Wednesday, December 08, 2010

An Arminian Fellowship?

Another throw away thought I had Monday.  I was thinking this morning how much my theology has in common with more than just the Wesleyan tradition.  For example, Scot McKnight wouldn't agree with me on everything, but he is broadly Arminian I think.  So is the Evangelical Covenant Church of North Park.  So is the Anabaptist tradition here at Messiah.  In fact, the bulk of Baptists are broadly Arminian (General Baptists).

What I'm saying is that a lot of Christian traditions agree on God's provision for everyone to be saved and his empowerment for us to choose him.  We might differ on how you spin "the security of believers," but we are pretty much agreed on the first four parts of the TULI-P.

I wonder if anyone has ever thought about putting together an Arminian fellowship?  Not sure why other than the fact that it is good to break bread together.

Just an idle thought...

13 comments:

James Petticrew said...

Ken I think this is an idea that you should run with. The whole "young restless and reformed" thing is gaining pace in the States and old style Calvinism here in the UK is equally confrontational.

This style of Calvinism is trying to push Arminianism out of the evangelical "big tent" by suggesting that we are not really evangelical at all. Piper has actually suggested that we have completely different world views which implies that he wonders if we are Christians at all.

I think there is a great need for a movement which while not getting down and dirty will articulate and defend the classic Arminian theological position and show it has a greater claim to be the church's traditional position. Roger Olson's work is a great example of what I mean but its effectiveness could be multiplied.

I think this kind of alignment would need to operate at both and academic and popular levels. We need good scholars to articulate our position and also frankly show up the shocking reality of so much reformed criticism of Arminianism which is simply an articulation of their prejudices without any interaction with primary sources.

We also need popular writers and speakers to blog, pod cast and preach to offer an alternative spirituality to the Piper/Chandler brand.

Go for it Ken!

Rick said...

James-

"This style of Calvinism is trying to push Arminianism out of the evangelical "big tent" by suggesting that we are not really evangelical at all."

There may be some with that mindset, but I think that your statement is painting with too broad a brush. I am not even sure Ken thinks Wesleyans are Evangelical.

I like Ken's idea, and think it is interesting in light of his post yesterday. But I wonder if it would it send yet another message of Christian division, rather than unity?

Ken Schenck said...

Rick, I recognize that this sort of idea could become militant like some of the strident neo-Calvinist movement right now. You also know that I can be guilty of such things in striking back too. I really had more of a fellowship in mind rather than a fight back mechanism.

To be sure, there are some who no doubt would like to fight back. I imagine there are a whole lot of (general) Baptists right now that are sick of Albert Mohler. Thankfully, I am at a place where I only come across this sort of rhetoric while surfing the web. By the way, I strongly suspect Mohler, Piper, and friends are really good people who love God with their whole being. It's only some of their ideas that I find repugnant.

I just thought it might be nice to connect with an aweful lot of kindred spirits out there who don't really connect much right now.

Rick said...

Ken-

"I just thought it might be nice to connect with an aweful lot of kindred spirits out there who don't really connect much right now."

I don't think it would just be nice, I think it is needed. However, those involved would need to be sure they are sending a healthy message.

Brian Small said...

I'm in.

William Watson Birch said...

How familiar are you with the Society of Evangelical Arminians? Things of this nature are beginning to stir.

Ken Schenck said...

I'm not familiar with it William, but it sounds a little like what I was thinking.

Brian, I would imagine that Baylor would be in for something of this sort, being the black sheep of the SB world, at least according to Big Al's Toy Barn in Kentucky. ;-)

Ken Schenck said...

Looked at the webpage William. I had in mind something a little less strident in tone, maybe. It's all brainstorming. "Global Arminian Fellowship" or something ;-)

... and of course strident Calvinists think of us as a gaf ;-)

Brian Small said...

Well, we do have Roger Olson down here at Truitt.

Pat Hannon said...

Here come the new-Armenians! :)

Pat Hannon said...

That was supposed to say neo-Armenians. Argh.

JohnM said...

Ken, I think it would be worthwhile to take a look at Roger Olson's blog if you haven't already.

Also,
"Thankfully, I am at a place where I only come across this sort of rhetoric while surfing the web." Do be thankful, and perhaps little sympathetic to those who find themselves forced to fight back - even though many would prefer not to put it that way.

As for your main point - An Arminian Fellowship" - Amen!

theinquiringminds said...

I'm in! Get Roger Olson (.com) to buy in as well I'm sure he would want to be involved at some level, even if it's just to give support.