Saturday, June 07, 2008

Calvinism vs. Arminianism

Below are all the links to the massive debate between Calvinism and Arminianism that took place between (mainly) Victor Reppert, Steve Hays, Paul Manata, and Dominic Bnonn Tennant. This post will function as a (almost) one-stop shop for seeing anti-Calvinist arguments, and rebuttals to those arguments. Our opponent, Victor Reppert, has a PhD in philosophy and so makes for an ideal representative of the philosophical arguments Arminians use against Calvinists. In other words, this is no hand-picked opponent. Furthermore, the reader will notice that this debate covers much more ground than philosophical arguments against Calvinism. What began as a moral argument against Calvinism broke off into discussions on: Universalism, Hell, God's attributes, inerrancy, Frankfurt-Counter examples, compatibilism, libertarianism, exegesis of Scripture, theological presuppositions, and much more. This means that many arguments a Calvinist might run into are dealt with and addressed here. At the end, Reppert's last post shows the tremendously scaled down nature of his argument. He all but admits that there is no good argument against Calvinism that does not presuppose the falsity of key Calvinist tenants. He all but admits that the Calvinist can answer the strongest charge leveled against them by other Christians: the problem of evil.

I have a ranged the below in as coherent a list as I could. The debate was highly informal, and thus there are many skips to other subjects. Frequently the reader will note that Reppert never comes back to offer a surrejoinder to our rejoinders. Some "chapters" have many posts grouped together. This is because I felt that they revolved around a central theme and so I thought it would be better to include them all in one "chapter."

I think both Calvinists and Arminians can make use of this "debate." This "debate" will also be helpful generally. Many atheists raise PoE objections to Christianity that are dealt with and answered here. The Calvinist reader can employ the theodicies used here for purposes beyond the Calvinist/Arminian debate. So this "debate" should have a wider appeal and profit.

Steve Hays: Calvinist
Paul Manata: Calvinist
Victor Reppert: Arminian
Dominic Bnonn Tennant: Calvinist

1. Victor Reppert / Steve Hays / Dominic Bnonn Tennant

2. Victor Reppert / Paul Manata

3. Victor Reppert / Paul Manata

4. Victor Reppert / Steve Hays / Victor Reppert / Steve Hays / Paul Manata

5. Paul Manata

6. Victor Reppert / Paul Manata

7. Victor Reppert / Paul Manata

8. Victor Reppert (see second comment down from top) / Paul Manata / Victor Reppert / Paul Manata

9. Victor Reppert / Dominic Bnonn Tennant / Victor Reppert / Paul Manata

10. Steve Hays

11. Victor Reppert / Paul Manata / Dominic Bnonn Tennant

12. Victor Reppert / Paul Manata

13. Victor Reppert / Paul Manata

14. Victor Reppert / Paul Manata

15. Steve Hays

16. Victor Reppert / Paul Manata / Steve Hays (top of post) / Paul Manata

17. Victor Reppert / Steve Hays (bottom of post) / Paul Manata

18. Steve Hays / Steve Hays

19. Steve Hays

20. Victor Reppert / Steve Hays

21. Victor Reppert / Steve Hays / Paul Manata

22. Paul Manata / Victor Reppert

23. Victor Reppert (see 4th comment down from top) / Steve Hays

24. Paul Manata

25. Paul Manata / Victor Reppert (see 2nd comment down from top) / Paul Manata / Victor Reppert / Paul Manata / Paul Manata / Paul Manata

26. Steve Hays

27. Paul Manata

28. Victor Reppert / Steve Hays / Paul Manata

29. Paul Manata

30. Victor Reppert / Steve Hays / Paul Manata

31. Victor Reppert / Paul Manata / Paul Manata

32. Steve Hays

33. Victor Reppert / Steve Hays

34. Victor Reppert / Paul Manata

35. Victor Reppert / Steve Hays / Paul Manata (see comments section of Victor's post)

36. Paul Manata

37. Victor Reppert / (See that comment section for responses by myself and some other Calvinists.)

38. Victor Reppert / (See that comment section for responses by Hays, myself, and other Calvinists.)

39. Victor Reppert


  1. Very nice... thank you Paul.

  2. Thanks Paul for aggregating all the blogposts and their links into one blogpost.

    I'd like to ask questions that probably has a reductionist error contained within them. But let me ask them anyways.

    (1) Do these discussions essentially boil down to monergism vs. synergism?

    (2) What's the difference between them all?

    (a) Augustine vs. Pelagius?
    (b) Luther vs. Erasmus?
    (c) Calvin vs. Arminius?
    (d) Hays vs. Reppert? ;-)

    They all seem like slight variants of the monergism vs. synergism debate to this untutored mind.