Search Results for: four point

“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 affirmation of the conclusions of the Synod of Dort. In the past century or so, the 5 points have commonly … Continue reading

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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 is coherent with the Canons of Dort. First, it was God’s intention, in the death of the Son, to make … Continue reading

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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 that “penal substitution has always been at the heart of Reformed (as other) accounts of Christ’s redemptive work” (81). But … 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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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 God – “nothing at all can happen that is not foreordained and rendered certain by God” (39). God is also … Continue reading

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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 own theological journey in relationship to middle knowledge, and finally I’ll briefly sum up my current beliefs about God’s knowledge … Continue reading

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A self-determinist reading of key Old Testament passages

Before Robert Picirilli identifies particularly significant biblical texts which teach that humans are libertarianly free, he pauses to describe the general approach to such texts by Luther and Calvin. Luther Picirilli describes the crucial importance of Luther’s distinction between law and gospel, and he suspects that Luther would regard some of the passages which Picirilli is going to cite, as gospel, rather than law, but he is not able to discern the criteria by which … Continue reading

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A divine determinist’s reflections on a self-determinist’s reading of Scripture: the original sin

I came to the third chapter of Robert Picirilli’s book, Free Will Revisited, with particular eagerness. I concur with him “that what matters most, in the discussion of free will (or any theological issue), is what the Bible says” (p. 18). I also agree with his intent when he states that “the Bible never undertakes to speak directly to the issue of whether people have the capacity for freedom of choice.” I would say it … Continue reading

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Considering a self-determinist’s analysis of the error of all forms of determinism

In a previous post, I began to interact with Robert Picirilli’s stimulating book, Free Will Revisited. That post was longer than the first chapter of Picirilli’s book, because I took the time to locate Picirilli’s understanding of free will in the big picture of alternative understandings of the extent to which God controls the details of created history. As an Arminian, Picirilli does not want to speak of his position as indeterministic, but he describes … Continue reading

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Revisiting free will, in conversation with Robert Picirilli (1)

A four-way conversation Among the theological decisions we must make if we are to have a theology and practice which both have an inner coherence, one of the most far reaching is our choice of model regarding God’s work in the world. How we understand the nature of the freedom God has given to his moral creatures is a key factor in that decision. This is a matter I have studied and ruminated about for … Continue reading

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