Jacob I Loved, Esau I Hated

Not long ago, I was reading Malachi when I was struck by a verse commonly quoted in the Calvinist circle. In Malachi 1:2b-3a, God tells Israel, “I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated.” The Apostle Paul later cites this in Romans 9:13. Calvinists often deploy it as evidence of individual, unconditional election. It … Continue reading "Jacob I Loved, Esau I Hated"

A Brief Q&A on Free Will

This is something that I wrote elsewhere but thought would be good to share here. Are we mindless robots? We self-evidently have mind, so we can’t be mindless strictly. Also, our minds play a role in the exercise of will. We are differentiated from robots in a number of ways, but the existence of subjective … Continue reading "A Brief Q&A on Free Will"

Karl Barth on Providence and Heaven

For my last (rather delayed) post on Karl Barth’s doctrine of providence according to Darren Kennedy, I want to briefly address the way that heaven and, interestingly, the angels function in the whole structure. According to Kennedy, heaven and the angels are actually quite important to Barth’s providence. Why this would be the case might not be obvious at all to … Continue reading "Karl Barth on Providence and Heaven"

Calvin the Existentialist

A quote from Calvin’s Institutes: Innumerable are the evils that beset human life; innumerable, too, the deaths that threaten it. We need not go beyond ourselves: since our body is the receptacle of a thousand diseases—in fact holds within itself and fosters the causes of diseases—a man cannot go about unburdened by many forms of his … Continue reading "Calvin the Existentialist"

A Riddle of Love and Election

Something occurred to me last night when I was reading Herman Bavinck on the infra/supralapsarian debate in classical Calvinism. (‘Twas a pretty good read, by the way. Bavinck is probably the best that classical, federal Reformed theology has to offer.) A strange dilemma seems to appear in the Calvinist doctrine of unconditional, individual election. Specifically, the relation between … Continue reading "A Riddle of Love and Election"

Layered, Christological Election as a Biblical Story

As I posted some time ago, Evangelical Calvinism has a highly Christological approach to election which, in the history of salvation, involves several “layers.” The election of Christ in eternity has as its correspondence a movement of historical election which takes place through several stages/layers of covenant (all of which, of course, mediate the one covenant of … Continue reading "Layered, Christological Election as a Biblical Story"