Robert Chisholm’s article “ANATOMY OF AN ANTHROPOMORPHISM: DOES GOD DISCOVER FACTS?” explains OT texts like Genesis 18:20-21 and 22:12, which seem to indicate God does not know everything. Chisholm is not satisfied with saying they are antropromorphic and leaving it at that; he seeks a full understanding of why the passages, on the surface, indicate God is learning something.
Monthly Archives For January 2010
“I don’t see how anyone could read the Old Testament and not conclude that Calvinism is right,” was the assessment of one Calvinist professor recently. By “Calvinism” he meant the notion of God’s exhaustive predeterminism of all things by decree.
This professor was merely being consistent and honest about his own beliefs. He has done nothing immorally or ethically wrong with making such a statement to his students. My only hope is that his students do not take their professor’s word on the matter but study, like a good Berean, for themselves (consulting opposing ideas and exegesis) to examine Scripture every day to see if what the professor says is true (Acts 17:11).
One’s justification and thus atonement before God is realized by one’s faith in and union with Christ Jesus (which is akin to Calvinistic doctrine and very much unlike Roman Catholic doctrine). The following is what Arminius teaches on the union of believers with Christ:
Calvinist Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920), no doubt taking his cue from Arminius’s fierce supralapsarian opponent, Franciscus Gomarus1, writes: “The view of Socinus, and of Arminius who followed him closely, is totally different. It is a well-known fact that the Socinians denied the Godhead of Christ, who, as they taught, was born a mere man. But . . . they acknowledged that He had become God. Hence after His Resurrection He could be worshiped as God.”2
With regard to the broad discussion of God and time and the theological issues the subject broaches upon such as how God foreknows, a common Calvinist objection claims that stating God foreknows because he stands over and above time doesn’t resolve their criticisms as to how God foreknows. However, in point of fact, the claim that God is over and above time or that God’s perspective is timeless is a great way to conceptualize how God’s foreknowledge works if we take our time and unpack a thought experiment for our Calvinist and Open Theist friends so they can understand what we mean.
Why do disasters happen? What should Christians do when disasters happen? The recent earthquake in Haiti was catastrophic. Perhaps it has caused you to wonder if it was caused by God. I don’t think that it was.
When a disaster occurs, sometimes Christians rush to judgment. We think that the disaster happend because the people who lived there were sinful, or perhaps their ancestors were sinful.
Very often Calvinists will cite Proverbs 21:1 as a proof text for God’s exhaustive control over the will and decisions of men. Their use of the passage is not intended to demonstrate that God may at times override the will as Arminians would have little difficulty affirming, but that God is always in control of the will in such a way that we cannot will or do anything that God Himself has not caused us to do. If man has any independent control of his will then God is not “sovereign” according to the standard Calvinist understanding of sovereignty (exhaustive determinism). While there may be some Calvinists who do not hold to such a definition of sovereignty, it is the traditional Calvinist position held by John Calvin and most of his theological followers. The subject matter of this post is concerned only with Calvinists who hold to exhaustive determinism and see Prov. 21:1 as a text that confirms this doctrine as Biblical.
The passage reads:
Calvinist C. Michael Patton recently did a post entitled Calvinism and the Divine Decrees – Correcting a Misunderstanding. In the post Patton argues for the Infralapsarian view of Calvinism. The infralapsarian view is a less extreme form of Calvinism. It states that in the logical order of God’s decrees, God first decreed the creation of man and then allowed for the fall.
Patton’s post has been criticized by Supralapsarian Calvinist “Tur8infan” of Alpha and Omega Ministries (James White’s organization). That post can be found here: Response to C. Michael Patton on the Divine Decrees and Hyper-Calvinism. The Supralapsairan view is the most extreme form of Calvinism. It states that God decreed the fall of man before the creation of Adam was decreed.
SEA is excited to announce the addition to our site of Dr. Brian Abasciano’s recently published article Clearing Up Misconceptions About Corporate Election which argues forcefully and compellingly for the corporate view of election. The theological concept of corporate election has been gaining force in modern scholarship for quite some time. It is widely held among scholars that a primarily corporate election is the election described in the OT. It is on this basis that Dr. Abasciano and others argue that this corporate view of election is the view that Paul and the other apostles would naturally carry over into the NT. This is not just speculation but is strongly supported by the language of election used especially by Paul, not least in Romans and Ephesians.
We are excited to have added two articles by Thomas McCall, assistant professor of Biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, which critique John Piper’s theology of God’s sovereignty.
Ah John Piper: Wonderful pastor; fairly ignorant on historical expressions of Christianity. We’ve posted often on his misconceptions of what Arminianism is, but here is a wonderful post directly going over some things that he said two years ago. We continue to pray that Piper will learn what his brothers in the Lord actually believe.
Here is an exchange that took place in our private discussion group (edited a bit):
One SEA member said:
I read the following during my daily reading time today.
FIRST: David was being pursued by Saul. So, David asked the Lord that,
if he goes down to Keilah, will Saul also come down there, and will
they deliver David into Saul’s hand? The Lord answered yes.
So, what did David do? “So David and his men, who numbered about six
hundred, set out and left Keilah; they moved around from one place to
another” (1 Sam. 23:10-13).
So what we find here is that God knew WHAT WOULD happen IF David went
to Keilah – he would meet Saul there, for God foreknew that Saul would
be there, and that those in Keilah would hand him over to Saul. BUT
THIS DID NOT HAPPEN. David left the area of Keilah. God knew WHAT
WOULD happen, even that which DID NOT happen. God foreknows future
contingencies, and is not directing every event by a strict necessity
or predetermined decree.
We have recently added a few book length resources that advance the Arminian view of free will and take on Calvinist arguments against genuine free will, especially the view that has become the dominant view among Calvinists, represented by famous Calvinist Jonathan Edwards–compatibilism.
First, we have what is reputed to be a definitive refutation of the Calvinist perspective and vindication of the Arminian one, by Daniel Whedon: The Freedom of the Will as a Basis of Human Responsibility and a Divine Government (http://evangelicalarminians.org/Determinism-Whedon-The-Freedom-of-the-Will-as-a-Basis-of-Human-Responsibility-and-a-Divine-Government). This work is so important that at the end of this post we will paste in four reviews written by SEA members posted at Amazon for an edited, republished version of Whedon’s work.
Next, we have two other book length treatments:
We have added several new scholarly resources on the topics of faith and perseverance. These have been written and / or compiled by Arminian Steve Witzki. Be sure to check them out!
Arminianism–The Conditional Preservation of the Saints or Conditional Security (Wikipedia Article)