Calvinism vs Arminianism on Free-Will Part 1

Here are a couple of sections from my paper:

These 4 points will demonstrate this (assuming God is all-powerful):
1.) God loves all people.
2.) God wants all to be saved.
3.) All are not saved.
4.) Therefore, there is some superior purpose in God that would be contradicted if #2 was brought to fruition by the decree of God.
Virtually all Arminians who affirm God’s omnipotence and omniscience will affirm these 4 points. I. Howard Marshall, in A Case for Arminianism says:
“to avoid all misconceptions it should be made clear at the outset that the fact that God wishes or wills that all people should be saved does not necessarily imply that all will respond to the gospel and be saved. We must certainly distinguish between what God would like to see happen and what he actually does will to happen, and both of these things can be spoken of as God’s will.

To the surprise of some, many Calvinists will also affirm these 4 points. The disagreement between Arminians and Calvinists is over the issue of what the “superior purpose” is.

One more quote from my paper:

The difference between Calvinists and Arminians lies not in whether there are two wills in God, but in what they say this higher commitment is. What does God will more than saving all? The answer given by Arminians is that human self-determination and the possibility of a resulting love relationship with God are more valuable than saving all people by sovereign, efficacious grace. The answer given by Calvinists is that the greater value is the manifestation of the full range of God’s glory in wrath and mercy (Romans 9:22-23) and the humbling of man so that he enjoys giving all credit to God for his salvation (1 Corinthians 1:29).

It can be concluded at this point that when an Arminian says that God does “all that he can” to save everyone, what they actually mean is this: God does all that He can to save everyone without compromising His superior purpose of maintaining free-will.

It is safe to say that, according to the Bible, God’s glory and God’s name are the most important realities in the universe (Is. 43:6-7). God’s purpose to display the fullness of His glory is the superior priority that governs God’s other desires (1 Sam. 12:22; Ps. 23:3). God’s creation of the world was motivated by God’s desire to display His glory (Ps. 8:1; Is. 43:12). The glory of God emanated onto the canvass of creation because this purpose was God’s chief end in creation. Therefore, any subsequent desires or purposes that came along after creation cannot override or replace the purpose for which the universe, and all that is in it, exists. The display of the fullness of God’s glory is what motivated God to create the universe, including mankind. Therefore, any desire that arises subsequent to the creation of mankind will be subordinate to the chief end that initiated the existence of man in the first place. God’s chief end, this paper is arguing, is the display of the fullness of God’s glory in all of its manifold perfections.

For the entire essay see the link below:

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