Arminius and the Remonstrants fight tenaciously for religious freedom in Dutch society (link), but early seventeenth-century Calvinists are adamantly opposed to any semblance of theological toleration — not to mention freedom — other than their own. This is an uncontested historical fact.1 Granted, Arminius considers Anabaptist ecclesiology, and especially Anabaptist beliefs on believer’s baptism — to be heretical, meaning that he is not willing to tolerate such beliefs in the Reformed churches.
Monthly Archives For September 2011
In my series on perseverance I dealt with the warning passages in Hebrews. I have changed my views on certain aspects of apostasy while studying the subject. However, my view that apostasy from true saving faith is possible has never changed. I just can’t read the Bible honestly and deny such a reality, even if it would be far more pleasant to believe that true believers can never forsake the faith. My series on perseverance presented much of the exegetical basis for my strong conviction that true believers can forsake the faith and perish everlastingly. I will not be covering that ground again here, but would direct anyone interested to those posts to examine the strong exegetical evidence.
by Roger Olson
I hold in my grubby little hands the first ever copy of Against Calvinism (outside the publisher’s warehouse). I received my author’s advance copy yesterday.
You know, when you’ve worked on a book for two years (and actually longer if one includes the years of preparing to write such a book) and gone through the ordeal of reading the edited manuscript and answering editors’ questions and making revisions and reading page proofs, etc., etc., the arrival of the book itself is kind of anti-climactic. I finished the manuscript well over a year ago and submitted to the publisher. It doesn’t usually take that long to get a book published, but for some reason….
Earlier in the year a book was released by Ken Stewart titled ‘Ten Myths About Calvinism‘. It’s a fantastic read which will be shelved in my library right next to Roger Olson’s ‘Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities‘. I have had the pleasure to engage in ongoing conversations with Ken. While my readers will know well that I disagree with Ken’s soteriology, he stands apart from most Calvinists I have read and engaged with in recent years. He often seeks to find areas of agreement with other Christian traditions and tries to distance himself from more extreme forms of his Calvinist tradition.
“Christian theology teaches the doctrine of prevenient grace, which briefly stated means this, that before a man can seek God, God must first have sought the man.
“Before a sinful man can think a right thought of God, there must have been a work of enlightenment done within him; imperfect it may be, but a true work nonetheless, and the secret cause of all desiring and seeking and praying which may follow.
“We pursue God because, and only because, He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit. “No man can come to me,” said our Lord, “except the Father which hath sent me draw him,” and it is by this very prevenient drawing that God takes from us every vestige of credit for the act of coming. The impulse to pursue God originates with God, but the outworking of that impulse is our following hard after Him.” 
There seems to be lots of talk about angry Calvinists going on, with Calvinist leaders recognizing that there seems to be a problem with anger/rudeness/harshness/incivility etc. particularly among Calvinists. Here are 2 posts on this:…
I made a quick youtube video on James Arminius, giving a brief overview of his history and of the 5 points of the Remonstrants. Enjoy!!!
Some good comments from Calvinist scholar, Russell Moore, who is the Dean of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary: “Dungeons and Dragons and Debating Calvinism” Follow the link: http://www.christianity.com/blogs/russellmoore/11656252/
by Roger Olson I know I’ve talked about this before here, but many of my subscribers and readers are new since then. So, before my book Against Calvinism comes out about one month from now…
I hope to do a few posts on Erwin Lutzer’s  book, The Doctrines That Divide: A Fresh Look at the Historic Doctrines That Separate Christians. One might expect that such a book would look to lessen division and ease tension between Christians, but it seems that Lutzer’s purpose is more to present certain divisive doctrines and explain why his views of the doctrines are correct. Many of the issues center on the major doctrinal disagreements between Catholics and non-Catholics, and as a non-Catholic I agree with Lutzer’s general assessment against Catholic dogma. However, Lutzer’s book is not limited to the divisions between Catholics and non-Catholics. Lutzer also examines doctrinal controversies within protestant Christianity, and one of these main controversies centers on the debate concerning Calvinism and Arminianism.
The Wesleyan Center at Point Loma Nazarene University is sponsoring the upcoming conference, Rethinking Arminius: Wesleyan and Reformed Theology for the Church Today on February 24 and 25, 2012.
In addition to the plenary lectures, there is a call for papers on any topic related to Arminianism.
From the conference website:
Dr. Craig Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary, in a post entitled “Why I’m a Calminian,” writes, “If either pure five-point Calvinism or its consistent repudiation in pure Arminianism were completely faithful to Scripture, it is doubtful that so many Bible-believing, godly evangelical Christians would have wound up on each side. The former wants to preserve the Scriptural emphasis on divine sovereignty; the latter, on human freedom and responsibility.” Dr.
Since the Arminian believes, like the Calvinist, in Total Depravity and Total Inability, but disagrees with the Calvinistic implication that this fact necessitates a doctrine of Unconditional Election or Irresistible Grace, what, then, in Arminian theology is needed in order for a totally depraved (and a totally, spiritually-incapacitated) individual to trust in Christ Jesus for salvation? In other words, if every sinner is saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:5, 8), what does “grace” entail? (I want to very briefly address Enabling, Sufficient, Prevenient Grace and not what is known as Common Grace.)
Is Calvinism biblical? Is Arminianism biblical? Is Pentecostalism biblical? Is Cessationism biblical? Is Exhaustive Determinism biblical? Is Libertarian Free Will biblical? Is Open Theism biblical? Is Trinitarianism biblical? Is Modalism biblical? We can ask this question regarding biblicity about any Christian teaching. To the individual who holds to Covenantal theology, for example, Dispensationalism is not considered “biblical.” But what, exactly, does one mean by insisting that a contrary view is not “biblical”? Is there an implication of theological arrogance in insisting that our opponent’s theology is “not biblical”? How do we determine the biblicity of a teaching?
Jesus met a man named Nicodemus one evening and a dialogue about spiritual issues ensued. Jesus got right to the heart of the matter by stating, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above” (John 3:3 NRSV). Nicodemus had just informed Jesus that he and some others knew with certainty that He was “a teacher who has come from God” (John 3:2 NRSV). They knew such because “no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God” (John 3:2 NRSV). Instead of taking the opportunity to claim Himself as the LORD’s Christ, Jesus cut to the heart of the issue. He realized that mere acknowledgement of Himself as the Christ (mere mental assent) does not save a sinner. The truth is that sinners must be born again.