Oct 2, 2008

What Starting Point?

Many Calvinists, in their reasonings with Arminians, want to make "Total Depravity," or the 1st of the "five points," the "starting point" in discussions about salvation, or the order and way of salvation. These are convinced that to see and understand "Total Depravity" clears the way to see and understand the other 4 points.

However, why can't we start at the end and work backward to the beginning, in our reasonings, instead of starting at the beginning and working forward to the end?

In causality, is it not important to understand the "end" in order to comprehend the "beginning"? Is not understanding "final cause" (purpose fulfilled) not integral to understanding "first cause" (purpose intended)?

Are Baptists Arminian or Calvinist? Historically, they have been a mixture of both. Therefore, being strictly one of the other is not a "Baptist distinctive."

However, universally, except for the Hyper Arminian few, they have embraced the "5th point" in Calvinism, the idea of "once saved, always saved" (or variously expressed).

Thus, for Baptists who are discussing soteriology, we ought rather to begin with the final result and work backwards to discover the reasons behind the end.

Why are believers secure? Why can they not lose their position of sonship? Why can they not be condemned and lose salvation?

To me this is a better "starting point" than "Total Depravity."

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