Prevenient Grace, Part 5: Is Wesleyan PG Biblical?

In this final episode of a series on prevenient grace, Dr. David Fry and Johnathan Arnold discuss whether or not Wesleyan prevenient grace is biblical and what it means for something to be biblical.

Quotes from David Fry:
  • John 1:9 was John Wesley’s favorite text on prevenient grace.
  • There is a universal love that God has that is all-inclusive—not just for all kinds of people, but for every creature, every person, all of his creation. He does not want any part of his creation to perish. If we understand that, it will shape our understanding of the whole doctrine of salvation through Scripture. 
  • The doctrine of prevenient grace helps us to understand what’s already there so that without it we wouldn’t have a deeper understanding of what’s in Scripture.
  • We have a narrow understanding of what it means to be biblical, and we need to flesh it out to understand that what it means to be biblical includes the prior beliefs that Scripture expects us to bring to the text.
  • We think we can come to the text as though we have a blank slate, or as if it’s going to define and spell out everything.
Quotes from Johnathan Arnold:
  • To be biblical is to be creedal. When you step towards the creeds, you step towards Scripture.
  • At the level of second-order reflection on Scripture, we conclude that God must provide enabling grace for all men and that it is salvific in its direction.
David Fry
Senior Pastor at the Frankfort Bible Holiness Church. PhD in Systematic Theology (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School). MDiv in New Testament Theology (Wesley Biblical Seminary).