Justin Taylor posts Thomas McCall’s—assistant professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School—article: Two Cheers for the Resurgence of Calvinism in Evangelicalism: A Wesleyan-Arminian Perspective.
Just a recent thought of mine.
One of the determining tenets of Arminian/Wesleyan has been that in order for there to be genuine love there must be self-determining free will (libertarian free will; power to the contrary). Thus, love demands that humans have the ability—the choice—to reject or chose without any constraining factors (e.g. God, environment, history, biochemistry, personal nature, etc.). If we can’t chose God, being compelled in any fashion to the contrary, means authentic love is dissolved.
With this thinking, individual predestination is ruled out of the court from the beginning, ipso facto. “For God so loved the world…”
But lets apply this notion of love demanding libertarian free will to God, something that is curiously never done. If love necessitates the free will of choosing or rejecting a person, situation, object, etc., then that must mean God has the same capacity to chose or reject us. If one is being consistent with what love encompasses in this understanding, then “God is Love” must entail at least the possibility of individual election/reprobation.
Yet this is the very thing that Arminians of all stripes viciously deny.
The two ways out of this dilemma are the following.
1) We can say that God’s notion of “willing” is limited. God has to love us, it is He’s very nature. He can do no other.
But this means that human’s are freer than God in this sense. We have libertarian free will (power to chose to the contrary) and God does not. We are not constrained by our nature, but God is.
Few would swallow this pill, because none can argue against the fact that God is the freest being in existence.
2) Or we can figure that God just chooses to love us even though He has the capacity to reject us.
If so, then one agrees that God could have possibly damned us in our sinned and was under no obligation to send a Savior or offer Salvation to us.
Either way, if one insists on the correlation between love and libertarian free will, then one must also apply it to God. As a result, this relationship not only evaporates all philosophical objections to individual election and reprobation, but God’s love becomes the necessary pre-condition for it. God’s love doesn’t contradict predestination. Rather God’s love must require that individual predestination is a very real possibility. To deny it is to deny God’s love.
For the Arminian, love, particularly God’s love, necessitates the option of predestination for individuals, if not more. If one is trying to be consistent with one’s theology.
But I still Hate Calvinism