Recent Articles

Introducing Dr. Brian Abasciano’s “Clearing Up Misconceptions About Corporate Election”

, posted by Ben Henshaw

SEA is excited to announce the addition to our site of Dr. Brian Abasciano’s recently published article Clearing Up Misconceptions About Corporate Election which argues forcefully and compellingly for the corporate view of election. The theological concept of corporate election has been gaining force in modern scholarship for quite some time. It is widely held among scholars that a primarily corporate election is the election described in the OT. It is on this basis that Dr. Abasciano and others argue that this corporate view of election is the view that Paul and the other apostles would naturally carry over into the NT. This is not just speculation but is strongly supported by the language of election used especially by Paul, not least in Romans and Ephesians.

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Friday Files: Billy Birch’s “Point by Point with John Piper on Arminianism”

, posted by Martin Glynn

Ah John Piper: Wonderful pastor; fairly ignorant on historical expressions of Christianity. We’ve posted often on his misconceptions of what Arminianism is, but here is a wonderful post directly going over some things that he said two years ago. We continue to pray that Piper will learn what his brothers in the Lord actually believe.

Point by Point with John Piper on Arminianism

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Do Calvinists Read the Same Bible?

, posted by SEA

Here is an exchange that took place in our private discussion group (edited a bit):

One SEA member said:

I read the following during my daily reading time today.

FIRST: David was being pursued by Saul. So, David asked the Lord that,
if he goes down to Keilah, will Saul also come down there, and will
they deliver David into Saul’s hand? The Lord answered yes.

So, what did David do? “So David and his men, who numbered about six
hundred, set out and left Keilah; they moved around from one place to
another” (1 Sam. 23:10-13).

So what we find here is that God knew WHAT WOULD happen IF David went
to Keilah – he would meet Saul there, for God foreknew that Saul would
be there, and that those in Keilah would hand him over to Saul. BUT
THIS DID NOT HAPPEN. David left the area of Keilah. God knew WHAT
WOULD happen, even that which DID NOT happen. God foreknows future
contingencies, and is not directing every event by a strict necessity
or predetermined decree.

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Scholarly Resources Added – Steve Witzki

, posted by Kevin Jackson

We have added several new scholarly resources on the topics of faith and perseverance. These have been written and / or compiled by Arminian Steve Witzki. Be sure to check them out!

Arminianism–The Conditional Preservation of the Saints or Conditional Security (Wikipedia Article)

James Arminius: The Security of the Believer and the Possibility of Apostasy

The Opinions of the Remonstrants (1618)

John Wesley: “Serious Thoughts Upon the Perseverance of the Saints” (1751)

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A Problem for Open Theism

, posted by Kevin Jackson

Open Theists deny God’s foreknowledge because they believe that if the future is known it is determined. Calvinists and Open Theists agree on a principle of foreknowledge. If the future is certain, it is necessary.

Calvinists affirm the exhaustive foreknowledge of God, and thereby deny the possibility of libertarian free will. Open Theists take the other route. They affirm libertarian free will, and thereby deny the possibility of God’s exhaustive foreknowledge.

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Proof-texting Presuppositions with John 6:44, 65

, posted by Eric Landstrom

Proof-texting Presuppositions with John 6:44, 65

    John 6:44 and 6:65 are commonly used as proof-texts that more often than not reveal the exegete’s presuppositions that are imposed upon the Gospel According to John than I believe John the Evangelist hoped to present in his Gospel. John 6:65 reads, “And he said, ‘Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father,’ ” and John 6:44 reads, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

    From reading these two texts, where does one find evidence from these texts to make the following Calvinist assertions?

      Is predestination found in the text? No. Only if the reader pours it in.

      Is individual election found in the text? No. Only if the reader pours it in.

      Is eternal security found in the text? No. Only if the reader pours it in.

