IS PREVENIENT GRACE BIBLICAL? from The Arminian
According to irenic Calvinist C. Michael Patton, from Parchment and Pen, the doctrine of Prevenient Grace is unbiblical. He does not state that he merely disagrees with the doctrine or that he is not convinced of the scriptural support for the doctrine; he insists that the doctrine has no scriptural warrant and is therefore unbiblical. (He offers little in the way of scriptural support for the Calvinistic theory that regeneration precedes faith. Calvinism is merely assumed and then arguments ensue against Arminian theology.) I will briefly highlight what Scripture teaches regarding God’s grace in salvation and let the reader decide whether or not it teaches Prevenient Grace, and therefore is or is not biblical.
Prevenient Grace teaches that a proactive work of God through His Holy Spirit must initiate one’s seeking Christ Jesus by faith for salvation. Without this prevenient (preventing) grace, no one would seek the Lord by faith for salvation — something which all Calvinists also affirm. “For by grace you have been saved through faith,” writes Paul, “and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8 NASB, cf. Acts 18:27). Grace precedes faith. But to whom is the grace of God granted? Paul writes to Titus: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all” (Titus 2:11 NKJV). Even though all people will not be saved (cf. Matt. 7:21-23; Rev. 20:11-15), clearly, the grace of God which brings salvation has appeared to all.