Arminianism FAQ 3 (Everything You Always Wanted to Know…)

FAQ: Doesn't Arminianism lead to open theism? A: Open theists and Calvinists both think so, but classical Arminianism don't think so. According to classical Arminianism, God knows the future exhaustively--as already settled in his own mind although not already determined. How God can know future free decisions and actions (ones not already determined by anything) is a mystery classical Arminians are willing to live with because they believe it (divine simple foreknowledge without comprehensive … [Read more...]

Arminianism FAQ 2 (Everything You Always Wanted to Know…)

FAQ: What's the difference between Arminianism and Wesleyanism? A: Not all Arminians are Wesleyans. Certainly Arminius wasn't! He lived a century before Wesley. Free Will Baptists, many Pentecostals (e.g., Assemblies of God), and Restorationists (e.g., Churches of Christ/Independent Christians) are Arminians without being Wesleyans. But all Wesleyans (that I know) are Arminians (although not all like that label). Wesleyans ADD to Arminianism the idea of "Christian Perfection" (which different W … [Read more...]

My Baptism Article in Christianity Today (July/August Issue)

For those of you who have access to articles in Christianity Today (available on line by subscription and also, of course, in hard copy by subscription)...The current issue (July/August) contains my article "Water Works: Why Baptism Is Essential" (not my title).There I argue that water baptism is an essential part of Christian discipleship and suggest ways in which pedobaptists and credobaptists can begin to understand and become more accepting of each other.Civil feedback about the … [Read more...]

Arminianism FAQ 1 (Everything You Always Wanted to Know…)

Arminianism FAQ 1 (Everything You Always Wanted to Know…)Today begins a summer series on Arminianism and Arminian theology. Over the past twenty plus years of promoting a correct understanding of classical Arminianism I have been asked numerous questions about the subject. There seems to be much misunderstanding about it. Here, in this series of blog posts, I will try to answer every "frequently asked question" about classical Arminianism. My aim is to keep the questions and answers clear, c … [Read more...]

Deist John Toland Was Right! Even Religion Must Be Intelligible

Deist John Toland Was Right! Even Religion Must Be Intelligible.Some of my student balk when we are studying Deism/Natural Religion and I tell them I think John Toland, author of Christianity Not Mysterious was partly right.Some years ago Tony Campolo wrote a book with the intriguing title We Have Met the Enemy and They Are Partly Right. Before that, evangelical theologian Bernard Ramm (with whom Campolo studied theology) wrote The Devil, Seven Wormwoods, and God. Both books describe how … [Read more...]

A Philosophical Historical Novel about Evil: The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell

A Philosophical Historical Novel about Evil: The Kindly Ones by Jonathan LittellI am usually reading one historical novel and listening to another one on my ipod. I like ones that include philosophical and theological themes. But they are somewhat rare. And I like to read/listen to books about World War 2 and the Holocaust (and their aftermath). I suppose that's because those 20th century events especially raise philosophical and theological questions.Recently I stumbled quite by … [Read more...]

How American Evangelical Christianity Has Changed…

How American Evangelical Christianity Has Changed During My LifetimeThe "American Christianity" I will talk about here is specifically evangelical Christianity. But I use that category broadly to include numerous denominations and organizations. They all used to look to Billy Graham for unofficial leadership—leadership by example. I grew up in the "thick" of American evangelicalism. My uncle, with whom I have always been close, was on the national board of the National Association of E … [Read more...]