30 December, 2008

Belated Christmas Gift for Our Arminian Readers

Just in time for the New Year Celebration, TBNN wants to offer a belated Christmas gift to all of our Arminian readers. The gift (pictured above) is a large pair of scissors. These scissors will allow you, of your own free will of course, to cut out any parts of scripture that you do not like. For example, you may need to begin by slicing through John 6, John 10, Romans 8-11, and Ephesians 1-2.

We hope you find this gift helpful as you try to keep your theology consistent.

Happy New Year!

15 comments:

Justin said...

Don't forget to cut out Rev. 22:19...

Jim said...

I'm glad you felt compelled to do that!

Peter Kirk said...

I assume that they have already been tested for their ability to excise John 3:16.

Joe Blackmon said...

Peter

Why would a Calvinist want to cut John 3:16 our?

"whosoever believeth"
pas ha pistueo
Every one believeing *or* every one who believes
*not*
Every one is capable of believing.

:-)
Just remember if you get to heaven before I do to save me a chicken leg at the Big Ol' Supper and if I get there first I'll save you some bangers and mash.

Peter Kirk said...

Joe, I was thinking more of the "God so loved the world..." part. I don't think the verse finishes off "that most of them should be condemned to everlasting torment".

Andrew said...

Must admit... that's one way to start off the new year...

Peter,
you are right - if you cut that verse out and read it by itself. Continue on, and just two verses later, you find:
"Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God."

It's there.

Jim Pemberton said...

Well, the scissors don't work on my PC, and all I have available at the moment is the online Bible resources. I'm curious as to what passages are affected on the back of the pages from the verses Arminians would want to cut out. I'll have to check my new ESV Study Bible (Christmas from my wife!) when I get home for this.

St.Lee said...

Jim makes a good point about the possibility of losing some perfectly good verses on the back side via the scissors. I think a more apropriate gift might have been a bottle of "white out". It even sounds more holy.

Martin said...

Real mature. Posts like this are such a great help to Christians. Thanks for using some of the time with which God blessed you to belittle your brothers and sisters in Christ. The Apostle Paul would have bee proud.

Jonathan said...

Not that I consider myself an Arminian, but, last I checked, strict Calvinists have some passages that they wish they could cut out "to keep their theology consistent" (e.g., I Tim 4:10; II Pet 2:1; I Jn 2:2). Don't worry about responding with an exegetical study on each of these passages (I know the arguments), I'm just making the point that both sides have difficult passages they have to deal with.

Jim Pemberton said...

Jonathan,
The implication in your comment (and the humor behind this article), is that we all practice eisegesis. That is, we bring to the Bible higher-order presuppositions that inform our theology and tell us what our hermeneutic ought to look like in order to arrive at the conclusion that our presuppositions are correct.

However, we don't all do that.

Speaking for myself, I have striven to maintain only the presupposition that our Creator desires to inform us and has provided a sure means to do so in the words of the Bible. I have therefore weighed as many passages as I could get my head around using a reasonable hermeneutic and allowed passages that appear to contradict each other to refine that hermeneutic, understanding that God has provided theological tension in order to establish a better hermeneutic. Whatever conclusions this produces I settle on, and during the course of this process if I realize that any conclusion was faulty I change what I hold true lest I believe something of God that's not true.

Therefore, there is no passage that is difficult. There are only passages that I need to refine my understanding and bring it closer to what is true.

Then, once I have a settled theology made sure by a solid process of understanding the scriptures, I refine my philosophical outlook on the world rather than allowing my philosophical outlook on the world inform my theology. I don't need to believe, for example, that I can make a decision outside of the created order of God, which is the logical conclusion of libertarian free will, in order to believe that I am truly saved. I gave that belief up when I recognized that scripture simply doesn't support it. My prior philosophy was either wrong or not as well developed.

What we often fail to realize is that if we change our hermeneutic to either alter the meaning of a verse or address theological tension, it can impact our understanding of unrelated passages. That's what drives my previous comment about how cutting Bible verses out of the Bible affects passages on the other side of the page.

So, the passages you present are not difficult in that they are part of the whole testimony of scripture and serve to bring our understanding closer in line with the truth.

Paul Wilkinson said...

There's something about this particular post and the thread that follows that seems a little uncharacteristic of 'humor' sites like TBNN and therefore a little unsettling.

I think that Jonathan and Jim P. basically agree with each other but are caught in an adversarial exchange.

The point in the Cal'/'Min debate is that there are indeed two positions, with highly respected scholars on each side (though one side extremely more prolific and verbose than the other.) Each theological view challenges and somewhat informs the other; and the history of the origins of the Arminian position (which in some respects came out of Calvinism) makes the debate all the more colorful.

I have my own views; and the internet provides no end of places to share those; but I wish sites like TBNN would stick to 'topics lite.'

Jim Pemberton said...

I for one am glad to have meat on the table; and if you've ever slaughtered animals for meat you know it's not always pretty, but it is necessary. Milk builds strong bones, but that's useless without strong muscle.

Jonathan said...

Jim,
Mr. Wilkinson is right, I believe, when he states that he thinks that we essentially agree.

I was not implying that we all practice eisegesis. I believe with all my heart that the text has an intended meaning and that we are not free to mold it to our particular system of theology. I also believe that one’s system of theology must always bend the knee to Scriptural revelation. I, like you, am perfectly content with letting Scripture speak for itself and maintaining the theological tension that might ensue.

My earlier comment was an attempt to bring humility to the meat table.

Darrin said...

That guy has some tan!