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August 03, 2015



Greg seems to be saying that God uses evil means to reach moral goods?

Also seems to be saying that we live in a world where we have moral freedom.....

Doesn't seem to fit with Calvin's determinism.

Goat Head there is a difference between allowing evil to happen, and using evil. God, for example, permits the cross even though what happens to Jesus is evil and what they did to him was evil, because Jesus was innocent. However, the good that the cross accomplished was great enough for God to permit it to happen. He used the cross to accomplish his will.

Although I don't consider myself a Calvinist, I do no think that really has anything to do with the subject. Calvinists believe we do not have libertarian free will (as Greg has stated), which means that we do not have the ability to never sin (a point I agree with). It does not mean that people do not have the ability to choose to do or not do something and that all life is deterministic. Or at least that is my understanding.

There are many, many good books out there which defend the coherence of the Reformed / Calvinism Theology. I'll post links here which run in the other direction - defending the coherence of a more Arminian approach.

There's plenty out there for both and from both.

I have some key disagreements with Arminian Theology, and some key agreements with Reformed Theology, and lean more towards the former, a sort of hodgepodge of the two. Perhaps both a Reformed-ish and an Arminian-ish each with a built in plus/minus. That may seem to be a contradiction, but, both logic and scripture find that the fundamental shape of the Necessary, of the Triune God, of the Reality after which our own contingent reality is patterned, affords both scripture and necessity the wherewithal to go there. Quite easily in fact.

To unpack that here would be impossible.

But, in the meantime, six links favoring a more Arminian approach, knowing all the while, acknowledging all the while, that there are equally robust resources out there to defend the coherence of the Reformed / Calvinist Theology.

Book 1

Book 2

Book 3

Book 4

Book 5

Essay on Romans 9

It seems that an egalitarian approach here is in part called for, and, so, since I was afforded room for links in my last post, it would only be balanced if I were to, say, list a few books which give a cogent defenses of Calvinism, such as the two linked below. Piper has a few as well which are quite good, but here I’ll only link the two below. Why two here and six in the former? Well, I did concede my own tilt towards the Arminian flavor, with a few disagreements in hand, and, so, perhaps 2/6 = 1/3 comes close to my own interior “ratio” :-)

So then:

Book 1
Book 2

My own theological stopping point for so many of the definitions here end in the ontological topography within, of, Trinity. This won’t be enough to unpack that, but, in very general, basic terms, when it comes to “Being Itself”, including our own contingent being, we find that the simplicity that is the constitution of volition and of volitional motion amid all that we call, in Being, the “Self” and all that we call, in Being, the “Other” and all that is “all such vectors” in singularity there in God – in the God Who is love there in His peculiar and Singular-“Us”, such simplicity finds, such seamlessness finds, at the end of the line, Man’s motions – Man’s reality – thusly and necessarily constituted. While sin can and does frustrate Man and Man’s reality, sin cannot undo the necessary image in which our entire reality is created. Hence Hebrews 11 is not mistaken on the location of faith there in the Old Man, such volitional motion amid Self/Other necessarily present. The futility of that faith short of the peculiar semantics of “incarnation” carries us to the fact that faith – those volitional motions thereof – while existing necessarily – just never can be sufficient in and of themselves. All Sufficiency is found in One, and only One, stopping point. More is needed. Man cannot pull himself up and into God. That is to say, Man cannot glory. A Door must Open. Living Water Himself must Pour Out. Love Himself must Empty. Then and only then can the contingent – the beloved – be filled. Of course, metaphysically speaking, those very contours of love's pouring out, and of love's filling, are found without First, without Last, in no other ontology outside of Trinity, outside of the Triune God. That Man's contingent being, or Man's contingent "Self", is thusly fashioned both in Man's horizontal/social reality of community and in Man's Vertical reality of communion amid Man in God, God in Man - inescapably carries us to the Image thereof, and while He, being The Necessary, is therein ceaselessly without First, ceaselessly without Last, we, being contingent, necessarily find in Him our own First, our own Last. There is no genre on planet Earth which cogently carries the landscape of Good, and the landscape of Evil – of Man's contingent Self in privation – and the landscape of Necessity/Contingency to such seamlessness outside of the beautiful vectors which we find converging within love’s instantiation there in Christ. It goes without saying that we all agree that the Arminian/Calvinism contours “within” that wider, larger Canopy are always relevant – always merit discussion – though such ought never carry us away from one another – nor away from an acute amazement with said Canopy.

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