Election/Predestination: Arminian view vs Calvinism

Foreknowledge – God’s knowledge in advance of those who would repent of their sin and believe the gospel.  In other words, in eternity past, God looked down the corridors of time to see all who would one day accept the offer of salvation through Christ.  In the Arminian view, those who accept salvation are the elect.  The fact that they would eventually believe in Christ was the condition that prompted God to choose them “before the foundation of the world.” (Eph 1:3) or predestine them to eternal life.  To bolster their position, Arminians point to verses that clearly state God’s desire for all people to be saved.  Furthermore, they argue the universal call for sinners to repent and believe the gospel is meaningless if salvation is determined solely by God apart from the free will of a person.

Foreknowledge – God’s intimate knowledge of and love for His elect before they came into existence.  From the Calvinistic perspective, it is God’s sovereign choice, and not a person’s exercised faith, that determines who the elect are.  Put simply, Calvinists define election as the unconditional choice of God that is the cause of our faith.  Arminians, on the other hand, would define it as the conditional choice of God that is the result of our faith.

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