The House Fire (Arminian version):
Once upon a time there was a house on fire. Inside were three children. The dad was outside, and went in to rescue his children. He helped one child get out, but the other two refused to come. They died in the fire. Afterwords, forensics determined that the fire was lit by the children inside the house. They were playing with matches.
The House Fire (Calvinist version):
Once upon a time there was a house on fire. Inside were three children. The dad was outside, and went in to rescue one child. He took one child out, and left the other two to burn. They died in the fire. Afterwords, forensics determined that the fire was deliberately lit by the dad. The dad admitted that he planned the whole thing because he wanted to be a hero. He also claimed that he started the fire, but not in such a way that it was his fault.
Which dad do you think was a hero? Which dad has better motives? Which dad is double minded?
These analogies are not perfect, but they get the point across. Calvinists claim that their theological system glorifies God. The reverse is true. Calvinism calls into question the very motives of God, and diminishes His glory by undermining his character. Any dad who deliberately starts a fire to burn his children is not worthy of being called a hero.
Update 3/31/09: This post is now available in Chinese, thanks to the efforts of Wesley Wong. Thanks Wesley!
I need to put blogging on hold for a while. Life is quite busy! We recently closed on a house, and are now in the process of moving. Thanks for following the blog, I’ll be back in a week or so.
This song has a great message.
Ken Schenck writes that it is a great time to be a Wesleyan (this includes Charismatics as well). He focuses on four trends: The New Perspectives on Paul (which is friendly to an “Arminian” understanding of Paul), Theological hermeneutics (following the Bible’s lead as compared to defending traditional evangelical positions), missional Christianity (being salt and light to our culture), and the ancient-future movement (a resurgence in interest about historical Christianity).
Ben at Arminian Perspectives is doing a chapter by chapter critique of Craig Brown’s book The Five Dilemmas of Calvinism. Apparently Craig’s book is making the rounds among the NeoReformed.
Former Calvinist Dan Graceley has written a book critiquing Calvinism. It is now available online for free! HOODWINKED AND HAPPY?: Evangelicals, Calvinism, and Why No One’s Answering the Problem of Evil. The book is well worth the read, although the author doesn’t consider himself an Arminian.
Was honest Abe a Calvinist? The folks at “Evangelical Covenant Church” think so.
Pat Nolan, vice president of Prison Fellowship, explains how to save the government billions with prison reform, noting that “by nature the government cannot love people…If we’re going to change these folks we got to show them that we truly love them as brothers in Christ and that we’re there for them,”