Monday, March 26, 2018

The Society of Evangelical Post-Arminians

Friday Files, 16 Mar 2018

March 16, 2018, posted by K.W. Leslie
[12 Mar 2018] Reviewing Roger Olson’s Against Calvinism, Rishmawy defends the idea that God kills children in tsunamis… but admits it’s not the best thing to tell the grieving.
i) Apparently, Arminians now believe natural forces like tsunamis have libertarian freedom. God has no control over when and where a tsunami strikes. Does SEA stand for the Society of Evangelical Animists? Does SEA subscribe to panpsychism? Are natural disasters are personal agents with a mind of their own? 
ii) It's ironic that Arminians attack Calvin's distinction between proximate/remote causation, but then act as though natural forces can't be traced back to divine agency. 
iii) Evidently, if Charles Wesley applied for membership to SEA, his application would be rejected since he attributes natural disasters to divine judgment:
Poor Wesley is too Arminian for SEA. What used to be traditional Arminian theology has now been reclassified as Calvinism. Perhaps SEA should be renamed the Society of Evangelical post-Arminians. 
Wesley now finds himself in the same company as Groucho Marx regarding the merits of  club membership. 


  1. i) Didn’t say that.

    ii) Causation doesn’t equal intent, an argument many a Calvinist has tried to use on me, and so I therefore bestow it back upon you, like a fruitcake which doesn’t seem like such a great gift now that you’re on the receiving end.

    iii) Somebody hasn’t read our requirements for membership, and just presumed it must be just as narrow as the door to your Calvinist club.

    1. "i) Didn’t say that."

      Naturally you didn't say that since that would expose the inanity of your comment about Rishmawy.

      "ii) Causation doesn’t equal intent"

      So God doesn't intend what he causes? Is the Arminian God accident-prone? I hope he has insurance.

      "iii) Somebody hasn’t read our requirements for membership, and just presumed it must be just as narrow as the door to your Calvinist club."

      More like Leslie is tone-deaf to irony.

    2. Does that mean you're conceding that the Arminian God causes the death of kids via natural disasters without intending their death?

    3. Could you explain how causation doesn't equal intent? Is that like starting my trash can on fire but not intending to burn my house down?



    1. I assume you mean Leslie failed to practice the principle of charity in his comment about Rishmawy.

    2. Please explain what you found hostile to Rishmawy in my comment.

    3. Don't be silly. You insinuated that according to Calvinism, unlike Arminianism, God kills children in tsunamis, but Calvinists lack the candor to tell that to the bereaved.

  3. Your comment is highly uncharitable since it fails to give the wider context. Rather than 'admit' anything (which can give the impression he is reluctantly confessing), Rishmawy says, indeed, it would be rather crass to immediately approach [the grieving father] in such a manner. He then goes on to say that it 'would be equally morally cretinous and shamefully cruel to say to that same father, "Well, sadly, that's life in a world with the libertarian free will requisite for moral responsibility..."' and goes on to say that 'any position stated baldly and unflinchingly can seem trite in the face of catastrophe.'