Calvinism and Arminianism:
Myths & Realities

One Calvinist explains: “You seem to think that when Reformed Christians teach that we do not have ‘freewill,’ that means that we therefore have ‘NO will...’ That is not at all the case brother! Of course we have a will! It is just that our wills are enslaved to sin, which creates a problem that only divine intervention can solve.”

Double Talk alert.

I find it ironic how Arminians have to constantly remind Calvinists that they are the one’s who teach that God has “decreed whatsoever comes to pass.” Calvinists conclude that since God knows the future, the future must therefore be “fixed” (by God, and by decree, and not by each of our own self-determined choices). So if God determines one’s will, and all thoughts (without which, we are told that God couldn't infallibly know it), then although a person may have a will, it is not their own will, but a will that is super-imposed upon them. So no one is saying that Calvinism denies that we have a will, but that we do not have our own, self-determining, independent will. James White accused this of Dave Hunt, and Hunt responded with this very point. Yes, we have a will, but if it’s someone else’s will, exhaustively decreed for us, then it’s not really our will. Yes, we both HAVE and MAKE choices, but Calvinism teaches that all of those choices are unchangeably decreed, without which, God could not otherwise infallibly know it. I also find it interesting that whereas Calvinists are real comfortable when talking about the fact of man’s depravity, they are conversely very uncomfortable when talking about how an exhaustive decree got them that way in the first place.

Arminian Charge: Calvinism denies man’s Free Will.

Myth or Reality:  True, as Calvinists instead advocate Compatibilistic Free Will, which is essentially that one is completely free to do what someone else decided that they would do, and having decided it to occur without any deviation, while one is all the while made to think that their choices were uniquely their own.