Thursday, June 11, 2009
John Calvin is often one of the most misrepresented theologians in Church history. If you walk into most evangelical churches today bring him up you will receive an earful. J.I. Packer writes, "It is really staggering to observe how persistently, from his day to ours, Calvin and his teaching have been misrepresented and traduced" (Packer). This is all the more true when considering Calvin's doctrine of predestination. Again, walk into most evangelical churches and you will get the idea that Calvin made God into a divine chess player, destroyed human responsibility, and abolished missions of any kind. I've experienced this first hand.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Where Augustine's understanding of predestination was shaped by his refutation of the teachings of Pelagius, Martin Luther's theology of predestination was sharpened in response to the writings of Catholic humanist Desiderius Erasmus. In the fear that Luther's teachings on freewill would abandon, "the Gospel to the passions of men," Erasmus penned "Discussions, or Collation, Concerning Free Will" (Packer & Johnston 37).