Archives for October 2011

Regarding the love and justice of a God who unconditionally elects only some to save

Over the past year, some of my Calvinist interlocutors here have challenged my claim that a god who unconditionally elects only some to save and saves them irresistibly, thus condemning others to eternal damnation (double predestination), is not worthy of worship because he cannot be good in any meaning of "good."  They have often offered illustrations and analogies.  The most recent one was of a man who unconditionally pays the fines of some inmates, setting them free, but does not pay all of t … [Read more...]

Controversy over Calvinism brewing in the SBC

According to a report published by the Associate Baptist Press dated October 19, "SBC leader cites Calvinism as top challenge" in the Southern Baptist Convention.  This is hardly news; the Calvinist-non-Calvinist (really Arminian) controversy has been bubbling up among the conservatives who took over the SBC for years.However, according to this report, based on an interview Frank Page, CEO of the SBC Executive Committee, gave to the blog SBC Today on October 18, the controversy is reaching a … [Read more...]

Announcement of Interview re: Against Calvinism 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 If you'd like to ask questions about the book, email them to, 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 … [Read more...]

Romans 9

Several Calvinists who have posted comments here have suggested or outrightly claimed that Arminians have no exegesis of Romans 9.  In fact, SOME Calvinists make a habit of going around claiming that Arminians are weak on exegesis--period.I think some of this here was brought on my my comment--quoting John Wesley--that whatever Romans 9 means it can't mean "that" (i.e., double predestination).  Actually, and I should have said this earlier, that was not Wesley's only comment on Romans 9.  Sc … [Read more...]

A report on a conversation with a Calvinist

A few people who "visit" here occasionally have accused me of being unwilling to engage with Calvinists in conversation or answer their questions.  That's baloney, of course, and they make fools of themselves by showing they don't keep up with things.  I have been engaged in a 20 year conversation with Calvinist theologian Michael Horton.  I have been a guest on his radio program (The White Horse Inn) and portions of our conversations have been published in Modern Reformation and Christian Sc … [Read more...]

Narrative theology: following up on my review of Smith’s book about biblicism

In The Bible Made Impossible Christian Smith does touch on narrative theology, but I think it may offer more (to an evangelical approach to the Bible that avoids some of the problems he discusses) than he suggests.  Here is my summary of narrative theology:Some Thoughts about Narrative Theology1. Narrative theology focuses on the Bible as a whole (canonical interpretation) as a dramatic account of God’s activity; its main purpose is to identify God for us (i.e., God’s character).2. Na … [Read more...]

What makes someone “evangelical?”

Yesterday I listened to two fine presentations by a notable and influential evangelical scholar.  They were about the necessary marks of authentic evangelical faith.  He discussed three broad groups of evangelicals in Britain and America since WW2: the broad coalition evangelicals centered around Billy Graham and his ministries (including the National Association of Evangelicals), the neo-Puritan evangelicals (which seemed to me to be those I have called here "neo-fundamentalists"), and the " … [Read more...]