By posting this article, I would like to join the interesting discussion between William Birch and Leighton Flowers.
First off, I would like to congratulate both men for the effort they put in having mature, friendly blog and facebook conversations, showing their Christ-like characters.
I will only focus on the following aspect of their discussion in this blog post:
the nature of (prevenient) grace to come to the faith.
If I understand William Birch’s Arminian position correctly, he claims that human beings have a natural inability to come to the faith and therefore need additional prevenient grace in addition to the hearing of the Gospel. (Read it here)
Leighton Flowers’ position is that human beings have a natural ability to come to the faith and therefore they are not in need of additional prevenient grace but they are only in need of hearing the Gospel. (Read it here)
First of all, I would say that I agree with Leighton in that man has a natural ability of coming to the faith. I would also agree that hearing the Gospel is enough for allowing a person to come to the faith. The context of Romans 10:14-18 doesn’t seem to indicate a need for an additional form of prevenient grace next to the (prevenient) grace of Gospel preaching.
What I want to discuss in this article is whether the hearing of the Gospel is the only means of coming to the faith. I would say that the audible preaching of the Gospel (Romans 10:14-18) is only one way through which (prevenient) grace comes to the lost sinner.
Below I will give some Bible references to show that God uses different forms of grace to bring someone to the faith:
Romans 1:19-20 – the testimony of nature
Romans 2:14-15 – the testimony of conscience
Exodus 20:1-17 – the testimony of the Law written in stone, given to the Jews
Acts 9:1-6 – the testimony of visions/dreams/appearances of Jesus Christ
John 20:30-31, Hebrews 4:12 – the testimony of Scriptures
1 Corinthians 14:24-25 – the testimony of prophecy
These are just some examples. If William’s form of additional prevenient grace, which is questioned by Leighton and I, is proven from Scripture, then I would add it to that list as another form of (prevenient) grace. I believe that, theologically speaking, we should leave room for God using different forms of (prevenient) grace for bringing sinners to repentance and faith in Christ.
This is my view on the matter.
William Birch and Leighton Flowers what do you think of this?
God bless you in the research that y’all ( 😉 ) perform!
– your brother in Christ 🙂
Ps. The following video would be a good summary of my view on this subject: