A Dear John Letter to John Calvin
Zack Hunt of The American Jesus wrote a brilliant “Dear John” letter after reading Calvin’s most famous work, Institutes of the Christian Religion. If you want to hear a well-articulated and engaging challenge of classic Calvinism, you should read the whole post.
Here’s a little snippet to spark your interest:
But, John, I think the ultimate problem between you and me is the starting point in your grand theological endeavor. For you, everything begins and ends with the glory of God. I wholeheartedly agree that giving glory to God is an important thing. But John, I don’t know what Bible you’re reading if you think that receiving glory is God’s primary interest in and purpose for mankind. If anything, the Bible is a sustained account of God’s disinterest in glory. It’s the story of a God who desires above all to be in a loving relationship with His people and God’s willingness to do anything to make that happen, including abandoning all sense of glory even to that point of death on a cross.
But perhaps the most ironic point in your emphasis on glory is that in your attempt to glorify God you destroy that very glory through your understanding of divine sovereignty and election. For if God ordains murder, rape, and abuse, while creating some people – maybe most people – for eternal torment, then that God is not worthy of glory. Period.
David D. Flowers posted this insightful reflection over on his blog about an episode of The Twilight Zone and what it says about some pop views of God. Can we really love a God that exercises this kind of random control just because he can? We can certainly fear a God like this, but can…
According to John’s Gospel, on the evening of his crucifixion Jesus clearly articulated the single-most important quality by which his followers would be recognized: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love (agape) one another” (John 13:35). Or again: “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for…
Bet you didn’t think we’d be going here. Greg discusses how quantum theory supports the idea of free will.
For Part 1, click here. In Ephesians Paul teaches that God “chose us in [Christ] before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight” (Eph 1:4). In Christ, Paul continues, God “predestined us for adoption to sonship…to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in…
Greg is going to be spending the next several blogs talking about the idea of free will. In this first reflection, he discusses whether it is coherent to speak of a decision that is not determined or exhaustively caused.
Greg shares his continuing thoughts on free will with a thought experiment (and a hand-drawn graph!) granting that we are largely determined by forces outside of our control. If we grant this presupposition, does that mean that free will is an illusion or insignificant? Find out!