Whether we like it or not, as Christians we all adhere to some form of theological thinking. Our theology should not rule the Bible; the Bible should rule our theology.


               The Importance of Theology                           

Have you ever wondered how there can be so many denominations when we all read the same Bible?  Have you ever been frustrated by your inability to be able to explain to others what you believe and why you disagree with them?  Well, the reason in most cases is that you are working from a different theology.

If we can be so far apart on some key issues, it is apparent that one of us is using a faulty theology, or even worse, we are both using flawed theology.  I have not met a Christian that did not want to be Biblically right in their thinking.  It is natural for us to want to know the truth.  Now, if two are in a disagreement, then both cannot be right.  At least one of the two is wrong Biblically.

The source of their error is usually based upon their theological presuppositions, and not upon their desire to know the truth.

                                                 Everyone has a Theology                                                     

Many people are blinded to the fact that they believe in any form of theology at all.  They are under the impression that  they just “believe the Bible.”  The Bible is the only place to start and finish our theology, but whether we like it or not , we are all given theological presuppositions immediately after our salvation.  This is natural since in the earliest stage of questioning the new believer is fed this theology through friends, family and clergy.

Theology is the framework in which we are able to understand what we find in the Bible, without it we would reel in confusion. Theology helps us connect the beginning with the end. It brings order out of chaos, and gives us the stability of understanding that we naturally seek for. 

The bottom line is, our first theology is chosen for us by whoever gets to influence us first.  We can choose to change our theological thinking, but we must be determined and open enough to think outside of the theological box that we are in. 

                                      Laws of Bible Interpretation                                                

The Biblical laws of interpretation demand that we make Scripture agree with Scripture.  We all realize that a perfect, all knowing, holy God could never lie or contradict Himself.  So if we cannot reconcile two or more verses of Scripture, it is not that the Scripture is in error, but it is because we are not interpreting it right.  For our thinking to be correct, we must find a way to understand these alleged contradictions so that they harmonize with the whole of Scripture. Any interpretation of Scripture that which contradicts the Bible at any other point cannot be of God. 

Theology is the basis of how we see Scripture, God, and the plan of salvation.  If we are wrong in our theology we are wrong about God’s plan for us, and we are potentially wrong to the point of missing the saving grace of God altogether. We should all see the gravity of the importance of this issue! 

If Scripture cannot contradict Scripture and still be of God, then our theology cannot contradict itself and truly be of God. Although many sincere Christians attempt to be true to the Bible, they have been unwittingly misled by faulty and inconsistent theological thinking.  As much as we would like to believe that theology has nothing to do with our interpretation, we must realize that we do have a theological bias which enables us to understand Scripture only in the way that our bias allows us to. 

In the next section I will be covering the three most prevalent  types of theology today.  You may be surprised to find that almost every Protestant theology known to man is based upon just two systems of thought.  Now some pick and choose bits and pieces from each, but as I will explain, this can only lead to error.   


                                           Theological Systems                                          


       CALVINISM                                                        ARMINIANISM

       Perseverance of the Saints                                   Perseverance of the Saints      

 (proof of salvation is contingent upon the perseverance of the believer to the end of life)

        (The Elect will unfailingly continue to persevere)         /             (They are Elect only as they persevere)                     


 Imputed Righteousness                                      Imparted Righteousness


Irresistible Grace                                        Resistible Grace     


      Limited Atonement                                       Unlimited Atonement    


        Predestination                                        Whosoever Will          

                         (God’s decree ensures the fate of all - to heaven or hell)  (God offers free grace to all - human damnation is their own choice)       





Eternal Security


    Imputed Righteousness


   Resistible Grace


    Unlimited Atonement


    Whosoever Will


We must demand that our theology passes the same scrutiny that our method of Bible interpretation has to pass. Our interpretation of Scripture must allow Scripture to be self-consistent and non-contradictory, otherwise we must conclude that our way of thinking is flawed and our thoughts cannot be the same as God’s.    

There are only two systems of theology that can pass the acid test of non-contradiction and self-consistency, these are pure Calvinism and Arminianism. All other forms of theology are not consistent within themselves which give undeniable evidence that they could not have come from God. 

