-9. Also consider the Parable of the Wedding Feast, in which all are indiscriminately invited. Why would all be indiscriminately invited if not all have a place at the table prepared for them?
Question:  Does Calvinism amount to the Doctrines of Discrimination?

Answer:  Calvinists tout their theology as the Doctrines of Grace” and while of grace, there is no objection, the objection against Calvinism is its advocacy of unjust partiality and cold favoritism, in light of both God’s goodness and God’s word.
Question:  How do Calvinists contrast a General Call vs. Effectual Call?

Answer:  It has to do with Calvinists distinguishing between times when God calls people. If they fail to positively respond, then a General Call is inferred. If they do positively respond, then it is attributed to an Effectual Call, as in Irresistible Grace. However, in light of the Parable of the Wedding Feast, how would a General Call make sense if it goes out to people who have no Savior who died for them? To what are they being called? Are they being called to a Savior who excluded them from Calvary? Besides sounding disingenuous, how would it make sense? Calvinists need to clarify. Are they being called to repentance? Compare with Acts 17:30: ...God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent.... But if there is no remission of sins without a blood sacrifice (Hebrews 9:22), then how can their hypothetical repentance be received? All of this begs for the type of atonement that Jesus referenced at John 3:14 and Numbers 21:6-9.
Question:  How can Arminians speak of the mistreatment and cruelty of denying the “non-elect” from having a Savior, and of being excluded from the Atonement, if grace means that none deserve a Savior in the first place? 

Answer:  Indeed, the world is not owed a Savior, but that doesn’t stop God from providing One. So the argument on what’s deserved is a moot point. Second, while unbelievers do consciously choose to reject the Savior, Calvinism asserts through the doctrine of pass-by Preterition that God eternally first omitted or rejected them. Now if Jesus can rightly say to His disciples at John 15:16 that they didn’t chose Him but that He chose them, then if Calvinism were true, then why couldn’t the [alleged] non-elect similarly say back to God: “We didn’t reject You; You rejected us.” That’s a problem that only Calvinism creates.
Question:  How do people get caught up in Calvinism?

Answer:  It provides simple answers. Here is how it is sold: “Are all men sinners? Hence, no one has any defense, as all are guilty. Do all men deserve Hell? Is this not the stated punishment of all sinners? Is God obligated to save anyone? If so, why? Are all men saved? Not according to Matt 25:34-46. Can man save himself? Why are some men saved then? God makes a choice of who to save. They are the elect.”

(1) If a person is predestined to Hell from birth, in which God allegedly determines their every thought, word and deed, then why would they deserve punishment for someone else’s misdeeds, which are committed through them? Calvinism is truly monstrous, because it makes God into the only sinner.

(2) Not everyone goes to Heaven, but that doesn’t mean that wants people to go to Hell. Hell was made for the devil and his angels, not man. (Matthew 25:41)

(3) No one deserves grace, but that doesn’t stop God from providing it for all.

(4) Our responsibility is our response to God’s ability. Calvinists assume Irresistible Grace because they are taught to believe that God is completely unable to enable an unregenerate person to receive His grace without it.
Question:  Why do Calvinists believe that God chose them over their neighbor?

Answer:  Calvinists will first want to affirm Unconditional Election in Scripture using their proof-texts, so that the question becomes a moot point, and then any old reason would then become perfectly satisfying: “It’s a mystery. Who knows. Who cares. God picked me.” However, to properly answer the question, this question needs to be asked: “Why are we here?” To a Calvinist, it is to glorify God. So to a Calvinist, creation itself is not about mankind at all, but about God’s desire to “display His various attributes.” So humanity would simply be a means to that end, which seems like divine vanity. So why did God choose one, and not the other, in the Calvinist system? It really doesn’t matter, so it could easily be totally arbitrary.
Question:  How are we to understand divine Hardening in light of Gods goodness?

Answer:  Divine Hardening is when God uses circumstances to strengthen people’s resolve. For instance, if a person persistently rejects God, then He may use certain circumstances to strengthen their resolve so that they would reap what they sow. Pharaoh is a classic example. He was already oppressing God’s people and was firmly against both they and their God. There was no written Scripture at the time, and so when Moses and Aaron spoke to Pharaoh, they became God’s Word to them, and this served to harden him further. In other words, while Pharaoh hardened his own heart first, God also hardened him by speaking His Word to him through Moses and Aaron, so that by knowing where Pharaoh’s head was at, the ultimatums to let the people go would have the net effect of further strengthening his resolve against them and God. As an illustration, consider when parents know that their teenagers do not want to clean their room and yet the parents tell them to clean it anyway, with the result that the children become even more opposed to the idea than before. Likewise, God knows everyone’s heart, and He knows when more of His delivered Word will harden people further. Ahab and Sennacherib are additional examples. (2nd Chronicles 18:22; 2nd Kings 19:25) However, when Calvinists deal with divine Hardening in relation to sin and sinners, the objective is to portray God in the most negative light possible, so as to then ask: “Ok, how is this worse than what you find objectionable in Calvinism?” In other words, if you believe in the authority of the Bible, and if it can be shown in the Bible that God is sketchy, then shouldn’t you submit to whatever you also find sketchy about Calvinism as well?
Question:  What is biblical election?

