Both Calvinists and Arminians see grace as powerful and necessary, but not in the same way. Pastor John gets the heart of the theological divide.
Pastor John, today’s question will prompt a lot of thoughts about the distinction between Calvinism and Arminianism when it comes to the power of God’s grace. As listeners may know, you are hoping to finish up a big, new book project on God’s providence this summer. I know these questions about God’s sovereignty are on the front of your mind. Here’s the email.
“Hello, Pastor John! I’m a 26-year-old man in full-time ministry working primarily with collegiate golfers. In a recent Bible study, one of the older men in our group brought up the topic of ‘prevenient grace’ — the idea that the Holy Spirit enables everyone to potentially believe, if they choose to cooperate. I was unprepared in the moment. I am Reformed and believe wholly in the sovereignty of God in salvation. I believe we are saved by grace, through faith, and this faith is not our ‘own doing’ but is rather a ‘gift of God,’ coming to the elect from outside of us (Ephesians 2:8). But I was really unprepared to respond in that moment. I’d love to hear your answer. How do you address ‘prevenient grace’?”