Friday, September 28, 2012

This Week in Calvinism - September 28, 2012

  • Justin Holcomb discusses two major streams of Reformed theology: the Scottish tradition and the Dutch tradition.

  • Roy Ingle explains why Arminians find Calvinist "conversions" offensive.

  • Southern Baptist pastor David Platt clarifies his position on the "sinner's prayer."

  • Part 6 of Austin DeArmond's series of posts entitled "Myths & Caricatures of Calvinism."

  • A statement often quoted against Calvinism briefly examined.

  • Calvinism and Stoicism are not the same thing.

  • From Ligonier: Six practical reasons to study eschatology.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

This Week in Calvinism - September 21, 2012

  • Robert Arakaki offers a critique of Calvinism from an Eastern Orthodox perspective. He thinks Calvinism presents a "zero-sum theology." In other words, "for any human to possess the capacity to freely love and have faith steals glory from God." That's an interesting take, but I think it has less to do with stealing glory from God than it does with the fact that scripture teaches man lacks the ability to "freely love and have faith" (Psalm 14:3, Psalm 143:2, Isaiah 53:6, Jeremiah 17:9, John 3:20, Romans 3:10, Romans 7:18, Romans 11:32, etc.).

  • Paul Copan lists his top books on Arminianism and Molinism.

  • SBC president Fred Luter Jr. has a message for Southern Baptists: "This debate we're having across the convention about Calvinism needs to be resolved among us ASAP. Brothers and sisters, the dream of turning this convention's heart to missions and evangelism, missions and discipleship can easily turn into a nightmare if we do not resolve this Calvinism issue in a Christ-like manner. However, if it's going to be resolved, it must start with many of us right here in this room."

  • Dan Phillips has a question for you about evangelistic tracts: "What tracts have you found useful?"

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Gospel of Jesus's Wife?

That's what Harvard researcher Karen King is calling a certain fourth-century papyrus fragment.

You can read more about the fragment here.

This will no doubt cause waves, but only for a moment. None of these Gnostic "gospels" ever hold up under scrutiny, and once the novelty of this latest discovery has passed, people will forget about it.

For a more pointed critique, check out Dr. James White's posts here and here.

Friday, September 14, 2012

This Week in Calvinism - September 14, 2012

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Friday, September 07, 2012

This Week in Calvinism - September 7, 2012

  • In the eighth of a 12-part series, Mark Rathel wonders if Southern Baptists can be called Arminian, since he is "unaware of any Southern Baptist theologian that espouses prevenient grace in the sense described by Arminians."

  • Greg writes, "Calvinism teaches that God SPECIFICALLY WILLS and TAKES DELIGHT IN every evil event in history as well as each person who will suffer eternally in hell." I can't believe this guy has actually been accused of caricaturing Calvinism.

  • Tim Challies reminds us that discipline is grace.

  • Is sanctification simple or complex? Short answer: yes.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

A "Bible" Camp for Atheists

I know. You atheists don't proselytize. You don't organize meetings, hold seminars, form support groups, or write books. And you certainly don't hold any beliefs based on faith. No, atheism is not like a religion in any way.

Still, if your kids are looking for a Bible camp experience without the Bible part, you might want to check out Camp Quest. The camp aims to:
  • Develop supportive communities for freethinking families

  • Foster curiosity, scientific inquiry, and critical thinking in young people to enable them to draw their own conclusions

  • Cultivate reason and empathy as foundations of an ethical, productive and fulfilling life

  • Provide a safe and fun environment for personal and social growth

  • Encourage exploration of the natural world

  • Promote open dialogue that is marked by challenging each other’s ideas while treating each other with respect

  • Raise awareness of positive contributions made by atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers, and other nontheistic people to our society

  • Demonstrate atheism and humanism as positive, family-friendly worldviews
  • Bill Nye would be proud.

    Tuesday, September 04, 2012

    Monday, September 03, 2012

    Is It Government's Role to Care for the Poor?

    Jim Wallis of Sojourners has written an article entitled "Caring for the Poor is Government's Biblical Role." His argument isn't so much biblical as it is philosophical. It can pretty much be summed up like this: "Caring for the poor is a good thing, and governments are supposed to promote good, so therefore government should care for the poor."

    The intention behind wanting government to step in and care for the poor may be noble indeed, but those who call for such action seldom look beyond mere intentions. There are deeper implications to consider.

    Penn Jillette, entertainer and avowed atheist, wrote an article last year for that touched on this issue:
    It's amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness.

    People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we're compassionate we'll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint.

    People try to argue that government isn't really force. You believe that? Try not paying your taxes. (This is only a thought experiment -- suggesting on that someone not pay his or her taxes is probably a federal offense, and I'm a nut, but I'm not crazy.) When they come to get you for not paying your taxes, try not going to court. Guns will be drawn. Government is force -- literally, not figuratively.
    When seen from that perspective, all the talk about government doing more to help the poor takes on an entirely different meaning.
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