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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Baptist Theologian Blasts John Piper & Calvinism

In an op-ed published in the Baylor Lariat, Roger Olson, professor of theology at George W. Truett Theological Seminary, takes on John Piper and Calvinism.

Olson definitely throws a few punches.....

A snippet below:
The God of Calvinism scares me; I'm not sure how to distinguish him from the devil. If you've come under the influence of Calvinism, think about its ramifications for the character of God. God is great but also good. In light of all the evil and innocent suffering in the world, he must have limited himself.
Read the rest here.

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Blogger Les Puryear said...

Well, at last we have found commonality between conservatives and moderates. They both misunderstand and villify Calvinism. *Sigh*


9:33 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a fan of Olson's. But the "distinguish Him (Calvin's God) from the Devil" statement is too far.

Though I completely agree with Olson (I, too, am Arminian, if not outright Pelagian), our goal as collegial theologians is to find common ground with our brothers and sisters in Christ, not do demonize each other, much less to demonize anohter's God.

barely a prof

12:51 PM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Thank God for Roger Olson.

3:28 PM

Anonymous beedub said...

Roger Olson rocks!

7:21 PM

Blogger Alexis said...

Roger and Piper have quite the acrimonious history... I went with a Waco church to Glorietta when I was a sophomore at Baylor, and John Piper was the main speaker... I came back to Waco incredibly confused by what Piper said, so I sat down at a Wednesday night church dinner and asked Roger about it. He was quite helpful. Anyway- I am completely not a fan of John Piper (he helped found the complementarian group 'The Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood' opposing Christians for Biblical Equality). But at the conference I went to, what I mostly heard him say was that God sent Jesus not to die for our sins, but for God's own glory, and that is the only reason God does things- for His glory, not out of love for us. Anyway, just a tidbit of extra information! :-D

9:53 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...


I agree that Olson's closing punch was too much. Though, I suspect Olson was being honest about his feelings. Cranky Calvinists (the Piper fanatics and Founders types) need to be kicked around every now and again. Not a big reader of the Lariat but that was the first time I'd seen the word CALVINIST in a college paper! Might not have been the best venue....

I often struggle to understand how some fundamentalist Baptists (SBC variety) will agree to disagree over soteriology but kick and scream at the idea of a woman being ordained. The former seems to be a much more significant theological issue....

11:22 PM

Blogger Lee Shelton said...

I especially appreciated all the scripture Dr. Olson used to support his position.

Oh, wait...

6:16 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been interested in knowing what a Calvinist would reply to the following questions:

Does God initiate all events?

Is God able to create beings who are able to initiate some events?

Can thoughts and impulses be considered events?

Does God initiate all thoughts and impulses of human beings?

If God does initiate all thoughts and impulses does that collapse the Creator-creation distinction in the sense that created beings may have material existence separate from God but their thoughts and impulses are ultimately originative from God himself? Does that make human beings into "meat puppets"?

Does Calvinism logically collapse into panentheism?

Just wondering how a Calvinist would respond

2:48 PM


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