Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chrysostom on Philipians 1:29

Ver. 29. “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer in his behalf.”

Again does he teach them moderation of spirit by referring all to God, and saying that sufferings in behalf of Christ are of grace, the gift of grace, a free gift. Be not then ashamed of the gift of grace, for it is more wonderful than the power of raising the dead, or working miracles; for there I am a debtor, but here I have Christ for my debtor. Wherefore ought we not only not to be ashamed, but even to rejoice, in that we have this gift. Virtues he calls gifts, yet not in like sort as other things, for those are entirely of God, but in these we have a share. But since even here the greatest part is of God, he ascribes it entirely to Him, not to overturn our free will, but to make us humble and rightly disposed. (link)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Arminian Timeline


Date

Remonstrant

Anglican/Methodist

Baptist

1600’s

James
Arminius (1560-1609) Theologian and leader of the opposition of Calvinism
in Amsterdam and Leiden

Jan Uytenbogaert remonstrant led the meeting that produced
the
5
Points of the Remonstrants - 1610

Simon Episcopius
(1583-1643) - Arminius' greatest student and leader of the Remonstrants at Dort - Opra Theologica.

Hugo Grotius (1583
–1645) Imprisoned as a result of Dort.
First to articulate the Governmental Theory of the Atonement in A Defense of the Catholic Faith
Concerning the Satisfaction of Christ
. Commentaries.

Johannes
Arnoldi Corvinus
(1582-1650) – Response
to Peter Molina

Gerardus Vossius (1577-1649) - History
of the Pelagian Controversy

1618
OPINIONS OF THE REMONSTRANTS

The
Arminian Confession 1621

Philip van Limborch
(1633-1712) (A
Complete System, or Body of Divinity
)

Peter Baro (1534-1599)

Daniel Tilenus (1563–1633) Bridge
between the Remonstrants and Early English Arminianism.
Convinced of Arminianism by Corvinus and passed that influence to Womock

Laurence Womock (1612–1686) – Author
of the Calvinist Cabinet Unlocked and
The
Result of False Principles: or, Error Convicted by its Own Evidence
John Goodwin (1593-1665) Author of Redemption
Redeemed
, An
Exposition Romans 9
and a
Christian Theology

Lancelot Andrews (1555-1626) - Sermons


John
Smyth (1570-1612) & Thomas Helwys (1550-1616)– Cofounders
of Baptist Church
The
First Baptist Confession 1611


Thomas
Grantham (1634-1692) General Baptist (Works)

Henry
Denne – General Baptist (d 1661)


1700’s




Daniel Whitby
(1638-1726) - His classic work Discourses on the 5 Points
drew famous responses from Calvinists John Gill (The Cause of God and Truth)
and Jonathan Edwards (Inquiry into the Will).

John
Wesley
(1703-1791)
Founder of Methodism

Charles
Wesley (1707 –1788)

John Fletcher (1729-1782)Works: Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3,

Volume 4
Thomas Coke
(1747-1814)

Joseph Benson (1748-1821)


Dan
Taylor – General Baptist (1738-1816) (Works)



Benjamin
Randall – General Baptist (1749-1808) (Works)

1800’s



Adam Clarke (1762-1832)-
Commentaries

Joseph Sutcliffe
(1762-1856) -Commentaries

Richard Watson
(1781-1833)
- His
Theological Institutes
is perhaps
the best Methodist Systematic Theology

Thomas William JenkynExtent of the Atonement (1835)
S.G. Burney Atonement (1888)

Willbur Fisk (1792 – 1839) - Calvinistic Controversy

Samuel Wakefied (1799-1895) -Christian Theology

Amos Binney (1802-1878) System
of Divinity

Daniel Whedon (1808-1885) The Freedom of the Will. Commentaries.


