Institutes .mp3

For any who might be trying to keep up with the Princeton Seminary‘s Reading Schedule for Calvin’s Institutes, here’s a helpful tip for how to download the .mp3 recorded readings for listening away from the computer.

  1. Log in to Google Reader.  If you have ever signed up for any of Google’s free services (gmail, picasaweb, etc.) then you already have a Google account that should work for Reader.  If you haven’t, you can create one for free.
  2. Once logged into Google Reader, click on the button that says “Add a Subscription”.
  3. Copy+Paste http://www2.ptsem.edu/ConEd/calvin/rss/ and click ‘Add’.
  4. If you click on “A Year With the Institutes”, you should be able to use the scroll bar to access all of the Institutes readings, back to the the beginning of the year. (Sub-tip 4a: Make sure you click “Show: all items” in the upper-leftish area, not just “new items”)
  5. If you open any of those posts (click on the summary bar for that post), you will see the book/chapter/sections for that reading in a bold blue font, which is directly linked to the .mp3 for that reading (the name of the .mp3 file is the date of the reading).  Right-click on it, and you can save it to your own computer.  From that point, hopefully you know how to get it onto your iPod or other .mp3 player.

If you don’t want to create a Google account, you can use this account:

    Email:    readtheinst@mailinator.com
    Password: calvinrocks

Then go to step 4 above.

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Vengeance is Mine, part II

Continuing from yesterday, here are my thoughts:

Miley’s weak conception of atonement illustrates a confusion between God’s forgiveness, and our forgiveness, which are actually very different from each other. In a very real sense, God does not forgive sins.

Lemme ‘splain

Vengeance is Mine, part I

Last week I listened to a lecture by Dr. Kim Riddlebarger, called “B. B. Warfield on Arminians and Evangelicals.” (The lecture is basically a reiteration of chapter 5 of Riddlebarger’s dissertation on Warfield). One of the topics Riddlebarger covered was Warfield’s review of John Miley’s Methodist (Arminian) Systematic Theology.

Wow, that sounds exciting!

Four out of Five Arminians Agree…

…that Albino Hayford is one of them (or more precisely three and two (or one?) halves).

If you have a real life, you are probably not aware that this blog has recently been through a bad case of the Calvinism/Arminianism wars.  I have actually given up “winning” the debate about which is right; nowadays I would settle for Albino (and fellow Arminians) to stop kicking off the shoe that fits so well.  To that end, I posted the most definitive-possible definition of the Arminian label (from the pens of the original Arminians themselves) and naively hoped that Albino would simply respond “Oh, so that‘s what it means to be an Arminian!  Yup, that describes my theology perfectly.”

In any case, Albino finally responded. Amidst the boilerplate rejection of all labels, if you look very closely, you can find the response proper buried in the middle of the post, short enough for me to reproduce right here:

Calvin and Arminius:  Both are right and both are wrong.  Let’s see, for you more linear-minded saints, I guess I would agree with half of Calvin’s depravity doctrine and half of his perserverence doctrine, making me a 1-point Calvinist (1/2 plus 1/2).  As to Arminius’ remonstrances, I guess I would fully concur with his description of unlimited atonement, as well as his view of resistable, prevenient grace and partially-conditional election.  I would tend to leave more tension and nuance in the Bible when it comes to perserverance of the saints and total depravity.  So I guess that makes me a “3 1/2 remonstrance Arminian”.

It seems like there’s an arithmetic error in there, counting half a point each for Calvin’s T and P, but only half a point total for Arminian Total Inability and Perseverance, but that discussion will not continue here.  Continue on over to Albino’s place!

Before or After

My blog runneth over. What all started at Jesus the Hyper-Calvinist, has burgeoned into L is for Effectual, Joey the Arminian, Whodunit, Santa the Arminian, Guess Who, Guest Post, You Might Be Arminian If…, What is an Arminian?, and No Creed But… And still it’s not enough — I get pleas for more!

I have created a new category of “Calvinism/Arminianism” to tag all of these.  And if I’ve learned one lesson from all of this, it is that People Love to Debate Calvinism!  (A truth surpassing People Love to Debate Theonomy!, and on par with Germans Love David Hasselhoff).  Therefore, I will not even present my own ideas, but simply lob a question which is critical to the debate, but which (believe it or not) has been almost entirely overlooked in this pantheon of threads (panthreadon?).

Which comes first: the born again (regeneration) or the faith?

This was one of the most surprising truths I learned from my Reformed church; that one is not born again as a result of faith (as I had always assumed growing up), but faith is made possible (and certain) only after Holy Spirit regeneration elevates you from your state of total depravity.  I think this question might be the most succint way to understand Calvinism (regeneration comes first) vs. Arminianism (faith comes first).

So what do you think?  More importantly, what does the Bible say?

No Creed But…

This is just funny. (Hat tip to This Millenial Life), somebody has taken it upon themselves to write down the Semi-Pelagian Narrower Catechism. My favorite is Q&A #22:

22. Q: Hath God predestined vessels of wrath to Hell?
A: God hath never performed such an omnipotent act, for any such thing would not reflect His primary attribute, which is Niceness.

What is an Arminian?

Most Reformed people understand that, while the term “Calvinist” typically means holding to the 5 Doctrines of Grace, or petals of TULIP (thus a 4-point Calvinist affirms TUIP), the handy TULIP acronym was not created by Calvin himself, but was created by the 1618/19 Synod of Dordt (over 50 years after Calvin’s death), in response to 5 Articles of Remonstrance, which in turn were not written by Jacobus Arminius himself, but by his followers after his death (1609). Here’s some more history, if you’re interested in digging deeper.

There are plenty of Calvinist guides to Arminianism out on the web, but not so much the other way around. Apparently Calvinists really like to debate against Arminianism, but either Arminians don’t really care as much to fight back, or most Arminians don’t really understand or admit that they are Arminians.

So as a service to everybody out there who hates Calvinism, I have created a chart that presents the tenets of Arminians in their own original words (most Calvinists fail to hide their contempt when they attempt to describe Arminianism). Here you go, and stick around after the table, for when I give a few more observations. Continue reading