In both Calvinism and Extensivism, God knows all that could happen, and all that will happen. The difference is in how he knows. According to Calvinism, his knowledge of what could and will happen is based upon his micro-determination. Another way of saying God knows what could happen is God knows what he could determine to happen. Similarly, another way of saying God knows what will happen is God knows, out of the possibilities of what he could determine to happen, what he will determine to happen. This determinism is not merely God determining to create the universe because we all believe that if God did not determine to create, creation would not exist. Continue reading →
Once again, the Houston Chronicle has endeavored to malign Dr. Patterson by their portrayal of his handling of a very public and difficult situation that happened in the 1980s regarding a young pastor named Darrell Gilyard.
Although Dr. Patterson did not ask me to post his response to the Houston Chronicle, I requested his permission to do so, which he granted. Here are two other articles regarding the character of Dr. Patterson, who I have known for almost forty years. Dr. Paige Patterson: Things You Need To Know and Dr. Patterson’s Counsel to Pray for My Enemies.
The following is Dr. Patterson’s response.
Dr. Patterson’s response to the Houston Chronicle article of August 23, 2019 re: Darrell Gilyard Continue reading →
In the quest to seem with it in our present scientistic milieu, preachers and Christians often pursue fluency regarding the latest polls, statistics, and studies (punctiliar thinking) more than they seek understanding of the Scripture and linear thinking. This quest is often characterized by indiscriminate reliance upon and usage of these tools, which actually leads people further from the truth both in their thinking processes and in their conclusions. Although these tools are useful at times, they should be used judiciously and sparingly lest one unwittingly becomes a scientistic myrmidon, and by his example leads others to do likewise. Continue reading →
Romans 9:22–23 is often cited to demonstrate God’s sovereign choice in creating some people for eternal destruction so that he might demonstrate his wrath while making other people to be recipients of his eternal mercy. This understanding highlights God’s eternal, unconditional election. This way, God could put his wrath and mercy on display, which otherwise he would not be able to do. Those who hold this view do believe that God did desire sin and evil, and he created people that ultimately he damned to hell either by predeterminately creating them for such or actively or passively passing them by. Continue reading →
As mentioned in my previous article on Jacob and Esau (Rom 9:10–13), Calvinists use Romans chapters 9–11 as the undeniable evidence of Calvinistic soteriology, defending both unconditional election and reprobation. Regarding chapter 9, B.B. Warfield says, “It is safe to say that language cannot be chosen better adapted to teach Predestination at its height.” As I demonstrated, while the passage regarding Jacob and Esau does show God’s sovereignty, it has nothing to do with salvific election and reprobation, Calvinism’s doctrine of unconditional election. The same is true with regard to Pharaoh. Continue reading →
The 2019 SBC annual meeting met on June 11–12. The messengers adopted several resolutions, one of which was a resolution on Critical Race Theory (CR) and Intersectionality (IN). While I appreciate the Resolutions Committee seeking to speak to current issues from a biblical perspective, I think this resolution lacked due consideration. Continue reading →
Calvinists use Romans chapters 9–11 as the undeniable evidence of Calvinistic soteriology, defending both unconditional election and reprobation. A.W. Pink says, “Romans 9 contains the fullest setting forth of the doctrine of Reprobation.” John Piper says that Jacob and Esau “were appointed for their respected destinies before they were born.” In response, to give the context of the verses, Romans chapters 9–11 are about Israel, where Jews are considered nationally, both alone (Romans 9:1–5, 10:1–3, 11:1–10) and contrasted with the Gentiles (Romans 11:11–12). Everett F. Harrison notes that “election which is treated on an individual basis in 8:28–30, 33 is now viewed from the national perspective of Israel.”
Calvinists often refer to two particular events as evidence of God’s sovereign unconditional election and reprobation. These two are Jacob and Esau (Romans 9:10–13), and Pharaoh (Romans 9:17–18). They also quote Romans 9:22–23 to demonstrate unconditional election and reprobation as well. I agree that these passages illustrate God’s sovereignty over creation, a truth with which I wholeheartedly agree; however, they do not demonstrate that God unconditionally elects some to eternal bliss and others to eternal fire, reprobation, nor do they demonstrate the particular way that Calvinists define sovereignty. In this article, I look at Jacob and Esau (Rom (9:10–13). I will look at the other two passages in a following article on Pharaoh. Continue reading →
If you would like to listen to my interview with Leighton Flowers about my new book, “Does God Love All or Some?”, here is the link to the podcast on Soteriology 101. The interview is entitled, “Calvinistic Pastor of Thirty Years Recants Calvinism”.
