This is a follow-on of You have an engraved me on your hands: Arminian and Calvinist reasonings
Tim Challies, in his review of Roger Olson’s “Finding God in The Shack,” says:
“Olson is Arminian in his theology (and is even author of a book titled Arminian Theology) and his understanding of free will will not sit well with those of a more Calvinistic persuasion. His understanding of free will impacts a good deal of related theology, especially as it relates to suffering and God’s sovereignty. For example, it dictates how he understands suffering in this world and leads him at times dangerously close to open theism. “God has the power to stop evil and suffering, but that would require taking back the gift of free will. For now, at least, God is honoring our demand for independence, and is using his power of suffering love and mercy to bring us back to himself. If he unilaterally stopped all evil, people would not be free.” And again, “In every tragic situation of innocent suffering God does all that he can do to prevent and alleviate it. Is God powerless? No. … Rather, God limits himself for the sake of human freedom. And God abides by rules about how often and when he can intervene.”
In Philippians 1:29, we read, “For to you it is given/granted in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.”
In “For to you is granted,” the original Greek for “granted” is echariste (from charizomai “grace,” so “unconditionally given/granted”).Here is how the Arminian reads “For to you it is given (granted) in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him..” :
“For to you it is given for Christ’s sake the possibility to believe in him on condition that you exercise his gift to you of the ability and desire to believe in him.”
Now to the second part of the verse (in italics): “(For to you it is given/granted in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him) but to suffer for him. If Arminians are correct, then, following their theology, they would have to read the second part of the verse like this: “For to you it is given for Christ’s sake the possibility to also suffer for his sake on condition that you exercise Christ’s gift to you of the ability and desire to suffer for him.” All true Christians are willing to suffer, but – unless they are like many Roman Catholics – they do not go looking for suffering. Christ tells the believer that no one can be his disciple unless he is willing to “carry his cross.” The point of Philippians 1:29 is that both faith and its inevitable corollary suffering are ordained/foreordained by God. Faith and suffering are not your gifts to God (forbid!), but God’s gift to you. Granted, suffering often seems more like poison than a gift – unless you’re German.
Arminianism is insufferable.
All I want is a shack somewhere,
Far away from the cold night air.
With one enormous chair,
Aow, wouldn’t it be loverly?
Lots of choc’lates for me to eat,
Lots of coal makin’ lots of ‘eat.
Warm face, warm ‘ands, warm feet,
Aow, wouldn’t it be loverly?
1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Arminians paste in an intervening step. After quickened (raised up), they can say yes or no.
“Do you want to remain quickened or return to being strickened?
“Ok, but I’ll never give up on you; I’ll be prodding your rotting corpse (read “soul-spirit”) until eternity comes in case you decide to be raised from death to life once and for all. Everyone say aaaaahhhhhl.
“Glory; what love is this! So, You see, you horrible Calvinist, I can stop being a zombie if I want. Love wins!”
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