In my article “Are Arminians better off when it comes to assurance? Why I’m not so sure” I was being coy. In fact, I’m quite sure that Arminians aren’t any better off. Adam Omelianchuk countered that “things might go differently if the object of faith is God and his intentions towards humanity.” He then explained […]
Calvinism at Madame Tussauds
In my article “Compassion Reformed” I claim that a Calvinist theology which accepts that God loves some creatures but not others ought to qualify the compassion we feel for others. In this article I’m going to unpack that reasoning a bit further. It is important to keep in mind at the outset that we are […]
Are Arminians better off when it comes to assurance? Why I’m not so sure.
Andy Derksen offered an interesting comment on my blog post “Compassion Reformed?” in which he sought to extend the argument from compassion for others to assurance of one’s own salvation. He wrote: Ironically, not only must the Calvinist–*IF* he’s logically consistent with his theology–hold merely “provisional” compassion toward the suffering, he must also hold only […]
Jerry Shepherd on the Main stage
Today Jerry Shepherd offered a comprehensive reply to a number of his interlocutors (moi included). It is of sufficient conceptual weight and length to warrant being in a blog post. I am grateful to Jerry for the time he invests in the blog, and given the amount of material here I thought I would take […]
Does love of one’s spouse require hatred of all others?
When I was out walking the dog this afternoon I realized I left off one of the most glaring problems with David Houston’s marriage analogy. Remember, this analogy is intended to explain why it is sweeter to discover that God hates some and loves others rather than the Arminian milquetoast view of God loving all. […]
Why the Calvinist’s need to exclude some people from God’s love does not bode well
David Houston argues that the Calvinist has a richer view of God’s love than the Arminian. This is initially a surprising claim. We knew that Calvinists had cornered the sovereignty market. But love? Wasn’t that the Arminian’s specialty? Not according to Houston. His argument proceeds as follows: Arminians are able to claim that God loves everyone […]
God loves you … but he hates that guy over there
God’s love shines through a prism I’m so confused by Calvinism Bill Mallonee, “It’s not bothering me” Many people have found themselves confused by Calvinism. This article is concerned with exploring some of the confusion, more correctly the cognitive dissonance, introduced by this theology. Let’s begin with the first of Bill Bright’s four spiritual laws: […]
Fee-fi-foe-fum, I smell the blood of an Arminian!
My article “Calvinism and the Contrast Effect” ( https://randalrauser.com/2011/11/calvinism-and-the-contrast-effect/ ) elicited some interesting comments. Among the most interesting was from my colleague at Taylor Seminary, Jerry Shepherd. Things started out well: “Hello Randal, my good friend and colleague…” But alas, things quickly took a turn for the worse: “Let me point out here some real problems with […]
Can the Calvinist and Arminian ever sing Kumbaya … together?
Paul Manata wrote several things in response to my recent article on Calvinism and the contrast effect. Since he sounded particularly exasperated this time around I thought I’d better field some of his comments directly. (However, I must admit that I’m presently slower in responding to comments generally than I’d like because I’m finishing a book […]
Why Calvinists should be universalists or Arminians
Over the years as I have engaged in extended discussions with Calvinists over election and the divine nature I have often found the same two red herrings being pulled out just as things start to heat up. And so it is in my recent discussion with a Calvinist named Kerry over my critique of another Calvinist (Andrew). Given that I think […]
Calvinism and the Arbitrary Camp Director Revisited: A Response to Andrew
Recently (as in within the last couple days) a student of philosophy named Andrew from the University of Auckland posted an article on Matt and Madeleine Flannagan’s website provocatively titled “Randal Rauser’s Mistake: A Defense of Calvin’s Doctrine of Election“. Okay, I consider that provocative anyway. The article focuses on identifying an alleged error in […]
Why “God hated Esau” is of no use to the Calvinist
Pete asked what a person who believes God is omnibenevolent does with “God hated Esau” (Malachi 1:3; Romans 9:13). There are a number of complexities in these passages. To begin with, there is the fact that the specific individuals Jacob and Esau serve as symbols representing people groups (Israel and Edom, or more broadly, insider and outsider). Second, there is […]
God’s arbitrary choices and election
I have argued the the implications of the Calvinist view of election is that God’s choice of those who are elect is arbitrary. But what do I mean by “arbitrary”? I mean this: Arbitrary decision: any decision between two or more options where one option is chosen but another option was equally feasible. For example, it is […]
Calvinism and the arbitrary camp director
I have been arguing that on Calvinism God’s bestowal of special, electing love on some creatures and not others is wholly arbitrary. And this is a problem. Tom offers the following Calvinist response: “Why does God choose me and not the other guy? Because through a fool like me, he can bring glory to Himself.” […]