Blogging through Grace for All: Universal Grace

The second article in Grace For All is written by Vernon C. Grounds, the former president of Denver Seminary (cf. Olson’s tribute). In his essay, Grounds explores God’s universal grace that offers salvation to all.

415xXkjORGLThe universal offer of salvation is rooted in our Creator being a God of love who “desires the salvation of everyone” and “redemptively acts” to make that possible.

For in that corpus of writings we call the Holy Scriptures and which we hold to be God’s medium of self-revelation, [God-the ultimate reality] … defines himself as love. … [and is] the embodiment of unending beatitude.

We believe, moreover, that because he is love, God freely chooses to expand the orbit of beatitude by creating persons who are centers of consciousness and choice whom he wills to share his own eternal fellowship of love through the convicting, drawing, and salvation of God’s grace.

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8 of the Best Features of Calvinism (or Christianity)?

Tim Challies, noted author and blogger, wrote a post called “8 Features of the Best Kind of Calvinism“. In this post he examines Ian Hamilton’s new short booklet What Is Experiential Calvinism? (amazon). The answer is that Calvinism is much “deeper and richer” than TULIP. Another reviewer (link) of this work writes:

Calvinism has sadly been reduced to five points and characterized as a cold academic system of thought. Ian Hamilton has set out to recast it in a light that is more true to its heritage and intent.

Challies’ post goes on to list 8 features of experiential Calvinism. Many of these “marks of experiential Calvinism”, listed in Challies’ post, are captured in “Heart-Warming Calvinism”, an article by Ian Hamilton (link).

I offered my thoughts as a comment and repost them, with some additions, here.

I often hear Calvinists express frustration along the lines that Calvinism is a view that means more than TULIP. As someone who does not adhere to Reformed doctrines, I still would heartily agree; Calvinism is much more than TULIP. There is much common ground between Calvinists and non-Reformers. That can be seen in these features, however, because most of them are not exclusively Calvinism. They are Christian. Continue reading

Blogging through Grace for All: The God at the Center

The first article in Grace For All is written by Roger Olson (blog), one of the most vocal theologians representing an Arminian view of God’s sovereignty and soteriology. Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities (amazon) and Against Calvinism (amazon) are two of the many books he has authored.

415xXkjORGLIn this essay, Roger Olson directly confronts the charge that Arminianism is a “man-centered” theology. He starts by quoting several Calvinist writers (including Michael Horton, James Boice, Al Mohler, and indirectly B.B. Warfield and Charles Spurgeon) that assert that Arminianism is focused on “human freedom” over “God’s absolute sovereignty”.

Then he asks the question:

What do these and other critics mean when they accuse Arminianism of being “man-centered”?

Olson presents three things that critics mean when they use the term “man-centered”:

  • Arminianism doesn’t take “human depravity” seriously
  • Arminianism doesn’t take God’s sovereignty seriously
  • Arminianism teaches that God’s “chief end is to make people happy”

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