Recent Articles

Robert Chisholm’s Excellent Article on Hardening in the Old Testament

, posted by SEA

We do not always announce in the the blog the addition of specific articles to the site’s article database. (We regularly add articles to the site, and upon being added they appear in the “Recent Articles” box on the right side of our home page. After an article is pushed off the recent articles list by newer articles, it can only be found through the topical index or through the site’s search function.) But we wanted to draw your attention to a particularly excellent article that we are adding today by Robert Chisholm Jr. on hardening in the Old Testament. I think it includes the best overall single treatment of the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart available, though it covers more than just the case of Pharaoh. We want to thank the journal that published the article, Bibliotheca Sacra, for granting us permission to make the article available, as well as a few other articles that have appeared in the journal and are relevant to the Arminian/Calvinist debate.

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Robert Hamilton, “Faith and Works”

, posted by Patron

What is the difference between the two? Are both needed for salvation? Here is an excellent article by Robert Hamilton explaining the issue. Click the attachment for the full article: faithandworks

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Norman Geisler, Entry on “Free Will” in the Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics

, posted by SEA

This article was take from http://www.johnankerberg.org/Articles/theological-dictionary/TD1100W3.htm

Free Will
by Dr. Norman Geisler
(from Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker Books, 1999)

Concepts of the nature of human choice fall within three categories: determinism, indeterminism, and self-determinism. A determinist looks to actions caused by another, an indeterminist to uncaused actions, and a self-determinist to self-caused actions.

Determinism

There are two basic kinds of determinism: naturalistic and theistic. Naturalistic determinism is most readily identified with behavioral psychologist B. F. Skinner. Skinner held that all human behavior is determined by genetic and behavioral factors. Humans simply act according to what has been programmed into them.

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Roger Olson Joins Scot McKnight in Taking It to the Neo-Reformed

, posted by SEA

One of our members, well known Arminian theologian Roger Olson, has weighed in on the controversy stirred up by Scot McKnight’s recent comments about those he has labeled the “Neo-Reformed” (see our recent post about McKnight’s comments). Roger has made his view available for posting here at SEA. Here are his comments:

    I appreciate and agree with everything Scot McKnight has written in his 
blog postings “Who are the NeoReformed?” (See his blog The Jesus 
Creed.) He was very judicious about naming names. Namely, naming names 
would only inflame the controversy and make things worse. “If the shoe 
fits [someone]….”

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Scot McKnight–Taking It to the Neo-Reformed

, posted by SEA

Distinguished NT scholar and non-Calvinist, Scot McKnight, has been blogging about the most troubling element of the Calvinist resurgence, which he labels “the neo-Reformed”. Here are links to his first and second posts: http://blog.beliefnet.com/jesuscreed/2009/02/who-are-the-neoreformed.html http://blog.beliefnet.com/jesuscreed/2009/02/who-are-the-neoreformed-2.html…

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I’m Free and God Is Still Soveriegn

, posted by Martin Glynn

Over and over and over again I am told that I do not truly believe that God is sovereign. Sure, I think I believe it, but God cannot really be sovereign if He doesn’t minutely control every little thing that comes to pass. Besides, didn’t King George’s sovereignty mean that he caused each blade of grass in his kingdom to move? I digress.

My intent here is to define as succinctly as possible my personal perspective as to the relationship between God’s sovereignty and our freedom to choose. This does not define the position of all Arminians, or even all the members of SEA. This is my understanding. Let any flaw you find be on my head and no others. Let us begin.

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Robert Hamilton. “Allegiance. What Must I Do To Be Saved?”

, posted by Patron

Mr. Hamilton discusses the necessity of Allegiance to Christ.

“What exactly must I do in order to be accepted by God? What are the conditions for salvation?
There is a tendency today for us to answer that question based more on the catch-phrases and metaphors we have accumulated over the years from sermons and Christian writings than on the inspired Scriptures themselves. The result is that we sometimes go beyond what the Bible teaches God requires of us for salvation, or miss the biblical focus entirely.”

Please click on the attachments to view all of “Allegiance. What Must I Do To Be Saved?” Parts 1 and 2.

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Friday Files: Moore’s Commentary on Romans 9

, posted by Godismyjudge

In Bob Moore’s Calvinism, Ten Little Caveats, he provides a step-by-step analysis of Romans 9, and he contrasts his view with John Piper’s. He first admits that Romans 9 is difficult to interpret and we need to lay down our presuppositions and try to put ourselves in Paul’s shoes. He points out that the key issue of the chapter is God’s way vs. man’s way. Paul addresses the Jewish challenge that God must require works for salvation, by showing that God chose to save through faith.

