Rediscovering King Jesus (not King George) on the 4th

REDISCOVERING KING JESUS— PHILIP JENKINS This year marks a remarkable anniversary in the study of Christian history. Seventy years ago, in late 1945, some Egyptian peasants discovered a trove of early Christian texts including several alternative gospels, all probably buried in the 380s. When they became available in translation in the 1970s, these so-called Nag Hammadi texts caused enormous excitement, suggesting as they did that the earliest Christianity was far more diverse in tone than we might expect from the… Read more

Jacob Arminius. Theologian of Grace– Part Four

BEN: Arminius seems to work hard to avoid making God the author of sin, or of anything evil for that matter, including the Fall. He is very willing to talk about God’s ‘permissive’ will when this subject comes up, though he does talk about God permitting such things for two reasons: 1) because he has endowed human beings with genuine freedom, by which I mean the power of contrary choice, the ability to choose or not choose good or evil;… Read more

Jacob Arminius. Theologian of Grace– Part Three

BEN: There is also a strong emphasis early on in the book on what is called the ‘intellectualist’ approach to the nature of God, which is to say that God’s knowledge is given priority over God’s will in the divine attributes. This in turn seems to lead Arminius in a very different direct than Calvin when it comes to figuring out the relationship between God’s knowledge and God’s will (e.g. Calvin and later Calvinists would argue that God knows things… Read more

Jacob Arminius, Theologian of Grace– Part Two

BEN: Jacob Arminius seems to be a frequently misrepresented theologian, whose works have been neglected, and lack readily accessible translations into English from the Latin and Dutch. To what would you attribute this neglect, and would you see this as an explanation for why his theology is so often caricatured in various unhelpful ways? KEITH: There are many reasons why Arminius’ writings have been neglected. Although there is an accessible English edition of the main body of Arminius’ works available… Read more

Mr. Holmes is Coming!

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Hebrews in Eight Minutes– Courtesy of the Bible Project

Kudos to Vivian Sawyer for finding this. It’s got some helpful points, though it ignores the rhetorical character of Hebrews unfortunately. Read more

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

BEN: When the Gospel of Matthew presents us with Jesus saying that he is submitting to baptism to ‘fulfill all righteousness’ he is of course talking about the righteousness that comes from obedience to the Mosaic Law. He is not talking about his righteousness acting as a substitute for his later disciples righteousness in the new covenant. Indeed, he is talking about the fulfilling of the Mosaic Law because Israel didn’t. In other words, this has little or nothing to… Read more

Roger Olson’s ‘Arminian Theology’– Part Fifteen

BEN: Your discussion of open theism is interesting, and I wonder if since your book was published (2006), you’ve settled the matter in your mind. For my part, I have rejected open theism. I think there is a way around the paradox. Suppose God has what I will call teleological knowledge of all things both possible and real. To put it another way, suppose all God’s knowledge of things that do or may happen in space in time is a… Read more

Roger Olson’s ‘Arminian Theology’– Part Fourteen

BEN: It seems reasonably clear that Arminius took the Calvinistic view that regeneration precedes conversion. I suppose it depends on what one means by regeneration— the ability to repent? In any case, various later Arminians associated regeneration with the new birth or conversion, perhaps as a part of conversion itself. What is your view of what a proper Arminian theology should say on this subject? ROGER: I have posited a “partial regeneration” in the reception of prevenient grace. But full… Read more

Roger Olson’s ‘Arminian Theology’– Part Thirteen

BEN: Jonathan Edwards in his Freedom of the Will argues that there is no compulsion or coercion involved, only predetermination when it comes to human choosing. People choose according to their desires and will and they do not feel compulsed or coerced, even though they could not have done otherwise. So the issue is not coercion but predetermination in his discussion of the matter. He objects to Luther’s treatise on the Bondage of the Will for a variety of reasons,… Read more

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