Calvinism and Arminianism:
Myths & Realities

One Calvinist writes: “I would simply say brethren, you’ll go on giving your invitation to whosoever will and depend on the ability of the sinner to will, I will go on giving my invitation to whosoever will and depend of the sovereign God to change the sinner’s will to cause him to come. As for me, I am glad God overcame my stubborn will and gave me a repentant heart and a faith to trust him. So let us all preach the gospel that Jesus saves whoever comes.”

While that seems pious, I think it misses the fact that God values choices. For instance, the devil and demons fell by their choice. Adam and Eve fell by their choice. But Calvinism subsumes everyone’s choice into God’s choice, via exhaustive decree, and thus fails to apprehend that which God values. But I can understand why Calvinists would want to frame the debate in terms of the “other side” wishing celebrate man’s ability, though I believe that it misses the fundamental point that “both sides” actually agree that God takes the initiative in the Divine Encounter (i.e. Jesus knocks, as per Revelation 3:20), and I think that it also misses the point of the Parable of the Wedding Feast in that God wishes to provide salvation in the form of a well-meant offer of the gospel that is indiscriminately extended to all of His children (Acts 17:29), so that Heaven would ultimately become comprised of many who made a conscious choice from their heart to love and desire to be with God under the otherwise adverse circumstances reflected in the present world in which we live.

Adrian Rogers explains:Your responsibility is your response to His ability. … Now you must choose. Listen, you can’t do it without Him; He will not do it without you. You must yield. … When temptation comes, you must yield, and you will yield. That much is settled. The only question is, which way you will yield? Will you yield to Satan, or will you yield to Christ?” (Abounding Victory Thru Amazing Grace: Romans 6:6-7, emphasis mine)

Adrian Rogers states:Jesus came to deliver you. Jesus came to set you free. He came to give you peace and power, forgiveness of sin and a home in heaven, but He will not force it upon you. The same God that gave to Lucifer the power of choice, gives to you the power of choice. ‘Choose you this day whom you will serve.’” (From the Palace to the Pit: Ezekiel 28:8, emphasis mine)

Adrian Rogers explains: “God is a God who gives us the choice. Now I want to give you some Choice Principles. You are free to choose God. God says, ‘I set before you life and death, blessing and cursing.’ Here you’re in the Valley of Decision. There’s a mountain of misery and a mountain of mercy. You can choose. You are free to choose. Now, I am a Calvinist to the degree that I believe that God is sovereign. But I am not a Calvinist to the degree that I believe that God does not enable anybody to choose, or that God chooses for anybody. God gives you the choice. You must choose. And God says to all of us, ‘Choose you this day.’” (Choices Made in the Valley of Decision: Joshua 8:1, emphasis mine)

Calvinist Charge:  Arminianism celebrates man’s ability instead of God’s deliverance. 

Myth or Reality:  Calvinists believe this is an accurate assessment of Arminianism since salvation in Arminianism requires man to possess the ability to choose Christ and also to then exercise that ability to make a conscious choice to accept Christ.