In a guest post (here) on James Anderson’s blog Analogical Thoughts, Daniel Johnson, Associate Professor of Philosophy and co-editor of Calvinism and the Problem of Evil, claims that a invalid argument lies at the heart of Jerry Walls’ new book Does God Love Everyone? What’s Wrong with Calvinism. I’m afraid that Dr. Johnson is quite mistaken on this point. Prof. Walls’ argument is demonstrably valid.
Craig Carter’s final salvo in our exchange on Calvinism purports to offer us “More on Davis’ Arguments Against Calvinism.” So far as I can see, however, we aren’t really given “more” so much as “more of the same”–variations on the original theme but nothing substantially new. Let me explain.
Christians of every stripe agree that Christ’s substitutionary and atoning work on Calvary’s cross is marvelous beyond comprehension. It is an act of unspeakable mercy, condescension, and grace—on the human level, wholly unearned and uninitiated, a visible and concrete demonstration of God’s love for sinners and enemies (Romans 5:10). As Jesus tells Nicodemus, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).
Surely, this is good news—indeed, the best of news—for sinful, fallen humanity. Where would we be without it? It is a pearl of great price, not to be exchanged for even the whole world. Curiously, however, one very influential theological system—Calvinism—bids us to pause at this juncture. Continue reading
Calvinism and TULIP go hand in hand. When you think of the one, it’s rather hard not to think of the other. However, certain qualifications are in order. “The truth is,” says Michael Horton, “there isn’t a central dogma in Calvinism” [link]. We can’t reduce Calvinism to a single doctrine. Nor can it be limited to TULIP. It is more than the acronym. Thus, John S. Feinberg notes that “God’s sovereign control [is] not only over election to salvation, but over all else,” including the future [link]. Well, that goes beyond TULIP proper, which is fair enough. If there is a difficulty for Calvinism, it lies not in its cleaving to the fact of God’s sovereign control, but rather in its proposed control mechanism which, I will suggest, creates more problems than it solves. Continue reading
In 2009 Time magazine ran a story entitled “10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now” (Thursday, March 12). Not surprisingly, the top two spots were occupied by new trend setting thinking on career/workplace and life in the suburbs. However, the no. 3 spot was definitely a shocker: “The New Calvinism.” Continue reading
Author and Post-Structuralist thinker, Peter Rollins, describes himself as a “provocative writer, lecturer, storyteller and public speaker who has gained an international reputation for overturning traditional notions of religion and forming ‘churches’ that preach the Good News that we can’t be satisfied, that life is difficult, and that we don’t know the secret” (link). Here one is inclined to agree with Rollins. It really would overturn (or at least sideline) the traditional understanding of the Gospel Continue reading