Jerry Walls’ youtube video series on Calvinism

Evangelical philosopher Jerry Walls is posting a series of talks on Calvinism on youtube. You can see them simply by typing “Jerry Walls” into the search box at The first two of the three part series are there under the title “What’s Wrong with Calvinism.” Of course, I agree with him entirely. As a philosopher, his focus tends to be on logic, pointing out how inconsistent Calvinism is.

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  • Josh

    Excellent thanks for sharing! Ive reade your “Arminian Theology” and I would like to make a proposal to you. I consider you to be THE Arminian theologian today. Thomas Oden has recently released a three volume set, “John Wesley’s Teachings.” I’m excited for this systematic theology of Wesley. I was wondering if you would consider doing a similar work on Arminius. I believe he is a forgetton reformer. I believe a work done by a great scholar like you, published with an influential publisher, would be incredible. I believe if you wrote a “James Arminius’ Teachings” similar to Odens Wesley volumes, that would be a real treasure for years to come. Thanks for your time and consideration!

    • rogereolson

      Thanks for the vote of confidence. I suspect that Arminius would have agreed with everything Wesley said, so Oden’s set will probably suffice. (Yes, Arminius even believed in the possibility of Christian perfection in this life!)

  • James Petticrew

    I really appreciate these, the first one lays a good foundation and the second one does a great job in showing that however many theological caveats they add behind their closed doors and while they themselves may believe that God loves everyone in fact if you take Calvinism to it’s logical conclusions it cannot hold that god is love and be logically consistent. I particularly like his use of primary sources and his use of Piper to subvert Calvinism’s claims is deliciously ironic and will I am sure receive a reply

  • I could only find two of the three on youtube. If someone finds the third on and posts the address, thank you for your help. The two videos go to the heart of the matter, fairly and judiciously. I continue to think a serious part of the issue is Nominalism, the belief that moral categories of good and evil are not real in and of themselves. To define good as simply what God does, as Luther did, as the NeoPuritans do, is problematic to me. It can make what we would ordinarily call evil, not saving those whom you could save, good simply because God does it. If this is so, then there is no ground for natural theology and ultimately belief becomes feidism. The slaughters in the OT are easily justified on these grounds. God wanted them to be done and they are therefore good. This is Piper’s tact – God simply does what he wants to do and owes no one anything. In this case there is nothing left to discuss. The same is true with the sacrifice of Isaac. Kierkegaard handles it by asserting the temporary suspension of the ethical. Ultimately following God is beyond moral categories. The largest example would be God’s willingness to affirm the sacrifice of his Son, the greatest act of evil in history. I believe that these examples require moral reasoning that eschews feidism. Calvinism, at least in the incarnations in which I know it, too easily goes there. It does seem to glorify God by asserting “because He chose to do so for his own glory.” But the pious mind continues to ask questions and seek more than “because,” not in an irreligious way but out of a true concern for theodicy, that God would be glorified in the beauty of his goodness.

    • rogereolson

      Very well said and I agree completely. The root of the problem seems to be nominalism even when it is denied.

  • Orthodoxdj

    Following the thought of a previous poster, the impact of nominalism in this issue is “might makes right.” In essence, because God is more powerful than anyone else, then anything he does is good on that basis. Scary thought. Lewis critiques Calvinism on that point in “The Problem of Pain.”

  • Bill Broonzy

    I’m glad you promoted these videos. They have helped me understand that the god of Calvinism cannot possibly be worthy of my worship. I used to be a Calvinist after I read J.I. Packer’s introduction to Owen’s ‘Death of Death in the Death of Christ,’ but I now realize he had to resort to ignorant proof-texting, and outlandish caricatures of Arminianism.
    Arminianism is unequivocally superior in the way it deals with real questions that real humans have. Religion needs to be practical – that’s not a bad thing. Calvinists seem to always fall into some sort of bibliolatry in which they think it’s appropriate to conceive of god in the same way that iron-age nomads did. Just because Amos thought the Lord ’caused’ disasters does not mean that we have to blindly give assent to this. We happen to live in an age where we understand the science of meteorology and are aware of plate tectonics – are we just supposed to throw this aside because the bible attributes hurricanes and earthquakes to god?
    Anyway, I’m getting off topic. But thank you, Dr. Olson (and Dr. Walls) for saving me from an illogical, esoteric, and cult-like path of faith.