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27 August, 2007 / theexpositor

Michael Horton interviews Roger Olson on Arminian Theology

From Modern Reformation magazine, Dr. Michael Horton interviews Roger Olson, a professor at Truett Seminary at Baylor University (Waco, Texas) on the subject of Arminianism in America and some of Olson’s answers may surprise you. The audio of the interview can also be heard at the website of The White Horse Inn.

Horton: You point out in your book that you think most of American evangelicalism tends toward Finney’s brand of semi-Pelagianism more than Arminianism.
Olson: Right. In fact in the book, near the beginning I say, with my Reformed friends, that garden variety evangelicalism in the pews-and too often in the pulpits-is semi-Pelagian, not Arminian. And yet it gets called Arminian by many people. The whole point of my book is to distinguish between those, between semi-Pelagianism and Arminianism, and I agree with critics who say that American evangelical Christianity is by and large semi-Pelagian-in the sense that they believe we take the initiative. I call it the theology of “Touched by an Angel.” In that TV show, many times the angels would say to people, “All you have to do is reach out toward God, and then he’ll come down and reach out to you.” And there are songs, of course, that say much the same thing. And that’s not Arminianism. Arminianism has always stressed and emphasized the initiative of God by prevenient grace.

Read the entire interview…

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3 Comments

  1. Douglas / Aug 27 2007 12 36

    Here are some more very interesting comments about Mr. Olson’s book as well:

    Calvinists in the Hands of an Angry Arminian
    A Brief Response to Roger Olson
    Part 1 of 3
    by Gary L. W. Johnson
    Pastor, The Church Of The Redeemer in Mesa, AZ

    More Calvinists in the Hands of an Angry Arminian
    A Brief Response to Roger Olson
    Part 2 of 3
    by Gary L. W. Johnson
    Pastor, The Church Of The Redeemer in Mesa, AZ

    Arminianism: Semi-Pelagianism?
    Calvinists in the Hands of an Angry Arminian: A Brief Response to Roger Olson
    Part 3 of 3
    by Gary L. W. Johnson
    Pastor, The Church Of The Redeemer in Mesa, AZ

    Arminian Theology
    Roger Olson
    Review by Paul Helm, Professor Emeritus of University of London

    Arminian Theology
    Myths and Realities

    A Short Response to the Arminian Doctrine of Prevenient Grace …
    by John Hendryx

  2. Douglas / Aug 27 2007 13 53

    Sorry, these three articles were not correctly formatted in their links in the previous post:

    Arminian Theology
    Roger Olson
    Review by Paul Helm, Professor Emeritus of University of London

    Arminian Theology
    Myths and Realities

    A Short Response to the Arminian Doctrine of Prevenient Grace …
    by John Hendryx

  3. Pastor Warren / Aug 28 2007 18 58

    As expected, the interviewer simply moves from point to point without considering what Dr. Olson says, dismissing out of hand any answer that might challenge the Calvinist theological framework. Though the language is couched, Horton simply says that the Arminian theological view is wrong and satisfying his readers. Olson’s work deserves much better.

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