Tag Archives: election

DeYoung reviews Fischer’s “Young, Restless, No Longer Reformed”

              A few of the major Arminian bloggers whose posts I follow have spoken very favorably of Austin Fischer’s book, Young, Restless, No Longer Reformed. The book sounds very interesting but I don’t know when (or if) I’ll get to read it. So I was delighted to read an extensive review by Kevin DeYoung, a very fine Presbyterian pastor from whose writing I have benefited on previous occasions. Fischer’s … Continue reading

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Union with Christ and Representation

The doctrine of election cannot be understood biblically and theologically if it is abstracted from its being in Christ. . . . it cannot be severed from the gospel, and it is the root and foundation of all the other ways in which union with Christ is worked out in human history and in the experience of the faithful. It is as far from fatalism as could be imagined. (Robert Letham, 66)       … 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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Calvinism and Christian Missions

Michael Horton’s presentation Michael Horton devotes chapter 7 of For Calvinism,  to an inspiring defense of Calvinism against the charge that its doctrines discourage missionary activity and prayer for it. History Horton begins with a historical survey of missionary work by Reformed churches. In the Reformation era, both Lutheran and Reformed churches were landlocked and needed time to develop the missionary personnel which Roman Catholic monastic orders had already been raising for centuries. But Calvin … Continue reading

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Horton on effectual calling and perseverance

Michael Horton’s presentation In chapter 5, Michael Horton takes up the fourth and fifth points of  “TULIP,” which he places in covenant context. He distinguishes the Sinaitic covenant of law from the Abrahamic covenant of promise/grace, and he then unpacks the new covenant doctrines of effectual calling and perseverance. The overarching truth which Horton unfolds in this chapter is the conviction that “all that Christ has won for us, outside of us in history, is … Continue reading

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Horton on election

Michael Horton’s presentation  In chapter 3, treating election (which is to be “loved before time”), Horton begins by asserting that unconditional election was not a doctrine originated by Calvin and his heirs. It is found in the writings of Augustine, Gregory the Great, Bonaventure, Albert the Great, and Thomas Aquinas (54). But the doctrine had become “obscured by a focus on human ability,” which is why “all of the Reformers—Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Knox, Cranmer and … 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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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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