Reformed or Fundamentalist?


 

by Mike Ratliff

In one week not long ago I was called a fundamentalist twice. The first time it was meant as an insult by one person commenting on Possessing the Treasure. The second time it was actually contained in a question by a friend at church asking if I considered myself to be a fundamentalist. This person did not use that word the same way the first person did. In fact, I am positive that he meant it in a positive way. The more I have pondered this, the more I have come to understand that these two people had a completely different concept of what it means to be a fundamentalist. This word is used in the news media in a negative context to describe religious people who commit acts of terrorism or retreat from society into cultic communes. The emergents’ view fundamentalists with anger and resentment. They view them as backward and mired in dead religiosity. However, is that what fundamentalism is? Continue reading

A Short Response to the Arminian Doctrine of Prevenient Grace …


by John Hendryx

The term “prevenient grace” – a distinctly Arminian doctrine – refers to a universal grace which precedes and enables the first stirrings of a good will or inclination toward God and it explains the extent or degree to which the Holy Spirit influences a person prior to their coming to faith in Christ. The Arminian, together with the Calvinist, affirms total human moral inability and utter helplessness of the natural man in spiritual matters and the absolute necessity for supernatural prevenient grace if there is to be any right response to the gospel. Like Calvinists, Arminians agree that, apart from an act of grace on God’s part, no one would willingly come to Christ. This point is important to distinguish so as to not confuse Classical Arminianism with either Finneyism or Semi-Pelagianism, which both reject the need for prevenient grace. So Christ’s redemption is universal in a provisional sense but conditional as to its application to any individual, i.e. those who do not resist the grace offered to them through the cross and the gospel. Prevenient grace, according to Arminians, convicts, calls (outwardly), enlightens and enables before conversion and makes conversion and faith possible. While Calvinists believe the inward call to the elect is irrevocable and effectually brings sinners to faith in Christ, the Arminian, on the other hand understand God’s grace as ultimately resistible. In short, they affirm that prevenient grace, which is given to all men at some point in their life, temporarily brings the sinner out of his/her condition of total depravity and puts them in a neutral state of free will wherein the natural man can either accept or reject Christ. Continue reading