Peter Pike responded to statements 4 and 5 in this way:
> (4) All Arminians (for the purposes of this list, an
> Arminian would be
> anyone who believes any or all of the following: partial
> conditional election, universal atonement, resistible grace,
> conditional perseverance) are unregenerate.
> (5) All who know what the doctrines of Arminianism are and believe
> that at least some Arminians are saved are unregenerate
> (this includes
> professing Calvinists who say they remained Arminians for
> a time after
> they were regenerated or who say that some Arminians are their
> brothers in Christ).
I will try to make this plain and simple as to why there is not a single regenerate Arminian.
The gospel is the good news of salvation conditioned solely upon the obedience and death of Christ.
Now I will go through a very key passage: Romans 10:1-4.
1. "Brothers, truly my heart's pleasure and supplication to God on behalf of Israel is for [it] to be saved."
Paul, in saying that his heart's pleasure and supplication to God is that Israel be saved, obviously believes that Israel is lost and in need of salvation. How does Paul judge them to be lost?
2. "For I testify to them that they have a zeal to God, but not according to knowledge."
What are these lost people missing? They're certainly not missing zeal and dedication and sincerity. They're missing some knowledge. What is that knowledge?
3. "For being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to the righteousness of God."
Paul is saying that these lost people are ignorant of the righteousness of God, and in being ignorant of this righteousness, they are seeking to establish their own righteousness, and are thus not submitted to the righteousness of God. Wow. So this knowledge of the righteousness of God must be vitally important, since God makes it very clear that those who are ignorant of the righteousness of God are lost. We see in Romans 1:16-17 that the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel. Thus, those who do not believe the gospel are lost (Mark 16:16). What is this righteousness of God that is revealed in the gospel?
4. "For Christ [is] the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes."
Okay, so here we have what the righteousness of God is -- it is the very righteousness of Christ that is the end of the law for believers. Christ's righteousness is the very merit of His obedience and death. Christ satisfied the demands of God's law and justice. Salvation is conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone, with deeds of law totally excluded from any part of the ground of salvation. When one is under the law, he believes that something he does or is enabled to do forms at least some part of the ground of his salvation. When one is under grace, he believes that his salvation is conditioned totally on the work of Christ.
What do Arminians believe?
Arminians believe that Christ died for everyone without exception. Thus, they believe that it is NOT the work of Christ alone that makes the difference between heaven and hell. They believe that Christ's work does NOT ensure and demand the salvation of all whom He represented. They believe the opposite of the gospel; they believe in salvation conditioned on the sinner.
I hope this is simple enough. For more on this, see the Reign of Grace web site at
Now I'll get into the topic of those who know what Arminianism is and yet consider at least some Arminians to be saved.
One of the main evidences of being regenerated is not speaking peace to others apart from the only ground of peace, which is the righteousness of Christ. A person can say he believes the gospel, but does he believe it to the point of saying that all those who do not believe this gospel are lost? And if he doesn't go that far, then he does not truly believe the gospel.
There are many who claim to believe and rejoice in the doctrines of grace and even say that universal atonement is a heresy out of hell. Yet they will not go so far as to say that those who believe this heresy are lost. In fact, most say that at least some who believe this heresy are saved. What is this saying when one says that a universal atonement advocate is saved? It is saying that you believe you have the same father they do. It is saying that you worship the same christ they do. It is saying that you believe the same gospel they do. And when it all boils down, this professed believer in sovereign grace DOES have the same father, worship the same christ, and believe the same gospel they do. The "basics" you agree on show the god you worship. If you think that efficacious atonement is just a "theological refinement" that believers "grow into" after "much study," then you do not believe that efficacious atonement is at the heart of the gospel. And if there is no efficacious atonement, there is no atonement at all. Thus, those who tolerate universal atonement advocates and the universal atonement advocates themselves believe in the same atonement, which is no atonement.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Marc D. Carpenter
<<Here the author confesses to promoting Clark and the Trinity Foundation because he had assumed that all the doctrine Clark and the Foundation did were right.>>
No -- the author did not assume that ALL their doctrine was right. The author assumed, by what he had read of Clark and Robbins, that their doctrine of the GOSPEL was right.
