Arminian Interpretation of Romans 9?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by ChristopherPaul, Oct 25, 2005.

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  1. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    What exactly is the Arminian interpretation of Romans 9?

    In my Arminian days, it was just not talked about and avoided.

    What are the "œbest" interpretations by the Arminians on this passage?
  2. Average Joey

    Average Joey Puritan Board Junior

    That`s one of the many chapters they skip.It sounds like a joke but in a way it is true.

    From what I can remember,it is a total dodge arguement with them.They tend to argue this scripture with other scripture taken out of context.

    I am sure others will leave better comments than me.I just wanted to say something about this.
  3. Herald

    Herald Moderator Staff Member


    Verses 11-24 are the most hotly contested between Arminians and Calvinists. Arminians interpret this (and similar) passages by using the "foreknowledge" view. They teach that God looked down the corridor of time and saw who would choose Him. He then "elected" those people to salvation. The hermeneutical problems with the AV are numerous, and more learned men than I have expounded on the topic.

    In my conversations with Arminians, I have found their position is defined by a sense of fair-play. The exegetical support for the AV is wanting. Norman Geisler, of DTS, has come close to providing a biblical defense for Arminians. One of the problems with the AV is that most Arminains (especially in Baptist circles) will swear that they are not Arminians! For many of them, Arminians believe that you can lose your salvation. They are more than happy to label us Calvinists or Hyper-Calvinists, but they see themselves as Biblicists. The honest ones, who call themselves for what they are, are few and far between. If I were to go to the church that planted us (a large Baptist church in Maryland), and told that pastor he was Arminian, he would deny it tooth and nail. That is half the battle with modern-day Arminians.

    [Edited on 10-25-2005 by BaptistInCrisis]
  4. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior


    That is what I suspected the angle the Arminians must take. God sees how man will responds and then makes the best of their choices.

    However, I know of some Arminians avoiding the foreknowledge argument lately, I believe because they are finding it problematic. But what else is there? How do they interpret Romans 9 without relying on the foreknowledge view? Maybe they can't interpret it any other way? Perhaps they use a dispensational approach on how Paul is addressing nations and not individuals? I don't know.
  5. Jeff_Bartel

    Jeff_Bartel Puritan Board Graduate


    Just for clarifications sake, Armenians are people from the country of Armenia.

    I'm sure you meant to type Arminian who are disciples of Jacob Arminius.

    As to the Arminian interpretation of Romans 9, most of them like to appeal to "Jacob" as meaning Israel (because Jacob was later named Israel) and "Esau" as Edom, referencing texts like Genesis 25:30;
    So instead of god electing certain individuals to eternal life, which has been and is the most clear and plain interpretation of the text, now they make God electing nations to favor, or calamity. It is not faithful at all to the text In my humble opinion.
  6. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    I have heard that interpretation from an arminian as well Jeff.

    Another thing someone once said to me was, "Paul is just speaking hypothetically about God's sovereignty in those verses, it is not like God would actually do that."

    To which I replied, are we talking about the same God who sent His own son to die in the most horrifically brutal way possible, on a Roman cross ?
  7. BrianBowman

    BrianBowman Posting Priviledges Revoked

    Im my obsevation, the biggest problem with *both* the classical and modern Arminian view of Election is that they either ignore or minimize the total devastation that the fall has on the human will.

    The FV explanation cannot stand up any basic exposition of the relevant texts, so most of them are left with arguing from "fairness". This is bogus since because of the fall, God would be justified in condemning all of us! Of course for them to acknowledge this would mean they would have own up to total depravity/spiritual death which would leave them incapable of defending their system.

    Also, I agree with Bill. Most Baptist that appear Arminian to us would not call themselves such. Oh no, they would say "... but brother we are Biblicists" . . . as if Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Owen, Edwards, and Spurgeon were not? It's simply bone-headed to call oneself a "Biblicist" while ignoring or minimizing the some of the greatest minds, whom God used to lead the greatest revivals in Church history.

    [Edited on 10-25-2005 by BrianBowman]
  8. Herald

    Herald Moderator Staff Member

    What an embarrassing typo. I used the spell check and I still didn't catch it. Thanks for the correction.
  9. Herald

    Herald Moderator Staff Member

    Once in a while? :lol: If the frequency of my mess us were just once in a while, I would be in great shape!
  10. Herald

    Herald Moderator Staff Member

    Arguably, previous Arminians are worse on their old theologic system than those raised Reformed. I can hardly stomach listening to many of the old christian radio programs that I used to love. Charles Stanley, Chip Ingram, Hank Hannergraff (spelling?) etc.
  11. bond-servant

    bond-servant Puritan Board Sophomore

    :ditto: yep :ditto:
  12. Jeff_Bartel

    Jeff_Bartel Puritan Board Graduate

  13. Anton Bruckner

    Anton Bruckner Puritan Board Professor

    I hear yuh.
    I was listening to Hank, friday night on the commute home from work. Usually I would use the subway, but I had to rent a car so that my mother and brother could go to my cousin's funeral down in Washington D.C, so I was stuck in an Chevy Impala, with no CDS, and my classical station playing a Jewish Sabbath service. My only other option was WMCA, the local Christian station, and Hank was one.

    One caller called in an asked, "Why did God create evil?", Hank's response was that, "God wanted us to love Him voluntarily and not by force." Of course that statement implicitly suggests that God left it up to chance. (Our society is so overly democratic and rights based)

    But what I do love about Hank these days is his Partial Preterist position concerning eschatology that is able to make a good dent into the Evangelical community.

    [Edited on 10-25-2005 by Slippery]
  14. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    Well, I guess we are quite angry and embarrassed at the same time. Angry that we were misguided by those we trust and embarrassed because we avoided or denied scripture because it did not conform to our desires.

    I admit, I am overly judgmental against Arminian churches at times and if not careful, become snobbish towards them.
  15. heartoflesh

    heartoflesh Puritan Board Junior

    Christopher, I haven't seen that symbol in a long time! Isn't that John Bonham's logo? Really takes me back to my junior high doodling days.

    My favorite to doodle back then was:

  16. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    Once in a Sunday-School class in a Foursquare Church I heard this;
    The instructor said that Romans 9 is a solemn warning, he pointed out that it says God hardened Pharaoh's heart, then in another Scripture it says that Pharaoh hardened his own heart. So don't harden your hearts, was his application; some day God just might let you stay that way. Look at Esau, who found no place of repentance...wait, that's from another Epistle! Oops!:lol:
  17. bond-servant

    bond-servant Puritan Board Sophomore

    Ah, Meg.. say it ain't so!!! [​IMG]
  18. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    Ha, that is funny. I didn't think of that until you mentioned it and I am a big Led Zeppelin fan having all their albums. It is actually the symbol my church uses. It is in our letter head, on the cover of our bulletins, on our website and in the front of the sanctuary in the form of a stained-glass mosaic.

    It is true that it also appears on the fourth Led Zeppelin album, but it was John Paul Jones' selected symbol not Bonham's. Jones said he got it from a book of ruins or something pagan like that.
  19. heartoflesh

    heartoflesh Puritan Board Junior

    You are right- it's been a while!
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