Monthly Archives: December 2011

Michael Patton Meets Thomas Oden

Michael Patton has a fun story about how he met Thomas Oden.  Check it out here. From the post:

He is going to think you are a nut. You cannot just walk up to someone’s house that you don’t know and expect to talk to them. Are you a stalker? However, I countered this with a classic: Michael, you are probably the only one crazy enough to do something like this so it will work.

Odon is one of my favorite theologians.  Reading his work  is like drinking from the fire hose.

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Filed under General Interest, Thomas Oden

Arminian Audio – Seven Part Series by Bruxy Cavey

Bruxy Cavey – a pastor at at church called “The Meeting House”, has recently done an excellent seven part series contrasting Calvinism and Arminianism. It is well worth listening to.

You can find the series HERE, go to the one called “Chosen and Choosing” (October 11, 2011). It is available in either audio or video.

Cavey is Anabaptist, and he provides a unique perspective. He is a very rapid speaker, so you have to pay attention or you’ll miss something. :) He is a former Calvinist, and articulates Calvinism very well (without making caricatures of it). He spends a lot of time addressing questions that Calvinists ask non-Calvinists (like the sovereignty of God, whether or not faith is a “work”, etc). He is irenic, and stresses the importance of Christian unity – that neither Calvinism or Arminianism is the gospel. In the series he goes over the 5 points of TULIP. He addresses most of the main scripture texts that both C’s and A’s appeal to. He also has a question and answer time in each session. And he even gets a marriage proposal. :)

One minor issue to be aware of is that in the first session he seems to conflate Arminianism with semi-Pelagianism, however, this is corrected in the second session, and he accurately describes Arminianism from that point forward.

The Meeting House describes itself as “a church for people who are not into church”. It is Anabaptist in perspective, and is based near Toronto, Canada.


Filed under Arminian Audio, Arminian Video, Arminianism, Calvinism

God, Spider Man, and Santa (Humor)

HT: Russell Veldman

This is um….not very orthodox, but pretty funny anyway. :)


Filed under humor

Christmas Carol Quiz

A little Christmas carol trivia quiz.  See how well you do! Answers are given at the end of the post.

1) An American Negro spiritual that dates back to at least 1865.  Author and musician are unknown.

2) First song to be broadcast over radio.  It became popular in the North during the American Civil War. Originally a French carol, but later denounced by the church in France when it was discovered that the lyrics were written by a communist.

3) This tune was first recorded by Gene Autry, and was  based on a children’s story that was written by a Montgomery Wards employee.

4) An Episcopal priest from Philadelphia was inspired to write this song after making a visit to Palestine.

5) Charles Wesley published the original lyrics, which were subsequently modified by George Whitfield.  We sing Whitfield’s version today.

6) This famous song is based on Psalm 98.  Trios of nocturnal canines have nothing to do with it.

7) This is probably the best known Spanish holiday tune (in the USA).  It wishes you a prosperous new year.

8) A priest from a small Austrian town wrote this for his parish.  Legend has it that the church did not have a working organ, so the song was written to be accompanied by guitar.

9) This children’s tune hit #1 on the billboard charts in 1958, and required some innovative engineering to produce the unique vocal sounds.

10) This song may date back to the 15th century.  In Dickens’ “Christmas Carol”, Scrooge makes threats against someone who tries to sing it to him.

11) This old secular tune was  banned by Oliver Cromwell (who wasn’t keen on Christmas celebrations).  In the lyrics the carolers make some blunt demands upon the rich hosts that they sing to.

12) This song was written in part to celebrate the 400th birthday of Martin Luther.  It is a lullaby to baby Jesus.

13) You are supposed to rise if you hear this tune performed live.  Legend has it that King George II stood the first time he heard it.

14) This song by Bing Crosby is the best selling single of all time. It was popular during World War II.

15) Written by an English Jacobite who fled to France to avoid persecution.  The original version is in Latin, “Adeste Fideles, Laeti triumphante”


1) Go Tell it on the Mountain
2) O Holy Night
3) Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
4) O Little Town of Bethlehem
5) Hark the Herald Angels Sing
6) Joy to the World
7) Feliz Navidad
8) Silent Night
9) The Chipmunk Song (Christmas don’t be late)
10) God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
11) We Wish You a Merry Christmas
12) Away in a Manger
13) The Hallelujah Chorus
14) White Christmas
15) O Come All Ye Faithful

10-15 = Choir Director
5-9 = Lead Tenor
0-4 = Backup Camel in the Christmas play


Filed under Christmas, music

What if Santa Were a Calvinist? (humor)

Apparently Santa has been reading too much Calvinist literature, and now it’s rubbing off on his elves. Check out Martin Glynn’s post here. :)


Filed under Calvinism, humor

Scot McKnight – Series on Calvinism

Scot McKnight has started a series on why he left Calvinism. It’s well worth the read.

From the post:

There are (so I think) two major weaknesses in Calvinism’s theology (and also a disorientation in its architecture): first, the emphasis of its architecture is not the emphasis of the Bible. Its focus on God’s Sovereignty, which very quickly becomes much less a doctrine of grace than a doctrine of control and theodicy etc, and its overemphasis on human depravity are not the emphases of the Bible. The overemphasis of these two in high Calvinism comes more from Augustine and later Calvinists than from the rhetoric of the biblical authors. I do not dispute the presence of these themes; I dispute their narratival centrality and they are where the gravity of emphasis is found in the Bible. Yes, we all have metanarratives that put things together, and Calvinism is one such metanarrative. It works for some; it simply didn’t work for me.

Second, the exegesis of Calvinism on crucial passages is sometimes dead wrong. I was once standing, years later when I was teaching at Trinity, outside my door talking with two professors about my view of Hebrews, when I simply asked one of them, “Who do you think best answers the Arminian interpretation of Hebrews?” [The warning passages] That professor said, “Philip Hughes.” I had just read Hughes and I thought it was weak. In fact, what I thought was this: “If that is the best, then there is no debate.” The other professor said, “I agree, Scot. Hughes doesn’t answer the questions.” Then he said, “I’m not sure any commentary really answers it well.” (Both of these professors were Calvinists, and still are, God bless ‘em.) What I’m saying is that the exegetical conclusions I was drawing (in all kinds of passages) were not answered adequately by the Calvinists I was reading. We all have to give them a fair shot. But at that time I had nothing to lose and it didn’t matter where I landed; I wanted to find out what the Bible said.

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Filed under Calvinism, Scot McKnight