John Owen on Partial Regeneration (Prevenient Grace)

Several times here I have been criticized by Calvinists for talking about a "partial regeneration" brought about by the Holy Spirit in what Arminians call "prevenient grace." They have demanded that I show them this "partial regeneration" in the Bible. My answer has always been that it is everywhere assumed and implied in the Bible.Recently I've been reading John Owen's book The Holy Spirit. Owen was, of course, the leading Puritan theologian of the 17th century. Most of his books are still … [Read more...]

Follow Up to My Post about the False Gospel of “Christian” Moralism

Follow Up to My Post about the False Gospel of "Christian" Moralism My immediately preceding post about how the “gospel” of Christian moralism has largely replaced the true gospel and where Calvinism and Arminianism agree provoked some questions and disagreements.Let me reiterate here my firm belief that all truly good works, including changed attitudes and dispositions (from which good works arise), are fruits of the Spirit. No person can change himself or herself spiritually in … [Read more...]

Where Calvinists and Arminians Agree: Everything Good Is Gift

Where Calvinists and Arminians Agree: Everything Good Is Gift I swear this is the truth: If it weren’t for an avalanche of unfair attacks on and misrepresentations of Arminian theology by Calvinists during the 1990s I would never have set out on my crusade to defend Arminianism and expose the problems of Calvinism. It all began the day a student came to my office and informed me that I’m not a Christian. When I asked him how he thought he knew that he said “Because you’re Arminian.” … [Read more...]

What Did Charles Hodge Say about “The Decrees of God?” (Part 2)

What Did Charles Hodge Say about “The Decrees of God?” (Part 2) In Part 1 of this series on the theology of Charles Hodge I claimed that Hodge remains the “gold standard” for Reformed theology for most American Calvinist evangelical theologians. Again, as I said there, that doesn’t mean they all agree with him about everything; it only means that if he said it, claimed it, argued for it, it can’t be considered alien or foreign to Reformed-Calvinist thought—especially in its North Ame … [Read more...]

What Did Charles Hodge Say about “The Decrees of God?”

What Did Charles Hodge Say about “The Decrees of God?” First of all, who cares what Charles Hodge said about anything? Well, many conservative evangelicals care—whether they know it or not. Charles Hodge was and remains such an influential 19th century theologian that I included an entire chapter on his theology in The Journey of Modern Theology: From Reconstruction to Deconstruction (InterVarsity Press, 2013). Tucked away inside my copy of Volume 1 of his Systematic Theology (Eerd … [Read more...]

Testing the New Prophets (Follow Up to Recent Post about the New Latter Rain Movement)

Testing the New Prophets (Follow Up to Recent Post about the New Latter Rain Movement) Recently I came across the January 14, 1991 copy of Christianity Today. I saved it because it contains an editorial to which I contributed. It was probably one of the first, if not the first, times my name appeared in CT.The cover story is about the so-called “Kansas City Prophets,” more officially known then as The Kansas City Fellowship—a group I would identify as reincarnating some aspects o … [Read more...]

A Curse of Living Long: Having Seen It All Before (Thoughts about “Signs and Wonders”)

A Curse of Living Long: Having Seen It All Before (Thoughts about “Signs and Wonders”)I’m not really that old, but I’ve seen a lot in my lifetime. And I’ve read a lot. And I’ve watched a lot of television. I’ve met and talked with many different people (I’ve had literally thousands of students) and visited (often as guest speaker) numerous churches. Sometimes I feel like having “Been there; done that” tattooed on my forehead. Sometimes it feels like the “new” in religion is always just someth … [Read more...]


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