Paul Owens of Communiosanctorum (which incidently is rapidly becoming one of my new favorite blogs), a convinced Calvinist Anglican has recently posted one of the better defenses of Arminianism that I have seen. Take a look-see:
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a Reformed Anglican, who gladly owns the Augustinian theology of the Reformation. I am not an Arminian. I do not believe that God only intended to make salvation possible for every human being by means of the death of Christ. I do not believe that election to salvation is in any way conditioned on the faithful response of individuals. I do not believe that any person who comes to a true knowledge of the grace of God will fail to be eternally saved. However, I will gladly admit that I am a great admirer of Arminius and Wesley. These men were gifted theologians and ministers, whom all “Calvinists” should revere. Arminian theology deserves our respect; and we should never give the impression that Arminians are incapable of handling our Calvinist prooftexts.
The following are a few examples:
John 6:44: Arminians have no problem with this verse. They agree that no man can come to Christ unless God draws him. It is God’s gracious call which makes it possible for a person to come to Christ. They also agree that God will raise that person up at the last day–if they meet the condition stated in this same verse. If they respond to God’s call by coming to Christ, they will be raised up at the last day. It is not eisegesis to insist that the end of being raised up is contingent upon meeting the condition for being raised up that is stated in this very verse. The question is simply: Does the gracious, drawing call of God make it certain that the person will come to faith, or does that call only make it possible for the person to come to faith? The verse can accomodate either view. Arminians can cite verse 45 and simply say that those who still refuse to “learn” from the Father will not come to Christ.