Romans 1.16-17, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it…
In this post I give my autobiographical and intellectual reasons for rejecting Calvinism
This is a post I have been thinking about and working on for quite some time. It is not meant to be an exhaustive critique of Calvinism or an argument for the purity of non-Calvinist theology. It is a response to the genuine inquiries of those who ask why I no longer hold to the Calvinistic “doctrines of grace” and “sovereignty of God.” Confessional intellectual autobiography and polemical discourse are the genres in which I write, and hopefully it will be apparent at which places I vacillate between the two. I have made a concerted effort to downplay the use of technical jargon, though some will be necessary. When words idiosyncratic to the issues emerge I will do my best to explain them, but I plead for grace in advance for any presumed vocabulary that may be foreign to the gentle reader.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life- 2 the life…
Each weekend SEA will publish a devotional, typically on Saturday but sometimes on Sunday. The purpose of the devotional is to show how an Arminian understanding of the text enriches one not just theologically, but practically as well. The first series of devotionals will be coming from 1 John, either from the ESV or, more often, the author’s own translation.
This is just a note to clear up something that could be confusing about the site at the moment:
Only SEA members who will be contributing to the content of this site need to create an account. And only members of SEA are allowed to contribute to the site. If you are interested in joining SEA, please see our “About Us” page and our statement of faith. Then, if you would like to join, please contact us with at least your first and last names and request to join the society. You may contact us through our contact page or at societyofevangelicalarminians @ gmail dot com.
On another note, regular blog posts should begin sometime this week.
Praise be to God!
For those well acquainted with the Calvinist-Arminian debate, Reformation Arminianism (or Classic Arminianism) is a theological system which emphasizes universal atonement within a framework of Calvinistic total depravity and the penal satisfaction view of the atonement (explained in the paragraphs below).
For those less acquainted with such matters, Reformation Arminianism is first of all a way of understanding how salvation is accomplished within the main lines of Protestantism, which tends to emphasize God’s free offer of salvation to all of humanity rather than a deterministic/predestinarian approach which makes salvation an impossibility for the great majority of humanity.
Calvinist churches are but a small minority; most evangelical churches are Arminian or semi-Arminian. However, the Calvinist resurgence is producing full Five Point Calvinist pastors looking for work. The resurgence is also prompting Arminian and semi-Arminian pastors to embrace Calvinism. This dynamic is the source of considerable tension in the life of the local church, not to mention in the heart of such pastors as they hold to a view which is often at odds with their churches.
Of course, this is not a problem for those Calvinistic pastors who minister within the confines denominations which are pre-committed to Calvinism. However, this is a huge problem for Calvinistic pastors who minister in theologically mixed denominations. Such denominations would include Southern Baptist Convention, General Baptist Conference, Evangelical Free Church, American Baptist Churches and others, not to mention the many independent churches.
by James M. Leonard
Roger Olson has written a helpful volume entitled, Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities. Basically, he sets the record straight on a number of issues where Calvinist polemic has falsely depicted Arminian theology. He does this in a consistent and systematic way, first by detailing the false and extreme allegations made by mainstream Calvinists, and then refuting them by examining the theological trajectory on the given topic beginning with Arminius and passing through his earliest followers, then Wesley, and then the 19th century Wesleyan theologians, and then concluding with contemporary Arminian theologians.*
Robert E. Picirilli, in his excellent work Grace, Faith, and Free Will, broaches the subject of Divine Foreknowledge of future events.
He’s very clear on the subject, and convincing. He draws from Arminius himself and from Richard Watson, although he admits that the 19th century theologian’s style is belabored. I’m not sure what is original either to Dr. Picirilli or to his sources.
In particular, Dr. Picirilli cites the simple illustration that we ourselves know with certainty specific events which occurred yesterday, but that none of us would claim that our present knowledge of yesterday’s events caused those things to happen or that such knowledge limited our choices when we were faced with them. In the same way, God’s knowledge of the future doesn’t cause events to happen or limit the human’s freedom to choose to do one thing or another.
This article was taken from http://www.imarc.cc/apolg/history7.html
Please click on the attachment to view Robert Hamilton, “The Order of Faith and Election in John’s Gospel: You Do Not Believe Because You Are Not My Sheep”.