Landstrom. Eric

God, Evil, and Grace in Calvinist and Arminian Theology

, posted by Eric Landstrom

As early as Episcopius Arminians have argued that if acts arise necessarily from decree, then God must have included within his decree for the implementation of how to bring the decree to fruition. Popularly it is said that God wills not only the ends but also the means to accomplish the ends. But if this is so, then it logically follows that God is the cause of sin. Calvinists counter-claim that God foreknows and that God’s foreknowledge necessitates what he knows. They argue that this must be true since, according to Calvinism, God foreknows because he first predestined everything and there is nothing that has not first been predestined by God. What the Calvinist scheme means is that neither our most joyful moments or our most wicked are set outside of God’s determining decree since God predestined all things because God is sovereign.

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The Reciprocal Dynamic of Grace

, posted by Eric Landstrom

A reciprocal dynamic of acting and reacting occurs in any relationship between persons. If we lived in a clockwork universe operating under Calvinist assumptions of predestinating decrees, then we would be little more than very…

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Proof-texting Presuppositions with John 6:44, 65

, posted by Eric Landstrom

Proof-texting Presuppositions with John 6:44, 65 John 6:44 and 6:65 are commonly used as proof-texts that more often than not reveal the exegete’s presuppositions that are imposed upon the Gospel According to John than I…

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Dort, Synod of

, posted by Eric Landstrom

Dort, Synod of (SYNODUS DORDRACENA), a national synod of the United Provinces, held at Dort (Dordrecht; Lat. Dordracum) in 1618-19. I. Origin of the Synod. — The opposition of James Arminius to the Augustinian and…

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The General Theory of Relativity and the Nature of God Pokes Openness in the Eye

, posted by Eric Landstrom

It is argued by proponents of Openness as well as Calvinists that claim Openness is the logical conclusion for Arminianism that in order for people to be free the future must be somehow open. Their argument claims that if God’s knowledge of future unactualized contingencies is perfectly known, then creaturely freedom is a farce and whether we like it or not, our Lord has effectively predestinated all of creation. Countering the argument Arminians point out that simply knowing for sure that a person will freely do something is not enough for God to control or predestinate the world. This is because foreknowledge of an event does not imply direct influence or omnicausality, or absolute determination, but merely knows what other wills are doing. In other words, foreknowledge doesn’t mean absolute determination. Yet a fine point should be sharpened at this time: God not only grasps and understands what actually will happen, but also what could happen under varied possible contingencies.

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Political Powerbrokers, Authority, and the Road to Dort

, posted by Eric Landstrom

The Synod of Dort was a regional conference that was primarily motivated by political powerbrokers. Theodore Beza, John Calvin’s direct successor and first systematizer of Calvinism sent Arminius, the brightest bulb in the Calvinist box…

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What About Pharaoh? God Hardened Pharaoh’s Heart

, posted by Eric Landstrom

What About Pharaoh? God Hardened Pharaoh’s Heart Some consider God’s hardening of Pharaoh’s heart as clear evidence that God predestinates people to reprobation and ultimately, to condemnation. The Arminian view is that Pharaoh, of his…

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Semi-Pelagian or Semi-Augustinian?

, posted by Eric Landstrom

The term “Semi-Pelagian” is often bandied about by laymen as summary term that is descriptive of those persons who follow in the Arminian and Wesleyan theological traditions. AA. Hodge defined the term, stating: Semi-Pelagianism admits…

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Is God’s Knowledge the Cause of All Things?

, posted by Eric Landstrom

There is a common argument that says God’s knowledge causes all things. It goes like this: If God foreknows that something (x) is going to occur, then something else (non-x) cannot occur. If something (x) does not occur, then God’s knowledge was false. Curiously since they make strange bedfellows, this argument is used by theological determinists like Calvinists as well as those holding to process theology and Openness against orthodox Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and orthodox non-Calvinist Protestants. The argument is used by theological determinists to show that God must determine all things before they come to pass and alternatively, by those who hold that God cannot know the future for free will to be actual and not mere rhetorical sophistry.

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What Are Those Arminians Thinking?

, posted by Eric Landstrom

How does your perception of what is and is not Arminian theology dovetail into the following true story that relates to mans’ sin nature? The great Wesley scholar, Albert Outler was once giving a lecture…

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