Roger Olson’s ‘Arminian Theology’– Part Eleven

BEN: On p. 123 you say that sin does not thwart the will of God. I think this is a mistake. Surely any time evil or sin happens it goes against the will of God of a good God. I tend to find the phrase ‘permissive will’ something of an oxymoron—willing something is not merely allowing something it seems to me. If you will it, you want it to happen, even if reluctantly. In particular, if God really desires that all be saved, and has made available salvation for all, then surely that is in acco … [Read more...]

Roger Olson’s– ‘Arminian Theology’– Part Ten

BEN: How would you distinguish the Calvinist notion of God’s providence from the Arminian one? It is interesting to me that if one reads Wesley’s Journal, one finds the phrase ‘a singular providence of God’ cropping up again and again in regard to both incidental things and significant things. So for instance Wesley sees the crowd pressing together in Wednesbury so that the rotten eggs in the pockets of some scoundrels are crushed by the crowd as a sign of God directing things so Wesley’s pre … [Read more...]

Roger Olson’s ‘Arminian Theology’– Part Nine

BEN: The issue of how to interpret the phrase ‘only begotten of the Father’ has bedeviled Christological debates forever it seems. Is this Scriptural notion the basis of Arminius and various his successors arguing that the Son is fully God, but he has his divine essence from God the Father who is the only one who can rightly be called autotheos, since he is the font of all deity for both the Son and the Spirit? What do you make of Wayne Grudem’s attempt to suggest that Christ is eternally (pe … [Read more...]

A.D. The Bible Continues— Season Finale

The final episode of the first season of A.D. (which has been renewed for a second season), brings us to the climax of the story about the statue of Caligula and the attempt to install it in the Temple. Of course in reality it never got anywhere near the Temple, but it makes for good drama. The truth is it only got to Syria, and the governor, Petronius delayed shipping it to Judaea for a year, fearing it would prompt all out civil war, somehow Herod Agrippa, Caligula's friend, persuaded him to … [Read more...]

Roger Olson’s ‘Arminian Theology’– Part Eight

BEN: On p. 89 you talk about the idea of nominalistic voluntarism, which is to say the idea that God is free to do anything he chooses to do, without being constrained or limited by the divine character. This idea is denied by Arminius, but seems to be affirmed by various Calvinists, especially those who see God’s will as his primary attribute, and even his knowledge is based entirely on what he had already preordained. What are the problems with nominalistic voluntarism? Does this concept s … [Read more...]

Roger Olson’s “Arminian Theology’– Part Seven

BEN: I take it as given that you have established both that there are some strong incompatibilities between Calvinism and Arminianism, but at the same time there are some strong agreements between the two theological systems. Is there a value in emphasizing the latter instead of the former, and if so why? Why as well do you think so many Baptists are illogical when they say things like ‘I’m a two (or even one) point Calvinist--- I believe in once saved, always saved’??ROGER: First, abou … [Read more...]

The Inside Skinny on ‘Inside Out’ folks at Pixar deserve a raise. They've consistently made the best animated films from Finding Nemo to Up (and beyond) in the last twenty years. And 'Inside Out' is just as impressively creative and humorous. I haven't laughed this much at a movie in a while. As you will see from the clip above, the focus of the film is on emotions, and in particular certain emotions--- joy, sadness, fear, disgust, and yes anger. Notice what's missing--- … [Read more...]

Roger Olson’s ‘Arminian Theology’– Part Six

BEN: At one point you say (p. 70) “Scripture alone cannot prove one side right and other side wrong”. I think I must disagree. Scripture is consistent on these issues precisely because it reflects the consistent mind and revealed will of God. While it is true that equally good exegetes may come to different conclusions or privilege different texts in their interpretative schemes, this doesn’t mean they are both right. In fact they could be both wrong in their interpretations. On p. 43 a … [Read more...]

Roger Olson’s ‘Arminian Theology’– Part Five

BEN: One of the major emphases in Stanglin and McCall’s fine book on Jacob Arminius is that Arminius did not agree with Beza et al. on the issue of monergism, which is to say that God is the direct or effective cause of all things. Arminius continuously sought to exonerate God from the charge that he is the author of evil and sin, and the way he went about it was to say that human choices when it comes to the matter of sin or evil were not predetermined by God. In addition he wanted to i … [Read more...]