Miner Raymond
(1811-1897)- Systemtaic Theology,
Volume
1
, Volume
2
and Volume
3



Thomas O. Summers
(1812-1882)-
Commentary
Matthew,
Mark,
Luke

John Miley (1813-1895)

Randolph S. Foster
(1820-1903)
Objections to
CALVINISM as it is

William Burt Pope
(1822-1903)
Volume
1
and Volume
2
of his Systematic Theology
Daniel Steele (1824-1914) Commentaries on Leviticus,
Numbers, and Deuteronomy
, Joshua - 2 Samuel, and John's Epistles
Benjamin Field
(1827-1869)-

Albert Nash, Perseverance and Apostasy (1871)


Frédéric Louis Godet
(1812 -1900) Not a Methodist. Commentaries on
John
Volume 1
, John Volume 2, and Romans


Joseph Beet
(1840-1924)
Commentary on Romans


Ransom
Dunn – General Baptist - A
Discourse on the Freedom of the Will (1850)

A. D.
Williams – General Baptist (1825 - 1894)

David
Marks – General Baptist (1805-1845)

Jabez Burns - General Baptist
(1805-1876) (Works)



E. Y.
Mullins (1860-1928) wrote Baptist Beliefs and W. T. Conner (1877-1952) – wrote
Christian Doctrine and The Gospel of Redemption. Mullins and Conner did not call themselves Arminians, but they were instrumental in the decline of
Calvinism within the Southern Baptist Convention.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Through Sanctification of the Spirit

Arminians typically emphasize the foreknowledge aspect of 1 Peter 1:2, but there is another aspect that's even more supportive of conditional election. Infra-lapsarian Calvinists typically view election as among the unsanctified but the passage teaches us that we are chosen through (or 'by' or 'in') sanctification of the Spirit. Here's the passage:

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you, and peace, be multiplied.

The phrase 'through sanctification of the Spirit' modifies 'elect'. Sanctification is the means, not the goal of election (i.e. we are not chosen to become sanctified, rather we are chosen through sanctification). The Holy Spirit produces obedient faith in us and through His work we become the elect.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Paul’s Calminian Objector

Calvinist sometimes see Paul’s objector in Romans 9:19 as an Arminian. After all, wouldn’t Arminius ask Calvin why does He yet find fault?


But on the other hand, Arminius doesn’t believe God’s will is irresistible. It’s Calvin who asks Arminius who has resisted His will?



But wait, Calvin is OK with finding fault men even though their actions are predetermined by God and wouldn't aks why God still finds fault. So the objector was half Calvinist, half Arminian.  Was he a Calminian?


No, Paul’s Jewish objector impiously asked for exemption from blame since God had the authority to save via works of the law rather than faith.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Accord­ing to the Good Pleasure of His Will

Calvinist find a hint of unconditionally in the phrase "accord­ing to the good pleasure of His will". If God is calling the shots, with respect to us it must be random. Arminians need not understand the phrase along those lines. This just means God's plans are wise and good and in accordance with His Holiness, Justice and Goodness.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Was Augustine a Determinist?

Many years ago this statement by Arminius about Augustine caught my eye and I have been passively looking for it ever since:

Are those who are thus the reprobate necessarily damned, because either no grace at all, or not sufficient, has been destined to them, that they may assent to it and believe, Or rather, according to St. Augustine, Are those who are thus the elect assuredly saved, because God decreed to employ grace on them as he knew was suitable and congruous that they might be persuaded and saved; though if regard be had to the internal efficacy of grace, they may not be advanced or benefited by it (link)

This sounds like congruism - a variant of Molinism that holds to both unconditional election libertarian free will (advocated by Suarez and the Jesuits).  (info on Congruism) Early in life Augustine strongly advocated libertarian freedom. Latter in life, Augustine sounded more like a Calvinist, but was he really a proto-congruist?

Baptist vs. Reformed

Turretinfan's recent post on the separation of Church and State reminded me of this quote from John Calvin:

Compel them to come in. This expression means, that the master of the house would give orders to make use, as it were, of violence for compelling the attendance of the poor, and to leave out none of the lowest dregs of the people. By these words Christ declares that he would rake together all the offscourings of the world, rather than he would ever admit such ungrateful persons to his table. The allusion appears to be to the manner in which the Gospel invites us; for the grace of God is not merely offered to us, but doctrine is accompanied by exhortations fitted to arouse our minds. This is a display of the astonishing goodness of God, who, after freely inviting us, and perceiving that we give ourselves up to sleep, addresses our slothfulness by earnest entreaties, and not only arouses us by exhortations, but even compels us by threatenings to draw near to him. At the same time, I do not disapprove of the use which Augustine frequently made of this passage against the Donatists, to prove that godly princes may lawfully issue edicts, for compelling obstinate and rebellious persons to worship the true God, and to maintain the unity of the faith; for, though faith is voluntary, yet we see that such methods are useful for subduing the obstinacy of those who will not yield until they are compelled. (link)

That's a bit scary.  Baptists have some loose ties back to Ana-Baptists, who understood the separation of church and state issue better than the reformed churches. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Classical Arminianism?