To produce a system that picks and chooses as the Baptist scheme does, seems admirable, but destroys the self-consistency and cannot support itself, and thus, must be dismissed as error.  That which contradicts itself cannot be by nature the doctrine of the Bible. 

Based on the law of non-contradiction, we are left with only two systems that can possibly come from God Himself.  The problem that faces us is that the two available choices, Calvinism and Arminianism, are at two polar ends from each other. This leaves the student with the question, “which should I choose?”

This question may be answered, not by just looking at their self-consistency, but by looking to see which of these theologies are consistent with the Word of God, since a theology that is not in harmony with the Scriptures is of no use to the believer who desires the truth over denomination or wishful speculation.



It is important for us to see what this system is and how it is consistent within itself. 

The foundation of Calvinism is the Doctrine of predestination. They believe that God is all powerful,  and in His Sovereignty, he has decreed whatever is to come to pass throughout history and eternity from the foundation of the world. God decreed what will happen, so it must happen without fail. God will bring everything to pass as He wills because he has already determined that it will be that way. 

This decree applies to individuals and salvation. It is clear that the Scriptures teach that not all shall be saved, so in Calvin’s mind this must be the will of God to only save some (the Elect) and not all. No one or any created thing can resist the will of God whether it be to salvation, or condemnation.

Predestination is the cornerstone of Calvinism.

If only the  chosen ones of God can or will be saved, then God has determined that Christ would only atone for those that He has willed that He will save. This is what is meant by a Limited Atonement .  As you can see, a theory of a limited atonement rests on the assumption that the Calvinistic interpretation of predestination to salvation or damnation is true. There is no Bible proof that the atonement is limited, but this is the nature of theology that it has to support its original premise. 

If a man is predestined, and the atonement is limited to only those who shall be saved, how does God ensure that those that he chose will actually decide to follow Him?  This is answered by the next step in this theological system, which is the doctrine of Irresistible Grace. This means that God will draw those he pleases to save, and only those, with a calling that they will find themselves unable to resist.

How does a Holy God fellowship with those who are predestined to salvation apart from any ethical consideration? If it is based upon God's good pleasure and decree, and all our actions are already predestined, then how can God be one with a "saved" but sinful creature?  Calvin solves this with the theory of imputed  righteousness. Since according to this system, God is 100% responsible for everything including the choice of who will be saved. Human cooperation or cessation from sin is not required because, if man had any input or power to do anything, then God would not be Sovereign and all powerful. In their minds, if man had a free will then God would be at the mercy of man in salvation.  

Imputed Righteousness claims that the holiness of Christ is transferred to the believer and counted as the believers own. Regardless of the true nature of the believer, God sees him as pure as the wind-driven snow. 

Now, if one is predestined to salvation, irresistibly drawn to God, and the righteousness of Christ is Imputed to the believer, then he must persevere to the end and be infallibly saved. This is so because God has decreed it to be. Since man has nothing to do with this process, then he cannot undo his predestination, thus he would be what is called in this day and age, “eternally secure.”  If God can no longer see the predestined sinners sin because of imputed righteousness, (which is an impossibility since God is all knowing) then this makes the Elect person's salvation irrevocable, non-negotiable, and inevitable. 

If we remove any part of this system because we feel it is untrue, then the entire system falls with it.  If there is no decree of God to salvation or hell, then there is no cause or support for a fatalistic predestination. If there is no predestination to heaven or hell, then there is no need to distort the Scriptures to support a limited atonement to a select few. If the atonement is not limited, there is no need to invent a forced grace by a payment for the "elect" alone, or a need to create a fictional imputed righteousness to make up for the ethical shortfall of a doctrine of salvation by fate instead of a conversion of the individual and salvation from sin.   

Calvin’s system meets the need of self-consistency in a superb manner, but is it Biblical? 



Contrary to Calvinism, Arminians believe the Scriptures which declare that whosoever will may receive the grace of God and be saved. Arminians believe God when He said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,“ and that the Atonement of Jesus "is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 Jn. 2:2. 

