Saturday, September 01, 2012

Taking the moribund pulse of Arminian theology

I often comment on Roger Olson, but Scot McKnight is another Arminian scholar with a big footprint. Notice his book of the year. This is a barometer for the state of contemporary Arminianism:

Christian Smith, The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism is not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture. In spite of being panned by a few notable evangelicals, Smith is one of America’s finest scholars of evangelicalism, knows theology, and has poked populist evangelicalism in the eye — both eyes in fact. He has laid down a challenge that must be met: How to read the Bible in a way that does not lead to pervasive pluralism but leads to conclusions on which we can agree enough to say “Thus saith the Lord.” Until that happens, we’ve got too many lone rangers claiming “Thus saith the Lord.” What good is it to say we’ve got the very Word of God if we can’t agree on what the Word says?

This corroborates what I’ve said elsewhere: the Arminian tradition is more liberal than the Reformed tradition. Arminians typically list to the left of Calvinists. In this case, far to the left of Calvinists.

McKnight’s objection is also hypocritical. His own theological position (Arminian/Anabaptist) is hardly something all (or even most) Christians agree with. 

Smith’s own solution is no solution. He’s a convert to Roman Catholic. But, of course, Christians don’t agree on Roman Catholicism. So that’s just one more pluralistic option. Even Catholics don’t agree on Catholicism.

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