Friday Files, 25 January 2019

, posted by K.W. Leslie

It’s the Feast of Paul of Tarsus’s Conversion edition of the Friday Files, our weekly look back at SEA articles and links from years ago. They don’t always reflect the views of SEA, but frequently they do. SEA members’ names are in blue.

Last year! (Jan. 2018)

Still catching up on episodes of the Remonstrance podcast…

• “Reformation 500” consists of Episode #25 and Episode #26. Since 2018 was the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, the podcasters figured it was time to talk about Martin Luther’s impact on Wesleyan-Arminian theology. Ep #26 also discusses five principles for Wesleyan-Arminian reformation.

• “Arminian Unity” consists of Episode #27 and Episode #28. How there’s no actual difference between Reformed Arminianism and Wesleyan Arminianism—so Evangelical Arminians really oughta unite.

• “A Very Molinist Christmas” consists of Episode #29 and Episode #30. A discussion on the Molinist understanding of middle knowledge, whether Arminius and Wesley affirmed it, and how it’s demonstrated in both “A Christmas Carol” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

• And if you want something to read already, Mike Barlotta wrote “John Owen on Preaching the Gospel to Those Whom Christ Did Not Die For.” More analysis of Owen’s beliefs about limited atonement, and whether it limited his evangelism. (It didn’t really.)

Five years ago! (Jan. 2014)

Evan Minton, “Something for Calvinists to Chew On.” Namely that if God is sovereign the way Calvinists define sovereignty, and is so heartbroken over the lost (i.e. Moab in Jeremiah 48:28 and :31), why doesn’t he just reprogram people so they’re not lost? Why does he call for people’s repentance when all he has to do is zap ’em with irresistible grace?

• Andrew Dragos, “A Response to John Piper on, ‘Where’s the Arminian John Piper?’” Roger Olson wanted to know why somebody doesn’t stump for Arminianism like Piper stumps for Calvinism; Piper said it’s because it’s a human-centered theology which doesn’t inspire people like Calvinism. Yeah, that old slander.

Kevin Jackson, “Why Does One Person Believe in Jesus and Not Another?” Calvinists struggle with this question ’cause determinism. To the rest of us it’s quite simple: One chose to believe; one didn’t.

• Roger E. Olson, “Explaining Calvinism to Calvinists (and Others).” A lot of self-proclaimed Calvinists don’t understand or even know Calvinist beliefs. Sometimes Olson has to explain it to them.

Brian Abasciano, “Additional Notes on the FACTS Write-Up: 7 Point Arminianism.” God’s sovereignty, and human free will, are also essential Arminian beliefs. (Calvinist views on them are likewise important to Calvinism). But we all tend to fixate on the five better-known points.

Ten years ago! (Jan. 2009)

Solus Arminius, “Supralapsarianism and the Sovereignty of God.” On a popular Calvinist idea that first God decided to elect some and reprobate others, and then created humanity—not out of love, but because he really liked this keep-some-smite-some idea he had.

Ben Henshaw, “A Calvinist Perspective on ‘Jesus Loves the Little Children.’” Seems he doesn’t love all the little children of the world. [You realize the song did leave out the brown ones. Just saying. —KWL]

• An article by a four-point Calvinist, “The Saviour of All Men” [PDF], in which it’s pointed out “extreme Calvinists” try to make 1 Timothy 4:10 teach limited atonement, but that’d be wrong.

Ben Henshaw, “What Does God ‘Fore-Love’ According to Calvinism?” If God knows things only because he decreed them so, he doesn’t actually save anyone out of love. It’s just an arbitrary, impersonal process.

• Jabez Burns, The Universal Love of God and Responsibility of Man [PDF]. A General Baptist minister’s 1861 book of dialogues about the Calvinist and Arminian views of soteriology.

• George Zeller, “What Is the ‘Gift of God’?” An analysis of what Paul meant in Ephesians 2:8-9 about whether salvation or faith is the gift of God.

A.M. Mollett, “Getting Past Monergism to Helping a Perishing World.” When people get too insistent about monergism, they don’t evangelize, and people remain lost. God forbid.

• Scot McKnight, “The Warning Passages of Hebrews: A Formal Analysis and Theological Conclusions” [PDF]. The author of Hebrews warned Christians away from apostasy; stands to reason that salvation isn’t unconditional, and rejecting one’s salvation is possible.

Today: SEA members’ blogs.

That’s a lot to read and listen to, but if you’re still aching for more, we SEA members have blogs. Some of them go back even longer than the SEA archives. Check ’em out.