Recognizing that there are many diverse and sometimes extreme positions held by individuals in both the Arminian and Calvinistic school of thought, the following table represents an overview of the differences between the three general theological doctrines. Note as well that there may be variaitions in other intermediate viewpoints.
A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE THREE VIEWS
|EXTREME CALVINISM||MEDIATE SALVATION THEOLOGY||ARMINIANISM|
GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY IS EXHAUSTIVE
GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY IS SELF-LIMITED
He has complete Foreknowledge but
God has limited the exercise of His sovereignty by creating angels and humans as autonomous moral beings and progressively delegating authority and responsibility to them. In the extreme Arminian doctrine of Open Theism, God has no foreknowledge and is continually surprised by man's decisions.
Calvinism sees it as total inability. Human spiritual death is defined in an extreme way as a total inability to please God in any way, including inability to repent and believe the gospel of Christ. People are seen as spiritual corpses.
DEPRAVITY IN THE MEDIATE VIEW
Defined as extensive corruption, but not total inability. All mankind became totally corrupt and fallen through Adam’s disobedience, but retains the image of God, which requires a sharper definition of spiritual death. Although we are unable to please God by works, we are able to repent and believe the gospel message.
DEPRAVITY IN THE ARMINIAN VIEW There are diverse views of depravity. Some do not emphasize the full impact of Adam’s sin. God has given prevenient (preceding) grace to all mankind through the cross to enable sinners to repent, believe, and do good works.
GENERAL PROPITIATION & RANSOM
PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS
|ETERNAL SECURITY |
Every truly born again believer can never be lost again, although many backslide, badly at times. Those who depart from the faith were counterfeits, so self-examination is important, but not continuously.