Presbyterian Christian and best selling author, R. C. Sproul, writes in perhaps the best popular work on Election from a decidedly Calvinist perspective available today, these words: "without Sovereignty, God cannot be God. If we reject Sovereignty, then we must embrace atheism. This is the problem we all face. We must hold tightly to God's Sovereignty" (p. 27) >>>
Speaking from a non-Calvinist perspective, I do not know how a more agreeable statement could be made. I, too, believe it non-negotiable to fully embrace God's Sovereignty.
Even more, classic Arminianism in general never questioned whether God was Sovereign, and that, beginning with James Arminius himself. Renowned Arminian theologian, Roger Olson, writes:
"Arminius affirmed a very strong doctrine of God's providential sovereignty. For him, God is the cause of everything but evil, which he only permits. And anything that happens, including evil, must be permitted by God; it cannot happen if God does not allow it. God has the ability to stop anything from happening, but to preserve human liberty he permits sin and evil without approving them. Arminius said of God's providence: 'It preserves, regulates, governs and directs all things, and that nothing in the world happens fortuitously or by chance.' (p.120).
It's fascinating to me to hear, in the face of such direct evidence, preposterous assertions that non-Calvinists do not embrace the Biblical teaching of a Sovereign God. Edwin Palmer, past executive secretary of the NIV Bible and general editor of the NIV Study Bible, wrote in his little volume, The Five Points of Calvinism, these incredible words: "...the Arminian denies the sovereignty of God" (p.85). Incidentally, he also writes: "And the Calvinist freely admits that his position is illogical, ridiculous, nonsensical, and foolish." (ibid). Thus, while my Calvinist brothers would accept Palmer's assessment of Arminianism, I am not so sure many of them would accept his brash concession for Calvinists.
In the end, at least as I understand the issue, between Calvinism and non-Calvinism's perspective on God's Sovereignty, the difference between them stands significantly less than a knat's behind. Historic Calvinism and classical Arminianism both rightly embrace the Biblical notion of God's Sovereignty. R. C. Sproul's dictum describes the non-Calvinist's understanding of Divine Sovereignty's significance: "If God is not Sovereign, then God is not God." (p.26). Differences do remain in precisely how God teases His Sovereignty out in space-time history. But that is the subject of another post.
With that, I am...