By Brian Abasciano, PhD I was disappointed in the treatment of corporate vs. individual election in the new Romans commentary by Colin G. Kruse (Paul’s Letter to the Romans [PNTC; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2012],…
Monthly Archives For August 2012
John Piper, God’s Sovereignty, and Sin
written by Roger E. Olson, PhD
A friend forwarded this to me: http://www.christianpost.com/news/john-piper-on-mans-sin-and-gods-sovereignty-80617/
John Piper has been at it again. But there’s nothing new in the sermon reported on there. He has been saying this and writing it for decades. According to him, God foreordains sin. He “ordains and governs” it. He stops short of saying God causes sin. But the effect is the same: sin is God’s will, even if it grieves him. And he’s talking about about every specific sin, not just “sin in general.”
Robert Picirilli’s Short Outline of Romans 9-11
written by SEA member, Roy Ingle
One of my favorite Arminian theologians is Dr. Robert Picirilli. His book, Grace, Faith, Free Will is a solid Arminian book that deals with the issues of salvation and the contrast between Arminianism and Calvinism. It is a well thought out book and I have enjoyed it over the years.
This is what the LORD says to the house of Israel:
“Seek Me and live” Amos 5:4
This passage comes at the end of an indignant tirade on behalf of God. Amos, up to this point, has been describing the deep sin that Israel has been involved in, and also includes the iniquities of the surrounding regions. Israel had fallen into pleasing themselves, and bowing down to idols and God was teaching them a very important lesson. It was a lesson brought on by their refusal to seek God’s will, and fashion their own empty truths.
I was reading the Works of Arminius today and Arminius’ statement on the perseverance of the saints. Battle lines have long been drawn on this issue with Calvinists holding to unconditional perseverance of the saints and in some cases, preservation of the sinner. Arminians have historically opposed perseverance of the saints. This has often kept some from claiming Arminianism as they feel that to claim Arminianism would be to embrace apostasy as a real possibility in the life of the believer of which they oppose. Many Baptists are in this camp.
written by SEA member Roy Ingle
Arminius has often been used by open theists to try to teach that he held to a form of open theism. When we read his Works we realize that Arminius was much in line with the reformers of his day in teaching that God is absolutely wise and exhaustive in His knowledge. God knows all things and He foresees whatsoever comes to pass. This was his view. Read the following from Arminius and notice how he clearly holds that God’s knowledge is exhaustive and He is omniscient in all His ways.
ON THE UNDERSTANDING OF GOD
In combating charges of Pelagianism and heresy, Lutherans and Arminians have both expressed clear sentiments defining the orthodoxy of man’s limited freedom of the will. Philip Melancthon, Martin Luther’s contemporary friend and colleague, systematized Lutheran thought through his various contributions including the Augsburg Confession of 1530. This confessional document remains a bedrock source of original Lutheran ecclesiastical thought. Similarly, James Arminius conveyed complementary thoughts regarding the limited freedom of the will in his Sentiments. Both men reflected the orthodoxy of the Reformation church as it relates to the fallen condition of natural man.
This post is written by Roger E. Olson, PhD
I have been reading a new book about Calvinism entitled Evangelical Calvinism: Essays Resourcing the Continuing Reformation of the Church edited by Myk Habets and Bobby Grow and published by Pickwick Publications (an imprint of Wipf and Stock).
I hope my blog followers appreciate the fact that I actually read primary Calvinist material and not just Arminian books and articles about Calvinism. Over the years I have read literally scores of books about Calvinism by Calvinists. And I try to keep up. I have reviewed several recent books about Calvinism by Calvinist authors here.
Wouldn’t it be nice if Calvinists would read books about Arminianism by Arminians instead of only books about Armianism by Calvinists? That seems rare, however. In my experience, most Calvinists get their “information” about Arminius and Arminianism from Charles Hodge or some similarly biased Reformed source.
The sermons of Arminian Doug Newton, pastor of a Free Methodist church in Greenville, IL, and recommended highly by one of our members, may be found online here: http://greenvillefmc.org/#/home
Taken from SBC Today: http://sbctoday.com/2012/06/08/recovering-the-gospel-why-belief-in-an-unlimited-atonement-matters/
Article 3 addresses the Atonement of Christ. It consists of one proposition in affirmation and three in denial.
Tim Warner of Oasis Christian Church preaches expositionally verse by verse, and his sermons may be found at http://www.oasischristianchurch.org/. But beware, Warner has set a general date for Christ’s return, which is a biblically unsound…
THE LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE: WHO’S IN AND WHO’S OUT? BY RONNIE ROGERS Part 1 Posted on July 18, 2012 by the editors of SBC Today: http://sbctoday.com/2012/07/18/8942/ **The title below dons chapter 16 in…
Following up on Roger Olson’s post about Jonathan Edwards, I would like to draw attention to some resources we have that refute Edwards’ influential Calvinistic views on free will.
First, we have a list of resources that can be accessed for free through our site, including books as well as articles: http://evangelicalarminians.org/Determinism-Refuting-Edwards-and-Calvinist-Compatibilism-and-Arguments-against-Genuine-Free-Will. Perhaps most notably, we have Arminian theologian Daniel Whedon’s comprehensive and definitive refutation of Edwards work on free will.
