Michael Boling, 3531088THEO 3503come to a saving knowledge of Christ on their own volition.
The only modality by which mancan come to a position of salvation is through the sole work of the Holy Spirit. Extreme variantsof Calvinism ascribe to the belief based on Ezekiel 36:26 that due to mankind
“Godhas to give them a new heart before they can even respond to or believe in God.”
The moretraditional view is seemingly more in line with Scriptural explication.
Arminianism approaches the ability of man to respond to God’s offer of salvation from a
perspective of what has been labeled prevenient grace.
While not entirely antipodal to theCalvinistic approach, prevenient grace nevertheless
can be described as “simply the convicting,
calling, enlightening and enabling grace of God that goes before conversion and makes
repentance and faith possible.”
Theologian H. Orton Wiley describes this concept as “thatmanifestation of the divine influence which precedes the full regenerate life.”
Arminians look for scriptural support for this stance in verses such as Acts 16:14 and 2 Cor. 3:13-18 whichdepict the Holy Spirit working in the lives of those searching for God.
The Holy Spirit is seenin Arminianism as the one who effectually initiates the offer of salvation described by Christ inRevelation 3:20,
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opensthe door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” Arminianism
states that mankind isunencumbered by the weight of sin. Additionally, it is believed that man has not lost their
Chosen But Free
(Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2001), 236.
(Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2006), 35.
H. Orton Wiley,
(Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 1941), 346.
Gregory Boyd and Paul Eddy,
Across the Spectrum
(Grand Rapids, 2002), 141.