Exploring the Paradox of Prevenient Grace: Why Does One Believe and Not Another?
The Arminian affirms total human moral inability and utter helplessness of the natural man in spiritual matters and the absolute necessity for supernatural prevenient grace. Furthermore, he posits that all individuals receive prevenient grace from God, which enables them to choose whether or not to believe in Christ. However, this notion implies that the person who chooses to believe is wiser, smarter, and more humble than the one who rejects Christ. This would mean it cannot be attributed solely to grace since both received grace. Such a conclusion contradicts the very essence of salvation, which is based on God's unmerited favor and not on our own merit or character. It is therefore necessary to question how one individual makes use of the prevenient grace given to him while the other does not, and what determines this choice. Such inquiries lead us to the conclusion that the Arminian scheme is faulty since it suggests that salvation is based (at least partly) on our own meritorious good will, rather than on God's grace alone.
Premise 1: If the Arminian scheme were true, then the person who chooses to believe is naturally wiser, smarter, and more humble than the person who rejects Christ.
Premise 2: However, if this were the case, then salvation would be based on the individual's good will and character rather than by grace alone.
Conclusion: Therefore, the Arminian scheme is flawed because it suggests that salvation is meritorious, or based on some point of goodness in us and not based on grace alone.
Although Arminians disavow the idea of a meritorious salvation, their doctrine of prevenient grace is inherently flawed. It implies that an individual's choice to believe in Christ is based on their owngood will, wisdom and humility, rather than on the unmerited favor of God. Such a position is logically inconsistent and theologically untenable, as it suggests that the initiative for salvation lies with a natural advantage of one person over another, rather than with Christ alone. The ramifications of this conclusion are profound and far-reaching, necessitating a careful and thorough exploration of the matter in order to arrive at a more biblical, coherent and consistent theological framework.
Does the Bible Teach "Prevenient Grace" in the Wesleyan/Arminian Sense? Dr. Thomas R. Schreiner
The Arminian-Wesleyan View of Prevenient Grace by Sam Storms
Does the Bible teach Prevenient Grace? by R. C. Sproul
A Short Response to the Arminian Doctrine of Prevenient Grace @Monergism
Arminianism Exposed: The Doctrine of Arminian Prevenient Grace by Rev. Mark Herzer
Is Prevenient Grace in the Bible? by Joseph M. Gleason