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A blog dedicated to the Source of everything good.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Bits and pieces, 2/28/06

more like chunks and pieces this time...


(just kidding :-) )

Jeremy Pierce asks those who call themselves Arminian to specify which beliefs distinguish them, or qualify them, as Arminian. In the comments he says,

I understand what the different views are, and there are several. I also have a good sense of the arguments and motivations for various positions.

What I'm not sure of is which of those several views count as Arminian, and which of them are views that are neither Calvinist nor Arminian but something in between.

He also expresses what he calls a Calvinist belief that sounds to me more like an Arminian one (one which I, at present, am leaning toward), although I am a neophyte when it comes to background for either position (or sub-positions, or related positions):

I would say that God makes an offer to everyone, and people respond to that offer with their own choice, either to accept it or to reject it. I don't think that's inconsistent with God's choice of particular people serving as an ultimate explanation of why some do rather than others.

Anyway, the comments themselves are interesting reading, especially those by Pam, who says (in response to the first quote above):

OK. *grin* As a "practical theologian"[1], to some extent, I think that Arminianism is as Arminians do. Although that statement still poses an interesting question about methodology.

For me, these ideas tend to change as time goes on and I would not subscribe to the idea that there is an 'offical' version of Arminianism. I'd not subscribe to the idea that there is an 'official' version of Calvinism either, although you might disagree. As I understand it, Arminius' original idea that gave birth to the name 'Arminian' (that Christ died even for the non-elect) was actually accepted by the Reformed Church at the Council of Dort.

To me, what is happening here is that, when one examines the finer points of both schools of thought, one sees that coming to the other tradition with accusations of gross heresy and blatant rebellion is incorrect. (I'm not suggesting that either of us is doing this, but I do think that many people do.) A lot of times, I think we take the theology of our dialogue partners and declare falsely that the nuances are vast chasms. These nuances also often to centre around the areas of God which we can know least. My two cents/pence, anyway.

[1] I mean I'm getting my MA in practical/pastoral theology.


Salt of the hill or city on the earth?

Catez at Allthings2all looks at ways Christians Share the Love: City on a Hill or Salt of the Earth?

There is a tension that can develop between two different aspects of the Christian life. Should we be the city on the hill or the salt of the earth? Should we be a very separate group of people removed from others and wait for people to come to us - or should we be sprinkled out in the world like seasoning making a difference in our particular circles? Of course the obvious answer is both, but we don't always find the balance of both so easily.

She refers to a conflict that has arisen in the blogosphere concerning interaction between Christian and Mormon bloggers. I am aware of the conflict but unfamiliar with its substance. I find that her comments, however, have implications for the controversy over the film, End of the Spear, as well. There are implications for matters of purity, unequal yoking, and conscience as referred to by Romans 14.

I will write a separate post on this sometime; I think about the essence of this conflict often. It applies to my life (and yours) every day, in every detail.


speaking of things on hills (or mountains, as the case may be...)

SpunkyHomeschool has carried down The Ten Commandments for Homeschooling Moms. They deserve to be posted far and wide. Here are a few:

I am the Lord your God, thou shall have no other curriculum before Me.

Thou shall not make a graven image of the perfect homeschool family.

Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy.

Thou shall not destroy thy children's spirits.

Thou shall not compare yourself one to another.

Thou shall encourage other families to good deeds, not judge one another harshly.

See Spunky's post for the complete list plus further description. Thank you, Spunky!


quote for the day

Academics often say biblical belief has no place in the social sciences because it keeps people from open-minded analysis of data. Actually, the opposite is true: A biblical worldview often reveals the limitations of conventional approaches and pushes us to ask the right questions so that the data we obtain will not leave us still ignorant.

Biblical social scientists have an advantage because they know truths about human nature. Those who dismiss the Bible and create surveys that don't measure crucial factors are the ones who have closed minds. Sometimes the Bible gives us clear answers and sometimes it doesn't, but it always helps us to ask the right questions
-- Marvin Olasky in WORLD magazine, February 25, 2006 issue

I wouldn't say that those who lack a biblical perspective necessarily have closed minds, but they certainly lack a crucial perspective.

I’ve used Olasky's quote as a springboard to write On worldview and witness over at Intellectuelle.


  • Catez did a great service for the evangelical women's blogosphere with that post. The situation had taken on some aspects of a hydra monster, for me. Every time someone cut one head off, two grew back. (Every time one argument was answered, two more were raised.)

    Catez gave a mighty whack and addressed most, if not all, of the issues very well in her post.

    By Blogger Julana, at 1:44 PM  

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