Saturday, March 22, 2014

Around the Horn

At first, if there are any still buying the canard that Calvinism is driven by logic and the alternatives are not, these two articles by Roger Olson on High Calvinism and a Followup to it should put that to rest. Olson is an Armininian who knows enough about theology to know what that means. Most Arminians don’t know enough to know they are Arminian, and not a few are actually Pelagian. Olson’s point is driven, not by Scripture, but by logic, namely, God can’t be something because Olson’s mind can’t comprehend how he can be that something. It’s a bad way to go about things, when the smaller determines what the bigger can be based on what fits into the smaller mind. That’s not to say Olson is a small mind. It’s to say that he is human, and the finite cannot sit in judgment on the infinite.

At second, here’s an interesting article an interesting article by a historian who is claiming that “being gay” is a modern notion, not a biological one. It’s worth a read, perhaps particularly because it is not from a religious perspective. Why does that matter? Because even non religious people believe that homosexuality is not biological.

At third, here’s an interesting article on urban church planting. On the one hand, there is some good stuff here. On the other hand, I wonder if this doesn’t actually perpetuate some racial ideas that might increase or at least continue racial tension. In addition, I am not sure it wrestles adequately with theological issues involved. Perhaps I will write more on that later. Until then, read it and consider it.

Last today, here’s a sobering collection of color photos from the German prison camp Dachau taken by Hitler’s personal photographer in 1950. Only our collective memories will prevent repeat of history. And has that last sixty years of history have shown, our collective memories have failed. Whether it’s Russia, southeast Asia, the Balkans, Sudan, or American, the killing fields continue. At least today, the pictures of Dachau are considered acceptable. In America, the pictures of our own Holocaust are ruled to gruesome for public consumption. How strange it is.


Anonymous said...

It's interesting that you not being gay and Calvinism in the same post. This week the biggest proponent of Calvinism since the man himself died, that pastor from Kansas.

Larry said...

Well, I gotta be honest. I am not sure what that means, nor "not being gay" and Calvinism have to do with each other

Assuming you are referring to Fred Phelps, he is far from the biggest proponent of Calvinism. In fact, I didn't even know he was a Calvinist. That's not what he is known for, and he certainly didn't live it. He did not appear to be a Christian in any sense of the term, much less a Calvinist.

Anonymous said...

Larry, are you just "punking" us now, as the kids would say? Are you a liar, or are you seriously this ignorant? EVERY article and interview with this guy heavily talked about Calvinism. Do you think I'm kidding? Here's an excerpt from his Wikipedia page: Phelps viewed Arminianism (particularly the views of the Methodist theologian William Munsey) as a "worse blasphemy and heresy than that heard in all filthy Saturday night fag bars in the aggregate in the world".[34] In addition to John Calvin, Phelps admired Martin Luther and Bob Jones, Sr., and approvingly quoted a statement by Jones that "what this country needs is 50 Jonathan Edwardses turned loose in it."[35] Phelps particularly held to equal ultimacy, believing that "God Almighty makes some willing and he leads others into sin", a view he said is Calvinist.[36] However, many theologians would identify him as a Hyper-Calvinist ("hyper" meaning "beyond" or "above" not "extreme").[37]

Anonymous said...

Throughout the years, I have always heard the word "Calvinism" in almost every radio/tv interview about this guy or in almost every article written about hiim. Again, no, I'm not kidding. I find it hard to believe that you claim to say you "didn't know he was a Calvinist." You seem like a decent, honest guy, so I'll take your work for it. I do find it almost too unbelievable to be true to believe your claim, but, I will take your word for it.

Larry said...

Perhaps we should back up here and inquire as to why you think I would know anything about Fred Phelps? To my knowledge and recollection, I have never seen anything other than headlines about him. I haven't read an article about him. I haven't seen an interview with him. The other night, after your first comment, was the first time I had ever googled or looked up anything about him, and I only looked enough to see that he is identified by some as a Calvinist. I am didn't even open an article or page. I looked at the portion quoted by Google in the search results.