Answer:  Jesus is THE Elect One, and as Christians, we are “in Christ” the Chosen One, and in His body, the body of Christ, in which Christians are “in the Beloved,” the beloved of the Father. (Matthew 3:17, 17:5; Ephesians 1:6) It is “in Him” alone where “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” is located. (Ephesians 1:3) In no other place are there any spiritual blessings. Jesus is the “way, and the truth, and the life,” in which no one comes to the Father but through Jesus. (John 14:6) As such, no one is elect, except those who are in Christ. (It should also be clarified that that’s the New Covenant perspective, since in the Old Testament, the Jews were also called the “chosen people” on account of God’s promises to Abraham.) In a Christocentric election, God didn’t elect who would be in Christ; He elected Christ as the One we needed to be in. God knows who will be in Christ; that doesn’t mean that He predetermined who would be found in Christ. Conversely, in a more Calvinistic Patricentric election, God independently established Calvinists as His elect, and then give His elect to become in Christ and belong to Christ, which therefore places Christ on the backend of election. So the question is this: Are we saved because we are elected or are we saved because we believed in Christ? We are saved when we believe in Christ, because that is when the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us, and regenerates us and makes us Born Again as a new creation. So does that mean that without God’s election, can we be saved? God’s election of Christians to various spiritual blessings doesn’t make you saved but accompanies salvation. In other words, God’s election and predestination have to do with the scope of spiritual blessings which God had made unique to Christians. For instance, at Ephesians 1:3, we find that “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” are all exclusively in Christ, and what follows are examples of Paul’s thesis. In other words, the eternal plan of God is the spiritual blessing of a Christian’s innocence. (v.4) The eternal plan of God is the spiritual blessing of a Christian’s adoption. (v.5) The eternal plan of God is the spiritual blessing of a Christian’s redemption. (v.7) The eternal plan of God is the spiritual blessing of a Christian’s revelation. (v.9) The eternal plan of God is the spiritual blessing of a Christian’s inheritance. (v.11) The eternal plan of God is the spiritual blessing of a Christian’s indwelling. (v.13)
Question:  Why did Jesus speak in Parables?

Answer:  Jesus answers by saying: “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” (Matthew 13:13) What followed was a quote from Isaiah 6:9-10. The purpose of the parables is so that people will seek to learn from the riddles of the wise. Sincere and truly repentant believers will seek God to understand their meaning, while the unrepentant will use it as justification to further ignore God. Notice what happened in Jesus’ sermon on being the “Bread of Life” at John chapter 6 (i.e. in terms of His body being true food and His blood being true drink). It turned off many who were not right with God, with the result that they stopped following Him. (John 6:66) Meanwhile, true believers sought to know the mystery of what He was saying. In spite of that, in terms of the unbelievers, compare with John 10:37-38, in which even those who were hardened unbelievers, and who were not of His sheep, Jesus encouraged anyway, so that by considering the compelling evidence of the miracles, they would believe and become His sheep.
Question:  Is it futile to pray to God for the salvation of the lost if God has already done everything that He can to save them and now the choice is no longer His but theirs?

Answer:  Firstly, we share our Lord’s desire that they may be saved and we therefore seek the Lord’s help in persuading them, through His Spirit, His Word and circumstances and meetings that He may bring about, knowing that such a prayer will please Him and that He will do everything short of actually forcing them, since that would be contrary to His nature and His desire for a people who will love and worship Him freely. Secondly, such prayers are not futile since James 5:16 teaches that the “effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” As the lost hear the truth and reject the truth, in persistently saying no to God, they can develop a calloused conscience, and become progressively strengthened in their resolve to defy God’s will for their life, and so our prayers to God are for Him to remain patient and long-suffering in continuing to work on their heart, and to continue to convict them of their sins, in breaking down their multi-layered barriers of resistance against God, even if it should take hitting rock bottom like the Prodigal Son, until they eventually come to their senses and return to God. There is little doubt that the father of the Prodigal Son had often prayed for this very thing, until the day when his son returned and he declared: “For this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.” (Luke 15:24)
Question:  What is the devil’s objective with Calvinism?

Answer:  It’s his attempt to seduce people into doubting God’s love, kindness, justice and mercy, so as to curse Him and to justify walking away from Him.