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New Book: John Calvin Goes to Berkeley

, posted by Richard Coords

What happens when a dogmatic Calvinist attempts “Reformation” within an on-campus, Christian organization of college students, who are relatively inexperienced in the Free Will vs. Predestination controversy? What happens when the dogmatic Calvinist becomes even more vigilant, when pressured by his aggressive Calvinist Pastor, using the threat of withholding his recommendation for admission to the Calvinistic, Westminster Theological Seminary? What happens when the inexperienced, non-Calvinist students take up the noble challenge of believing in God for an answer to the age old mystery on Predestination? What happens when the pressures of college life gets in the way of their research? What if that college is the University of California at Berkeley, or more affectionately known as “Beserkeley”? Find out, in the new book, “John Calvin Goes To Berkeley”?

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Enjoying The Good News Of Christ

, posted by SEA

[The following post was authored by Ben Henshaw, and has undergone some revision with the author’s permission for inclusion here.]

Calvinists often argue that God’s love has failed if Christ’s atonement was made for all and yet not all are saved. I find it strange that Calvinists, who are so quick to criticize Arminians for holding to a man centered religion, argue that unless man responds to God’s love in saving faith, then His love for them has somehow failed. How is it that they feel comfortable equating the success or failure of God’s love with man’s response to that love? Is the nature or validity of God’s love dependant on man’s response? Doesn’t that seem a little man centered?

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Gerald Owens, The Incarnation as Divine Self-Defintion

, posted by geraldowens

Fundamentally, salvation is very simple. In 1 John 4:14-15 we read:

14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.[NIV]

This central claim of Christianity is the most controversial: that a man who looked like everyone else and had a body just like everyone else’s that died like everyone else’s, was God. To deny that claim it is to depart from Orthodoxy Christianity as seen by both Calvinists and Arminians. However, its implications call into question some of the core assumptions of Calvinism, for what definition of God permits Jesus to be God?

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Interesting Links 12-20-09

, posted by Kevin Jackson

Ben Witherington has Handel’s Messiah, the Story Behind the Classic. He notes that, “John Wesley was one of the ones who saw an early performance of this work. In his Journal he commented “there were some parts that were affecting, but I doubt it has staying power”.”

The history of Hark the Herald Angels Sing. The original lyrics were written by Charles Wesley and then modified by George Whitefield (which reportedly made Charles furious). “Hark! how all the welkin rings”, perhaps Whitefield was right on this one. It’s good to see that a combined Arminian / Calvinist effort turned out a great classic Christmas song, even if Charles was displeased.

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The Lazy Man’s Guide to Refuting Edwards and Compatibilism

, posted by SEA

Recently we posted a list of resources that refute Jonathan Edwards and Calvinistic compatibilism and defend genuine free will (http://evangelicalarminians.org/Determinism-Refuting-Edwards-and-Calvinist-Compatibilism-and-Arguments-against-Genuine-Free-Will). Some of them are pretty hefty. So if you would like to get to the heart of the debate by reading something relatively brief that refutes the main thrust of compatibilism as it is frequently presented by Calvinists today, then take a look at

Thomas Ralston on Freedom of the Will Part 9: The Doctrine of Motives
(http://evangelicalarminians.org/node/328).

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Outcomes, Foreknowledge, and Free Will

, posted by WilliamBirch

Posted by Robert (submitted to SEA on 10-21-09). I believe that I have come upon an insight that, though very simple to understand, does a great job of unlocking the supposed problem of the compatibility…

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Al Jolson vs. Toby Mac Theology

, posted by SEA

1) Calvinist theology found in the opening lyrics to a famous song by Al Jolson:

YOU MADE ME LOVE YOU

You made me love you
I didn’t want to do it
I didn’t want to do it
You made me want you
And all the time you knew it
I guess you always knew it

You made me happy sometimes
Sometimes you made me glad
But there were times, dear
You made me feel so bad

2) Better theology by Toby Mac:

I WAS MADE TO LOVE YOU (chorus)

That I was made to love You
I was made to find You
I was made just for You
Made to adore You
I was made to love and be loved by You
You were here before me
You were waiting on me
And You said You’d keep me never would You leave me
I was made to love
And be loved by You

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