Friday Files, 29 Sep 17

, posted by K.W. Leslie

The Friday Files compiles posts from Arminian and other non-Calvinist bloggers from round the globe, and highlights older SEA posts. Names in green indicate SEA members. Inclusion isn’t necessarily endorsement. Blame K.W. Leslie for the brief summaries.

Lifestyle and sanctification

Michael L. Brown, Ask Dr. Brown: “No, God did not prescribe the use of cannabis in the bible.” [22 Sep 17] Contrary to the spreading claim there was hemp in the tabernacle holy oil.

Stacy J. Ross, Ramblings from Real Man’s Land:

“What is faith?” [25 Sep 17] What’s the difference between exciting, effective Christians, and the apathetic, comfortable sort? Faith.

“Faith is a foundation.” [26 Sep 17] Do you live with a sense of expectation about what God can and will do?

“Faith is fuel.” [27 Sep 17] When we trust God’s character, we act on his promises, expecting him to fulfill them.

“Faith is built.” [28 Sep 17] Our faith must always be built on the revelation of God in the scriptures.

Karl Vaters, Pivot: “For every minister who struggles with your prayer life.” [25 Sep 17] If you’re struggling with your prayer life, good: That means it’s still alive.

Theodicy and suffering

Nelson Banuchi, By the Tree:

“A Christian’s troubling question #1: The unreached.” [23 Sep 17] How is it fair for God to judge North Koreans if they never have the chance to hear the gospel?

“A troubling question #2: Why tragedy?” [24 Sep 17] How can we trust God when horrible things happen to devout Christians?

Evan Minton, Cerebral Faith:

“Tackling the problem of evil, part 1: The logical version.” [20 Sep 17] If God’s omnipotent and good, why is there yet evil?

“—part 2: The free will defense.” [21 Sep 17] In a universe with free will, evil is inevitably possible.

“—part 3: The butterfly effect.” [22 Sep 17] Perhaps God doesn’t (appear to) intervene because suffering is the path to an ideal outcome.

“—part 4: Suffering as God’s megaphone.” [23 Sep 17] What of those people who came to Christ as a result of suffering?

“—part 5: Suffering as character development.” [24 Sep 17] Our virtues and their development are usually the product of confronting evil.

“—part 6: Tipping the scales in God’s favor.” [25 Sep 17] The universe’s existence as evidence of God’s existence.

“—part 7: The scale leans even more.” [26 Sep 17] Other evidence of God’s existence.

“—part 8: The emotional problem.” [27 Sep 17] For those who are truly suffering, this is far from a mere intellectual problem.

Stacy J. Ross, Ramblings from Real Man’s Land: “God brings good out of suffering.” [22 Sep 17] Sovereignty doesn’t mean everything that happens is God’s will, but he is able to turn every circumstance into a win.

Theology and history

Leighton Flowers (Traditionalist), Soteriology 101:

“Why 1 Cor. 2:14 doesn’t teach ‘total inability.’” [23 Sep 17] Why won’t people accept the things of God’s Spirit? Divine decree, or free will?

“Saving ‘sovereignty.’” [24 Sep 17] Sovereignty means rightful control, not despotism—as one Calvinist correctly noted.

James M. Leonard, Arminian Baptist: “Eternal security and the early Baptists, Free(will) Baptists, & northern Baptists.” [22 Sep 17] While southern Baptists began to emphasize the Calvinist doctrine of unconditional eternal security, northern Baptists muted the point and trended towards conditional perseverance.

Calvinists behaving badly

Becky Castle Miller, Jesus Creed: “Jane’s story and how the leaders failed her.” [25 Sep 17] A rape victim was expelled by The Master’s University for “breaking their honor code.” A reminder for us all on how NOT to respond when someone brings us a report of abuse.


The Babylon Bee (Calvinist): “New Calvinist Baskin-Robbins offers customers one preselected flavor to choose from.” [28 Sep 17] Oh, they still have 31 flavors, but only one has your name on it.

Videos and podcasts

Vin Artese, Remonstrance: “Episode 24: Sanctification (part 2).” [26 Sep 17] The “middle” and “longer way” of sanctification, compared with John Wesley and Phoebe Palmer’s views.