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The General Theory of Relativity and the Nature of God Pokes Openness in the Eye

, posted by Eric Landstrom

It is argued by proponents of Openness as well as Calvinists that claim Openness is the logical conclusion for Arminianism that in order for people to be free the future must be somehow open. Their argument claims that if God’s knowledge of future unactualized contingencies is perfectly known, then creaturely freedom is a farce and whether we like it or not, our Lord has effectively predestinated all of creation. Countering the argument Arminians point out that simply knowing for sure that a person will freely do something is not enough for God to control or predestinate the world. This is because foreknowledge of an event does not imply direct influence or omnicausality, or absolute determination, but merely knows what other wills are doing. In other words, foreknowledge doesn’t mean absolute determination. Yet a fine point should be sharpened at this time: God not only grasps and understands what actually will happen, but also what could happen under varied possible contingencies.

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Middle Knowledge

, posted by Richard Coords

This blog post has been placed in an attachment to preserve its formatting. Please click on the attachment to see today’s blog post. We try to avoid this for the most part, but the formatting was quite important for what Richard has to say. We believe you will find it well worth it.

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Friday Files: Clarke’s commentary on Romans 9

, posted by Godismyjudge

In Adam Clarke’s commentary on Romans 9, he argues for that God choice of Jacob and Esau were primarily national1, rather than the unconditional individual election and reprobation. The idea is that God chose to bless the Jews and reveal Himself and His plan of salvation to them, but now God is choosing to bless the Gentiles and call them to salvation as well. But just as the Gentiles could be saved and Jews lost in Old Testament times, so also Jews and Gentiles can be saved now; so national election doesn’t guarantee individual salvation.

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Foreknowledge Defined

, posted by Kevin Jackson

Foreknowledge means “to have knowledge of something before it happens.” In Scripture there are are references to God’s foreknowledge of those who will believe in Jesus (Rom. 8:29; 1 Pet. 1:2). Those whom God foreknows, he also elects to be saved (1 Pet. 1:2).

Greek: proginosko
Proginosko is the word used in the New Testament which we translate as “to foreknow”. It literally means “to know before.” The word breaks down like this: pro (before) ginosko (to know/recognize).

We are familiar with this word in English. For example: a doctor will give a prognosis. And someone who makes predictions is called “a prognosticator.”

The word in its noun or verb form is used several times in the New Testament to explain the foreknowledge of God or of individuals. Here are some passages where the word is used: Acts 2:23; 26:4-5; Romans 8:29; 1 Peter 1:1-2, 20; 2 Peter 3:17.

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Consistent Calvinism FAQ (Satire)

, posted by neborg

Disclaimer: The following is a light-hearted satire on Calvinism and not an attack on Calvinists. :-)

Q. How should I approach evangelism?

A. You should evangelise if you believe that you are included in the command of the Great Commission. It is important, however, to know what the right motivation for evangelism is. Your motivation should be to obey God’s command. People’s salvation is not a legitimate motivation for evangelism, for you cannot change their elected status.

When you evangelise, be careful not to tell people that “Jesus died for their sins”. Also note, that since grace is irresistible, there is no need to be persuasive, (for you cannot change people’s elected status). The corollary of this is that there is no harm in being non-persuasive. Once people have heard the ‘good news’, there is no need to continue preaching to them.

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Atonement for All

, posted by TrueHope

Jesus Christ died on the cross as a provision for all people, so that there is forgiveness of sins for all who believe, even though many are not forgiven because they refuse to believe. Jesus…

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I John 15:18; A Devotional

, posted by Martin Glynn

We’ve come to the conclusion of the letter. John doesn’t end with an exhorting paragraph, or a final doctrinal conclusion. Instead, he concludes with a list of loosely connected aphorisms, and by pointing to the assurance we are to have that we are saved, and can resist temptation. I shall deal with each of these in turn.

I John 15:18: We fully know that everyone being born of God sins not, but the one born of God keeps watch over Him, and the oppressor cannot touch Him. -MGV

There is so much meat in this passage if one goes to the Greek. It is truly a powerful statement, and I’ve attempted to tease out some of the subtleties that are lost in most translations in the translation above. Let me point of few of them out quickly before I get to the meaning of the text.

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