Does Scripture Teach Prevenient Grace in the Wesleyan Sense?
How crucial is prevenient grace to the Wesleyan system? Wesleyans themselves seem to concur that their theology hinges on the doctrine. Robert E. Chiles says that "without it, the Calvinist logic is irrefutable." Williams asserts that Wesley's theology of prevenient grace "broke the chain of logical necessity by which the Calvinist doctrine of predestination seems to flow from the doctrine of original sin." It seems fair to conclude that if prevenient grace is not taught in Scripture, then the credibility of Wesleyan theology is seriously undermined.
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Thomas R. Schreiner (MDiv and ThM, Western Conservative Baptist Seminary; PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is the James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and associate dean of the School of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.