Recent Articles

Brian Abasciano on Calling

, posted by SEA

This is an excerpt from Brian Abasciano, “Paul’s Use of the Old Testament in Romans 9.1-9: An Intertextual and Theological Exegesis” (Ph.D. thesis; University of Aberdeen, 2004). This doctoral thesis is available in full here at…

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Interesting Links 11-29-09

, posted by Kevin Jackson

Dr. Jeffrey E. Greenway, a UMC Pastor gives a review of the Wesley Study Bible. He comments on the Calvinist resurgence. “In my opinion, the trend of the majority of modern evangelicalism has a Calvinist/Reformed bent…However, I also believe that the world and culture in which most of us find ourselves is ripe for a resurgence of a Wesleyan approach to faith and practice.”

Looks like Bill O’Reilly is not a Calvinist. In this video he mentions (in passing) some of the problems of Calvinism. Go to 2:45 for the pithy version. (HT: Contemporary Calvinist)

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Exciting News in the Addition of Two New Resources

, posted by SEA

We have added two new resources to the site. The first to mention is the really exciting addition: The Puritan Arminian John Goodwin’s (1593-1665) magisterial Redemption Redeemed, which some believe to be the best defense of Arminianism ever written, a powerful, classic, comprehensive, biblical defense of five point Reformation Arminian theology weighing in at 740 pages. You can find it here. We want to thank John Wagner for bearing the cost of getting this important work into electronic files and making them available to us.

The second resource is an excellent concise summary of the corporate election view of election, predestination, and foreknowledge, which maye be viewed here.

We hope that these resources will be helpful to you as you seek God’s truth.

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John Calvin on Limiting Our Understanding of God to His Self-revelation in Scripture

, posted by Ben Henshaw

“Let us beware lest our words and thoughts go beyond what the Word of God tells us…We must leave to God His own knowledge,…and conceive Him as He makes Himself known to us, without attempting to discover anything about His nature apart from His Word.” (Quoted in The Story of Christianity Vol. 2, by Justo L.Gonzalez, pg. 61)

If only John Calvin had followed his own advice and discovered God through His self-revelation alone, rather than positing a secret divine will that contradicts God’s will as revealed in Scripture and making “secret decrees” the foundation of his soteriology, decrees that the Bible nowhere mentions or describes.

link to original post and comments

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Interesting Links 11-01-09

, posted by Kevin Jackson

The Spokane Examiner has an article entitled: A Methodist’s Take on Predestination and Free Will. (HT: Wesley Wong)

Richard Coords takes a look at a dissertation that explores the potential Gnostic influence on Augustine’s doctrine of Predestination.

Blogger Josh Taylor has an excellent piece on Justification by Faith.

Calvinist Kevin DeYoung asks: Can God Know Everything and Still Give Us Free Will? Be sure to see Adam O’s comment.

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Gerald Owens, Exodus 34:5-7

, posted by geraldowens

“Why do you love me?” This question from the beloved strikes terror in the hearts of the unprepared lover, for the answer will be taken with more seriousness than the response to “what movie will we go to tonight?” This is because the answer also answers questions like “How much do you know me? Do you value the same personal qualities that I do? What are you after? What is it that you truly admire in a person, and what does that say about you? Have you been paying attention to the ‘deep me’ that determines what I reveal of myself?” Wise is the lover who has previously asked the beloved the question “Tell me about yourself!”, for in the beloved’s answer is the mine from which the lover digs out the answer to this most significant of “why” questions!

In Exodus 33, Moses asks God to show him His glory. His request is answered in Exodus 34:5-7.

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Gerald Owens, “Defining” God

, posted by geraldowens

How does one define God? For both Arminians and Calvinists, God is defined by how he saves. Calvinists emphasize God’s sovereignty by way of his power and right to save and damn, while Arminians emphasize God’s mercy and good will in extending the offer of salvation to everyone. Put another way, Calvinists define God in terms of His power while Arminians define Him in terms of His generosity.

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Brian Abasciano’s “Paul’s Use of the Old Testament in Romans 9:1-9: An Intertextual and Theological Exegesis”

, posted by SEA

We just wanted to alert you to the fact that we now have Brian Abasciano’s doctoral dissertation available on our site: “Paul’s Use of the Old Testament in Romans 9:1-9: An Intertextual and Theological Exegesis” (link).

This is the author’s doctoral dissertation, which has been published in a shortened form under the same title by T & T Clark in its Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement series and in its Library of New Testament Studies series: Brian J. Abasciano, Paul’s Use of the Old Testament in Romans 9.1-9: An Intertextual and Theological Exegesis (JSNTSup/LNTS, 301; London: T & T Clark, 2005).

