The $64,000 question and presuppositions

R.C Sproul, the popular Reformed pastor, author, and founder of Ligonier Ministries, asked the following question in his book: Chosen By God.

The $64,000 question is, “Does the Bible teach such a doctrine of prevenient grace? If so, where?”

And Tom Schreiner in his critique on prevenient grace (chapter 9 in Still Sovereign)  summed it up like this:

Prevenient grace is attractive because it solves so many problems, but it should be rejected because it cannot be exegetically vindicated

sproul_podium_actionBefore continuing I want to make three important observations:

1. Reformed and Arminian views both hold to the concepts and doctrine of original sin/total depravity. In summary that means that people, because of our fallen nature, cannot initiate a relationship with God or come to faith without God’s help.

2. Reformed and Arminian views both hold to the need for prevenient grace – a grace that precedes faith. This grace is given by God to restore our fallen nature and enable a person to come to faith.

3. The primary difference between Reformed and Arminian theologies is whether prevenient grace is resistible or not. Continue reading