Soteriological Rope

“The common assumption is that God drops a rope from heaven, and then the theological debates begin. Pelagians want to shinny up the rope, Arminians want to hang on while God pulls, Calvinists say that God ties the rope to us with one of His knots, and some of our more severe brethren think He ties it around our necks before He hauls us up” (Against the Church, pp. 103-104).

Theology That Bites Back



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  • bethyada

    I have considered this analogy before. Your Arminian one is getting there, but put a secure basket on the rope. Yes we can get into the basket, or not, but God persuades us to get in, and we are not hanging on for dear life.

  • Mark B. Hanson

    I have talked to (and worshipped with) both types of Arminians – those who think you can be lost and redeemed a dozen times a day as you sin and repent (although it is a view I more often associate with Pelagians like Finney), and those who think you are secure in the basket until you decide to jump out. In either case you can leave the rope and fall…

  • bethyada

    Mark, I left the losing salvation from my analogy so as to not complicate the issue. I only meant to use a basket as that points to the security being in Christ, over the rope alone which makes it look like it is easy to fall and quite likely unless we hang on for dear-life. The main difference is not our security on the rope (the knot Wilson refers to), just the ability to reject God’s offer of salvation (get in the basket, or not).

    As to whether we can get out of the basket, that is a different question which Arminianism does not specify. You will find persons of both persuasions within the Arminian camp. Personally, I think it possible to loss salvation though it is an active rejection.

    As to your friends: that people can gain and lose salvation several times a day is just nonsense. I have not come across it myself. I would also hazard a guess they are actually semi-Pelagian (though still nonsense within that framework as well).