Monthly Archives: September 2009

You Might be a Calvinist If…

I ran across this list on Tom in the Box, which is pretty good. Billy’s comment was great. Here are a few more. Mostly charitable. :)

You might be a Calvinist if….

You rented King Arthur, and turned if off half way through.

You haven’t actually read The Shack, but have read several books on why it’s heretical.

You got goose bumps on Calvin’s 500th birthday.

Pyromania makes you think of Phil Johnson, not Def Leppard.

You can decipher this code: 29:29, 21:1, 6:37, 6:43, 10:26, 8:30, 9:20, 1:4, 2:8

You found the error.

It irritates you when someone says the solas in English.

You added the unreached people widget to your blog, to head off Arminians at the pass.

When someone mentions New Zealand, the first thing you think of is particular redemption.

You hate rap, but listen to Lecrae because his lyrics are so good.

You have a plaque commemorating the Synod of Dort.

You’re biggest complaint about John MacArthur is that he doesn’t use the ESV.

You’ve come up with a working theory on how the Holocaust gives God glory.

You’ve considered moving to Minneapolis.

You initially didn’t get the King Arthur reference, but looked it up and now strongly agree.


Filed under humor

Roger Olson Challenges Calvinists to Rewrite "The Shack"

The Society of Evangelical Armininians has a post today by Roger Olson, where he issues a challenge to Calvinists: Rewrite “The Shack” from the Calvinist view.

Olson writes:

Since most Calvinists are harshly critical of the novel The Shack (which takes a similar approach to theodicy as Greg Boyd in Is God to Blame?) because of its alleged undermining of God’s glory and sovereignty, why don’t they (or one of them) write a similar novel in which God explains to Mack (or someone like him) why his daughter was kidnapped, raped and murdered–and avoid language about God permitting or allowing it (which is really Arminian language)?

Quite a tall order. I would not relish the idea of explaining why God decrees the rape and murder of a little girl. And that is one of the root problems with Calvinism. If God ordains everything and he is good, then why do evil things happen?

I personally nominate Tim Challies to write the book.

If you are unfamiliar with “The Shack”, you have been living in a cave. :) It is a popular and controversial Christian novel. My review is here.


Filed under problem of evil, roger olson

The ESV and Romans 16:7

Does anyone know why the ESV translates Romans 16:7 differently than the other major translations? I’m referring to where the ESV says that Andronicus and Junia (a female) were well known to the apostles. All the other major translations make it sound as if they WERE apostles (rather than merely known to them). Is this a legitimate interpretation?

Bold added by me.

ESV: Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.

NASB: Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

KJV: Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

NRSV: Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.

NIV: Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.

TNIV: Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.

NLT: Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews, who were in prison with me. They are highly respected among the apostles and became followers of Christ before I did.

ASV: Salute Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also have been in Christ before me.

(Click to enlarge and see the Greek interlinear text)


Filed under women in leadership

How to Worship (Funny Video)

This is funny, particularly since most of it applies pretty close to home. :)


Filed under humor

Interesting Links – 9/19/09

This month’s Christianity Today has some articles by Arminians in praise of John Calvin (yes, you read that right). Man of the Bible: What Calvin gets Right, by Ben Witherington. Theologian of the Spirit, by Roger Olson.

This pastor hates Obama, and preached a sermon on why he wishes the president dead. Although the article doesn’t state it, I’m going to go way out on a limb and guess that the good reverend is not an Arminian. [update 10-2-09 : the pastor is NOT a Calvinist, although probably not an Arminian either: link – thanks to Rev for pointing this out]

Tim Challies has an article about his visit to Saddleback Church. He attended a service and met with Rick Warren for about 30 minutes.

Ben Witherington previews the NIV 2011.

Calvinist witnessing and Arminian witnessing. If you haven’t already seen these clips, they’re pretty funny. The Calvinist witnessing one is better of course. :)


Filed under Interesting Links

The Calvinists Who Became Arminians at Dort

One of the fascinating facts of history is the “conversion” to Arminianism of several of the Calvinists who participated in the proceedings at the Synod of Dort. Below are accounts of three Calvinists, two whom changed their views during the actual proceedings, and one who had already changed his opinion prior.

John Hales (1584-1656): Hales was an English theologian. He was a quiet and gentle man. He was well read, had an excellent memory, and is reported to have had an “exact knowledge of the Greek tongue”.1 For some time he was a professor at the college of Eton, where he taught Greek. He was affectionately referred to as “The Ever Memorable Hales”. During the proceedings at Dort, Hales was a chaplain for Sir Dudley Carlton, the English ambassador to the Netherlands. He attended Dort at the request of Sir Carlton. During Dort, Hales is reported to have “bade John Calvin good night”.2 He became convinced of the merits of Arminianism after hearing Simon Episcopius’ defense of Unlimited Atonement and exposition of John 3:16.

Thomas Goad (1576-1638): Goad was an English clergyman. He was fond of poetry and known for his skill in verse. He was a chaplain for George Abbot, archbishop of Canterbury. He was a rector in several locations, and was also precentor (music leader) at Saint Paul’s Cathedral. Goad was sent to Dort by King James at the request of Abbot. Goad went to the Dort as a Calvinist, but like Hales, he became convinced of Arminianism during the course of the synod. He switched sides and began to defend the Arminians. As a result, he lost much prestige among his colleagues, and his name was omitted (perhaps accidentally) from the acts of the synod. After the synod, Goad returned to his chaplaincy.3

Daniel Tilenus (1563-1633): Tilenus was a Huguenot (French Calvinist). He was a professor at the Presbyterian college of Sedan. He was a staunch Calvinist in his earlier days, but had already embraced the Remonstrants by the time of Dort. Risking his position at Sedan, Tilenus strongly criticized the behavior of the Calvinists at Dort, stating that they treated their Arminian brethren according to “the methods of the Turks”4. As a result of supporting and identifying with Arminians, Tilenus was deposed from his professorship at Sedan. He moved to England at the request of King James, and became a capable defender of Arminian theology.5

(1) The 1917 Harvard Theological Review, Volume 10 Short biography about the life of John Hales.
(2) The Life of John Goodwin by Thomas Jackson, 1872, page 441
(3) Dictionary of National Biography (British) 1885-1900, entry on Thomas Goad
(4) Religious currents and cross-currents: essays on early modern Protestantism, 1999, page 9
(5) Memoirs of Simon Episcopius, By Frederick Calder, 1838, page 456


Filed under Arminianism, history, Synod of Dort

Great Wesley Quotes

Beware you be not swallowed up in books! An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge.

Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn.

The world is my parish.

You may be as orthodox as the devil and as wicked.

My ground is the Bible. Yea, I am a Bible-bigot. I follow it in all things, both great and small.

Think not the bigotry of another is any excuse for your own.

I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out.

I value all things only by the price they shall gain in eternity.

When I have money, I get rid of it quickly, lest it find a way into my heart.

Once in seven years I burn all my sermons; for it is a shame if I cannot write better sermons now than I did seven years ago.

If there be any mistakes in the Bible, there may as well be a thousand. If there is one falsehood in that book, it did not come from the God of truth.

Though I am always in haste, I am never in a hurry.

Having, First, gained all you can, and, Secondly saved all you can, Then give all you can. (Dave Ramsey’s motto also)

Believe nothing they say, unless it is clearly confirmed by plain passages of holy writ.

The Bible knows nothing of solitary religion.

In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church.

The best of it all is, God is with us. (possibly his last words)


Filed under John Wesley, quotes