Once again it’s time for the Friday Files, SEA’s weekly roundup of older posts, plus articles found round the blogosphere thought to be of interest to those interested in Arminian/Calvinist issues. And since it’s St. Polycarp’s Day, it has the added feature that if you light it on fire, it smells like incense. (Okay, not really. And that story’s kinda icky, actually. “Mmm, burning martyr. Martyrlicious.”)
Names in green indicate our SEA members. Inclusion on this page does not mean endorsement: Some of the articles are Calvinist, y’know. What? Yep. ’Cause they’re of interest. But not all the views expressed are that of SEA and its members. Blame K.W. Leslie for the brief summaries.
From the SEA archives:
- Christopher Chapman. “Calvinism’s bold accusation: Making a Calvinist.”
[11 Mar 2013] Calvinists regularly claim they didn’t wanna be Calvinist, but they were convinced the Calvinist view is the only belief they’re permitted… so they suppress their consciences and commit to, bluntly, coercion.
- Thomas R. Edgar. “The meaning of προγινώσκω (‘foreknowledge’).”
[Spring 2003, PDF] We know God foreknows things, but we don’t objectively understand how foreknowledge works. Time for a little word study.
- Mark A. Ellis. “Introduction to The Arminian Confession of 1621.”
[Jun 2005, PDF] The preface to Ellis’s translation of the Arminian Confession.
- Phil Fernandes. “On Calvinism and Arminianism.” [6 Jan 2010, video] An interview with Fernandes: The bible definitely teaches sovereignty, predestination, and foreknowledge… and that God wants to save all, but we can resist God’s salvation. (Meaning Calvinists define those words improperly.)
- Daniel Gracely.
- • “Does God control everyone’s heart?: Understanding Proverbs 21:1.”
[2006, document] Since God controls a king’s heart, Calvinists imagine this as convincing proof of his sovereignty. But let’s look closer at how God moved Cyrus of Persia to act.
- • “The limits of a sovereign God: Understanding Job 1-2.”
[2006, document] Calvinists imagine God is the cause of all, including disaster, but the first chapters of Job state otherwise.
- D. Fisk Harris, The Gospel Truth. Calvinism: Contrary to God’s Word and Man’s Moral Nature.
 The full text of Harris’s book, in which he defines and refutes Calvinism.
- Gregory H. Harris. “Does God deceive? The ‘deluding influence’ of Second Thessalonians 2:11.”
[Spring 2005, PDF] Passages in the scriptures imply as part of judging the world, God engages in deception or trickery. So how’s this behavior not evil of God?
- John Mark Hicks. “Righteousness of saving faith: Arminian versus Remonstrant grace.”
[1991, PDF] Remonstrant leader Philip van Limborch’s view of atonement isn’t consistent with James Arminius’s: Limborch believed our faith merits our salvation.
- Bruce Hollenbach. “Lest they should turn and be forgiven: Irony.”
[Jul 1983, PDF] When Jesus quoted the LORD in Isaiah 6, he (and the LORD) meant it ironically. Not literally, as determinists insist.
- Roger E. Olson.
- • “My biggest problem with Calvin/Calvinism.”
[15 Mar 2013] Namely how Calvin reimagined Satan, God’s adversary, as God’s instrument—and claimed this somehow glorifies God.
- • “Q&A with Dr. Olson on Calvinism & Arminianism.”
[29 Mar 2013, video] Olson discusses 30 common questions on the topic at City on a Hill Church, Seattle, Wash.
- Justin Taylor (Calvinist), The Gospel Coalition. “Dear Arminians.”
[30 Nov 2010] ’Cause some Calvinists remember that Arminians and Calvinists are sisters and brothers in Christ. Or should.
- John Tierney, The New York Times. “Do you have free will? Yes, it’s the only choice.”
[21 Mar 2011] Not a Christian article, but a secular philosophical one: From a purely pragmatic standpoint, the belief in free will is better for society than determinism.
- Gordon C.I. Wong. “Make their ears dull: Irony in Isaiah 6:9-10.”
[2008, PDF] It appears Isaiah was sent to dull people’s ears, but it’s more accurate to say the LORD was being ironic in his commission.
Recently on the interwebs:
- Wes Bredenhof (Calvinist), Reformed Perspective. “Billy Graham (1918-2018): The last of the great revivalists.”
[21 Feb 2018] An opinion-filled recap of Graham’s life: The author couldn’t help but grouse about Graham’s overt Arminianism, and willingness to work with Catholics. [And the headline is kind of a premature proclamation.]
- Bruxy Cavey. “Gospel cheat sheet.”
[4 Feb 2018, PDF] Wanna share the gospel? This condenses it to 30 words. (Which he unpacks, in case you gotta.)
- Leighton Flowers (Traditionalist), Soteriology 101. “Does God show favoritism?”
[21 Feb 2018] ’Cause that’s what some have deduced, based on the way God chose to reveal the good news.
- Andrew Ford (Calvinist), The Babylon Bee. “Calvinist comes forward during altar call to correct pastor’s theology.”
[20 Feb 2018] Hardly a new or unique experience. Maybe that’s the satire?
- J.D. Greear (Calvinist), ChurchLeaders. “Don’t be a fundamentalist (Calvinist or otherwise).”
[22 Feb 2018] By which Greear means the popular definition of “fundamentalist” as “uncharitably narrow”: Don’t drive away fellow Christians just because they’re not in your preferred group. It’s immature.
- John A. Mays, RC Talk. “Calvinism, Arminianism, and Molinism… oh my!”
[21 Feb 2018, audio] The differences aren’t dealbreakers, but they do talk about free will and losing one’s salvation—so learn what you believe, wouldya? (He got wrong what we believe about depravity though. Bonus: AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” is his intro.)
- Evan Minton (Molinist), Cerebral Faith. “Q&A: The can/won’t model and 1 Timothy 1:18-20.”
[17 Feb 2018] If Christians are able to (but won’t, ’cause perseverance) lose their salvation, what about Hymeneaus and Alexander shipwrecking their faith?
- Roger E. Olson, My Evangelical Arminian Theological Musings. “Would you be mad at God if he saved everyone?”
[22 Feb 2018] Not saying universalism is true; just gauging the “temperature” of a person’s Christianity. Namely their grace.
- John Piper (Calvinist), Desiring God. “In what sense did Christ die for the non-elect?”
[14 Feb 2018] Can’t get away from the verses which say Christ died for all. But really God’s just saying that so people don’t feel excluded. Privately, secretly, atonement’s just for us Christians.
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