Often erroneously accused of Pelagianism or semi-Pelagianism, Arminius and his followers have historically suffered — and continue to suffer — one misrepresentation after another by their theological opponents. Usually, the caricature of Arminian theology comes from the pens of Calvinists who have never read primary material from Arminius or his followers the Remonstrants, or have never read secondary material regarding Reformed Arminianism either by Arminian scholars or objective, “non-Arminian” authors (though there are, thankfully, always exceptions).
Monthly Archives For June 2011
This was originally posted at True Paradigm, the author of which is not a member of SEA but has allowed us to publish this post. Please Enjoy.
Arminians are convinced that God can be sovereign while his creatures have free will; sovereignty being a state of rulership and not exhaustive control. The Calvinist struggles with this, having a concept of sovereignty that means nothing occurs outside the will of God: all things that occur are made to occur by God (even if indirectly) because they are aligned with one of the wills of God.
But if we concede that there are some things that God cannot do—things that are impossible for God to do—then why is sovereignty excluded from this consideration?
Here’s a lecture by Ken Keathley (a Molinist) and one by Angus Stewart (a Classic Calvinist) addressed at moderate Calvinism. They cover topics such as supra vs. infra-lapsarianism, single vs. double predestination, a ‘well meant offer’, and defining hyper-Calvinism. Both find moderate Calvinism inconsistent and invite moderate Calvinists to consider their own positions. Both give excellent historical backgrounds for their views.
What objections can be raised against the Reformed view of Universal, Divine, Causal Determinism? William Lane Craig answers:
“At least five come immediately to mind:
(This post was originally submitted Monday, the sixth) For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. (Eph 1:4 – bold mine) There is…
Alan Kurschner recently made a response to my reply to his “question” last week. I first I hesitated on whether or not to reply, since I found his response to be, well, silly. However, there are two reasons why I have now decided to respond: 1) I started it, so I should at least give one more response and 2) it is exactly because of people like Kurschner that I got involved with SEA. I will say, though, that this is my post on this subject.
Question: I am wondering if you can provide, or point me to, an Arminian exegesis of 2 Tim. 2.25-6? This scripture is often used by Calvinists as a counter to 1 Tim. 2.3, as well as to advance the idea that God has two wills, one of universal love to mankind, another more narrow in which He controls who will and won’t repent unto salvation (the latter underscored by 2 Tim. 2.25-26). I am looking for a good Arminian analysis here.
Answer: I don’t see anything in these verses that should lead one to the conclusion that the repentance spoken of here is irresistibly “given” or “granted”, nor that this is meant to convey the idea that God arbitrarily decides to cause some to repent while denying repentance to others (which would, as you point out, contradict Paul’s statement in 1 Tim. 2:4 that God desires all to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth).
by Roger Olson
It happens all the time. I move around in evangelical circles quite a bit and overhear conversations and receive comments about Arminianism. And I invite Calvinists to my classes. I am certainly not claiming that all Calvinists are guilty of this, but many, in my experience, do not seem to care about representing Arminianism fairly.
Here’s a typical example. A friend and I drove quite a way to browse at a used theological bookstore. The owner is a passionate five point Calvinist who actually has TULIP tracts that he gives out. Here’s how the conversation went:
Owner: “Oh, you were here once before. We talked about Arminianism because you were preparing to write your Arminianism book.”
I: “Oh, yes, now I remember. That was a while back.”
Owner: “Yes, you tried to convince me that Arminius was not an Arminian.”
I: “Well, no, I tried to convince you that Arminius was not a Pelagian or semi-Pelagian.”
A recent question in the ??Questions?? thread reminded me of an issue I raised long ago . I thought it would be beneficial to raise this question again in more detail and maybe get some feedback from any Calvinists out there that may be able to come up with a satisfying answer.
This is a fairly short and informal paper that was written in response to Calvinists’ claims that I Jn. 2:18-19 proves eternal security. To read the paper please click on the pdf below.
I have been frequently referred to Paul Washer’s video discussion, “Doctrine” of Election. I found the video transcript and decided it would be beneficial to interact with this apparently influential accounting of Calvinist election. The…
Normally, we do not like to respond to poorly-articulated Anti-Arminian arguments when they come up, even when presented by respected scholars or writers, because a) there are sadly too many of them; and b) we simply don’t take them seriously enough to pay attention to them. However, one of our respected readers has pointed out a recent post on James White’s website, written by Alan Kurschner. So, out of a desire to show respect to our readers, and because I am in a bit of a silly mood, I thought I would give this “question” a go.
Here is the essential quote (06/05/2011):
Since you believe that God is all-powerful and all-loving, why does God not cause everyone to be saved? What is so all-mightily restraining his will to be able to save all people?
About a year ago I engaged in a conversation with someone who kept misrepresenting Arminian and Wesleyan teaching while insisting that his claims were “historical facts”. This person kept making reference to the “15 Major Tenets of Arminianism” to back up his claims. I had no idea what this could be a reference to since I was not familiar with any document written by Arminius or the Remonstrants that went by such a name. As it turns out, the so called “15 Major Tenets of Arminianism” is a sub-title given under the heading “Arminianism” in Nelson’s Dictionary of Christianity. Below is a critique proving that these 15 tenets are far from representative of Arminian theology.
The 15 Major Tenets of Arminianism are:
1. Human beings are free agents and human events are mediated by the foreknowledge of God.
Eric Holmberg is a convinced and serious Calvinist who produced the Calvinist documentary “Amazing Grace.” In this article, he corrects Calvinists who write Arminians “off as necessarily ill-informed, stupid, deceived, heretical – or worse unredeemed.” Readers should be wary of Holmberg’s affirmations of Calvinist theology.
by Roger Olson
I’ve blogged about this before, but just yesterday Southern Baptist philosopher/theologian/seminary dean Steve Lemke, one of the editors of the excellent book Whosoever Will (which I highly recommended here) posted a message to the SBCToday blog accusing me of committing the fallacy of excluded middle for arguing that Southern Baptists like he are either Calvinists or Arminians and should admit it and (in his case) embrace the label Arminian — something he and the other authors of Whosoever Will reject.
Lemke’s post is here.
An MP3 audio file of a message by David Pawson on the topic, “Once Saved, Always Saved?”: http://media.ihop.org.s3.amazonaws.com/6f4ef722-e50c-4225-a884-0a754bc17201.mp3.
I have received several e-mails over the last year asking what are the differences between Wesleyan-Arminianism, stemming from both John (1703-1791) and Charles (1707-1788) Wesley, and Classical Arminianism, the theology of Jacob Arminius (1559-1609) and his successors the Remonstrants.