Quote

John Wesley on Predestination

I appeal to every impartial mind…whether the mercy of God would not be far less gloriously displayed, in saving a few by his irresistible power, and leaving all the rest without help, without hope, to perish everlastingly, than in offering salvation to every creature, actually saving all that consent thereto, and doing for the rest all that infinite wisdom, almighty power, and boundless love can do, without forcing them to be saved, which would be to destroy the very nature that he had given them.

John Wesley, from Predestination Calmly Considered

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4 responses to “John Wesley on Predestination

  1. closetcalvinist

    I think Wesley neglects the depravity of man. If the only way a man can be saved is if God regenerates the heart, then it is either a matter of saving those who He wills or letting all perish.

    In a sense the man with a fallen nature has free will. Salvation is open to him, if he repents and believes. But, his will is so corrupted that he would never repent.

    The forcing man to be saved sounds similar to some men arguing that God is a spiritual rapist for saving people. When a man’s heart is regenerated he wants to be saved. It isn’t that God is forcing salvation on him, God is correcting his broken nature, and a man who’s nature is corrected, will respond in repentance and faith.

    • Interestingly, total depravity was the only point of TULIP Wesley affirmed. He just believed equally in prevenient grace allowing all people to freely choose God. At the same time, he didn’t believe that God’s grace was irresistible, an idea he traced to Augustine’s neoplatonism and could not find support for it in Scripture. After all, weren’t Eden and creation products of God’s grace?

      • closetcalvinist

        So, I just noticed this on the WordPress drop down bar. Not all forms of God’s grace are irresistible. Got gives us air and food by His common grace, but He doesn’t force us to eat or breath. It is His saving grace that is irresistible.

  2. closetcalvinist

    They are a gift, yes. And, in that they are grace. But, it is saving grace that is irresistible, not all forms of grace. I believe it is otherwise known as effectual calling.

    Prevenient grace then being a grace that temporarily somewhat regenerates to a somewhat neutral point? Though, I think a morally neutral person would choose God. I would argue that Prevenient grace is not found in Scripture. I think it makes sense, until one looks into Scripture to find it.

    I think that would also require a different approach to Ephesians and Romans 8-11 as well. I’ve seen the Arminian readings, to some extent, but I don’t believe they work.

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