(This is a repost from last year. Merry Christmas!)
Arminian Christmas Card:
John Goodwin's Redemption Redeemed may be the best defense of Arminianism ever written. Published in 1651 by the Arminian Puritan John Goodwin (1593-1665), it is written in seventeenth century English with a Puritan writing style, which can make for challenging reading. But it contains tremendous biblical exegesis. The patient reader will be rewarded with a powerful, classic, comprehensive, biblical defense of five point Reformation Arminian theology.And also:
A revised, shortened edition has been produced, which mildly updates the language and provides excerpts concentrated on defending unlimited atonement from the much larger work made available here: Redemption Redeemed: A Puritan Defense of Unlimited AtonementThanks to John Wagner for all the hard work he has done to make these resources available.
The open view holds that some of the future is open, not all of it. God can pre-settle as much of the future as he wants to pre-settle. If, in order to fulfill specific prophecies, God needed to providentially orchestrate things so that certain people with evil characters played out their evil intentions in specific ways, he could easily do this, and do so with impunity.2Notice how what Boyd says sounds exactly like Calvinism! In his view the only way certain foreknowledge can be achieved is by God providentially orchestrating evil people to do evil things. His use of the word "orchestrating" is equivocation. In his view, the only way God can know the future is by settling it himself. God makes certain aspects of the future necessary, and accomplishes this by causing evil people to do evil things. Boyd does not explain how libertarian free will is maintained in this view. He cannot, because God "settling" the future in this way is not compatible with libertarian free will.
God did not merely decree to make man, place him upon the earth, and then leave him to his own uncontrolled guidance; instead, He fixed all the circumstances in the lot of individuals, and all the particulars which will comprise the history of the human race from its commencement to its close.John Calvin wrote:
men do nothing save at the secret instigation of God, and do not discuss and deliberate on any thing but what he has previously decreed with himself and brings to pass by his secret direction.Louis Berkhof wrote:
The decree of God however, carries with it necessity. God has decreed to effectuate all things or, if He has not decreed that, He has at least determined that they must come to pass. He has decided the course of man's life for him.In Calvinism, God becomes jealous of the course of man's life that he has decided for him! God is jealous that his creatures are behaving in a way that he has inevitably caused. How absurd. Such a shallow concept of jealousy mocks the heart of God.
Since most Calvinists are harshly critical of the novel The Shack (which takes a similar approach to theodicy as Greg Boyd in Is God to Blame?) because of its alleged undermining of God's glory and sovereignty, why don't they (or one of them) write a similar novel in which God explains to Mack (or someone like him) why his daughter was kidnapped, raped and murdered--and avoid language about God permitting or allowing it (which is really Arminian language)?