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Friday Files: McCant’s A Wesleyan Interpretation of Romans 5-8

, posted by Godismyjudge

Jerry McCant’s Interpretation of Romans 5-8 is in response to a request to provide a Wesleyan view of Romans 6-8. He expands the scope to cover chapter 5, since he finds a close connection between 5 and 6. While I personally didn’t like McCant’s not finding original sin in Romans 5 or his saying Paul’s analogies in Romans 6 & 7 have problems, McCant does make some interesting points. Overall, McCant does not find a Wesleyan ‘second work of grace’ in the passage.

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Why Is Calvin Controversial?

, posted by Richard Coords

Doug Wilson, Mark Talbot, and Sam Storms are three speakers at the upcoming Desiring God conference, and each answer the question, “Why was Calvin controversial?”

I’ll admit, I was stunned by these three interviews. I think that the problem is that they were each presented with a complex question, and simply shot from the hip. The result was quite astounding.

Doug Wilson posits: “Calvin is associated with so much controversy because he was a good man and a faithful servant.”

If you asked the current Watchtower, Mormon or Seventh Day Adventist leadership about why their cult leaders were controversial, would you expect them to answer differently?

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Dilemmas of Calvinism

, posted by SEA

Some problems with Calvinism based on the book, The Five Dilemmas of Calvinism by Calvinist Craig. R. Brown:

First, the chapter on Responsibility emphasizes that God decrees everything, controls everything and is the primary cause of everything. Brown says that God “pre-determines all human actions.” (p. 43) Then, in his chapter on Evil he says that God “allows” sinful men to do evil deeds. How do those assertions fit together? Given what Brown said before, must not Calvinism say that God not only “allows” but also “pre-determines” men’s evil deeds? It would seem so. Why slip back into Arminian language of God “allowing” something when he had already said (together with all Calvinists generally) that God decrees and pre-determines them? Is this a failure of nerve?

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ARMINIUS 400: The Legacy of Jacob Arminius

, posted by WilliamBirch

The apostle Paul instructs us to render to all what is due them: honor to whom honor is due (Rom. 12:7). This day, October 19, 2009, we honor the life of Jacob Arminius, who died four hundred years ago. This third-generation Reformer was a gift to God’s Church ~ respected by many, even by his theological opponents. What follows is a little recorded history of the year prior to Arminius’s death, and testimonies concerning Arminius’s life, legacy and godliness.

First, a little history is in order. It would appear as though God, nine years before Arminius’s death, was preparing his successor, as He had done with Theodore Beza respecting John Calvin. Carl Bangs records:

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Interesting Links 10-18-09

, posted by Kevin Jackson

Dr. Tim Pierce (pastor and professor) is doing an ongoing series about his journey out of Calvinism – what originally attracted him to it, and why he is no longer a Calvinist. ” Part 1, Part2, Part3

Pastor George Zeller writes about the danger of teaching that Christ died only for the elect.

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Arminius on the Gift of Salvation

, posted by Ben Henshaw

In Arminius’ “Apology” he tackles several charges that have been brought against him by his critics and addresses them by both demonstrating the inaccuracy of the chargers and bringing clarity to his own thoughts on various theological questions. In the following article Arminius explains the proper understanding of faith and salvation as gifts from God and the true nature of Biblical grace, while reminding his critics that the issue is not one of the need for God’s grace, but whether or not this grace should be seen as irresistible. It contains the wonderful and oft repeated analogy of a beggar receiving alms to the sinner receiving the free gift of salvation.

    ARTICLE 27 (7.)

    Faith is not the pure gift of God, but depends partly on the grace of God, and partly on the powers of Free Will; that, if a man will, he may believe or not believe.

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What Is Classical Arminianism?

, posted by Martin Glynn

I’m frustrated with how so many treat Arminianism today. Many Calvinists have so poisoned the well that most people have no idea what Arminianism is. When they enter the debate, they allow the likes of J. I. Packer and John Piper to define what the Arminian stance is, who had gone to Spurgeon, Owen, and Van Til, who in turn were describing Finney’s beliefs instead of actual Arminianism. But no one seems to go to Arminians to find out what Arminianism is, and so everyone seems to have the wrong idea. Even those who truly are Arminian think that they are something in the middle because they have such a poor understanding of what we stand for.

Let me explain a few things real quick about what Arminianism is:

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