Prevenient Grace in Calvinism?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by Afterthought, Dec 9, 2014.

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  1. Afterthought

    Afterthought Puritan Board Junior

    Does prevenient grace exist in the Calvinistic system? Or to put it another way, is the Calvinist distinctive merely that the prevenient grace is irresistible, rather than a denial of prevenient grace? Is irresistible grace a kind of prevenient grace? What about common grace? Doesn't regeneration "come before" and could be seen as a prevenient grace? And if there is some sort of preparatory work before conversion, would common grace then be seen as prevenient grace?

    For example, we see,

    "II. This effectual call is of God’s free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man; who is altogether passive therein, until, being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit, he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it."

    So it would seem the person is passive until acted upon by grace, and then the person is active, either by himself or cooperating (?) with grace at that point?
  2. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    No. It's a construct found in Methodism. It's probably best not to use foreign terms to try to define domestic concepts.
  3. Mr. Bultitude

    Mr. Bultitude Puritan Board Freshman

    My understanding is that Methodists simply deny irresistible grace and that "prevenient grace" means resistible common grace. The Eastern Orthodox seem to have a similar idea of grace, and would even say that "all of life is sacramental."
  4. KeithW

    KeithW Puritan Board Freshman

  5. Afterthought

    Afterthought Puritan Board Junior

    That's what I thought:

  6. KeithW

    KeithW Puritan Board Freshman

    In the previous sentence Jared said,
    Calvinists call the latter, that full idea, "prevenient grace". That is the same technical term which the Arminians, Methodists, Wesleyans, Roman Catholics, etc. use. That is why the term is not applied to the Calvinist point of view. To do so would confuse everyone.
  7. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    From the Cyclopaedia by McClintock and Strong:

    Technically the term has been adopted by those holding to universal grace to distinguish it from a naturalist scheme. It could possibly be adapted to particular grace but it would require modification and lead to equivocation when speaking with Arminians. Shedd's History of Christian Doctrines explains its use by Augustine.
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