<<But then it was discovered that Clark believed Arminians could be saved, and the founder of the Foundation, John Robbins, agreed.>>
Clark believed that ALL TRUE ARMINIANS ARE SAVED, not just that they could be saved.
<<Obviously, they're now damned for faith MUST depend on whether or not you believe Arminians are saved....>>
If I believed that faith MUST depend on anything but Christ alone, I would be lost.
Now let me give you an example of how absurd your argument is.
Suppose Mr. X believes that Muslims are regenerate. Suppose I then say that the fact that Mr. X believes that Muslims are regenerate shows that Mr. X is lost. Then you come back with "You obviously believe that faith MUST depend on whether or not you believe Muslims are saved." See how ridiculous it is?
Take that same scenario and then replace your comeback with, "Well, I guess Marc believes that you have to have perfect theology to be saved. Muslims aren't perfect in their theology, but at least they believe in God. They don't need to know everything about God."
When you try to argue against me, insert "Muslims" or "Hindus" where you wrote "Arminians" and see how utterly ridiculous your argument is (that is, unless you believe that Muslims and Hindus are regenerate. Do you believe this?).
<<So perhaps Marc, who supports this website as he recommended it, can answer a question for me--how do you know ANY of the theologians who write their seemingly anti-Arminian books and websites are not deceived? If Clark was, and you didn't know it until recently, then how do you know any number of other theologians are not wolves in sheep's clothing? Can you even trust those in Outside the Camp?>>
Well, we have learned NOT to assume that just because one is against ArminianISM one believes Arminians are lost. There are many who say that ArminianISM is false, even heresy, even damnable heresy; some even go so far as to say that the god of Arminianism is a false god and that the gospel of Arminianism is a false gospel, yet when it comes to where the rubber meets the road, they will not judge those who believe Arminianism to be lost. Whenever I encounter someone who claims to be Reformed or a Calvinist or a Doctrines of Grace man, I ask a LOT of questions (and I mean a LOT) before I will fellowship with and endorse that person.
Soli Deo Gloria,
<<True. What orthodox Christian would believe that anyone could be saved apart from the Gospel?>>
How about the Primitive Baptists?
<<Of course, we should ask what the Gospel is.....>>
The gospel is the good news of salvation conditioned solely on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ.
<<I firmly believe that if an Arminian actually UNDERSTANDS the logical implications of Arminianism and still holds to it, then he is not saved.>>
Okay. I've heard this one before. There is this "consistent Arminian" phantom out there that tolerant Calvinists can judge to be lost, but these tolerant Calvinists have never met such a person.
The Bible says that those who are IGNORANT of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel are LOST (Romans 10:3). They DO NOT understand because they CANNOT understand. A christ who died for all is THE SAME THING as salvation conditioned on the sinner. Now your Arminian brethren will certainly protest, "No! It's all Christ! It's nothing from me!" Yet they hold onto their universal atonement. Now ask them what makes the difference between heaven and hell. They'll probably say something like "Christ's work." Now say, "But if it is Christ's work alone that makes the difference between heaven and hell, and if Christ died for everyone, why isn't everyone in heaven?" I have asked this question to many Arminians. Have you? The Arminians' answer to this question is invariably SALVATION CONDITIONED ON THE SINNER. Try it some time. Maybe then you'll find some of those "consistent Arminians." And I can almost guarantee that you would STILL not judge them to be unregenerate.
<<BUT I have yet to meet such an individual (save through the writings of Clark Pinnock).>>
Okay. Tell me -- is Clark Pinnock unregenerate? Was Arminius unregenerate? Is Billy Graham unregenerate? Is the Pope unregenerate? Was Charles Phinney unregenerate? Was Pelagius unregenerate?
