Theological Issue

Reformed Position (monergism)

Arminian Position (Synergism)

Original Sin

Total moral inability, depravity and guilt inherited from Adam.

Weakness/Sickness inherited from Adam.

The Human Will

In bondage to sin. Free to choose only according to ones' corrupt, natural desires. Natural man unable to turn to God apart from quickening grace of the Holy Spirit.

Free to do spiritual/ redemptive good. Natural (unregenerate) man able to produce faith.

Grace of God

Common grace given to all persons; saving grace given to those the Father has given the Son, the elect (John 6:37, 39, 44, 63-65)

Prevenient grace given to all persons at some point in life; but saving grace given as a response to those who believe; persevering grace given to those who obey


Based on God’s eternal decree

Based on God’s foreknowledge


Holy Spirit is the only efficient agent in regeneration (monergism). Apart from regeneration man is unwilling to lift a finger toward his own salvation.

God works together with man in regeneration. Man's choice ultimately determines and causes God to regenerate the sinner. (synergism)


Christ’s death is a penal substitutionary sacrifice

Christ’s death a sacrifice that God benevolently accepted in place of a penalty

Extent of the Atonement

From all eternity God knew and determined to whom He would apply the benefits of the atonement. It was intended only for those who would believe, the elect.

Christ died for all men. A sacrifice intended for all, including those who will ultimately suffer in hell.

Application of the atonement

Sovereignly dispensed by the Holy Spirit at according to the eternal will of God (at a time of His choosing)

By the Holy Spirit in response to the will of the fallen sinner

Ordo Salutis - Order of Salvation

Election, predestination, calling, regeneration, faith, repentance, justification, sanctification, glorification

Calling, faith, repentance, regeneration, justification, perseverance, glorification

Perseverance of the Saints

Those He Predestined ...He also glorified. (Rom 8:30). Perseverance of the elect based on God's promise.

Perseverance dependent on the obedience of man. Loss of salvation possible.


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