I am not talking about Billy's blog, but the name itself. Lately people are using the term Classical Arminianism, Reformed Arminianism, Arminianism of the heart...  Do these terms do Arminians a disservice?

I think the point of these terms is to get back in touch with our roots and point out that Arminius himself was completely orthodox. But what are we distinguishing areselves from? Is there a type of Arminianism other than Classical Arminianism? Are these other Arminians open theists, anti-trinitarians, liberals and Pelagians?  Have the Calvinists been right all along about Arminianism and Classical Arminians only represent a small subset of Arminianism?

I think not. Arminianism is Classical Arminianism.

Friday, September 10, 2010

For the SBC, Arminianism = Falling from Grace?

Following up on my Baptist Chronicles post, here's a quote from David Docery in Calvinims: A Southern Baptist Dialogue:

We must recognize that there is a need for boundaries to say that some things do not fit in Baptist life.  We need to say that hyper-Calvinims (involving the rejection or neglect of evangelism and missions) does not fit.  We need to say that consistent Arminianism (involving the rejection of eternal security) does not fit.  Pelagianism, open theism and process theology do not belong.  (p. 42)

Docery does not like the label Arminianism because of its association with the rejection of eternal security providing another example of why non-Calvinist Southern Baptists don't call themselves Arminian.   

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Altar Calls

Billy and Roy were discussing altar calls so I thought I would throw my 2 cents in.

Some Calvinists object to altar calls. I can understand objections based on fears of easy-believism or false conversions. This is a serious objection because altar calls have been terribly abused; but altar calls can be and in my experience usually are done right. I could understand objections based on the regulative principles of worship. Just as a preacher wiping his nose when he sneezes during a sermon is not formally worship, so also altar calls may happen in church but not be considered formal worship. I could understand objections based on the idea that preaching is the only means God appointed to save through. Altar calls simply open the door for one-on-one evangelism and sinner’s prayers are simply concise gospel presentations. All these objections are understandable even though I ultimately disagree with them.

But I am not OK with objections to altar calls based on soteriology. Fatalism ignores means in light of an inevitable end. The idea that I don’t have to think about or put effort into my evangelistic methods, because of God’s unconditional election and irresistible grace is fatalistic. It’s hyper-Calvinism.

Baptist Chronicles?

I recently enjoyed the article “Neither Calvinist nor Arminians but Baptists” by the authors of Whosoever Will: A Biblical-Theological Critique of Five-Point Calvinism. To an extent, I see myself in this category as well. The authors teach Eternal Security and reject Open Theism and therefore distance themselves with Arminianism. I also hold to Eternal Security and Molinism and I think Arminianism is perfectly consistent with these views, but to the extent Arminianism is associated with falling from grace, my accepting the label Arminian could confuse people. But I think this just gives me the opportunity to clarify Arminianism, rather than just reject an otherwise helpful label. Besides, I suspect the authors of the article represent a broad group in which some of the members do truly fall outside the Arminian camp, but are still not 5-point Calvinists, so the motivations for the group may be different for me as an individual.

I also like the point that the Calvinism/Arminianism issue should not divide fellowship or take our focus off evangelism. I am perfectly happy serving under a moderate Calvinist pastor or witnessing alongside Calvinist church members and I have been doing so for most of my life.

HT: Peter Lumpkins

Monday, September 6, 2010

Original Sin - But I Didn't Eat the Fruit!

One of the more common objections to the doctrine of original sin is that it's unjust. I didn't eat the fruit, why do I have to suffer?  We of course did not eat the fruit, nor does God look at us as if we did. Rather, we are closely associated with Adam and in Adam all die.

This idea or federal headship is similar to the idea of families or nations suffering together for something their leader did and the bible gives us plenty of examples of this happening.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Adios Patrick Crayton

Thanks for all you did for Dallas over the years!  It's sad to see you go.  All the best with your next adventure; except when you play Dallas.

Fantasy Football Draft

The QBs were flying off the board early, so I had to pick from the best of the rest in that area.  Once Big Ben gets to play, I should be OK, but for the first four games I am going to have to go with match-ups and use the best of the rest. The league is standard scoring and is QB, RB, RB, Flex, TE, DEF, K.  Here are my picks.

Blogging Face Lift

I gave Arminian Chronicles a new look.  I hope you like it.