September 2, 2010

If the header confuses you, the book’s lack of admission that it is promoting Arminianism should confuse you more.  (As it does me.)  So what’s the book?  Whosoever Will: A Biblical-Theological Critique of Five-Point Calvinism edited by Southern Baptist scholars David L. Allen and Steve W. Lemke.  It contains 11 mostly excellent chapters by Southern Baptist leaders and scholars absolutely demolishing key Calvinist doctrines.  These chapters are versions of papers presented at the John 3:16 Conference held in Georgia in… Read more

September 1, 2010

Obviously, one posted message cannot begin to solve the problem(s) of God and evil.  All I want to accomplish here is clear up some misconceptions about the Arminian view and ask some questions about the classical Calvinist view as some haver articulated it here (and elsewhere). First, all classical Arminians AGREE that evil is not a “thing” or a substance; it is strictly no-thing: the absence of the good.  That is not a notion of evil unique to Calvinism.  And… Read more

August 30, 2010

Several posters here seem to me to ignore an important presupposition of classical Arminian theology and of open theism.  (I could probably list some other theologies that also affirm God’s self-limitation, but our discussion has been mostly about these.)  That presupposition is that, in creation, as in incarnation (with important differences) God limits himself.  All Calvinists that I know affirm some kind of divine self-limitation, although they are much less likely to promote it as a crucial theological idea than,… Read more

August 29, 2010

Someone asked me why I am not an open theist.  I respect open theists for their dedication to biblical exegesis and for their determination to emphasize the personal nature of God.  I am also attracted to open theist as a solution to the problem of evil.  (Which I, personally, do not think Calvinism can solve.  Arminianism does a better job in that it does NOT say God foreordained or rendered sin and evil certain.  The distinction between God’s antecedent will… Read more

August 27, 2010

For some time now I’ve been concerned about the term “postmodernism”–especially as it is thrown around and discussed by self-identified evangelical scholars.  Very little agreement seems to exist about what it means.  (That’s true outside of evangelical discussion as well, but here I’m mainly concerned about the discussion among evangelicals.)  Thus, if we are not even talking about the same thing, the debate simply creates more heat than light.  My first encounters with evangelical opinions about postmodernism were when I… Read more

August 26, 2010

Rarely do I intend to use this blog to engage in debate; I see it rather as an opportunity to express my own theological views (or often just musings) and let others debate them.  However, I’m puzzled about some of the outstpoken Calvinists’ tendency to ignore a major issue I raised with regard to free will. To my Calvinist interlocutors I ask: If free will as uncaused choice is logically incoherent, what about God’s decision to create the world?  I… Read more

August 25, 2010

A couple days ago I wrote here about the controversy over open theism among evangelicals.  I regard it as a sad episode riddled with misinformation, misrepresentation and even, too often, outright demagoguery.  The tenor of the controversy is one thing; the truth status of open theism is another thing.  I was writing then primarily about the controversy.  I believe that, for the most part, it was left unfinished.  The anti-open theists, mostly Calvinists, won the day insofar as they persuaded… Read more

August 24, 2010

Dear readers, Don’t despair!  (As if you would!)  I will be back.  (Some of you may wish not!)  Today is the first full day of classes and I have much last minute preparing to do.  And my mind is distracted by the thought of getting to know so many students and introducing my subjects to them.  Occasionally I will skip a day (maybe even two once in a while), but let the discussions continue.  I will do my best to… Read more

August 23, 2010

In the January 9, 1995 issue of Christianity Today I reviewed the then new book The Openness of God and ended by raising a question about the maturity of evangelicalism: “How do American evangelical Christians handle theological diversity? Have we come of age enough to avoid heresy charges and breast-beating jeremiads in response to a new doctrinal proposal that is so conscientiously based on biblical reflection rather than on rebellious accommodation to modern thought? This may be the test.”  Needless… Read more

August 22, 2010

I have forwarded posts with which I strongly disagree, but I don’t have time to correct every misconception or misrepresentation of Arminianism or other theological systems.  However, I would like to clarify a couple points about classical Arminianism.  Classical Arminianism does NOT say God never interferes with free will.  It says God NEVER foreordains or renders certain evil.  This relates to the issue of Arminianism and inerrancy.  An Arminian COULD believe in divine dictation of Scripture and not do violence… Read more

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