Methodists are supposed to be Arminian

August 30, 2011

In other words, we strenuously disagree with our Calvinist brothers and sisters that God’s grace is irresistible, that God chooses who gets saved and who gets damned, and that Christ died only for the elect. While no one can have saving faith apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, the decision to say yes or no to God’s gift of eternal life is completely free and un-coerced. We don’t talk about Arminianism very much anymore, but Wesley did! He wrote and published a periodical called The Arminian and exchanged many harsh words with Calvinists in his day.

Given how Romans 9, which we covered the past couple of weeks in Vinebranch, is a major Calvinist proof-text, I thought my sermon on Sunday—dealing with Pharaoh and the “hardening” of his heart and the potter and clay—was relatively free of polemics. I didn’t want to argue against anyone; I simply wanted to share what I honestly believe is the meaning of the scripture. I didn’t even use the word “Calvinist” or “predestination.”

Still, other smart Wesleyans, like Jerry Walls, are certainly free to be argumentative, as this 10-minute video clip makes clear. He takes on popular neo-reformed pastor John Piper. This appears to be part of a debate. This clip may give you a deeper appreciation of our differences. Enjoy!

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