My Response to “the letter”

The response yesterday surprised me. I thought all I was asking for was some pastoral advice for a pastor struggling with what he perceived to be overly aggressive Calvinists. What we got was some serious expressions of differences. Here’s the letter I drafted prior to yesterday’s responses and now with just a little bit of [Read More…]

Letter about those pesky Calvinists

A letter to which I’d like to hear your reasonable answer and I ask for your pastoral sensitivity. Dear Scot, We met a few years ago when I was youth pastor. Now I am at a church plant in Minnesota. I know that you are up to speed with the post modern church. That’s really [Read More…]

Do Calvinists understand Arminianism? 9

Myth #9 from Roger Olson’s Arminian Theology is appropriate for me today: I’m at Westminster Theological Seminary, one of America’s foremost bastions of reformed theology. The myth is this: that Arminians deny justification by faith alone through faith alone. At issue: Is Arminianism genuinely reformational or is it a retreat toward the Catholicism out of [Read More…]

Do Calvinists understand Arminianism? 8

Myth #8: Arminians do not believe in predestination. Not so, says Roger Olson in Arminian Theology. Predestination, because it is in the Bible, is believed by Arminians. Here’s his point: predestination is God’s sovereign decree to elect believers in Jesus Christ, and it includes God’s foreknowledge of those believers’ faith. [Read more…]

Do Calvinists understand Arminianism? 7

Myth #6 in Roger Olson’s book, Arminian Theology, is another oft-repeated accusation against Arminians: that Arminian theology is a human-centered theology with an optimistic anthropology. In fact, Olson argues, Arminian theology is every bit as God-intoxicated as Calvinist theology when it comes to the centrality of God’s work in redemption. [Read more…]

Do Calvinists understand Arminianism? 5

Myth #4: the heart of Arminianism is belief in free will. Nonsense, Olson argues in his must-read Arminian Theology. The heart of Arminian theology is the character of God, God’s goodness, and its system yearns to glorify God by exalting his goodness. [Read more…]

Do Calvinists understand Arminianism? 4

In Roger Olson’s Arminian Theology, chp. 3, a 3d Myth is addressed: that Arminianism is neither orthodox nor evangelical. I cannot say that I have ever heard anyone say Arminians are not orthodox, but I have heard more than I care to admit say Arminians are not genuinely Protestant. Olson responds: [Read more…]

Do Calvinists understand Arminianism? 3

Myth #2: a hybrid of Calvinism and Arminianism is possible. Instead, Olson argues, the two systems are incommensurable systems of theology. [Read more…]

Do Calvinists understand Arminianism? 2

Myth #1: Arminian theology is the opposite of Calvinist/Reformed theology. This is not true: Arminius and most of his followers are part of the broad Reformation movement and there is common ground. [Read more…]

Do Calvinists understand Arminianism? 1

The answer, in general, is no. (I need to say that gently as I am in Grand Rapids today to give some lectures.) So argues Roger Olson is his brand-new must-read Arminian Theology. I’ll do a series on this book. The book has one major goal: “to clear the good Arminian name of false accusations [Read More…]