<<Ask an Arminian how he or she is saved, and the answer is simple: "We are saved by grace through faith" (Ephesians 2:8). I can get you countless Arminian quotes about how we are saved by faith alone, and how our works cannot count for our righteousness. Only Christ's work on the cross can save us, etc.>>
Of course you can get countless Arminian quotes that say these things. Big deal.
<<Most Arminians do firmly stand on sola fide--they will fight for that doctrine.>>
ALL Arminians have no idea what sola fide means. They're fighting for a false sola fide in a false christ, worshipping an idol who cannot save apart from the will of fallen man.
<<Does that make them damned? Not hardly. We are saved by the Gospel, not by our perfect theology. THAT is a work, my friend. Forcing one to be perfect in theology before one can be saved is a work, not grace.>>
Here we go again. OF COURSE perfect theology doesn't save us. This is a favorite straw man of tolerant Calvinists. We are also NOT SAVED by the Gospel, contrary to what you said. The Gospel is the MEANS by which God saves His people. It is the power of God UNTO salvation.
And, I'll say it again -- I have NEVER said that one must know something (theology, etc.) BEFORE one can be saved. That would be blasphemy! There are NO PREREQUISITES to salvation!! If I believed that one needs to be perfect in theology before one can be saved, I would be JUST AS LOST as the Arminians, because I would believe in salvation conditioned on the sinner! God saves POOR, BLIND, WRETCHED SINNERS -- those who HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE! And what does God do when He saves a sinner? He GIVES that person knowledge! He GIVES that person an understanding of how God can be just to justify the ungodly! He GIVES that person an understanding of the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ that demands and ensures the salvation of all for whom He died! Before salvation, the elect are IGNORANT of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel; after salvation, the elect have KNOWLEDGE of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel.
Tell me, Peter -- does the Gospel contain THEOLOGY? Does it contain DOCTRINE? Does it contain CHRISTOLOGY? Does it contain SOTERIOLOGY?
Consider this scenario: Suppose that Bob believes that Mary is co-mediatrix and co-redemptrix. I, of course, would judge this person lost. But you -- what would you say to me when I judge that person lost? Maybe something like this: "Marc, you are so judgmental. We are saved by the Gospel, not by our perfect theology. Bob may not have the perfect theology that you think you have, but does that make him unregenerate? He just needs to learn a little bit more about the work of Christ." Is that what you'd say to me?
<<And your proof for this is what exactly?>>
Do I need to give you all the Scriptures on repentance from dead works and former idolatry?
And take a look at 2 John 11 (http://www.outsidethecamp.org/2John11.htm).
Soli Deo Gloria,
Peter Pike said:
<<Arminians will say the exact same thing. What does this mean in plain English (in other words, though they both say the same thing, you obviously believe Arminians are not saved--what is the difference?)>>
Suppose a Christian and an Arminian say the same thing. Yet the Arminian believes in universal atonement. Thus, although he is saying the same thing the Christian is saying, he is talking about a false christ and a false god. That's the difference.
<<As I've said, Clark Pinnock is a consistent Arminian. He has taken his Arminianism to it's logical end.>>
And further on down, you said:
<<I cannot say for certain on any individual as I am not God.>>
Okay. So here's Clark Pinnock, a consistent Arminian, and you CANNOT say for certain that he is unregenerate. In fact, you cannot say for certain ON ANY INDIVIDUAL. This means Muslims, Hindus, JW's, Mormons, etc., correct?
<<But what is that righteousness of God?>>
Read the book of Romans.
<<How often have you heard an Arminian say, "Jesus died for us"? Now to be sure they misunderstand what the "us" is, but this *IS* a substitutionary atonement--the terminology belongs in the Calvinist camp, and shouldn't be anywhere NEAR the Arminian camp--yet there it is. Why would the unregenerate work so hard to maintain this as truth when, by all logical means, they SHOULDN'T?>>
Yes, the Arminians talk about substitutionary atonement -- FOR EVERYONE WITHOUT EXCEPTION! So when they say "Jesus died for us," they mean that Jesus died FOR EVERYONE WITHOUT EXCEPTION. Confessing that "Jesus died for us" is NO indicator of regeneration! The Roman Catholics who believe that Mary is co-redemptrix say "Jesus died for us." Can't you see this?
