Nearly a decade after the death of Arminius, the States General hold a synod (council or assembly), wherein religious and state officials from various regions accuse the Arminians of heresy and expel them from both pulpit ministry and teaching theology in Holland (read “Dutch Calvinists against Religious Freedom: Synod of Dort“). The result of the Synod of Dort comes to us in the Canons of Dort. (“Canons” refer to a Rule of Decrees or Judgments.) Therein are statements of affirmation and denial of various subjects, both theological and soteriological (i.e., doctrine of salvation).
Monthly Archives For October 2011
In a recent blog post (10/13/2011), James White took issue with Roger Olson’s references to 1 Timothy 2:4 in his new book, Against Calvinism. How does White’s view stand up when further scrutinized?
Chapter 22 of A. W. Tozer, Knowledge Of The Holy (taken from http://www.heavendwellers.com/hdt_chapter_22_koh.htm).
The Sovereignty of God
Who wouldst not fear Thee, O Lord God of Hosts, most high and most terrible? For Thou art Lord alone. Thou has made heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth and all things that are therein, and in Thy hand is the soul of every living thing, Thou sittest king upon the flood; yea, Thou sittest king forever. Thou art a great king over all the earth. Thou art clothed with strength; honor and majesty are before Thee. Amen.
God’s sovereignty is the attribute by which He rules His entire creation, and to be sovereign God must be all-knowing, all-powerful, and absolutely free. The reasons are these:
I don’t know how Calvinists do it. Like many bloggers Justin Taylor posted an obituary of Steve Jobs. Unlike many bloggers, he receives comments. Not three comments in, the post got this one: Justin Taylor posted an obituary of Steve Jobs.
- I am saddened by Jobs’ passing. My prayers are with his family and friends. I don’t mean for this to be insensitive, but why would those who believe in the concept of God’s sovereign saving grace have any “hope” one way or the other that Jobs found rest in it? Wouldn’t they just want God to carry out His salvific desires in whatever way HE sees fit?
“Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?”
A brief press release from the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog about one of SEA’s vice presidents, James Leonard, and his recent successful defense of his doctoral dissertation. Congratulations, Jim!
Bonus: We’ve pulled a comment from Jim on the announcement/blog post, which is humorously related to the Arminian/Calvinist debate, and included it after the announcement.
Here is the announcement, originally posted on 10/13/11 by Jim’s doctoral supervisor, Peter. J. Williams, who is the warden of Tyndale House in Cambridge, England, one of the foremost libraries of biblical studies in the world:
In their book The Five Points of Calvinism: Defined, Defended, and Documented David Steele, Curtis Thomas, and S. Lance Quinn utterly misrepresent Arminianism on the subject of Total Depravity, stating that Arminianism teaches: “Although human nature was seriously affected by the fall, man has not been left in a state of total spiritual helplessness. God graciously enables every sinner to repent and believe, but He does not interfere with man’s freedom.”1 Whatever they just described, it has nothing to do with Arminianism, which makes us wonder why the authors would intentionally caricature the system.
This was a comment made by Rebekah Reinagel in regards to the nature of prayer within the Calvinist system. She gave us permission to publish it here.
Calvinists pray, even though they “know” that God has everything decreed in advance. But here’s what I was wondering about: Do Calvinists seek the specific will of God?
And what I mean by that is that Arminians, in addition to following God’s moral law (i.e. Do not murder), also seek God’s will in specific situations in which it isn’t clear which way to go. For example, praying about whether to take a job or not. This presumes that God knows which is the better option, and it is an attempt to seek His will in the matter.
Below are some popular phrases, and next to the phrase is the name of the Christian who should have coined it. This is meant to be lighthearted. Additional suggestions welcome.
Nothing is certain but death and taxes. -Greg Boyd
What you see is what you get. -Paul Tillich
Pardon my French. -Mark Driscoll
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. -Harold Camping
All you need is love. -Rob Bell
If it aint broke, don’t fix it. -Martin Luther
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. -Theodore Beza
Better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. -Jacob Arminius
There’s a sucker born every minute. -Benny Hinn
All publicity is good publicity. -Pat Robertson
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. -C.S. Lewis
Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. -Irenaeus
Don’t upset the apple-cart. -Servetus
Is the Pope Catholic? -the Pope
It is better to give than to receive. -Joel Osteen
We have all, most likely, encountered believers who insist that they neither adhere to this or that theological position: they are, simply, “biblicists” (i.e., what opponents of this theory call naïve realism1). Such believers “don’t follow a man’s teaching,” they “just read their Bible.” On one level, there is an admirable simplicity in such a confession. On another level, however, such an approach to biblical interpretation is not only naïve but is fallacious and self-deceptive because it neglects the fact that we all read Scripture from cultural and personal presuppositions already in place.
Pointed questions from one of our members in our private discussion group regarding Calvinism’s doctrine of exhaustive determinism:
“What about the thoughts of demons? Did God ordain those too? If, literally, everything is subject to the total plan of an exhaustive, immutable decree (including all thoughts), then why would only good things be spoken of as the ‘fruits of the Holy Spirit,’ rather than all things whatsoever?”
As Arminians, we often have to deal with a number of scurrilous charges and various innuendos inflicted upon our faith by an assortment of polemicists, predominantly at the hand of the young, restless, Reformed variety and their elder teachers. Whether it is a straw man of “free willism,” salvation by works, or open theism and a host of other unsupportable accusations, each is brought to nothing by the revelation of plain, simple truth. Truth will always bring to naught any straw man fabricated for divisive purposes. I came across another bale of straw dressed up as knowledge today. The following quote was offered to buttress another’s doctrine of mush and as always, truth will grind it to chaff.
“We are living in a day in which practically all of the historic
churches are being attacked from within by unbelief. Many
of them have already succumbed. And most invariably the
line of descent has been from Calvinism to Arminianism,
We have put our outline of the FACTS of Arminianism acronym vs. the TULIP of Calvinism acronym into a convenient chart that places the corresponding positions of the two systems side by side (the horizontal version) rather than presenting one system in its entirety first and then followed by the other (the vertical version). The vertical version can still be found at our FACTS vs. TULIP outline page, but now the chart/horizontal version has been attached to the page for those who would like to access it. It has also been attached to this post.
Here are some edited comments by one of our members posted in our private discussion group concerning the Calvinist claim that the Arminian view of faith makes faith a work created by man: