Saturday, January 29, 2011

Arminian Theology is Evangelical Theology - Olson

Roger Olson has a lengthy post on his blog entitled Arminian Theology is Evangelical Theology. It is well worth reading and contemplating. I don't know if the Young, Restless and Reformed will ever come to terms with their schisms but those irenic Calvinists with a love for Christ should give the article considerable thought.

Roger Olson's Arminian Theology is Evangelical Theology

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Apostles Creed

There is an informative article on Wikipedia that provides a good background for this particular creed of the Christian Church.

As taken from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.

I believe in God the Father Almighty,

Maker of heaven and earth:

And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,

Born of the Virgin Mary,

Suffered under Pontius Pilate,

Was crucified, dead, and buried:

He descended into hell;

The third day he rose again from the dead;

He ascended into heaven,

And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;

From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost;

The holy Catholick Church;

The Communion of Saints;

The Forgiveness of sins;

The Resurrection of the body,

And the Life everlasting.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Jazz Break - Joe Lovano

The History of Anglicanism and Arminianism

The Society of Evangelical Arminians has an excellent post by William Birch providing an overview of the history and development of Protestant Arminianism in England during the formative and early years of the Protestant Reformation.
The History of Anglicanism and Arminianism

Monday, January 10, 2011

Creed of the Council of Nicaea, 325 AD

It seemed appropriate to attach the following which was expounded at Nicaea:

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things seen and unseen.

And in one Lord, Jesus Christ the Son of God, begotten of the Father, the only-begotten, that is, of the essence of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of the same being as the Father, through whom all things came to be, both the things in heaven and on earth, who for us humans and for our salvation came down and was made flesh, becoming human, who suffered and rose again on the third day, ascended into heaven, who is coming to judge the living and the dead.

And in the Holy Spirit.

The catholic and apostolic church condemns those who say concerning the Son of God that "there was a time when he was not" or "he did not exist before he was begotten" or "he came to be from nothing" or who claim that he is of another subsistence (hypostasis) or essence (ousia), or a creation (ktistos), or changeable (alloiƍtos), or alterable (treptos).

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Creed of the Council of Constantinople, 360 AD

An effort to document and provide a reference for the various creeds and confessions of the early church, particularly those associated with the Ecumenical Councils and those that promulgated what we consider orthodox doctrine today …


The Homoian Creed of the Council of Constantinople, 360 AD

We believe in one God, Father Almighty, from whom are all things.

And in the only-begotten Son of God, begotten from God before all ages and before every beginning, by whom all things were made, visible and invisible, and begotten as only-begotten, only from the Father only, God from God, like to the Father that begat Him according to the Scriptures; whose origin no one knows, except the Father alone who begat Him. He as we acknowledge the only-begotten Son of God, the Father having sent Him, came here from the heavens, as it is written, for the undoing of sin and death, and was born of the Holy Ghost, of Mary the virgin according to the flesh, as it is written, and conversed with the disciples, and having fulfilled the whole Economy according to the Father's will, was crucified and died and was buried and ascended to the parts below the earth, at whom hades itself shuddered; who also rose from the dead on the third day, and abode with the disciples, and forty days being fulfilled, was taken up into the heavens, and sits on the right hand of the Father to come in the last day of the resurrection in the Father's glory, that He may render to every man according to his works.

And in the Holy Ghost, whom the only-begotten Son of God Himself, Christ, our Lord and God, promised to send to the race of man, as Paraclete, as it is written, 'the Spirit of truth' (John 16:13), which He sent to them when He had ascended into the heavens.

But the name of 'essence,' which was set down by the Fathers in simplicity, and, being unknown by the people, caused offense, because the Scriptures do not contain it, it has seemed good to abolish, and for the future to make no mention of it at all; since the divine scriptures have made no mention of the essence of Father and Son. For neither ought 'subsistence' to be named concerning Father, Son and Holy Ghost. But we say that the Son is like the Father, as the divine Scriptures say and teach; and all the heresies, both those which have been already condemned, and whatever are of modern date, being contrary to this published statement, be they anathema.


Sunday, January 02, 2011

Young Restless Reformed and Their Denials

I have been having a fascinating exchange with a challenged fellow recently or at least one passing himself off as such. We have been discussing the anathemas of the 2nd Council of Orange particularly with regard to that body's concern with those who promoted an extended version of Augustine's determinism commonly called double predestination today. As I noted in a previous post Orange dealt primarily with the Pelagian and semi-Pelagian errors. They also found themselves having to address a hard determinism that was bringing schisms into the church. Philip Schaff has a definitive summary of these events in his History of the Christian Church. The apparently offending passage from the Canons of Orange is We not only do not believe that any are foreordained to evil by the power of God, but even state with utter abhorrence that if there are those who want to believe so evil a thing, they are anathema. Now this is a fairly straight forward comment that has been well understood for nearly the past 1,500 years as addressing strict determinism. When I related that the strict determinism of these earlier fellows surfaced as the double predestination of Calvinist soteriology, it was met with further denials. Well, the wonderful thing about Calvinist theology is that several of its articulate adherents graced us with an abundance of written evidence to help explain these beliefs to their later followers who apparently do not read what they profess to believe. One of those adherents of this theology is the namesake himself, John Calvin. He offered the following comment from his Instituters of the Christian Religion.

By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God, by which he determined with himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every man. All are not created on equal terms,but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation. And accordingly, as each has been created for one of other of these ends, we say that he as been predestinated to life or to death - John Calvin, Institutes book III ch 21

Now, I underlined the clarifying portion of the passage to emphasize to the young, restless Reformed fellow to help him see what he was missing in his understanding. He further astounded me with the following reply ...

Please point out in that quote of Calvin where he claims that "men are predestined to wickedness, evil, sin with that end being determined before hand by God".

Maybe this is a new trick that James White or Phil Johnson have come up with to confound Christians into wild eyed lunacy or perhaps the fellow really is as dense as he seems. I had to leave off with him as he has taxed my patience.

The discussion thread to this can be found here.