Category Archives: 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 own reasons for being very grateful to this great servant of God, for his contribution to my own life and … Continue reading

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Does theology matter to churches?

The other night, when reading a letter I wrote to my parents during my first year as a missionary in the Philippines at the age of 26, I chuckled when I saw that I had signed off with: “Love, Terry, ‘your incurable theologian.’” How right I was. Forty five years later I still haven’t been cured. Paraphrasing the wonderful comment olympic sprinter Eric Liddell made to his sister in the film “Chariots of Fire,” I … Continue reading

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Better names for the two main alternatives regarding the nature of hell

While I blew the driveway clear after another blizzard, I thought about hell. There is no connection between those two activities, lest you think I am about to explain what it is, but I was listening to a fine podcast from Unbelievable, in which James White and Roger and Faith Forster discussed the nature of hell. (You can watch that discussion here: White represented the view he called “eternal conscious torment,” and the Forsters … Continue reading

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Further thoughts concerning Molinism and Arminianism

A few days ago, I responded to Roger Olson’s opinion that Open Theism is a form of Arminianism but Molinism is not. I’ll wrap that conversation up with these citations of our further conversation in the comment thread of Roger’s post, particularly regarding Molinism. Roger wrote: Thanks, Terry. I don’t consider Greg Boyd a Molinist. His “might counterfactuals” are not at all what traditional Molinism/middle knowledge claims. His “neo-Molinism” is not, IMHO, any version of … Continue reading

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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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A SWOT analysis of Calvinism today

Michael Horton’s presentation Chapter 8 of Michael Horton’s For Calvinism offers a SWOT analysis of Calvinism today, that is, an examination of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, according to his assessment. Strengths and Weaknesses The first thing that Horton considers a strength of Calvinism these days is its intellectual boldness. Early in the rise of Reformed churches, the catechizing of members was given a high priority among the activities of pastors. They were instrumental in … Continue reading

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The appeal of Calminianism

Every now and then, I hear some one say that they are Calminian. By this, they generally mean that they do not wish to affirm determinism (that God is meticulously in control in the world, so that even moral creatures always act according to God’s eternal will [Calvinism]), but they also do not want to affirm indeterminism (that God has chosen not to have that comprehensive control, so that moral creatures can be libertarianly free … Continue reading

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On thinking charitably about unorthodox theologians

You have probably heard about the recent death of John Hick, whose theological pilgrimage took him out of the evangelicalism of his younger years into fairly classical liberalism and then on to the relativistic pluralism for which he was probably best known. We evangelicals naturally grieve a bit when a fellow evangelical rejects what we consider to be the core truths of orthodox Christian faith. But not everyone expresses that grief in the same way, … Continue reading

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What makes a theological statement newsworthy?

I was intrigued by an item in Christian Century news, entitled: Twisters not random, says Calvinist preacher Piper. Bob Allen wrote: An author and preacher popular in Calvinist circles says it is no accident that recent killer tornadoes followed paths that ravaged some communities while others were spared. “Why would God reach down his hand and drag his fierce fingers across rural America killing at least 38 people with 90 tornadoes in 12 states and … Continue reading

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On retiring into your calling

F. Dale Bruner is talking about the life experiences that led him into study of the Gospels, by way of background to his new commentary on the Gospel of John, at the Eerdmans blog. He had been a missionary in the Philippines at the same time as I was, but I don’t recall meeting him. That is too bad because he sounds delightful. I particularly appreciated two things from his experience because they resonate with … Continue reading

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