Here is an excellent concise summary of the doctrines of conditional election and predestination from the corporate election perpective, which differs from the traditional Arminian view of individual election based on foreseen faith. Both the…
One of our members commented concisely and incisively in our private discussion group (slightly revised here): In Calvinism God cannot see into the future. He only knows what will happen because He will make it…
Arminius on Our Election Being in Christ This post is provided by SEA member, Roy Ingle Arminius wrote the following in a debate over the subject of predestination. He clearly shows that he taught that…
Calvinism, Arminianism and Omnibenevolence
This post was written by Randal Rauser, PhD
[Please note that Dr. Rauser is not a member of SEA and that SEA does not necessarily endorse all of his theological positions. We include this post on our site because we think it helpful in some respects.]
Arminians like to point out that according to Calvinism God elects some people to damnation. Of course some Calvinists try to soften this teaching by claiming that the election to damnation is a passive divine act according to which God simply “passes over” and thereby opts not to redeem these people.
Unfortunately this shift in nomenclature doesn’t really make the divine act of election to damnation passive in an ethically significant way. Indeed, it calls to mind James Rachels’ famous thought experiment on passive euthanasia so I’m going to borrow from that thought experiment to make my point.
Arminius on the will of God
provided by SEA member, Roy Ingle
ON THE WILL OF GOD
I. The will of God is spoken of in three ways: First, the faculty itself of willing. Secondly, the act of willing. Thirdly, the object willed. The first signification is the principal and proper one, the two others are secondary and figurative.
II. It may be thus described: It is the second faculty of the life of God, flowing through the understanding from the life that has an ulterior tendency; by which faculty God is borne towards a known good — towards a good, because this is an adequate object of every will — towards a known good, not only with regard to it as a being, but likewise as a good, whether in reality or only in the act of the divine understanding. Both, however, are shown by the understanding. But the evil which is called that of culpability, God does not simply and absolutely will.
Jesus’ Foreknowledge and Causation
written by SEA member Roy Ingle
There are certain events in the ministry of the Lord Jesus that demonstrated that He foreknew them and this shows He was God. For instance, we read that Jesus knew that He would die on the cross (John 12:32) and details about His crucifixion (Mark 10:33-34). Jesus knew that Judas would betray Him (John 13:18-27) and that Peter would deny Him (Mark 14:29-31). He was able to read the thoughts of the Jews in Mark 2:8. Clearly, Jesus was God (John 1:1; Philippians 2:6).
Arminius on the Nature of God
provided by SEA member, Roy Ingle
I. The very nature of things and the Scriptures of God, as well as the general consent of all wise men and nations, testify that a nature is correctly ascribed to God. (Gal. iv, 8; 2 Pet. i, 4; Aristot. De Repub. 1. 7, c. 1; Cicero De Nat. Deor.)
II. This nature cannot be known a priori: for it is the first of all things, and was alone, for infinite ages, before all things. It is adequately known only by God, and God by it; because God is the same as it is. It is in some slight measure known by us, but in a degree infinitely below what it is [in] itself; because we are from it by an external emanation. (Isa. xliv, 6; Rev. i, 8; 1 Cor. ii, 11; 1 Tim. vi, 16; 1 Cor. xiii, 9.)
In the book Against Calvinism, Roger Olson asserts that Calvinism damages God’s reputation, and that it (unintentionally) turns God into a moral monster who is hardly distinguishable from the devil. Olson doesn’t argue that Calvinists affirm that God is like the devil. Rather, in his view it is the logical implication of Calvinism. It’s a strong assertion, but I agree. John Wesley did also.
Some Calvinists suggest that God’s foreknowledge is based on His plan and/or knowledge of causal relations rather then based on the future. I thought I would look up what the church fathers had to say…
It’s refreshing to see an accurate portrayal of the positions of both Calvinism written so fairly and simply. Obviously, Xenos tends toward Arminianism which is another refreshing aspect of this lesson on Soteriology.
The lesson starts thusly: “The central issue we want to study tonight is the interplay between God’s sovereignty and human choice with regard to salvation. Do humans have free will to believe or reject the gospel? How should we understand the New Testament’s statements about election and predestination?”
For the complete lesson, go to:
Posted on February 4, 2012 by rogereolson
Some Thoughts about My Conversation with Michael Horton
I spoke about why I am “Against Calvinism” for about 15 minutes focusing on the goodness of God and how classical, “high Calvinism” is inconsistent with any meaning of “good” and “love” known to us. Then Mike spoke for about 15 minutes focusing on humanity’s depravity and God’s mercy in electing some to salvation. In other words, he also said that God is good even if not in terms of our “fairness” (because he doesn’t save everyone).
The classic King James Version of the Bible says, “It repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart” (Genesis 6:6). Elsewhere, God says, “It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments” (1 Samuel 15:11). If God is perfect, how could he repent?
First, the Bible unequivocally teaches that God is perfectly good and thus incapable of doing evil (Psalm 5:4–5; James 1:13; 3 John 1:11). As such, God’s repentance must not be understood as entailing moral guilt. Indeed, the moral perfection of the Creator sets him apart from his sin–tainted creation (Leviticus 11:44–45; 19:2; 20:7; 1 Peter 1:15–16).
I very much appreciate Olson’s book Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone who asks me for a brief defense of Classical Arminian theology.1 Neither this book nor his latest is in any way meant to be an exhaustive, exegetically detailed theology textbook in defense of Classical Arminianism. These are popular books meant for the populace, like many of John Piper’s books. In Dr.
Original post. Related Fallacies: Conflation Hasty Generalization Oversimplification Tim Prussic attempts to salvage his hopeless case after I pointed out his fallacious reasoning concerning God’s aseity. Tim makes a tenuous appeal to divine simplicity; in…
Original post. Related fallacies: Non Sequitur Equivocation Special Pleading One apparent ramification of holding to both libertarian free will and God’s omniscience is that God (apparently) derives His knowledge of our choices from us, since…
Here are some thoughts of SEA members on the relationship between Arminianism, Calvinism, Open Theism, and Universalism. Sometimes Calvinists accuse Arminianism of being the stepping stone to Open Theism or Universalism, but is this accusation…
John Wagner recently edited and republished Daniel Whedon’s Freedom of the Will: A Wesleyan response to Jonathan Edwards. The book is an outstanding refutation of Edward’s Inquiry into the Will. Whedon seeks and engages top authors and arguments like Hobbs’ argument (later adopted by Locke and Edwards) that free will is incoherent, because it either amounts to a causeless cause or infinite regression of causes. Whedon responds by pointing out 1) the will is the cause of choice (74); 2) defining indeterministic causes (38-39); and 3) explaining that indeterministic causes account for either choice (71-72). In other words, indeterministic causes explain the goal of our choices (or reason for our choices), but the will is the cause we choose this goal, not that goal. This is essentially agent causation.
In parts one and two of the authorship of sin series (as well as the post that kicked it off), we examined some of the Calvinist defenses against the charge of their making God the…
This is the second of a series on the authorship of sin that came about as a result of discussions and observations on this post. Part 1 and the first section of this post address Calvinist claims that Arminians “also make God the author of sin.”
When discussing authorship implying the origination of sin, the argument inevitably arises, “but if sin originates in people, people still originate from God, therefore sin originates from God as well!” Not quite. Beings capable of sin originated from within God, it doesn’t follow that their rebellion itself came from within Him.
Theological fatalists posit that God’s foreknowledge of future events mean that it is not possible for anything other than what happens to happen. Since God knows every event that will happen, then aren’t those events…