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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Arminian Theology in View, Part 2

Still reading "Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities" by Roger E. Olson. This is supposed to be a scholarly review of Arminian theology that debunks all the myths that Calvinists (like myself) erroneously hold to. To be fair, I've learned a lot about what true, classical Arminianism holds to...and I'm better able to talk about those views now. The problem I have is the total lack of Scriptural support in the book. It's HORRIBLE!

I'm on page 123 right now in a 250 page book. So far he's referenced 17 scripture verses and mentioned 4 chapters (i.e. "if you look at Romans 9"). He did not do a single bit of exegesis on ANY of the passages. The verses are quoted as proof themselves without exegeting a single verse...this is extremely pitiful. I don't get this when I read anything by Reformed writers such as James White, John Piper or R.C. Sproul! Their books are packed with Scripture and exegesis! Is it because the non-reformed side tends to have fallacious arguments?

Here is food for thought. On pages 122-123 he says the following about Arminius' views on the sovereignty of God:

"This is why Scripture sometimes attributes evil deeds to God; because God concurs with them. God cooperates with the sinners who commit them. But that does not mean God is the efficacious cause of them or wills them, except according to his 'consequent will.' God allows them and cooperates with the unwillingly in order to preserve the sinners' liberty, without which sinners would not be responsible and repentant persons would not enter into a truly personal and loving relationship with God."

So here's the issue...Arminianism, according to the auther, is driven by the main idea of God's character. God is love and can only act according to His nature which is primarily defined by love (I'd disagree...I'd say it's His holiness!). Because He is loving He will not violate His creatures' freedom/liberty...and thus He allows them to sin.

This does not make sense to me. How can God be the loving God of Arminianism and allow Adam and Eve to rebel and fall and plunge the entire race in sin? Think of this illustration that I believe I hinted at in the last post; If you are a parent...would you look at your child about to play with a rattlesnake and say to yourself..."I must let them do it, if I violate his/her free will then I don't love him!" Rubbish! And another question popped into my mind when I read this...where's the beef?! Where are the Scripture references and exegesis to back this idea up? Non-existent in this book.
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