Examples of arminians ignoring the plain meaning of scripture?


Universalists are charged with ignoring the plain meaning of judgment texts. And I suppose our accusers are right. But I know of at least a few texts whose plain meaning Calvinists ignore; there are some texts that plainly indicate that God WANTS to save everyone. But what about Arminians? Can you think of any texts whose plain meaning is that God is capable of saving any person that he wants to save?


1Ti 2:4 comes to mind:

“Who will have [thelō] all men to be saved,” (KJV).

(Preceding verse: 1Ti 2:3 “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;”)

The first entry in Thayer’s Greek Lexicon for STRONGS NT 2309, thelō θέλω, is:

1. to be resolved or determined, to purpose: absolutely,

But, this verse is about God’s will, not His ability. And sadly Thayer’s first entry is not the plain meaning to most people. :disappointed_relieved:


That verse at the very least shows that God WANTS everyone to be saved, which is what arminians claim. But can you think of any verses showing that God saves who he wants to save? That is, verses Calvinists might appeal to to prove that IF God wants to save a particular person, He will?


Act 13:48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.


That’s a good one davo. It definitely sounds like God chose, not the people. Where free will fits in I’m not sure. Can you think of any other verses?


I discussed this issue in a recent thread on a syllogism to support Universalism. But here are a few verses that do indeed support the idea that God accomplishes whatever pleases Him or whatever He desires, wants, purposes, etc.

So, if He desires everyone be saved, then everyone will be saved.

Job 42:2 I know that you [the Lord God] can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

Psalm 115:3 But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.

Isaiah 46:10b and 11b My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose . . . I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.

Isaiah 55:11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.


Thanks lancia. Do Calvinists appeal to those verses for their soteriology? Perhaps the case could be made that those verses aren’t talking specifically about eternal destinies, and so to form soteriological doctrine from them is to take them out of context. Do you know of any verses in the NT that say God saves who he wants to save? IIRC there are some statements along those lines in John. I’ll have to reread it.


Ephesians 1:10-11 says that God works all things according to His will.

. . . in Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.”


Okay, I’ve been reading John tonight. What do you think of John 6:44?

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.

John 6:65
And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”


I see how John 6:65 can be used to support views other than Universalism, but it still is not necessarily incompatible with Universalism.

If God desires all be saved and God accomplishes all He desires, then there are many ways in which He can accomplish what He desires, even given that free will of humans exists.


Do you think arminians ignore the plain meaning of those verses in John 6?

Elsewhere in John it says the Father has given all things to the Son. If “things” includes people, and all whom the Father has given the Son will come to the Son and never be cast out, universalism is the inescapable conclusion, no?




What are the Scripture references you refer to? Then we can examine the respective contexts in considering whether or not universalism is a valid conclusion.


“Things” isn’t in the text. It almost never is—maybe it NEVER is. I haven’t found a spot where “things” is included with “all.” This place is no different. What it says here is that the Father has given ALL to the Son. Jesus also affirms that “All that the Fathe gives to me shall come to me, and whoever comes to me, I will by no means cast out.


As a pantelist THAT is my entire contention… that evangelicalism, be it Calvinism, Arminianism or Universalism, totally misses, messes and muddles the “soteriological doctrine” of the Bible, and in particular, the NT.

From the pantelist perspective… salvation—eternal life was NEVER about position or destiny postmortem, i.e., heaven, BUT rather, purpose and designation antemortem in terms of service to God… thus those who are called are saved to serve. The whole ‘getting to heaven’ issue was ALREADY secured between the Father and Son.

Thus the likes of ‘repentance and faith’ have NOTHING to do with escaping judgement pre OR post-mortem BUT everything to do with one’s faithfulness to the call of service to God.


Interesting Cindy. I read the ESV, which has “things”. http://biblehub.com/john/3-35.htm

Perhaps the Father has given all judgment to the Son, as opposed to all people?



John 6:37, John 13:3


Well… He HAS given all judgment to the Son, because He is a Son of Man. (Can’t remember where that is, somewhere earlier in John, I think…) Read Coll 1–All of it, but especially the middle part. He has given ALL to the Son. That includes people.


Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; (Jn.13:3, KJV)
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; (Jn.13:3, NIV)
All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (Jn.6:37)

To play the devil’s advocate, i’d note that all (things) being given "into His hands (13:3) does not necessarily equate to them being given to Him (6:37). One may refer to power or authority & the other to intimate relationship. The NIV interpretation above paraphrases “into His hands” as “under his power” (13:3), which recalls Mt.28:18b, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”

Also Hebrews 10:30-31 does not put “into the hands” of God in a positive light:

30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Additionally the context of John 6:34-40 is not about universalism but two groups, those who believe and those who don’t, with believers obtaining eonian life & being raised “in the last day”.

John 3:35, like Jn.13:3, also refers to all (things) being given into Jesus’ hand. Again the context has nothing to do with universalism, but with Jesus authority “over all” (v.31) & two destinies, one for believers to eonian life, and the other for the stubborn who shall not be seeing life & have the wrath of God upon them (v.36).

Likewise the context of John 13:3 has nothing to do with universalism, & speaks of Jesus “loving His own” (v.1) & Judas’ betrayal (v.2).


Origen , are there ANY verses that you think support universalism? I’m starting to think you’re a closet arminian or calvinist.