The via moderna (the modern way), credited to William of Ockham, was a Catholic, pre-reformation axiom of humanistic theology: "facienti quod in se est Deus non denegat gratiam" "God will not deny grace to the man who does his best." This was viewed as a pactum, or covenant between man and God, where grace enables man to play a role in his justification, but without falling into Pelagianism (a side-step at best). The via moderna was rejected by Martin Luther in his teachings on justification.
Whether it be the substitutionary penal satisfaction in the value credited to the death of Christ, or the biblical doctrine of the imputation of the righteousness of Christ to the believer, the Arminian denies both. The so-called Protestant, Arminian theology (e.g., the semi-Pelagian Governmental theory of atonement) denies every bit and wit of biblical "imputation." Mr. Bryan Maes has posted the following citation at his blog site: www.bryanmaes.com/2008/03/31/nevin-on-imputation/
"Do we then discard the doctrine of imputation, as maintained by the orthodox theology in opposition to the vain talk of the Pelagians? By no means. We seek only to establish the doctrine; for without it, most assuredly, the whole structure of Christianity must give way. It is only when placed on false ground that it becomes untenable in the way now stated The Bible knows nothing of a simply outward imputation, by which something is reckoned to a man that does not belong to him in fact The scriptures make two cases, in this respect, fully parallel. We are justified freely by God, on the ground of what Christ has done and suffered in our room and stead. His righteousness is imputed to us, set over to our account, regarded as our own. But here again the relation in law, supposes and shows a corresponding relation in life. The forensic declaration by which the sinner is pronounced free from guilt, is like that word in the beginning when God said let there be light, and light was. It not only proclaims him righteous for Christ's sake, but sets the righteousness of Christ in him as part of his own life."
- John Williamson Nevin, The Mystical Presence (Wipf and Stock, 180)
Visit my weblog, Koinonia: The Communication of Grace at www.koinoniaofgrace.com for more Christian reading.
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