But more to the point, why does that matter about anything having to do with Calvinism? I can identify equally bad or worse Arminians or Pelagians, such as Bob Gray (either one), Jack Schaap, Jack Hyles, etc. We could point out Roman Catholic priests, numerous school teachers with no religious affiliation, ex-presidents, etc. So what? All kinds of people are wicked. In fact, take out "kinds of" and just say all people are wicked.

Lastly, while I prefer people use names here, I generally don't say much about it if they don't. But if you are going to accuse me of being a liar or disingenuous, it might be helpful to identify yourself so we can judge your credibility by gauging whether or not you know me well enough to make such a charge.

Larry said...

BTW, out of curiosity, I just googled "Fred Phelps" and opened over 20 articles from the first three pages of the results, and not a single article identified him as a Calvinist. (The only ones that mentioned it were the wiki pages).

So I wonder if you want to retract your statement that " EVERY article and interview with this guy heavily talked about Calvinism" (emphasis yours)? Do you think it would be appropriate for you to acknowledge that you were, in fact, not telling the truth when you said " EVERY article and interview with this guy heavily talked about Calvinism"?

Anonymous said...

I don't know what a "Name/URL" is or what an "OpenID" is. The only option that works for me is "Annonymous."

But getting back to the issue (same poster here), I thought I qualified that statement by saying that "every article that I've seen" has been associated with Calvinsm. I didn't mean every single article out there.

I apologize for coming across as rude. I wasn't trying to be that way and was having a little bit of fun with you.....But in all seriousness, I find it hard to believe that anyone (not just you) would not associate this guy with Calvinism. Not every radio or tv interview is transcribed, so I have no way of backing this up, but just try to find any tv or radio about this guy either with people in his church or associated with him some way and you will hear the doctrine of Calvinism brought up. He is a major cultural figure in American society, so that's why I thought you might have been more familiar with him. The reason I bring up Calvinism is because it is not brought up as some incidental or tangential fun topic about him, like his favorite color or some such fact. It is always presented as being a driving force and a major reason for his actions. It does not appear to be a mere minor coincidence.

Please correct me if you think I'm wrong, but I found him refreshingly honest. After all, since no one thinks for him or herself and everything in life is fated and we have no choice in anything, you may as well just be honest and make a hobby of hating people instead of trying to hide under a false cloak of "Miss Manners" pleasantries. Since life has no meaning or direction under Calvinism because none of us have any thoughts of our own and we are all robots, isn't this just the truest end result of such theology?

By the way, those are honest questions and I'm not purposefully being sarcastic or cute. I'm open to honest discussion or thoughts if anyone thinks this is incorrect.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Blogger guy, I'm even willing to contend that there are people who disagree with me. Here is an example:

But I'm not entirely convinced by the argument. Just go to their own website and you'll find the tulip doctrine proclaimed. (find it by typing in their catch phrase and then going to that topic. I'm not a public site right now and will not go to hate sites here.

Some say that they misrepresent Calvinism, while I contend that they are honest and pure representatives of it....But again, I'm open to the issue and am willing to hear any arguments otherwise.....

Larry said...

1. Your 3/23/14 10:39 p.m. comment says "EVERY article and interview with this guy heavily talked about Calvinism." That didn't include "I have seen"

2. I didn't find Phelps refreshingly honest. The little I knew, I found him to be ungodly and a boor.

3. You say that "Since life has no meaning or direction under Calvinism because none of us have any thoughts of our own and we are all robots, isn't this just the truest end result of such theology?" I am not sure what you are talking about here because it isn't Calvinism. Attaching "Calvinism" to the front of a statement does not mean anything. What you describe isn't Calvinism. Calvinism doesn't teach that we have no thoughts of our own or are just robots.

So if that's an honest question, I would say start by studying what Calvinism is. That will do away with a lot of the problems.