Calvinism vs. Arminianism

I have been studying reformed theology (calvinism) for about a year now. I started after the 2006 SBC Pastors Conference where a discussion was held between Albert Mohler and Paige Patterson. I was not informed about reformed theology but I could see how this could grow and cause a split within the SBC. I decided to read up on it a bit. I thought this would be a “quick fix”, you know get a quick understanding and be done. Little did I know what I was getting into.

It has been a year now and I am still in the midst of my search. I have read numerous books, websites, blogs, and participated in discussion in internet chat channels. At times I felt overwhelmed by the vastness of the topic. I was amazed at how many pastors I was listening to on a regular basis were reformed (Mohler, MacArthur, Piper just to name a few). I now feel that I have a good basic understanding of the reformed positon. I have now turned to studying arminianism so I can understand both sides.

Also, I have been praying for God to give me wisdom and discernment during this time. I want to understand the doctrines taught in the Bible correctly. I am motivated in one aspect by James 3:1 which says:

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. (ESV)

Since I teach in my church I take this warning very seriously.

As for where I stand…..I am neither calvinist or arminian. I am somewhere in the middle. There are some parts of both systems that I agree with and some parts of both that I disagree with. Where are you?


4 Responses to Calvinism vs. Arminianism

  1. Patrick says:

    Is there a name for the “in between” theology? Is there a system that does not break down with parts of both? Calvinists and Arminians both say you can’t take parts of both. They say it falls apart.


  2. Andy says:

    Tom Shelton,
    The C vs. A debate and the “middle of the road” approach—

    The surest way to win at a debate is to take great care not to declare what position you are taking.

    The temperature most accurately described as “lukewarm” is found in the middle of the thermometer.



  3. Martin Jones says:

    For a few years around the age of 18-21, I spent most of my time reading Romans and Hebrews. I wanted to get what we now call a “historical world view.” As I read, I started asking question of the Word, and found that the things I naturally thought, were not in accord with Scripture. I feared that I was becoming a heretic, as I had never heard these these preached. I was encouraged to keep reading, to throw away my preconceptions and just let the Word speak and believe what it said.
    My friend, read all you will of man’s thinking, but the answer will come when you throw away your preconceptions that have been influenced by a fallen and rebellious nature and embrace the plain truth of Scripture. When you discover the utter ‘lostness’ of man, the implacable holiness of God, and His absolute determination to have a people who will love Him and live to praise Him, you will discover the secret to the debate!
    It’s not about Calvinism v Arminianism, it’s about the horror of how lost our nature really is, and what it takes to save us!
    God bless you!


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