My Cat Illustrates the Difference Between Arminianism and Calvinism

A picture is worth a thousand words, or so they say.  Instead of writing a 2,000 word post on the difference between Arminianism and Calvinism, I have posted two pictures of my cat.

The difference between Arminianism and Calvinism is this:  Arminians believe that grace is resistible.  Calvinists believe that grace is irresistible.

First, let’s look at the Calvinistic concept of irresistible grace.  Those to whom God gives grace will certainly receive it.  God’s grace is provided in a way that it is not coercive, because God works in the hearts in minds of the elect in such a way that they freely want to receive what He provides.  Below my cat illustrates what this looks like:


As you can see, the cat’s heart and mind have irresistibly been changed in such a way that she joyously receives the mandatory love that I give her.  I am feeling much glory because of our reciprocal relationship.

Next, kitty will illustrate the Arminian concept of grace.  Arminians believe that grace is resistible.  God gives grace to everyone, and by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, each person has a decision as to whether or not to accept God’s offer.  In this system I do not need to hold the cat by the neck in order to show what grace is like.  Again kitty demonstrates.

Well bummer, that didn’t work as planned.  Apparently, a kitty that is a recipient of irresistible grace is no longer in the mood to receive a more resistible form of grace.  Interesting. 

Perhaps this behavior can be briefly summarized in Latin: felius catus no grabus.

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25 Comments

Filed under Arminianism, Calvinism, humor

25 responses to “My Cat Illustrates the Difference Between Arminianism and Calvinism

  1. LeAnne Jackson

    Very funny. Of course Kitty has no problem sitting in my lap to be petted, because I allow her to come when she is ready. :-) Your loving wife.

  2. Most excellent illustration :-)

  3. Wesley Wong

    Ha ha.. It looks in the 1st photo as if you were strangling rather than petting the cat.

  4. LCK

    So much of what is problematic about Calvinism is summed up in your phrase “I am feeling much glory because of our reciprocal relationship” when the Cat obviously has no choice. Funny and insightful!

  5. Jason

    Guess this also illustrates (in the second pic) that resistible grace saves no one.

  6. Beth Budesheim

    Excellent! I thought about doing the same thing with my dog, only using three types of dog food and seeing which type she likes best…to prove that she gets to make a choice!

  7. dave

    Such light illustrations fail in displaying the depth of the grace of God.
    The ONLY one with a free will is God. (we lost ours in the fall)
    Dead people don’t make choices- that’s what dead in sin is. Read of the apostle Paul’s salvation (Acts 9) Paul was eating dust, blinded by God, now that was choice.. God’s choice, not Paul’s.

    • Sorry you didn’t enjoy the post Dave. You can interact with some of the more serious content if you choose to. ;) Arminians believe the depth of God’s grace extends to everyone, that through Christ we have a freed will, that death means relational separation rather than inability (Luke 15:32), and that God’s drawing grace is typically convincing rather than coercive.

  8. Adrian

    Many years ago Kevin the editor of our local newspaper had a real thing for men who took sexual advantage of young girls. I discovered and passed on to him info of an article of how a man could put himself in a position to access school girls and he was willing to send a taxi so that he could get the info straight away.

    Thing is Kevin the magazine editors had put the article (which was a good idea if that was what you wanted to do) in a section titled “Humour”. The newspaper editor could do nothing as the response would be along the lines of “it’s not serious, it’s humour, it’s just for a laugh”. The editors assisted perverts while hiding behind the guise of “humour”.

    Now you’re not preaching to perverts, but you are, behind the guise of “humour” (or as Armininans spell it humor – little attempt at humoUr there), spreading false information (as the original post is nearly 3 years old I don’t know what you’d been told then so don’t if this was intentional or not).

    The difference between the two does come down to whether “death means relational separation rather than inability” but why do you then denigrate Calvinism by saying that if it is “inability” then people are coerced into believing? (coerce: persuade (an unwilling person) to do something by using force or threats)? Where is the force or threat?

    Peter healed the man at the Gate Beautiful and “he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God”. Do you think Peter had to coerce him to do that? No way, and the same applies to the paralytics whom Jesus healed and the three He raised from the dead. Their response was spontaneous and natural, not forced upon them.

    Yes there are scriptures that people can use to support both sides of the discussion, but adding to the other side things that they don’t say …. why do that?

    • Sorry, you lost me! I guess I don’t understand your criticism. Sorry you didn’t like the post.

      • Adrian

        Not meant to be critical, just illustrate something.

        In another post you say “Some Arminians think God can be coercive (especially in the positive direction), however, I’m not convinced that he ever is” yet here, under the guise of humour, you say (via an illustration) that He is, the words saying “the cat’s heart and mind have irresistibly been changed in such a way that she joyously receives the mandatory love that I give her” yet the image contradicts that as it is of you forcefully holding her.

        It’s like “blond jokes”. They’re funny, unless you’re a blond.

      • That’s deliberate. The pic is meant to contradict the text. That’s what makes it funny (well, in my opinion at least). If you notice the Arminian picture contradicts too. :)

      • Adrian

        I guess Kevin what it gets down to is that “blond jokes” are funny, unless you’re a blond.

        My apologies for being over sensitive, and we’ll probably laugh about this in heaven.

  9. Adrian

    dummy post to get notifications.

  10. What a crack-up. Love it! (Your wife’s comment added the extra laugh!)

  11. Jason

    We conclude that man cannot change a cat’s disposition. Can God change man’s?

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