An Arminian Theodicy

Arminianism:  divine election is based on foreknowledge of human choices. (this does touch on the Middle Knowledge debate, which will be discussed below).  Rutherford responds that this denies God as the author of second causes.  Arminians deny that grace determines the decision of free agency; claiming that both act together, this makes both “joint causes, the one not depending on the other…because second causes were denied, God was no longer master of events and altogether sufficient” (Coffey, 119-120). Even worse, Arminianism (and I will put all forms of full-syngerism and semi-Pelagianism under this umbrella for the moment) does not escape the problem of theodicy.  True, the Calvinist may have trouble explaining why God predestined some but not others, but the Arminian must explain why God created people whom he knew would reject him and burn forever (120).


About J. B. Aitken

Interests include patristics, the role of the soul in the human person, analytic theology, Reformed Scholasticism, Medievalism, Substance Metaphysics
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1 Response to An Arminian Theodicy

  1. cal says:

    I’ve read an non-Christian comment on certain theodical approaches saying that they seem to be fundamentally about providing enough culpability to explain why God is just in throwing people into Hell. This has struck me, and I seemed to certainly be guilty of doing something of the sort when I was a dyed-in-the-wool Arminian. I’ve given up on the debate, I don’t know what I am, but it ought to be based upon Biblical testimony than appeals to the supposed “justness”. Though, there’s a kind of analogical parallel between American Evangelicals being overwhelming Arminian and an approach to a justice system that seems to need to justify its own incarceration rates post-facto with a psychological balm about people making bad choices etc.

    2 cents,


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