Recent Articles

Edward Bird on The Horrible Decree of Unconditional Election

, posted by Godismyjudge

Great example of early Engish Arminianism (1726). Byrd explains total depravity, prevenient grace, unlimited atonement, conditional decrees, predestination and perserveriance as he examines some of the problems in Calvinism. He has mild appeals to middle knowledge. (link)

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Systematic Theology is Like Connect-the-Dots

, posted by Godismyjudge

This post is an excerpt from the book review of Death of Death in the Death of Christ.

Systematic Theology is like connect-the-dots. One takes biblical data points and draws relationships between them to form a complete picture. This process helps people understand scripture, because they see the big picture.

The more biblical data points one has, the higher degree of certainty they can have regarding the accuracy of their picture. Conversely, the less biblical data points, the less certain they can be regarding their picture.

The challenge for systematic theology is that at times the data points are less than clear and could be seen many different ways. This can lead to drastically different pictures. It’s the role of the exegete (not the systematic theologian) to clarify the data points, and the role of the systematic theologian to draw the lines and clarify the big picture.

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A RESPONSE TO: A BRIEF REJECTION OF ARMINIANISM, or “WHY ARMINIANISM DOES NOT WORK” by C. MICHAEL PATTON

, posted by WilliamBirch

The post written by one of the irenic hosts of Parchment and Pen, C. Michael Patton, explained why he rejects the tenets of Arminianism, which is primarily due to the Arminians’ view of Prevenient Grace. Patton writes,

    In our depraved state, God comes into our lives and opens our eyes to His beauty. This intervention happens by means of saving or “irresistible” grace. In our helpless and angry position, while shaking our fists at God, God sovereignly and autonomously regenerates us. Once regenerated, we trust and love the Lord because our nature has been transformed by Him. Therefore, God is the only one to credit for our salvation, seeing as how we did not play a part in its genesis (this is sometimes referred to as monergism). But, according to Calvinists, God does not give this gift of saving grace to all people, only the elect. Otherwise, all would be saved.

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A COMPARATIVE EXAMINATION OF SEMI-PELAGIANISM WITH THE TEACHINGS OF JAMES ARMINIUS

, posted by WilliamBirch

Born Jacobus Harmenszoon (ca. 1559-1609),[1] James Arminius’s name has been associated with Socinianism, Pelagian- and semi-Pelagianism, Unitarianism, Roman Catholicism, and most notably with the doctrine of conditional perseverance. As a matter of fact, for better or worse, Arminianism has become synonymous with the notion that a person can lose his salvation, even though Arminius never explicitly taught the doctrine; yet he certainly did question its possibility.[2]

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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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