An essay on the topic of Arminianism and assurance. Hamilton compares “Biblically-defensible Arminian theology”, that salvation is conditioned solely on faith in Christ, and the distortion of Arminian theology where salvation is based on the ability to keep God’s Law.
Monthly Archives For November 2010
by Roger E. Olson
Below is a rather lengthy essay I have written. I welcome you to pass it around. It is not copyrighted, but please keep my name and blog address attached to it when you send or post it. [Editor's Note: The following essay may also be found as a downloadable pdf attachment at the end of this post.]
ARMINIANISM IS GOD-CENTERED THEOLOGY
In this essay Robert Hamilton argues that deliberate sin erodes faith by gradually hardening one’s heart.
An essay by Robert Hamilton on grace, assurance and sanctification. “How can a Christian have any reasonable assurance that he will in fact persevere in the faith, not to mention experience consistent victory over deliberate…
Paul Copan, “Divine Exasperation”, surveys biblical passages that express God’s exasperation with sinful, human resistance to his grace, revealing “God’s legitimate expectation of spiritual fruitfulness, repentance, or obedience. That is, what hinders their repentance is not God’s withholding grace so that they cannot repent. Indeed, abundant grace has been given that justifies the expectation of repentance—even if God in his foreknowledge knows it is not forthcoming. Despite God’s initiating grace, humans continue to “resist the Holy Spirit” (Acts 7:51)—to grieve him (Ephesians 4:30) and quench him (1 Thessalonians 5:19). God commands all people without exception to repent (Acts 17:30); so presumably God’s initiating grace is available for all to do so.”
Some Calvinists wisely warn other Calvinists about making Calvinism into another gospel. In one particular dialogue, the following conversation took place. Unfortunately, the entirety of the dialogue has been lost since the webhost had taken down his website entirely. I had merely quoted what I felt were the most interesting segments of the discussion, and here they are:
Calvinist: “People who make election a test of fellowship, or suggest that belief in election is necessary for salvation, introduce a new kind of ‘Galatianism’ into the church– they add to the gospel an extra requirement to simple faith, and thus people like this are even– dare I say it– bordering on cultic for making some teaching of the Bible in addition to the gospel an acid test for true Christian belief.”
Now this person certainly was a Calvinist, as they declared: “My transition to Calvinism was somewhat reluctant, but the inevitable result of Christian maturity….”
Please click on PDF link to view article:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I hope this letter finds you growing in love and chasing after Jesus, brimming with all the questions, ideas, and passions that make young people like us a force to be reckoned with in the Church.
Please click on the attachment to view Brian P. Irwin, “Yahweh’s Suspension of Free Will in the Old Testament: Divine Immorality or Sign-Act?” Tyndale Bulletin 54.2 (2003) 55-62.
The author’s summary:
Several passages in the Old Testament portray Yahweh as behaving in
ways that seem unfair or immoral. Two such narratives are the
episodes describing the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart and the spirit
dispatched to deceive Ahab. In each of these two cases, careful
attention to the literary context and the final form of the MT shows that
Yahweh’s behaviour is best understood as a sign-act directed toward a
by Roger E. Olson
Just for the record, I want to explain as clearly as possible why I am opposing a certain kind of Calvinism, and what that Calvinism is that I am opposing.
For many years I had no particular bone to pick with Calvinism. I required my students to read Calvin (as I still do) and Calvinist theologians, and invited Calvinists into my classes to explain their theology (as I still do). Some of my relatives are Calvinists, as have been many of my friends. Then something new began to happen. One day in the early 1990s I read an article on line in which a leading Reformed theologian stated that a person cannot be both evangelical and Arminian. He equated Arminianism with Roman Catholic theology and called it semi-Pelagianism.
Click on attachment to view PDF: