Arminian and Catholic Soteriologies

As a Catholic and a former relatively "high" church Lutheran, I’m quite lost when it comes to battles between Calvinism and Arminianism. I am somewhat familiar with Calvinism and have been exposed to TULIP. Catholic apologist Jimmy Akin wrote a good review of TULIP from a Catholic perspective. I’ve only heard of Aminianism recently. Here’s some of what good ol’ Wikipedia had to say.

The Arminians suggested five, anti-Calvinist corrections [to TULIP], which are summarized below:

Conditional Election: God has decreed to save through Jesus Christ, out of fallen and sinful mankind, those foreknown by Him who through the grace of the Holy Spirit believe in Christ; but God leaves in sin those foreseen, who are incorrigible and unbelieving.

Universal Atonement: Christ’s death was suffered on behalf of all men, but God elects for salvation only those who believe in Christ.

Free Will with Partial Depravity: Freedom of will is man’s natural state, not a spiritual gift – and thus free will was not lost in the Fall. The grace of Christ works upon all men to influence them for good, but only those who freely choose to agree with grace by faith and repentance are given new spiritual power to make effectual the good they otherwise impotently intend.

Resistible Grace: The grace of God works for good in all men, and brings about newness of life through faith. But grace can be resisted even by the regenerate.

Uncertain Perseverance: Those who are incorporated into Christ by a true faith have power given them through the assisting grace of the Holy Spirit, sufficient to enable them to persevere in the faith. But it may be possible for a believer to fall from grace.

Am I wrong, or is this basically what the Catholic Church teaches? It certainly sounds awfully close. Akin focused on Calvinism, so I’m not sure if his Thomistic TULIP is compatible with Arminianism’s formulation (which unfortunately doesn’t have a nice acronym). Help from my readers would be appreciated.

Comments 2

  1. Steve N wrote:

    I think Calvinists would say that the “special grace” only comes after one believes, whereas Catholics and Arminians (yes, they’re about the same) would say that all grace is special and is available to all.

    2 min left in Sunday. See ya next Sunday.


    Posted 14 Feb 2005 at 4:07 am
  2. EmilyE wrote:

    I was raised in a denomination that emphasized Arminian soteriology, although they debated whether a person could lose his/her salvation (and thus didn’t hold to that final point listed).

    Isn’t the Catholic position on depravity more in line with the Calvinist belief? Calvinists would say that, because of original sin, man can’t have any sort of selfless love unless God gives him some sort of special grace. I thought (but may be wrong) that Catholics also think this.

    P.S. Oh, I don’t have any hard feelings against Fr. Bryan. It was just a commentary (and actually the voicemails were left a long time ago, not recently).

    Posted 13 Feb 2005 at 9:07 pm

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