Reformed Theology: God's Grace

JeffLogan's picture

This discussion will be limited to the discussion of God's grace as it pertains to Reformed Theology.

Barry writes,

I would like to suggest that we explore the topic of "God's Grace " as it relates specifically to the process of one's coming to salvation. I personally am particularly interested in the doctrine of "Prevenient Grace", however, at ElderDad's suggestion which points out our primary forum theme, addressing the RT position termed "Irresistible Grace" first is the more appropriate approach.

So, if this approach is acceptable, I would invite someone to begin this thread by first defining the term, then giving a brief re-cap of the history of "TULIP", and concluding with Scriptural references supporting the concept. That should get us rolling.

Barring objections, I would encourage someone in the Reformed camp to please begin.

Grace and peace to all.


Suggested Structure: (Best if viewing options set: Threaded Collapsed | Oldest First | 200/page |)

(The first 3 headings are reserved for Reformed Theology Adherents ONLY)

Defining the terms (No opposing views here)
     Irresistible Grace
     Prevenient Grace
Brief re-cap of the history of "TULIP" (No opposing views here)
     Early History
     Later History
     Unfolding History/Current Understanding
Scriptural references supporting the concept (No opposing views here)
     Irresistible Grace
     Prevenient Grace
1st Discussion: Irresistible Grace
2nd Discussion: Prevenient Grace
3rd Discussion: etc...

tomgroeneman's picture

free will and TULIP

Justin and Barry and all,
It seems to me that the critical component that is necessary for TULIP to be accepted is an understanding of free will that is limited to the exercise of a sinful disposition and not any moral autonomy whatsoever. I have a fondness for Calvinism but as a self-contained system of theology it is very narrow in its focus and does not answer all the questions adequately. Dave has pointed out there are not many alternative theologies but he did neglect to mention the Catholic view which may be unpopular in this forum but it nevertheless is another theology. In the Catholic tradition, man's free will must cooperate with God's grace in order for salvation to take place. RT and other Protestant theologies would have man as a victim of a sinful nature and unable to effect any action which will help the process of redemption along. This is convenient as it absolves man from any responsibility for his salvation and places all the onus on God to do the work. This results in a very narrow deterministic view of life and God's ultimate plan. Justin you have touched on the essential point I will be making in the Genesis study; that man's free will is part of the image of God when he was created and that this free will was tested in order to prove the genuine love for God that God seeks from His creation. Without free will there is an artificial robotic love that cannot satisfy in a relationship. This is where I believe the Reformers have erred in their insistence that man has no free will and reduces man to a mere puppet. This is my basic objection to Calvinism which is incomplete in its system and its view of the totality of the biblical revelation.

Barry, I am only the lowly Junior moderator and a Roman Catholic to boot but I do not see any problem in allowing the presentation of alternative theological systems in a discussion of Reformed theology. Since my admission as Catholic I have felt a certain standoffishness from people who before were perfectly willing to receive me as a Christian brother as long as they thought I was a like-minded Protestant. Like racial prejudice in our culture, the demonization of Catholics is a lingering reality that I am having a hard time accepting. This has nothing to do with the thread but I just had to say something about it so people know where I am at as a moderator and fellow poster.

Tom Groeneman