I often hear classic Arminians, like Jerry Walls and Roger Olson, make declarations that God loves ALL people equally without exception. But do they really believe this? If they were consistent with their Arminian beliefs, it would be much more honest for them to say that God loves all people CONDITIONALLY. That is, He only fully shows His love for those who meet the condition of faith and the rest will experience His just wrath in hell. This is not conditional love you say? Just ask an Arminian what they would do if they had a rebellious child who spurned their love but whose life was in danger in a burning house -- would he as a parent wait for his child to first meet a condition before he would run in rescue his child? or would he run in and make certain the child was safe regardless of the child's will at the time because he (the parent) loves his child and knows better than the child what is good for him? This everyday life example reveals that Arminian love is not really what we think of as love at all. It is what we call conditional love.
Note: We agree with Arminians that God gives us conditions, but thanks be to God, in love, Jesus has come to grant His people everything they need for salvation... in His great mercy he has met the conditions for us by absorbing the punishment for our sin, and giving us a new heart that believes, something we could not do for ourselves (1 Cor 2:14; Rom 8:7; John 6:63, 65). Isn't this what the gospel is all about?
I have heard a visitor respond to this by saying,
Baloney. And your rational is bogus., which quite frankly surprises me; I would have given you much more credit than that. I have a wayward child. Have bent over backwards to help them. Would not hesitate to "give my life" for them. But if that child continues to "run back into the burning building", there is a point where it is clear that THEIR DECISION IS TO DIE IRREGARDLESS OF MY SACRIFICE AND WILLINGNESS TO SAFE THEM.
My response: I don't understand your complaint. Your counter-answer simply affirmed the original argument that Arminians believe God's love is conditional. Your answer said nothing to counter the thrust of the argument.
In your argument you also appear to admit that, in the end, you are ascribing your repenting and believing (at least partly) to your own wisdom, humility, sound judgement and good sense, and not to Christ alone.
It appears you are saying some people just naturally have better wills than others. If my assessment is wrong then i ask ...if two persons receive prevenient grace and hear the gospel why does one believe and not the other? What makes them to differ? Obviously not grace since they both had grace,.. so it is something else ? What is it and why does he have it?
It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus who became for us wisdom from God... so let him who boasts boast in the Lord." 1 cor 1:29-31
Visitor: Something that I can only assume you will fundamentally reject - it's called free will. The same reason a "perfect" man and woman decided to question God's word and eat the fruit. It isn't complicated at all; rather not nearly as complicated as you would like to make it seem. Choices are as fundamental to the human condition as the necessity for breath.
Response: i did not ask you WHAT you did (exercise free will) I asked you WHY.. Why did one person exercise free will to believe and not the other? Why does he have the wisdom and humility to do so and not the other? It seems that you believe a person can come to faith in Jesus with his "free will" apart from the Spirit changing a man's heart.
But Jesus declares, "the Spirit quickens, the flesh counts for nothing ... that is why I told you no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me grants it." John 6:63, 65
In the same passage Jesus declares "all the the Father give to me will come to me.." -John 6:37
Together Theses two passages form a syllogism in which Jesus leaves no room for your interpretation... in a word, no one can come to faith in jesus unless God grants it and all whom he grants will come to faith... If Jesus says it who are we to argue with him?
All this talk of "free will" by the Arminian yet not one scripture to back it up - only reading "free will" into Scripture. If there is such a thing as free will, where is it? Where does Scripture affirm it? I mean this is such a crucial doctrine and you make it a central part of your theology. How can you believe something that is not even in the Scripture and put it at the very center of your belief system?