Calvinism, Arminianism, & Vocabulary

We are going through Christian Theology in Sunday school, and this week we were covering both the similarities and differences between Calvinism and Arminianism. We focused on two passages in Ephesians (1:4-6 and 2:8-9).

For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love. He did this by predestining us to adoption as his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the pleasure of his will— to the praise of the glory of his grace that he has freely bestowed on us in his dearly loved Son.


For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast.

The emphasis in class was on how each group understands key words in Scripture like grace, faith, and election.

Each group uses these words – but they do not mean what the other group thinks they mean. Definitions for these words were explored using key documents like the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Canons of the Synod of Dort, and the writings of Arminius.

Here are the slides (pdf)

Wednesday with Wesley: On Preaching (Five Marks of the Sincere Teacher)

John Wesley's sermon: On Corrupting the Word of God (Wordle)

John Wesley’s sermon: On Corrupting the Word of God (Wordle )

When we teach others our goal should be to help transform lives. John Wesley agreed. Wesley’s Sermon 136 (On Corrupting the Word of God) tackles preaching and teaching the Scriptures using 2 Corinthians 2:17 as his text. Continue reading

Wednesday with Watson: Interpreting Scripture

Richard Watson (1781-1833) was an Arminian theologican and author living in Britain. Here is an excerpt from his Theological Institutes on interpreting the Scriptures (chapter 11). The original text appears in italics but I added the bulleted formatting.

The second use of reason respects the interpretation of the [Scriptures]; and here the same rules are to be applied Continue reading