Prevenient Grace and Semi-Pelagianism

Considering the recent dust up in my church group (we southern Baptists ain’t – yet – a denomination), documented here and rightly rebutted here, it may be beneficial to review the theological presuppositions at work in both camps. The snippet below is from page 5 of a 15 page document entitled “Prevenient Grace and Semi-Pelagian” (click the title for the whole article). The author makes a compelling argument that there ain’t much tangible difference between the two, although I personally disagree with him as to whether or not Arminianism is heresy (how can you read any of the 5 points of the remonstrance and not consider it heresy?).

Summarizing, most Arminians hold to these distinctive features of prevenient grace. 1) It is bestowed upon all men at birth. 2) It mitigates the effects of the fall mainly by restoring to man libertarian free will that is able to respond positively to the gospel by exercising faith. 3) It allows men to be enlightened concerning the truth of the gospel. 4) It is not saving grace but it leads to faith which does save. 5) It is resistible by virtue of the fact that it enables the ability of the will to act contrary to it if one so chooses. Thus, in order to activate its power one must cooperate with it by not resisting it. 6) It precedes regeneration and thus the spiritual transformation of the believer.

Let us examine ourselves and repent of any and all man-centered, flesh gratifying false theology.

Soli Deo Gloria!