kangaroodort, on July 3, 2010 at 12:27 am Said:
Likewise, it seems ridiculous to us (Arminians) that Calvinists cannot understand that a gift is still a gift even if it is received freely, and that grace doesn’t have to be irresitible to be grace. This seems to be an obvious redefining of what “grace” means by Calvinists. Good luck finding any support outside of Calvinistic philosophy for the idea that a gift is only gracious if it is given and received irresistibly, or grace is only grace if it cannot be resisted. Bizarre.
So while the Arminian is working with normal word usage and long standing definitions, the Calvinist redefines many such words (grace, sovereignty, freedom, etc.) and then faults the Arminian for not holding to the Calvinists bizarre definitions, even to the point of calling such Arminians “dishonest”. What a shame.
1. Unfortunately, Ben doesn’t know the elementary difference between the meaning of words and the meaning of concepts.
2. However, if we ignore that blunder for the time being, Ben makes an important point about the crucial difference between Calvinism and Arminianism. For if we apply normal standards to Reformed theism, then God is abnormal.
For instance, some boyfriends, if they give their girlfriend an engagement ring, will take it back if they break up. That’s “normal.”
It’s normal for folks to break their promises. Likewise, it’s normal for folks to be petty, promiscuous, vindictive, shortsighted, backstabbing, and mercurial.
And there are various religions in which the gods are very normal. The gods of the Greek pantheon are very normal. The gods of the Nordic pantheon are very normal. The gods of the Mormon pantheon are very normal.
Clark Pinnock’s theology normalized over the years. He migrated from abnormal Calvinism through Arminianism and open theism, to interfaith dialogue with Mormonism. Can’t get more normal than that!
Ben is welcome to Zeus, but I’ll stick with my abnormal theism.