I just read an incredibly dumb headline on my @CNN app: “What we call love is actually a chemical process in our brains.” (And on Valentine’s Day, no less! Is nothing sacred?) Needless to say, this is a ridiculous example of reductionism. Love is most surely not the same thing as a chemical reaction in […]
Does Calvinism entail that I might love my child more than God does?
Last week, I presented a simple argument against God as defined in Calvinism and Islam. The core shared theological content of both Calvinism and Islam that was under consideration concerned perfection and the denial of omnibenevolence. Thus, the objection was not, in fact, an objection to Calvinism and Islam simpliciter but rather an argument against any […]
Drown the Pastor! Or, beware the angry evangelical congregation
On September 15th, the Daily Courier, the newspaper in my hometown of Kelowna, B.C., published the latest article from columnist Tim Schroeder. As teaching pastor at a large evangelical church, Trinity Baptist, Schroeder’s columns are usually pithy expressions of pastoral wisdom run through a grid of evangelical theology and social conservatism. But this article was rather […]
Love comes from lousy neurons
Wow, this guy is a real charmer. Here is a great example of why scientists (Linden is a professor of neuroscience) tend to make terrible poets, philosophers, and greeting card writers. Donald McKay, a wise Christian and scientist, used to warn of the naive “nothing buttery” of those who assume that demonstrating a physical, chemical, or […]
God in the terrifying image of a jilted lover
Aristotle famously referred to deity as the unmoved mover. And countless Christian theologians have agreed with him as they have described God as impassible such that he is not acted upon by creation. As the Westminster Confession succinctly put it, God is “without body, parts, or passions.” What this means is that God does not […]
Why it is good to love material things
The singer BJ Thomas had a minor hit with the 1970s song “Using things and loving people”. Whether or not people resonate with the song, I suspect virtually all will agree with the sentiment: People are the proper objects of love. Things (i.e. non-people) are not. Indeed, I myself have appealed to this song and […]
Love, omnibenevolence, and Francis Chan
In his recent book Erasing Hell Reformed pastor Francis Chan addresses the question “How can God be loving and still send people to hell?” This is his first point in response: “First, God is love, but He also defines what love is. We don’t have the license to define love according to our own standards and […]
Can you be expected to love somebody who might not exist?
In “Does God limit evidence to protect human freedom?” I critiqued Gerald O’Collins’ claim that God limits the evidence for his existence to protect the freedom of humans to choose to believe in him. David Evans responds: “O’Collins seems to be saying that God always leaves room for a reasonable doubt as to His existence. […]
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 […]
Who is on a tirade against Calvinism?
I have noticed in the past that often when I write an article critiquing Calvinism Steve Hays of Triablogue writes a response soon after in which he describes my critical analysis as a “tirade”. For example, in the past he has said “Randal Rauser is currently on a tirade”. Other times he has referred to “Randal Rauser’s […]
Does God hate those he does not save?
This article was originally published at The Christian Post in January, 2010. *** Many Christians assume that God loves all people. This is hardly surprising since scripture declares that God loves all creation (John 3:16-17) and desires to see all people saved (1 Tim.2:4; 2 Pe.3:9). Indeed, the notion that God is loving to all, […]
Tigers, Tabbys, and God’s special love for his elect
Who says God has to love everybody equally? (Sentimental Arminians, that’s who.) “Au contraire mon frere” says the Calvinist. There is nothing wrong with God having a general love for all humanity even as he has a special love for his elect. And why shouldn’t it be so? After all, as Linda asks, “Is it […]
Don’t you want your baby to feel alright? John Calvin meets the Rascals
Surely y’all ain’t too old to remember the Rascals singing “Good Lovin’.” In the song the singer begins by visiting the doctor about a particular ailment. The song does not spend much time describing the symptoms but the antidote soon becomes clear: Now honey please, squeeze me tight (squeeze me tight) Don’t you want your […]
Mom’s wooden spoon and God’s arbitrary love
Alex Jordan responded to my last post on the arbitrariness of God’s love for his elect creatures in Calvinism. Here is an excerpt from his response: ” “though God has not revealed why He sets His love on some unworthy objects rather than others, we do not not need to call this love arbitrary. The […]