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...

bwarddvm's picture

Re: Tom: free will and TULIP

Your point is well taken, Tom. I have always viewed RC soteriology as essentially Arminian in its understanding of a prevenient grace this God gives to all baptized members (am I correct on that?) within the RC church, but with the understanding that one's free will must cooperate with this grace to attain salvation. Unless I am mistaken, that, as stated, is very close to classic Arminianism which is extremely present in most Protestant churches. The primary difference would be that in Protestant Arminianism God gives prevenient grace to all men regardless of baptism or church membership. However, I confess to not being thoroughly familiar with the RC view, so I am relying on your statement also. The understanding that I have held regarding the RC view has caused me to consider it to be consistent with the Arminians position and so that is why I have not mentioned it specifically. I certainly stand ready to be corrected on that

The RT problem with this is that it finds no Scriptural basis for a prevenient saving grace thus we find it becomes quite inconsistent with the statements that the unsaved are in a condition of spiritual deadness as clearly stated in Ephesians 2:1 and Colossians 2:13. The questions that are begged is "How can the spiritually dead person respond to anything of a spiritual nature? and Would the spiritually dead person not have to be given new spiritual life (regeneration) before he could even comprehend much less accept the gospel?" RT finds no Scriptural reference to all men being in such a regenerated state. If perhaps the Arminianist could show us such Scriptures then we would be much more amenable to the premise.

It is sad that any of our Roman Catholic Christians are made to feel uncomfortable or unwelcome in this or any CCEL forum. The obvious differences between RC theological and Protestant theological beliefs notwithstanding, CCEL forums are clearly intended to be ecumenical in scope and thus there is no basis for anyone denigrating anyone else's view of Christianity, particularly as to condemning every individual within a particular church or denomination based on that denomination's stated doctrine. CCEL policies are readily available and clearly stated. However, in my understanding, debate regarding Scriptural exposition and application is open to civilly expressed disagreements.

Please know I always appreciate your work in CCEL as well as your views and opinions, Bro Tom.

Grace and peace,