Announcement of Interview re: Against Calvinism

MinistryDirect.com has invited me to sit down for an interview via Skype for my new book, Against Calvinism. The interview is this Thursday (October 20) at 1:00 p.m. (Central) on MinistryDirect.com/live. If you’d like to ask questions about the book, email them to questions@ministrydirect.com, tweet them using #MinistryDirect, or type them into the Facebook interaction tool on the live page. (You have to be logged into Facebook to do the last one.) I did a previous interview with MinistryDirect.com about my book, Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities. You can view that interview here:

http://agtv.ag.org/qa-olson.

  • Bev Mitchell

    Dr Olson,

    You make it quite clear that Michael Horton is your kind of conversationalist, even your kind of Calvinist. As a life-long non-Calvinist I purposely chose to read his recent book before turning to your companion volume. What a pleasant surprise! You are absolutely correct. In fact, there is so much in Dr. Horton’s presentation of Calvinism (or reformed theology, as he probably would prefer to call it) with which evangelicals should agree, one is left wondering what all the fuss is about. Of course views on sovereignty and election seem to resist any compromise, but what magnificent agreement there is! Is there any chance of you and Dr. Horton presenting an extensive summary of specific areas of agreement? You highly recommend Thomas C. Oden’s “Classic Christianity” partly because his work rigorously develops the consensus position of early Christian writers. Can we hope for a similar ecumenical treatment of classical Calvinism and classical Arminianism?

    • rogereolson

      There’s a good idea.

  • David Hess

    I sent a couple of questions in – I hope they are discussed. Thanks Roger for exposing the lies that continue to propagated in the name of truth!

  • Craig Wright

    I enjoyed the discussion between Roger Olson and Michael Horton at Biola University last Saturday evening. It seemed to me that the discussion turned when Roger asked Michael how he dealt with the love of God when God elects certain people to be saved, while passing over the rest, and then continues to make more people. Michael didn’t answer, but turned the question around to Roger, asking how God, having foreknowledge, knows who will accept him and who will reject him, yet continues to make more people. Roger replied that there is a mystery. The Calvinist has to have things tied up neatly, yet the Arminian admits mystery.

    I noticed that the fall back position of both sides (seeing that there are problems with both views) is universalism. That view seems to solve it all. It did come up in the discussion.

    • rogereolson

      I have often said if I could be a universalist I could be a Calvinist.

  • Reeves

    I purchased your book “Against Calvinism” today from amazon, hoping to learn more about this controversy because I’m writing an article about my discontent with the soteriology of Calvinism. Keep up the good works sir!

  • Joel Ellis

    It was a great interview. Thank you very much for sharing your time and thoughts with the rest of us.

  • http://n/a Br.D.

    Brother Roger,
    I wonder if its possible that the answer to Michael Horton’s question
    (how is it that God, having foreknowledge, knows who will accept him and who will reject him, yet continues to make more people.?) wouldn’t be found in 1 Co 13:7 “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

    • rogereolson

      Good point. But also–Mike’s question reveals a lack of understanding of what Arminians believe about foreknowledge. He seems to think it is middle knowledge.

  • David Hess

    I don’t know if I sent you the review I uploaded at Amazon for Against Calvinism – if not, here it is.

    Watch out John Piper, Mark Driscoll and your Reformed friends, your “thorn in the flesh” just got a whole lot sharper! Roger Olson has done it again! After reading Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities, I didn’t think his work could get any better, but then Olson releases Against Calvinism. After the first book, I was convinced that Roger Olson was in fact a Godsend to a Protestant Evangelical world that is crawling with militant Calvinists who have convinced others that doctrines like “grace” and “sovereignty” and even the term Evangelical itself somehow belong to them. This first-rate theologian took aim at such notions showing that historic Arminianism is equally as grace-focused and God-centered as Calvinism.

    Whereas Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities exposes how completely dishonest Calvinist writers have been in characterizing Arminianism, which amounts to bearing false witness and requires their repentance, Against Calvinism truly seems to strike a death-blow to High Calvinism. I have come to appreciate, that in this theological battle, Roger Olson fights fair which as I’ve already stated can’t be said of many of his Calvinist opponents. He seeks to represent their position accurately in a way that they would acknowledge is a fair representation. However, he tries to help them see some of the logical conclusions their belief system leads to, which tragically many of them do not seem to grasp. A quote from Olson’s blog sums up the most important reason for this book being written: “[Calvinists] talk endlessly about God’s glory and about God-centeredness while sucking the goodness out of God and thus divesting him of real glory. Their theology may be God-centered but the God at its center is unworthy of being at the center. Better a man-centered theology than one that revolves around a being hardly distinguishable from the devil…this would make Him unworthy of worship.”

    Olson demonstrates that he thoroughly understands Calvinism from Calvinist sources and opens up the closet to reveal the darkness inside as it concerns the nature of God. I don’t see how anyone could study this topic with any depth and objectivity and still remain a Calvinist. Olson in my assessment when you put these two books together dismantles their objectionable doctrines entirely.

    The time has come for the novel doctrines of St. Augustine, which were only to be found amongst the Gnostics before him (something most Calvinists didn’t know), to be exposed. Calvin and his theological descendants have taken these doctrines and have effectively misrepresented God to countless millions of Christians since the time of the Protestant Reformation. Calvinism was NOT the Apostolic and therefore NOT the Biblical understanding of “election”, “predestination”, and “free-will” and Olson’s contribution here helps set that record strait. Against Calvinism articulates better than any other why I am personally “against Calvinism” and my prayer is that many who’ve been infected with Augustinianism/Calvinism will somehow be “healed” by reading it. Olson directs the Calvinist reader to other less reprehensible Protestant options; I pray many will follow his counsel. I also know it will help many of the “as yet unpersuaded” to resist the ridiculous claims of this new breed of Calvinists in modern Evangelicalism, and to know that they can affirm the best of the Reformation’s doctrines without having to embrace the diabolical implications of the sub-Biblical ones.

    • rogereolson

      Thank you!


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