A salvation that is offered "for all" must by nature be attainable by "all."   

Instead of the Calvinistic predestination to eternal life or death, we believe that God’s grace is offered to the whole world as the Scriptures say, and not just to a lucky few.  We believe God ‘s sincerity when he said that whosoever will believe, shall be saved, and not the whosoever must of Calvinism.  If God’s offer is to all the world, then his atonement must be unlimited, encompassing all. 

Since God’s provision for salvation is unlimited, and we also know from the Bible that not all shall be saved, then we must conclude that God’s grace is resistible. Not that we can stop grace from being offered, but that we can obey or disobey, receive or reject the offer of grace. It is never God’s will that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9) , and God’s will does not lock anyone into or out of salvation as the fatalistic decreed fate of Calvinism does. 

What does the Arminian system teach about God’s dealing with the sin in believers?  God makes the believer holy (not by Calvinistic imputation– calling that which is sinful holy, for God cannot lie,) but by impartation of holiness. Through the new birth, called regeneration, we have been given a new nature that enables us not to sin. Prior to regeneration, our sinful nature made desire or compliance to holiness impossible. Through justification, all our past sins were erased from the record that was against us, leaving us judicially free from any charge of sin or wrongdoing. With the slate of offenses that stood against us being cleared, we are judicially righteous (justified), this is why the believer can rightfully be called holy. Concomitant with justification and regeneration, the New-Birth changes our nature so we do not gravitate towards sin, but toward God. This change in direction is called initial sanctification. After this, the believer is everywhere exhorted by the Scriptures to holiness and purity, which is called sanctification. This is not by a Gnostic mysticism, (declaring that which is sinful as holy,) but is an actual change that is wrought within the believer as God molds them into His image by actually making them holy. Jesus came into this world to save his people from their sins (Matt. 1:21), and to free us from the power of sin" (John 8:36).  If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.“ See also 1 Jn. 3:8; Rom. 6:14-18.  

We also believe that only “he that overcometh” shall be saved as the Scriptures teach. True Saints will persevere. We do not question the security of the one who is and remains a believer. Our difficulty is not with the perseverance of the Saints, but with the doctrine of the perseverance of the Sinners.  

This system bares the marks of theological and Biblical consistency, and is therefore, the theology of the Bible.



As has been shown, you cannot pick and choose from different theologies and still have a system that could have possibly come from God.  Many Baptist’s are three point Arminians, and two point Calvinists. The problem is that you cannot justify eternal security without a mystical imputed righteousness, and you cannot justify both imputed righteousness and eternal security without absolute predestination and a limited atonement!  

If by grace God does not hinder man’s freedom to choose, then there cannot be any guarantees of eternal security because man would still be free to choose death. Man does not have freedom before salvation, and somehow loses it after salvation. This is what a doctrine of Eternal Security suggests. It is a doctrine that would be much more at home with Calvinistic predestination that it would with Biblical freedom.    

The theory of an ethical transfer of character, so-called Imputed righteousness, is totally without any Scriptural support. This theological fiction is an invention that has been created just to prop up and support another unbiblical doctrine,  the Perseverance of the Saints and eternal security.  For without the doctrine of fatalistic determinism, called predestination by Calvinism, there is no basis for this transfer called imputation, nor for an unconditional eternal security. The false doctrine of unconditional assurance which is the cornerstone of Baptist doctrine is without a non-contradictory theological support, and thereby, must be discarded as a viable option for the Bible believer.   

For a more detailed presentation of the problem of Baptist inconsistency, see A NEW STRATEGY FOR REFUTING ETERNAL SECURITY.


Choosing a theology is an extremely important issue which should not be put on the back-burner. If our theology is wrong, our Biblical interpretation will be wrong. There is no way around this!  To ignore this truth could be a sign of complacency or a cover-up for sin! Corrections to our thinking must take place if we need to bring our doctrine into line with the Scriptures and consistency! We are accountable for any refusal to conform our thinking to the light God has given us. God knows if we are avoiding truth and will hold each one of us accountable before the Great White Throne of Judgment. God help us in our search for truth!


More information on Calvinism

More information on Arminianism

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