coming up next: open theism

On Monday (the Lord willing) I will post something here about open theism and the evangelical debate about it.  For now, let me just say that I am very glad to see some of my former colleagues from that Christian liberal arts college (where I taught for 15 years) joining the discussion here.  I want to say for their benefit that during that most agonizing debate over open theism they, my colleagues, were always supportive.  Even those who did not agree with open theism were supportive of those wh … [Read more...]

How do I know the Bible is God's Word?

A common response to my rejection of the term "inerrancy" is "If the Bible contains a single error, how can we know it is God's Word?" First, let me say again: It is the TERM "inerrancy" that I reject, not the authority or trustworthiness of Scripture.  AND every inerrantist I know or have read admits there are errors in Scripture as we have it today.  Only the original autographs were inerrant in the strictest sense.  What I want is an authoritative Bible that actually exists and not one that … [Read more...]

Why inerrancy doesn't matter

I know I promised more about postconservative evangelicalism today.  Even though it may not seem directly related to a delineation of that, this post does help explicate how most postconservatives think about the inspiration and authority of the Bible. First, a strong affirmation.  As evangelicals, we postconservatives DO believe the Bible is our (and should be every Christian's) norming norm for life and belief.  Tradition is our normed norm--a secondary guide or compass that is not inf … [Read more...]

Unconditional election & universal atonement

Contrary to what one respondant claims, classical Calvinism does believe that God's election of persons to salvation is absolutely unconditional.  To say it is not absolutely unconditional because it is based on God's "good pleasure" does nothing to ease the problem.  What causes God's "good pleasure" to be found in electing one person and not another to salvation?  I have read literally scores of classical Calvinist authors on this very subject (from Calvin to Piper) and found no hint of any an … [Read more...]

Remembering Clark Pinnock: Postconservative Evangelical Par Excellence

I just heard about my friend Clark Pinnock's death on Sunday, August 15 at age 73.  My heart is heavy for his family but full of joy for him.  He was suffering from Alzheimer's disease and is no doubt now in the joy of the Lord's presence without pain or loss.I followed Clark's career and theological path over the years after first reading him while in seminary.  I made note of his change from Calvinism to Arminianism and then to open theism and talked with him often about his journey.  Even wh … [Read more...]

A comment about God's "passing over"…

Only occasionally will I take the time to respond in  a post to a specific respondant's challenge, question or critique.  Normally I won't be able to as the purpose of this blog is to share my theological musings and let others discuss them as they wish. However, a recent poster here claimed that an Arminian should not object to the Calvinist idea of God unconditionally passing over many people whom he could save.  The "passing over," of course, refers to what is known as "reprobation"--a con … [Read more...]

"Confessions of a postconservative evangelical"

Previously I confessed that I can no longer call myself an "evangelical" without qualification.  The term has been so sullied by the media and by fundamentalists within the evangelical movement (insofar as that even exists anymore!) that I find it necessary to say that I am some particular kind of evangelical to distance myself from the popular perceptions promoted by the media and also from many self-appointed spokesmen for evangelicalism.Some years ago (around 1998) I adopted the adjective … [Read more...]