Monthly Archives For January 2011

Jack Cottrell: Election, Calvinism, and the Bible

, posted by Kevin Jackson

This was a two part essay posted on facebook by theologian Jack Cottrell. The original posts can be found here: part1,part2. Dr. Cottrell has graciously permitted us to post it here at SEA for our edification and sharing.

QUESTION: The New Testament speaks of God as “choosing” or “electing” us, and Christians are called “the chosen ones” or “the elect.” This sounds like determinism, or Calvinism. How can such language be reconciled with free will?

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“When in Rome” and Irresistable Grace

, posted by Kevin Jackson

I recently saw the movie When In Rome. What’s fascinating about the movie is that the plot bears a lot of similarity to the Calvinistic concept of irresistible grace. [Warning, spoilers ahead]

In the movie, the female lead (Beth) picks some coins from out of a wishing fountain in Rome. What she doesn’t realize is that the fountain is magical. When she took the coins from the pool it put a spell over the men who threw the coins in, and they are all now passionately in love with her. The problem is that there is a guy that she really does like, and he is also smitten with her. He is trying to convince her that he really loves her, but she thinks his love is not genuine because of the magical fountain. But the thing is, he never threw a coin into the fountain. He really does love her.

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Questions for Calvinists

, posted by Kevin Jackson

by Kevin Jackson

Here are some questions for Calvinists. Most of these have to do with God’s character. These are genuine questions that I as an Arminian haven’t heard good answers for, and help explain why I’m not a Calvinist. You’ll notice that there aren’t a lot of questions about “free will,” as this isn’t important to Arminianism, except to the extent that it is used to protect God’s character. Comments to original post may be made HERE.

If sovereignty means that God freely and unchangeably ordains whatsoever comes to pass, why does evil exist?

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The Meaning of “World” in First John

, posted by Kevin Jackson

The letter of First John makes several direct references to the universality of Jesus’ atonement.

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2 NIV – bold mine)

And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. -1 John 4:14

In these passages John states that Jesus atoned for the sins of the whole world, and came to be Savior of the the world. The Greek word for world is kosmos. The English word “cosmos” is derived from this word.

Calvinists sometimes assert that kosmos in the context of John’s letter is limited to “to elect individuals from all nations”. The problem is that this interpretation is not applied consistently. And it does not make sense in context of how John uses the word elsewhere in the letter.

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New Book Announcement: Arminus Speaks: Essential Writings on Predestination, Free Will, and the Nature of God

, posted by SEA

We are happy to announce the publication of Arminius Speaks: Essential Writings on Predestination, Free Will, and the Nature of God, edited by SEA member John D. Wagner and dedicated to SEA.

Here is a book description and some endorsements (for an attractive flier with a picture of the book on it and information on the publisher, see the attachment to this post; the book can be purchased at a discount through the publisher’s website [less expensive than listed on the flier]):

James Arminius is one of the most maligned and misunderstood theologians in
church history. In an era of major debate over predestination, free will, and
related concepts, Arminius was accused of being Pelagian, Semi-Pelagian, or a
heretic of all sorts. This is a trend that started in his time and has continued
to this day.

The truth is that he was a brilliant theologian who shook the foundations of
Calvinism to the core. Yet he was quite orthodox in his thinking, as he had

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James White on Romans 9

, posted by Godismyjudge

I recently listened to James White’s explanation of Romans 9. I was surprised by his technique. He did very little explaining of the scripture, or showing the connection between the text and Calvinism. Rather, he went verse-by-verse attacking non-Calvinist interpretations of the passage. White made very few positive assertions about what the text means; and none of them supported Calvinism. It was as if he assumed the passage teaches Calvinism and he made no efforts to justify that claim. That’s not exegesis and in debate it’s a shift of the burden of proof.

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Calvinism Myths

, posted by Martin Glynn

I was recently pointed to this post by Calvinist Michael C. Patton, who I respect a great deal. Here he lists 12 myths that he believes are levied against Calvinism. I wanted to review a couple of these and add my own thoughts on them. Some I think are legitamate myths, some I really do not.

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