According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Don Thorsen, Calvin vs Wesley - "God's Grace: How Calvin and Wesley Differ"

Grace, and the God of that Grace

Don Thorson

God is thought to limit voluntarily God’s own power over people (which does not represent a genuine limitation in God’s sovereignty) so that people may act responsibly and not irresistibly. By means of God’s prevenient work of grace, which is universally available through the Holy Spirit in the lives of people, people may genuinely respond without God effectually determining their choices. When people do respond, of course, they are thought to be genuinely responsible for sin and the evil that occurs. Sin and evil do not occur irresistibly, because of God’s sovereignty and irresistible grace, but through people’s active rebellion or passive indifference to God (49).
Calvin’s emphasis is on the sovereign determinations of God. One of the important elements of Calvin’s theology is that it is all of grace, to be sure, and furthermore it is all in the determinations of God, to be sure, and God’s grace is irresistible from beginning to end, but the reprobates (damned, unsaved, etc) are responsible for their sin and their final judgment. All of this shows the sovereignty of God and is therefore to God’s (sovereign) glory.
Calvin believed in general grace, which is God’s goodness to all of creation in the normal affairs of life, and a special grace, which is the saving grace of God. But Wesley’s "net" in God's general grace was a bit wider than Calvin’s though he distinguished general grace from prevenient grace — the grace that offers and makes salvation available to all. General grace will later be called “common grace.”  Both also emphasized the “means of grace” (like sacraments, church, preaching, prayer) though their lists do differ on what gets included on the list.
They are both grace-theologians, but they differ substantively when it comes to how that grace of God works.

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