Combating Semi-Pelagianism

Some thoughts from Arminian theologian Roger Olsen about what other non-Calvinists should (and shouldn’t) believe:

[M]ost American Christians, including most Baptists, are semi-Pelagian, not Arminian and not merely non-Calvinist.

A classical Arminian would never deny that Adam’s sin resulted in the incapacitation of any person’s free will.  Classical Arminianism strongly affirms the bondage of the will to sin before and apart from prevenient grace’s liberating work.

[C]lassical Arminianism agrees with Calvinism that a sinner is incapable of making the right decision without the influence of God’s prevenient grace.

Classical Arminianism says there is no point in salvation where the sinner-being-saved is autonomous. Arminius talked about it in terms of “instrumental cause” and “efficient cause.” God’s grace is always the efficient cause of any good that we do. Our free will, enabled and assisted by God’s grace, is the instrumental cause of conversion.

[C]lassical Arminianism affirms the necessity of supernatural assisting grace for any good that a person does including the first exercise of a good will toward God.

[W]hat we should all be criticizing is the rampant popular semi-Pelagianism of American folk religion.

taken from Roger Olson’s blog and comments at“a-statement-of-the-traditional-southern-baptist-understanding-of-gods-plan-of-salvation-“


Leave a Reply