The Providence Debate

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The author considers that a balanced mixture of these two views offers a better perspective. The author proposes that God’s truth as revealed in the Holy Scriptures is reflected in some parts by the Calvinists view and in some parts by the Armininans and God’s truth regarding salvation is not monopolized wholly by just one of these two views. God Announced Salvation after the fall On the sixth day of creation, after forming everything which included the light, the firmament, the plants and the animals, God created man in His own image and put him in the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. later Adam was joined by his wife Eve, the woman whom God formed from one of Adam’s ribs.1 Adam and Eve had everything they needed and lived very close to God and just like in a fairy tale, they could have lived happily ever after. But they disobeyed God’s commandment: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.2 Thus the first man and woman fell to sin and the whole creation fell with them.3 The loving Almighty God, after the fall of man, even in the dawn of human history, had already announced the forthcoming salvation, as He said to the serpent:And I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed: it shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his heel.4 The Holy Bible abounds with several verses which teach the way to salvation. In fact the whole Bible, with its old and new testaments, showsGod’s way of having people come to know Him and His plan for mankind, His chosen and special people…who by faith will form the true family of God throughout eternity.5 God’s Thoughts Are Higher Than Our Thoughts Despite the so many verses pertaining to salvation (or maybe due to such great number), even the so-called ‘faithfuls’ have found themselves in opposite camps. This providence debate has been going on for centuries and perhaps, Christians will finally get the correct answer when they come face to face with our loving Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our God is a very great God. He is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. He is the first and the last. We may come to know Him, but not yet as fully as we would have wanted. As it is written, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.6 The Arminians and Calvinists Views A careful and prayerful study of the Holy Bible will reveal chapters and verses which support both the Arminian and Calvinist views. The Arminians View. The Arminians believe that salvation is brought about by the combined efforts of God who initiated the process and man who must respond to God’s call. God has provided salvation for everyone, but His provision becomes effective only for those who, of their own free will, ‘choose’ to cooperate with Him and accept His gracious offer of salvation. Thus man’s response becomes the determining factor for the attainment of salvation. At the crucial point, man’s will plays a decisive role. in this perspective, man, not God, determines who will be recipients of the gift of salvation.7,8 Arminianism emphasizes conditional election based on God’s foreknowledge, man’s free will through prevenient grace to cooperate with God in salvation,