Arminianism and Calvinism

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Arminianism and Calvinism

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat May 19, 2012 12:04 pm

This article is intended for United Methodists but most American Baptists I know are Armimian in their theology or lean strongly that way. It is one of the areas where I see a strong compatibility between American Baptists and United Methodists. Anyone want to discuss this age old debate?

http://www.umportal.org/main/article.asp?id=8268
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Re: Arminianism and Calvinism

Postby Haruo » Sat May 19, 2012 12:17 pm

This question is intended for Methodists. What exactly is Heritage Sunday, which is celebrated tomorrow along with Aldersgate (which I understand) and Ascension (which is a Church Universal item). I got an email from GBOD admonishing me not to succumb to burnout over the co-occurrence of these three calendar dates. Since we're doing our "Wesley, Watts & the AGO" hymn-sing tomorrow, I want to be able to speak knowledgeably if any extraneous Wesleyans show up.
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Re: Arminianism and Calvinism

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat May 19, 2012 12:25 pm

Haruo wrote:This question is intended for Methodists. What exactly is Heritage Sunday, which is celebrated tomorrow along with Aldersgate (which I understand) and Ascension (which is a Church Universal item). I got an email from GBOD admonishing me not to succumb to burnout over the co-occurrence of these three calendar dates. Since we're doing our "Wesley, Watts & the AGO" hymn-sing tomorrow, I want to be able to speak knowledgeably if any extraneous Wesleyans show up.


It sounds like you have the terms pretty much figured out Hauro. Aldersgate Day is the commeration of May 24th when John Wesley visited a Moravian service and had his personal experience of Justifying Grace in which he "felt his heart strangly warmed." It was a turning point in his ministry and, in many ways, the beginning of the Methodist movement. Heritage Sunday is a Sunday to celebrate United Methodist heritage. It is a day to talk about United Methodist history, distinctives etc. And Ascension Sunday is pretty self explanatory.

And in case you didn't know "GBOD" is the General Board of Discipleship.
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Re: Arminianism and Calvinism

Postby Haruo » Sat May 19, 2012 12:32 pm

Back to the topic: I don't think many Northern Baptists were very strong Calvinists, maybe at most 3-pointers, and then in the early years of the 20th century the NoBC amalgamated with one of the larger Freewill Baptist outfits, so there was a strong dose of doctrinal Arminianism added to the mix. Both Arminianism and Calvinism had adherents in the Baptist movement from the earliest times; sometimes they had separate churches, sometimes they co-existed; sometimes they had separate associations, sometimes they co-existed. As you may know, one of the Wesleys' major preaching associates, George Whitefield, was a Calvinist (and a major mover in the Great Awakening both in the Colonies and in the Kingdoms); he was also the guy responsible for changing Wesley's "Hark, how all the welkin rings/Glory to the King of kings" to our universally sung "Hark! the herald angels sing/Glory to the newborn King". And one of his legacies is the Calvinist Methodists of Wales, once a major church there. Not sure how they're doing these days; now they call themselves Presbyterians (and they had presbyterian polity even when they called themselves Methodists).

Timothy, I guess what I was asking is, how does Heritage Sunday differ from Aldersgate Sunday, or are they synonymous (the GBOD email made it sound like they were two separate calendar entries), and in either case, do they always happen on the same day. I would also point out that Charles Wesley's spiritual awakening came three days before John's; "O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer's praise" is a cento from the 18-stanza hymn Charles wrote to commemorate the first anniversary of his "conversion" (as he called it). The UM Hymnal has 17 of those verses on the page following "O for a thousand tongues"; they left out the one where God "wash[es] the Æthiop white". I toyed with including that in the hymn-sing, but ended up doing without.
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Re: Arminianism and Calvinism

Postby Haruo » Sat May 19, 2012 12:36 pm

Of course I may have the Calvinistic Methodists' history all screwed up in my memory. There's a Wikipedia article on them, but it's mostly a century out of date (based on the 1911 Britannica...)
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Re: Arminianism and Calvinism

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat May 19, 2012 12:54 pm

Sorry Haruo, yes Heritage Sunday is the Sunday closest to Aldersdate Day. So they are basically synonymous unless you really want to be picky and only celebrate Aldersgate on May 24th. I don't get by GBOD would be all worried about people freaking out about to Christian caledar days coinciding. It happens fairly often.

I still have to have a chart to remember all the special offering days in the UMC. There are about eight of them.
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Re: Arminianism and Calvinism

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat May 19, 2012 12:58 pm

Haruo wrote:Of course I may have the Calvinistic Methodists' history all screwed up in my memory. There's a Wikipedia article on them, but it's mostly a century out of date (based on the 1911 Britannica...)


No you are pretty on target. The Calvinist Methodists are a pretty small minority of the family. In my reading of Methodist history Whitefield's connection to the Methodist movement was tenious at best. He was kind of a lone ranger preacher who early on associated with Wesley but they very soon clashed over Calvinism.

The impression I get is that persons with Calvinist leanings were attracted to the Methodist movement because of the awaking that was happening because of the preaching of Wesley and his traviling preachers. But many didn't stay in the fold because Wesley was not one to brook disagreement on major doctrines. Calvinism was not allowed to be preached in the preaching houses controled by the Methodist Societies because Wesley viewed it as antithetical to the gospel and unbiblical.
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Re: Arminianism and Calvinism

Postby Gene Scarborough » Sat May 19, 2012 2:13 pm

This Calvin stuff is everywhere these days.

My basic simple understanding it that Calvin believed in Predestination and the Elect to the exclusion of much interest in evangelism and new converts.

I was always told Baptists believed that "all are worthy of salvation." It was our duty to share the Gospel far and wide in hopes that people might be saved.

Why we are getting into Calvinism escapes me---to be honest. :)
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Re: Arminianism and Calvinism

Postby Mike Stidham » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:16 pm

Tim Bonney wrote:
Haruo wrote:Of course I may have the Calvinistic Methodists' history all screwed up in my memory. There's a Wikipedia article on them, but it's mostly a century out of date (based on the 1911 Britannica...)


No you are pretty on target. The Calvinist Methodists are a pretty small minority of the family. In my reading of Methodist history Whitefield's connection to the Methodist movement was tenious at best. He was kind of a lone ranger preacher who early on associated with Wesley but they very soon clashed over Calvinism.

The impression I get is that persons with Calvinist leanings were attracted to the Methodist movement because of the awaking that was happening because of the preaching of Wesley and his traviling preachers. But many didn't stay in the fold because Wesley was not one to brook disagreement on major doctrines. Calvinism was not allowed to be preached in the preaching houses controled by the Methodist Societies because Wesley viewed it as antithetical to the gospel and unbiblical.


There's still a few of them hanging on in Wales. The ones that existed over here eventually assimilated into the PCUSA in the 60s, according to sources I'd read.
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