”Steve Hays recently called Arminians (and Josh in particular) hypocrites for not opposing my teaching eternal security. (link) It’s unclear if he means they should oppose eternal security (since he cites case where Josh does) or if Steve means they should oppose me personally.”
i) Actually, they shouldn’t oppose eternal security. They should espouse eternal security (or perseverance)–along with the other four points of Calvinism.
ii) However, my point, which I clearly made in my original, is that they ought to apply a consistent standard.
“Steve, please consider assuming a more charitable reason other than hypocrisy for the lack of personal opposition.”
I’ll consider a more charitable interpretation if and when they offer a principled explanation for why they play favorites.
But it’s not as if Josh, for one, left himself much elbowroom. To the contrary, he went out of his way to state his opposition in the most uncompromising terms he could muster.
“Faith isn’t a choice; it’s a result of one. Repentance is a choice, but faith is not. So I disagree the inception and continuation of faith are the same.”
i) Dan needs to explain how repentance is in voluntary, but faith is involuntary. He needs to explain how that dichotomy is psychologically tenable.
ii) He also needs to defend his dichotomy from Scripture.
iii) In addition, he needs to explain how faith is not a choice, but merely a result of choice. Even on libertarian grounds, how does this work out? How do we believe something unless we find it believable? And if we find it believable, then don’t we already believe it? Likewise, how do we disbelieve something unless we find it unbelievable? And if we find it unbelievable, then don’t we already disbelieve it?
So where does choice come into play? Does Dan think we choose to find something believable or unbelievable? Is that a psychologically realistic claim?
iv) Even if we accept Dan’s distinction, it’s a distinction without a difference. If faith is the result of a free choice (“free” in libertarian terms), then we control the resultant faith by controlling the choice which results in faith.
This does nothing to avoid my point that, on libertarian grounds, an individual is free to either believe in Christ or disbelieve in Christ.
v) Apropos (iv), how does perseverant faith differ from saving faith? Doesn’t saving faith require us to repent of our sins and trust in Christ? Doesn’t perseverant faith require us to repent of our sins and trust in Christ?
Why is conversion ultimately voluntary (i.e. the result of a libertarian choice), but perseverance is ultimately involuntary (i.e. not the result of a libertarian choice)?
Why does the freedom to do otherwise apply to conversion, but not to perseverance?
“On the other hand, we are warned about neglecting not just repudiating salvation (Heb 2:1-3). We can slip away, like a ring slipping off a finger.”
Meaning what? Apostasy? But Dan denies that this is a live possibility. And if he’s referring to something which falls short of apostasy, then it’s irrelevant to the point at issue.
“So while I am not suggesting we should be passive about perseverance or maintaining faith, I am suggesting conversion and continuation are asymmetrical. I think the way it works is that as we work, we see God working in our lives and it strengthens our faith.”
If anything, the libertarian logic of this would be just the opposite: to the extent that perseverance is cooperative in a way that conversion is not, perseverance would be voluntary in a way that conversions is not.
“I don’t disagree with non-OSAS Arminians on warning passages. I disagree with them on security passages and also in systematization.”
That’s disingenuous. Because he disagrees with them on “security passages,” he also disagrees with them on warning passage–since he interprets the warning passages in light of the security passages, contrary to the way in which they interpret warning passages.
“But I do hold we can fall away, I just don’t think we will.”
Of course, that’s a dodge. It sidesteps the question of why we won’t. We won’t because something is preventing us, keeping us, from falling. The “can’t” underwrites the “won’t.” The “won’t” is the effect of the “can’t.”
Without the “can’t,” you have no “won’t.”