The main difference between Calvinism and Arminianism is the view that salvation is a free gift from God, given to all people. Calvinism teaches that all men are born for grace, while Arminianism teaches that salvation is through works. Calvinism also differs with Arminianism on how salvation is left to the free will of man. Calvinism and Arminianism are both founded on the idea that grace is dependent on the act of the believer. Calvinism is also anti-prioritical, whereas Arminianism teaches that grace is independent of our performance.
In addition, Calvinism also differs with Arminianism on what the role of grace is in the natural state. Calvinism teaches that grace is given to man in the grace of Christ, while Arminianism teaches that man must earn this gift of salvation. In addition, Calvinism also differs with Arminianism on whether or not the regard for sin has corrupted humans in their natural state. Calvinism teaches that man is in sin simply because of his unwillingness to obey God.
One way that differentiating Calvinism from Arminianism can be done is by examining the differences between the two on the question of grace. In the case of Calvinism, salvation is a gift from God, given freely. Humans are thus said to be “free in the sight of God” to choose what they will do with this gift. This is different than what most Arminians believe. They hold that salvation is purely through the act of the individual. For them, salvation has nothing to do with choice, but is wholly dependent on God.
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