For many years I was a member at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN where pastor John Piper preached. I enjoyed it there, for the most part. John’s teaching was stellar, and he has a gift for teaching the Bible. It is also no mystery that he is a Calvinist. He is very passionate about the Calvinistic points of theology. In fact, he just came out with a new book this last November called Five Points: Towards a Deeper Experience of God’s Grace.
While sitting under John’s teaching, I decided to believe in Calvinism. I figured that he’s a brilliant guy and has done a ton of Biblical research, so it must be true. It was the only idea on God’s will that I was being fed though. Having been away from BBC for a while now, I have heard other opinions on the topic, and I really don’t know what I believe. I’ve read things in the Bible that could go either way, and I’ve heard some interesting arguments for Arminianism. So at this point, I’m open to ideas and further learning on the subject.
Interestingly, one of my first classes at Truett Seminary in January is an Intro to Christian Theology taught by Roger E. Olson. I did some research on him and found out that he is very pro-Arminianism. He even has a book called Against Calvinism. I am excited to sit under his teaching and learn more about his perspective, if we end up talking about this topic.
A couple of days ago, I was folding laundry and listening to “Ask Pastor John” on my phone (an app with short audio clips of Piper answering questions from people who write in). Two of the most recent were responses to an article that Roger posted in late November entitled, Needed: Robust Arminian Theology for Lay People (Especially Youth). The article is about the need for a solid spokesperson/theologian for Arminianism, like Piper is for Calvinism. Here are links to the Ask Pastor John audio clips:
So the debate between the two camps continues. Fortunately in this case, it seems to be respectful on both sides. What are your thoughts on the debate between Calvinism and Arminianism?