Monthly Archives: December 2016

Thomas Oden

A great theologian, a brilliant man.  He will be missed.  His book “The Transforming Power of Grace” is the best book out there about grace written from a broadly Wesleyan perspective.

Here’s a lecture he gave a few years ago at Seattle Pacific University about classical Christianity.

Here’s a fun account of someone (a Calvinist!) who went to Oden’s house uninvited in order to meet him.

Christianity Today: Died: Thomas Oden, Methodist Theologian Who Found Classical Christianity

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The Arminian Theology of “What’s in the Bible”

What’s in the Bible is a DVD / video teaching series for children about the Bible.  It is produced by Phil Vischer, one of the makers of “VeggieTales”.

Anyway, I’ve been watching the series with my son Alexander.  He really enjoys it.  I do too.  I’ve appreciated how well done the series is.  It is entertaining, but not at the expense of accuracy.  It overviews the entire Bible, from beginning to end.  It add in little tidbits here and there (like the difference between a canon and a cannon), and in the process teaches about Jewish and Christian history, and how and why we have the Bible today with the books that it contains.

witb

I’ve noticed (and appreciated) how very Arminian the series is.  God is described as relational, loving, and all powerful.  The series also takes a high view of scripture, when the opening song asks, “Is it true, is it reliable, absolutely verifiable?” (and concludes that it is).

Here is a sample of dialog from episode 2 “Who wrote the Bible?”.

Sunday School Lady: “God loves us more than anything else he’s ever made. And He loves it when we love Him back.  But it has to be our choice. God could make us love him, but that isn’t love at all.  We’d be like robots, like toasters. You press the toast button, you get toast.  You press the love button, you get love.”

Ian: “My toaster doesn’t have a love button.”

Sunday School Lady: “Nope, neither does a robot. Love is a choice.  So God gave us a powerful, dangerous gift.  He gave us the freedom to choose.”

Brother Louie: “Dangerous, what’s so dangerous about being able to choose, Sunday School Lady?”

Sunday School Lady: “We can choose to love God or we can reject him.  We can choose to love each other or hurt each other.  Through the years people chosen to do wonderful things and terrible terrible things.  Love is so important to God that the risk is worth it.  God’s heart aches when we choose to hurt each other and reject him.  But he still lets us choose.”

Buck Denver: “Wow, that’s really big.”

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