Now some of these resources are pretty hefty. So if you would like to get to the heart of the debate by reading something relatively brief that refutes the main thrust of Edwards’ view/compatibilism as it is frequently presented by Calvinists today, then take a look at
Thomas Ralston on Freedom of the Will Part 9: The Doctrine of Motives
WHY IS JONATHAN EDWARDS CONSIDERED SO GREAT?
by Roger E Olson, PhD
I know. I’m almost committing blasphemy by questioning Jonathan Edwards’ greatness. I wouldn’t be doing it except there seems to be a kind of cult of Edwards’ veneration–especially among American evangelicals. It’s not limited to American evangelicals, of course. Lutheran theologian Robert Jenson called Edwards “America’s Theologian.” New books are published every year about Edwards. The current (or now immediately previous) issue of Christian Century contains a review of a newly published b00k extolling Edwards’ virtues as a great Christian and great thinker. Most famously, perhaps, evangelical historian Mark Noll has often held up Edwards as THE paradigm of a great Christian intellectual whose example we should all follow.
Taken from: http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5093
A Good Reason for Evil
What is evil? Could it have a purpose? Here is a view of evil from an adult rather than a childish perspective.
By: Gregory Koukl
The first step in answering the problem of evil is this: We’ve got to get clear on what this thing “evil” actually is. It does seem to follow that if God created all things, and evil is a thing, then God created evil. This is a valid syllogism. If the premises are true, then the conclusion would be true as well.
The problem with that line of reasoning is that the second premise is not true. Evil is not a thing. The person who probably explained it best was St. Augustine, and then Thomas Aquinas picked up on his solution. Others since them have argued that evil has no ontological status in itself.
Taken from SBC Today, where it was posted on July 28, 2012 by the editors of SBC Today:
As I have read the comments regarding my interview and a portion of my book, a few things deserve a response from me. First, I am greatly heartened by those comments, agreeing or not, that sought to interact with my actual words in a gracious manner. Being human, I know how hard that is, and hence my magnified gratitude and admiration for your valiant reliance on the Holy Spirit. Thank you!
Dr. John Piper recently responded to the question, “What did the death of Jesus on the cross accomplish for the non-elect? Anything?” His reply, oddly, raises more questions than it answers. Despite his views on unconditional election and reprobation, Piper frames his answer in terms of God giving those who aren’t chosen a “chance” at salvation. Ted Kaczynski, aka the Unabomber, was identified partially by his unusual, but correct use of an oft-misquoted proverb that’s very applicable here: “You can’t eat your cake and have it too.”
Taken from: http://sbctoday.com/2012/07/20/the-lamb%E2%80%99s-book-of-life-who%E2%80%99s-in-and-who%E2%80%99s-out-by-ronnie-rogers-%E2%80%93-part-2-of-4-2/
[For part 1, see http://www.evangelicalarminians.org/?q=sea.Ronnie-Rogers.The-Lambs-Book-of-Life-Whos-In-and-Whos-Out.Part-1; for part 2, see http://www.evangelicalarminians.org/?q=sea.Ronnie-Rogers.The-Lambs-Book-of-Life-Whos-In-and-Whos-Out.Part-2 ]
Why the double-talk? As mentioned on several occasions throughout the book, within Calvinism there is a problem of what I call double-talk. By the use of this term, I am not implying immoral or clandestine trickery. Nor am I suggesting conspiratorial deceit. I must admit that upon reflection on my time of being a Calvinist, I did the same thing. I did not do so out of ill motive, intent to deceive, or because of a lack of desire to be faithful to the Scripture—nor do I so impugn my Calvinist brothers and sisters.
Taken from SBC Today: http://sbctoday.com/2012/07/21/the-lamb%E2%80%99s-book-of-life-who%E2%80%99s-in-and-who%E2%80%99s-out-by-ronnie-rogers-%E2%80%93-part-3-of-4/
[For part 1, http://www.evangelicalarminians.org/?q=sea.Ronnie-Rogers.The-Lambs-Book-of-Life-Whos-In-and-Whos-Out.Part-1; for part 2, see http://www.evangelicalarminians.org/?q=sea.Ronnie-Rogers.The-Lambs-Book-of-Life-Whos-In-and-Whos-Out.Part-2; for part 3, see http://www.evangelicalarminians.org/?q=sea.Ronnie-Rogers.The-Lambs-Book-of-Life-Whos-In-and-Whos-Out.Part-3 .]
Monergism and Synergism are extra-Biblical terms coined to encapsulate Bible truth. They fail. God’s dichotomy is Works and Faith, not Monergism and Synergism. Works are bad; faith is good. Faith in Jesus is something humans do (with prevenient grace courtesy of the Holy Spirit); saving these believing humans is something God does.
Arminians are sucker punched by Calvinists when they allow themselves to ignore Works Versus Faith and engage Calvinists on the battlefield of Monergism Versus Synergism. This becomes clearer when we look at the abortion debate.
Those who are pro-abortion do not call themselves Pro-Abortion; they call themselves Pro-Choice. They have reframed the debate to be about women’s rights. They are now able to paint their opponents as Neanderthal chauvinists grumbling about women receiving equal pay and having equal rights. That’s not your agenda at all. You’re a Foetusphile unscrupulously caricatured as a misogynist.