Why My Conversations with Calvinists are Rarely Productive

Roger E. Olson | 2/9/2018 | Staff
xhelloworld (Posted by) Level 4
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One of the reasons I started this blog—before it was picked up by Patheos—was to promote classical Arminianism. Another reason was to explain why I am not a Calvinist. This was at the height of the so-called “Young, Restless, Reformed Movement” in which many young evangelical Calvinists and their older spiritual mentors were misrepresenting Arminianism and promoting a version of Calvinism that even many classical Reformed theologians found troubling.

I have had many dialogues (sometime more debates than dialogues) with Calvinists—here and elsewhere. One thing that has always nagged at me is why we, who have the same Savior Jesus Christ and the same Scripture, the Bible, come to such radically different conclusions about some very important theological issues.

Class - Youtube - Video - Clip - Piper

I recently showed a class a Youtube video clip of Piper answering a question. The question was (paraphrasing) “How does it bring glory to God to predestine people to ****?” This is, of course, one of the most pointed areas of disagreement between classical, consistent Calvinist Christians such as Piper and non-Calvinist, mostly Arminian (even if they don’t use that label) Christians.

You can listen to Piper’s response to the question on Youtube. A few key words will get you there.

Students - Begins - Bible - People - Idea—so

Interesting to me (and to at least some of my students) is how Piper begins by cautiously saying that the Bible hardly ever, if ever, uses that language—of predestining people to ****. But he does think it is a biblical idea—so long as one make some crucial qualifications.

Piper then explains that everyone God predestines to **** deserves **** and goes there and stays there in a state of rebellion against God. He states unequivocally that no one in **** can ever make a valid case that it is unjust for them to be there. Again, all who go to **** deserve it.

Piper

Then Piper goes...
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