Item description for Why I Am Not an Arminian by Robert A. Peterson & Michael D. Williams...
Overview What's wrong with Arminianism? Arminian theology is sweeping through the evangelical churches of North America. While most Arminians are good, sincere, orthodox Christians, authors Roberts A. Peterson and Michael D. Williams contend that aspects of Arminian thought are troubling both biblically and theologically. In particular, they argue, Arminians have too lofty a view of human nature and an inadequate understanding of God's sovereign love in Christ. This book explores the biblical, theological and historical background to the Calvinist-Arminian debate. The irenic nature and keen insight of this book will be appreciated by laypeople, pastors and scholars alike.
Publishers Description What's wrong with Arminianism? Arminian theology is sweeping through the evangelical churches of North America. While most Arminians are good, sincere, orthodox Christians, authors Robert A. Peterson and Michael D. Williams contend that aspects of Arminian thought are troubling both biblically and theologically. In particular, they argue, Arminians have too lofty a view of human nature and an inadequate understanding of God's sovereign love in Christ. Why I Am Not an Arminian explores the biblical, theological and historical background to the Calvinist-Arminian debate. The irenic nature and keen insight of this book will be appreciated by laypeople, pastors and scholars alike.
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More About Robert A. Peterson & Michael D. Williams
Peterson is professor of systematic theology at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis and a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
Reviews - What do customers think about Why I Am Not an Arminian?
Nice treatment of the debate Mar 15, 2007
You also need to purchase Why I Am Not a Calvinist. Both books provide a balanced view on the subject, we used both books as text books for a Bible study class.
Predestined to not be Reformed Sep 9, 2006
There are many unambiguous scriptures with inductive and exegetical reasons to demonstrate that what these authors above contend is erroneous. I get tired of reading the same old talking points.
But of course, even if it could be miraculously proved that Calvinism is actually exegetically correct, I just couldn't help but to believe it false because I was predestined to not be Reformed!
An Excellent Introduction to the Foundation of Calvinism Mar 19, 2006
Although I do not find much in Calvinism with which I can agree, I found this text to be an excellent starting point to studying the theological and biblical foundations of Calvinism. I would have given the book one more star, except that I found the historical section way too long. It really did not add much to understanding the foundations of Calvinism, and it really should have considering the length of the chapter on historical theology.
I really enjoyed this one... Nov 18, 2005
I have had classes with both of these fins scholars, and really enjoyed the experience. I thought this defense of their theological standpoint was very good. At central issue to the Reform belief system is that there is a tension between human responsibility and divine sovreignty. These two gentlemen are well-equipped to argue this point. I found their exposition of the main points of their theological stance to be straightforward and solid.
Interestingly, rumor has it the autthors did not want to title this book in the negative, but rather "Why I am a Calvinist." they were persuaded by the publishers to use the more combatative title.
Both men exude grace in their own lives, and it came out in their writing.
Not the strongest presentation for Calvinism Sep 1, 2004
I wanted to give this book more than 3 stars, but in the end I couldn't. I approached this book expecting a very biblical defense of Calvinism,in accord with the title of the the book. Instead, I found a book that outlined the Arminian position very well, but when it came to counter defense against that position, the author's own arguments were on the weak side. Some would think that's because the Calvinist position itself is weak, but that would be untrue. Almost all of the author's defense (on any of the subjects outlined) came from the texts in John 6,John 10,and John 17. If these three text did not specifically address the issue of a given chapter,then he reasoned on the basis of deductions taken from them. When the author addressed the issue of Freedom, or specifically free will in a person, he was quick to say God's sovereignty, as understood in Calvinism, does not render human's as puppets. But then, in presenting the Calvinist view of freedom, he failed to truly specify how freedom and the Calvist idea of sovereignty truly co-exist. The most it came down to was we are free to do as God has ordained we are to do. The author did not explain at all how what he called, "secondary causes", play into freedom or sovereignty. Nor, how one makes a choice that is truly free when one's life is decreed to the minutest detail. The same was true for Grace, and whether it was irresistable or resistable. In beginning his defense of irresistable grace (or invincible grace as the author puts it) he says "Another misconception concerns the fact that many sinners successfuly resist God's grace and die in their sins. How can Calvinist say that God's grace is irresistable? The answer is we dont teach that God's grace is irresistable for all rather, God's grace is irresistable only for God's people." Yet this would mean God gives his grace to all. The very grace which is the specific means of salvation. Yet, the author pointed out earlier, in his arguments on Election, that God passes by those He has not chosen to save. It was not clarified how He passes by men leaving them in sin and yet gives saving grace (the vehicle of salvation) at the same time. His weakest argument of all was on Limited Atonement. And he had to admit it in a way that was startling, given the title of the book. On the issue on John 3:16, which presents God's saving work on a worldwide basis, the author states, "We agree therefore with Arminians that John 3:16 and similar texts speak of God's love for every person. We understand these passages to teach that God assumes a saving position toward His fallen world. When asked how we (Calvinist) reconcile these passages with those that teach God's special love for the elect, we admit that our theology contains rough edges." I guess so if that's the best you could counter the Arminian claim of unlimited atonement with. I did agree with the author's conclusion on a governmental view of the atonement which is a view blasphemous to the atonement. To the author's credit his defense of unconditional election and perseverance were good and his presentation of historical data in his chapters on Augustine and Pelagius and Arminius and the Synod of Dort were very enlightening. In fact his arguments on unconditonal election made me search further into the subject. It is the inability to carry what is presented there, in the earlier portion of the book, through to a consistent biblical argument that in my opinion was the shortfall of this book. One last thing. The author's introduction and his tone taken (very conciliatory and as a brother in the Lord ought to write) should be required reading for anyone wanting to voice a theological opinion in media today.