<<They do not understand (yet) because they are immature and have not grown past the spiritual milk phase.>>
So you believe that the very heart of the gospel -- the efficacious atonement of Christ -- is something for only mature believers. This shows that you believe that the Arminian gospel is the same as your gospel, only you're just more "mature" in your understanding of it. What rot.
<<But the average believer in Arminianism DOES NOT *ACTUALLY* BELIEVE ARMINIANISM!>>
What?? So what is your definition of "a believer in Arminianism"?
> Now say, "But if it is Christ's work alone that makes
> the difference
> between heaven and hell, and if Christ died for everyone, why
> isn't everyone
> in heaven?" I have asked this question to many Arminians.
> Have you?
Of course I have. I debate Arminians constantly.
So give me a concrete example of how they answer this question.
<<Why? Because we are to spur one another on to become more mature in Christ. If someone can understand this, then they will develop a closer relationship with God.>>
So you believe that the difference between your gospel and the Arminian's gospel is one of spiritual maturity.
<<Why would Satan leave someone in such a perilous lie? Would he not seek to firmly establish the falsehood in the mind of those he has deceived? Would he not, instead of leaving a person the truth of Christ's death, seek to remove all mention of it altogether? Why would Satan allow people, whom he has deceived, the chance to realize the system they are in is false?>>
Satan's main goal is NOT to get people to be atheists. It is to get people into false religious refuges, basing their salvation on their own faith, repentance, perseverance, etc. Satan appears as an angel of light. He uses the same words that Christians do, and he counterfeits them. There is a satanic "grace," a satanic "righteousness," a satanic "Christ," a satanic "atonement," a satanic "gospel." This is his main area of deception.
<<Okay, we agree that we must be regenerated before we are saved, and that the non-elect have no understanding.>>
The unregenerate have no understanding, including the elect unregenerate.
<<However, does being regenerate mean we will INSTANTLY be full of knowledge?>>
See my answer to the other post.
<<We agree here too, but I suspect(based on previous discussions) we disagree on the question of 'WHEN?'. WHEN do we gain the "KNOWLEDGE of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel"? Do we gain it instantly--at the moment of salvation?>>
It is so very simple, if you believe the Bible. The Bible says that all who are ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel are lost (Romans 10:2-3). So -- does any newly regenerate person go for a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year without gaining the knowledge of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel? Since God says that being ignorant of this righteousness is a mark of lostness, no regenerate person has this mark.
Let me try to get real basic here with a scenario: Ed gets saved. Yet he is ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel until it is preached to him a year later. Does this scenario fit with God's Testimony? No; in fact it is totally contrary to God's testimony. If Ed is ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel for the year after his "conversion," then he is unregenerate during that time, according to God's Testimony. Any who are ignorant of this righteousness are automatically going about to establish their own righteousness.
So, to answer your question, YES, the regenerate person gains it instantly -- an immediate result of regeneration.
<<How can one argue this in light of the plethora of Paul's writings that challenge Christians to GROW IN KNOWLEDGE of Christ?>>
This growing in knowledge is not growing from ignorance of the righteousness of God to knowledge of the righteousness of God. One does not grow from believing in salvation conditioned on the sinner to believing in salvation conditioned on Christ alone.
<<Case study: John the Baptist Luke 1:15 says that John was filled with the Holy Spirit in his mother's womb. Calvin, rightly I believe, equates this with salvation. John the Baptist, by the sovereignty of God, was quickened in his mother's womb! Surely, we must agree that a saved person can acquire right knowledge over a period of time. Surely we don't expect John to have proper theology as an infant.>>
I'll say it again: The Bible says that those who are ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel are lost (Romans 10:2-3). If John the Baptist, as an infant, was ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel, he was lost, according to God's Testimony. There are no exceptions. I, too, believe that John the Baptist was regenerated in the womb. And upon regeneration, God gave him knowledge of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel -- the very imputed righteousness of Christ.
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