Biblical exposition

Michael L. Brown, Ask Dr. Brown: “What Jesus really meant when he spoke of the ‘days of Noah.’” [24 Sep 17] Did he mean the wickedness of the present day? Scary weather? Space aliens? [Mt 24.37-39, Lk 17.26-30]

Ed Jarrett, A Clay Jar:

“The resurrection and the life.” [21 Sep 11] Jesus’s remarkable claim, and promise of life beyond death. [Jn 11.25-26]

“Loving human praise.” [22 Sep 11] Jesus calls us to come out of the herd and walk with him. [Jn 12.43]

“A new command.” [23 Sep 11] How did Jesus love his disciples? How can we love one another like that? [Jn 13.34]

“The only way.” [24 Sep 11] That Jesus is the only way is considered too exclusivist in our culture. But all other ways end in disaster. [Jn 14.6]

“Remaining in Christ.” [25 Sep 11] A branch connected to the vine will be fruitful. Are we connected? [Jn 15.5]

“The Advocate.” [26 Sep 11] We might imagine we’d rather have Jesus physically present, but Jesus tells us the Holy Spirit is better. [Jn 16.7]

“A prayer for unity.” [27 Sep 11] How can we individuals experience the Father and Son’s unity? [Jn 17.20-21]

“What is truth?” [28 Sep 11] Sometimes truth is relative, but there is such a thing as absolute truth, and that’s Jesus. [Jn 18.38]

K.W. Leslie, Christ Almighty!:

“The Wheat and Weeds story.” [6 Sep 17] The field is the world. Not just the church, as John Calvin claimed. [Mt 13.24-30, 36-43]

“The Mustard Seed story.” [25 Sep 17] Mustard seeds aren’t actually the smallest of all seeds, nor do mustard plants actually grow into trees. So what’s Jesus actually doing in this parable? [Mk 4.30-32, Mt 13.31-32, Lk 13.18-19]

“The Yeast in Dough story.” [27 Sep 17] The kingdom’s like a woman mixing yeast into 80 pounds of dough. That’s an awful lot of dough. [Mt 13.33, Lk 13.20-21]

“The Hidden Treasure, and the Valuable Pearl stories.” [28 Sep 17] The kingdom’s like finding hidden treasure. Although Dispensationalists claim Jesus is the one who finds it. [Mt 13.44-46]

“The Fish-Sorting story.” [29 Sep 17] The kingdom’s like sorting good and rotten fish, and burning the rotten. [Mt 13.47-50]

D.V. Wayman, Ironstrikes: “Uncle Buddy: Fruit bearing.” [24 Sep 17] The difference between no, some, more, and much fruit. [Jn 15]

From the SEA archives

SEA admins and our discussion group:

“Lots of talk about angry Calvinists going on.” [19 Sep 11] Two then-recent articles on the special problem of harsh Calvinists.

“Is faith a work created by man?” [3 Oct 11] On the Calvinist claim about the Arminian view of faith.

“Arminianism vs. Calvinism comparison chart (FACTS vs. TULIP acronyms).” [5 Oct 11] Just letting you know it now comes in handy chart form.

“Calvinistic determinism and the thoughts of demons.” [10 Oct 11] Did God ordain demons’ thoughts too?

Solus Arminius: “Dutch Calvinists against religious freedom: Synod of Dort.” [29 Sep 11] Though Calvinists laud the synod, they should be ashamed of the tyrannical mindset behind it.

Ben Henshaw: “Does scripture describe two types of apostasy?” [28 Sep 11] And is backsliding really a form of apostasy?

A.M. Mallett: “The liberalism straw man of young, restless Reformers.” [6 Oct 11] The false claim that Arminianism is part of a slippery slope to atheism.

Matthew Murphy: “Quotable quotes—Tozer on prevenient grace.” [20 Sep 11] How God prepares the heart to receive.

Roger E. Olson: “Finally arrived.” [26 Sep 11] Olson got his advance copy of “Against Calvinism,” and wrote about its purpose.

Derek Ouellette: “Interview with Ken Stewart by Derek Ouellette” [23 Sep 11] Author of “Ten Myths About Calvinism,” Stewart contributes to the dialogue between Calvinists and non-Calvinists.