Tag Archives: Roger Olson

Are open theism and Molinism forms of Arminian theology?

Roger Olson has addressed an interesting question: are open theism and Molinism forms of Arminianism or not? He thinks that open theism is but Molinism is not. I agree with Roger Olson that open theism is a sub-category of Arminian theology but I disagree with his assessment that Molinism does not belong there. Here is the slightly edited comment I wrote on his blog post (though it has not yet been approved there).  I speak … Continue reading

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Should Protestants affirm a doctrine of purgatory?

Recently, I’ve observed within evangelicalism a new sympathy for some sort of purgatory in the saving process. For instance, one might take from a statement by Roger Olson in a blog post today, that he has moved in this direction. Here is the paragraph I have in mind:  “This touches on a subject I’ve raised here before. To what extent should we let historical figures off the hook just because of the cultural context and … Continue reading

Posted in Soteriology | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

On semi-Pelagianism in many Baptist churches

I am happy for a post Roger Olson wrote yesterday (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2012/06/thoughts-about-%E2%80%9Ca-statement-of-the-traditional-southern-baptist-understanding-of-gods-plan-of-salvation-%E2%80%9D/), expressing his concern about semi-Pelagianism in a recent statement about salvation, formulated by non-Calvinist Southern Baptists. Article 2 of “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation,” states: “Article Two: The Sinfulness of Man We affirm that, because of the fall of Adam, every person inherits a nature and environment inclined toward sin and that every person who is … Continue reading

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Why does God reward the good deeds of believers?

In a book review yesterday, Roger Olson expressed his puzzlement about how God’s giving rewards to believers in the final judgment coheres with Calvinism’s monergistic understanding of sanctification. He wrote: “My fear is that Spence, and Calvin before him, rob rewards of any meaning and imply that God is actually rewarding himself and not believers. If that is the case, why mention rewards at all? Why preach or teach heavenly rewards as motivation for obedience … Continue reading

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Olson’s “No” to monergistic grace

In the seventh chapter of Against Calvinism, Roger Olson states his objections to the “high Calvinist” understanding of irresistible grace/monergism Olson’s representation of the Calvinist doctrine of irresistible or effectual grace Roger understands the fundamental motive of Calvinists in asserting the monergistic understanding of grace that is represented by the fourth point of TULIP: that “all glory for salvation be given to God alone” (157). In the writings of Calvin, Boettner, Steele and Thomas, Palmer, … Continue reading

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The free offer of the gospel

In my post on Roger Olson’s discussion of the extent/intent of the atonement, I said very little about a connection between the universal/limited provision of salvation and a free offer of the gospel. Roger quotes favorably the assessment of Gary Schultz that: “If the atonement was only for the elect, to preach this message to the non-elect would at best be giving them a false hope and at worst would be untrue” (Against Calvinism, 151). … Continue reading

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For whom did Christ die?

In the sixth chapter of Against Calvinism, Roger Olson states his objections to the “high Calvinist” understanding of limited atonement/particular redemption. Olson’s representation of the Calvinist doctrine of limited atonement In his reading of high Calvinist theologians (Boettner, Steele and Thomas, Palmer, Sproul, Piper), Roger hears this: penal substitution is the central purpose of Christ’s atoning work and this necessitates the conclusion that Christ actually suffered the deserved punishment for all people, because that would … Continue reading

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An Arminian understanding of election

Having spelled out his objections to Calvinism’s doctrine of double predestination (in chapter 5 of Against Calvinism), Roger Olson outlines the Arminian alternative that he deems superior. An Arminian doctrine of election As John Wesley stated the classic Arminian doctrine of election, it is God’s foreknowledge of who will freely receive the prevenient enabling grace which God gives in equal measure to everyone. God also foreknows who will resist that grace, and they are the … Continue reading

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Olson’s “no” to double predestination

  In the fifth chapter of Against Calvinism, Roger Olson states his objections to the Calvinist understanding of election, and he outlines the classic Arminian alternative. In this post I will deal with his objections, and then I will look at his alternative in a later post. Olson’s representation of the Calvinist doctrine of unconditional election of individuals In his reading of Calvinist theologians (Calvin, Boettner, Palmer, Sproul, Piper, Edwards), Roger hears this: God sovereignly … Continue reading

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My compatibilist proposal

Incompatibilism: the core of Olson’s objection to Calvinism In our journey through Roger Olson’s Against Calvinism, I have drawn attention to the prominence of theodicy in Roger’s objections to Calvinism. In his view, God would be a moral monster if he were meticulously sovereign but deliberately rendered certain the horrific evils that have occurred in human history. Among those evils, the assignment of many human beings to hell ranks high. If the Calvinist account of … Continue reading

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