“Does God Love All or Some?” includes thirty-four chapters that address Calvinist arguments such as libertarian freedom undermines God’s sovereignty, rejecting Calvinism requires a weak view of depravity, what about those who never hear the gospel? I show how we know God’s salvific love is Extensive, extends to every person, rather than limited to Calvinism’s exclusive group, the unconditionally elected. I establish how we know God gives every person an opportunity to be saved, and how human acts like prayer really can affect a person’s salvation, something which true Calvinism precludes.
I demonstrate true Calvinism is internally and biblically inconsistent by exploring such things as how the good faith offer is a really a bad deception, God is inescapably the ultimate cause of all sin, Calvinism’s commitment to compatible moral freedom means every prayer, act, or proclamation that even hints at being able to change outcomes or involve a choice between accessible options contradicts true Calvinism, faith does not precede regeneration in Scripture and the analogy of human death cannot be used to demonstrate it does, reprobation is not necessary to demonstrate God’s holiness, God does not have two wills, and the doctrines of grace do seriously affect evangelism.
“From the pen of a seasoned pastor and thoughtful former Calvinist—this book peels back the layers of obfuscation that often encrust the hard realities of what is entailed in Calvinistic theology. This is probably the most penetrating summary critique of the biblical, theological, logical, and practical incongruences inherent in Calvinistic theology I have read. Rogers goes beyond the surface level of criticism to the deeper layers of contradictions, exposing the soft underbelly of much of Reformed theology. Irenic, respectful, yet thoroughly probing, this is a must read for all who want to understand the issues more deeply.”
David L. Allen
Dean, School of Preaching, Distinguished Professor of Preaching
Director of the Southwestern Center for Expository Preaching and George W. Truett Chair of Ministry, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Does God Love All or Some?” should be required reading for all students preparing for ministry. Ronnie Rogers covers an array of topics that, unfortunately, are all-too-often neglected in theological education and personal conversations. From persuasively correcting the mythical narrative that one must be either an Arminian or a Calvinist to tackling the illogical fallacy of compatibilism, the author, with wit and balance, shares his personal theological journey and works through the maze of biblical complexities. I wish such a volume was available when I attended seminary years ago.”
President, Truett McConnell University, Professor of History and Christian Studies
“I highly recommend this latest work by Ronnie Rogers to you….His treatment of the extensive nature of the atonement also deserves attention because he has written it as a person formerly ensconced in the doctrines of grace. His familiarity with the issues relevant to those who really are trying to work their way through Scripture, theology, and ministry is apparent in individual chapters dealing with so many of the nuances involved in addressing the question.
President, Criswell College, Professor of Humanities
From the Foreword
Rogers’ work reflects careful thought, precise language, and a gentle tone. He appeals to those who affirm Calvinistic theology to consider whether their presuppositions and definitions provide clarity to their reading of Scripture or reinforce their theological framework into which they place and through which they interpret Scripture. From this position of theological inquiry, Rogers deftly probes key issues such as the nature of God, providence, the human condition, compatibilism, God’s desire for lost humanity, the order of salvation, grace, the gospel, and the dilemmas faced by Calvinists and Extensivists. Readers who desire to examine the distinctions between Christianity with Calvinism and Christianity without Calvinism will find this book to be a storehouse of perceptive theological inquiry and faithful exegetical analysis.
Adam Harwood, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Theology, McFarland Chair of Theology, Director of the Baptist Center for Theology & Ministry, Editor of the Journal for Baptist Theology & Ministry
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
In this article I intend to highlight some of the spiritual dangers of our current psychological milieu. My comments are not intended to dismiss the contributions of psychology or psychiatry, but rather to offer information to enable us to be biblically discerning. Continue reading →