The sovereignty of God is a vitally important truth Wesleyans badly need to recover. This is not only because it is crucial for understanding the biblical drama, but also because many Wesleyans have tended to neglect it because Calvinists often give the impression that it is one of their distinctive doctrines. But the sovereignty of God is not a Calvinist doctrine, it is a biblical doctrine, and no one who wants to be faithful to Scripture can afford to ignore or downplay this great truth.
What does election have to do with salvation? In this video, Ben Witherington reminds us that the two are not the same thing. While in the Old Testament election was considered "in Israel," in the New Testament it is for those "in Christ." This means that it's always a corporate matter, not about which individuals are saved and which ones are not.
This lecture on C.S. Lewis and Calvinism was given by Jerry Walls at Azusa Pacific University on March 28, 2014. http://youtu.be/_eQKu3_9pgk
When Wesleyan ideas are put to the test, the theory makes for good logic and even better practice than Calvinism. Read Brian LePort's review of Calvin vs. Wesley, a recent book which generously compares these two compelling, and in some ways, competing traditions.
Does Romans 9-11 teach Calvinist predestination? In this Seven Minute Seminary, Ben Witherington explains that Paul's aim is to refute the idea that God now favored the Romans, or Gentiles, rather than the Jews. In the process, he explains how the terms predestination, election, and salvation relate—or don't relate—to one another.
In short, we need more Arminians with an edge. These are Arminians who understand that the claims of Calvinism and Arminianism are mutually exclusive, and they cannot both be right. They understand that there are important issues at stake and that there are large practical implications. Not the least of these is the very character and love of God. Does God truly love all persons, and do we have a gospel of good news for all persons?
We are pleased to team up with Roger E. Olson to offer you this free ebook: Arminianism FAQ: Everything You Always Wanted to Know. Roger is a leading voice on the issues surrounding the biblical understanding of salvation and has spent the last few years of his life bringing clarity to this discussion.
Some point to Romans 7 as the proof-text for the saint-sinner paradox, suggesting that if even the apostle Paul struggled with his unrelenting flesh, Christians must face defeat in certain areas of their Christian life. On the contrary, Ben Witherington suggests that ancient rhetoric illuminates the passage in a way that eliminates Paul as the subject of this passage and paints a more optimistic picture of God's sanctifying grace.
Austin Fischer narrates this journey—into and out of Calvinism—in his newly published book Young, Restless, No Longer Reformed. Fischer’s journey will engage readers of all theological persuasions, but it is his theological arguments for leaving Calvinism woven throughout his narration that will force readers to set the book down after each chapter and ponder the questions, “Who is God?” and “How do I know?”
No matter how much we believe the other’s position is wrong or just plain bad theology, it is not OK to attack one another. Nothing stands to undermine our mission more than this kind of bearing toward one another. So let us debate and write books and dig deeper into the truth as we understand it, but let us do so with the holy love of God for one another.