Categories
Christology

“Four-point” and “five-point” Calvinism defined

Reflecting on Dan’s question regarding my previous post (“Did Calvin affirm ‘limited atonement’?”) and my response to him, I have concluded that my glossary definitions of “four-” and “five-point Calvinism” need revision and a bit of expansion. I am posting those definitions here because I welcome comment on them. “Five-point Calvinism” “Five-point Calvinism” is the […]

Categories
Christology Soteriology

Did Calvin affirm “limited atonement”?

If you have read my posts regarding the extent/intent of the atonement in recent months, you will be aware that my own way of stating the situation has been changing, but I’m still working some things through. I remain convinced that my present understanding of a double intent in the redemptive work of the Godhead […]

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Books Christology Soteriology

Horton on the Atonement

Michael Horton’s presentation In chapter 4, Michael Horton addresses the third point of  “TULIP,” which he prefers to call “particular redemption”` rather than “limited atonement,” arguing that it is “specific or definite in its intention and scope” (80.) He begins with a discussion of “the nature and effects of Christ’s work on the cross,” positing […]

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Books Soteriology

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 […]

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Books

Against Calvinism 4 – the TULIP system

Mere Calvinism  TULIP In the third chapter of Roger Olson’s book, Against Calvinism, he describes what he dubs “mere” or “garden variety Calvinism” (38). His guides are primarily Loraine Boettner,  R. C. Sproul, John Piper and Paul Helm, whom he finds consistent with the teaching of Calvin himself in regard to the meticulous sovereignty of […]

Categories
Soteriology

Hypothetical Universalism in Paul’s Epistles

About eight years ago, after decades of affirming the “limited atonement” which John Owen had defended at length, I became convinced that the “hypothetical universalism,” which was espoused by the classic moderate Calvinist contingent of the English Reformed delegates to the Synod of Dort, better represented biblical teaching. I believe that this still makes me […]

Categories
Church History Genealogy

Nicholas Ridley, the Oxford martyr, is part of my family story

A recent discovery My wife, Gail, is an avid genealogist, and she recently made a marvelous discovery. Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London, who was burned at the stake in Oxford, on October 16, 1555, in the reign of “Bloody Mary,” is part of my family story because he is my 12th great-uncle.  My direct family […]

Categories
Books Theology - General

In memory of J. I. Packer: A personal tribute

Last week (July 17, 2020), God welcomed J. I. Packer to his life after death, with Christ, and I’m confident that he was received with a hearty: “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Many people who knew him much better than I did  have published tributes to him, but I want to share my […]

Categories
Books Divine Knowledge Providence Theology Proper

Free Will, Foreknowledge, and Necessity: Assessing an Incompatibilist Understanding

I have been interacting with Robert Picirilli’s book, Free Will Revisited, which he wrote as a “respectful response to Luther, Calvin, and Edwards.” Those three representatives of a compatibilist perspective were selected because each of them wrote a book to argue for their position, against a prominent incompatibilist of their time. Martin Luther’s book, On […]

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Books Divine Knowledge Theology Proper

Introducing Calvinism and Middle Knowledge: A Conversation

I am happy to report that a new book is hot off the press, Calvinism and Middle Knowledge: A Conversation, to which I contributed two chapters and half of a third one, which was co-authored with Paul Helm. I’ll give a brief introduction to the book, and then I will trace the history of my […]