Paul 's Epistles : An Theologian And Church History Scholar

1492 Words6 Pages
People studying Paul 's epistles know that to understand them, they must first put them in their proper context. We like to state that Paul’s epistles were “occasional” writings. This simply means, they were occasioned by their context. This can relate to the current situation that is also important for understanding the perspective that Olson portrays in his book. Olson is an Arminian theologian and church history scholar who is aware of the climate of evangelicalism. Olson has also become aware of Calvinists who would like to see him removed from his position as professor and theologian based on the fact that he is not a Calvinist. He identifies these Calvinists as those who have been called the, "young, restless, and Reformed." And Olson…show more content…
It seems as though Olson finds it difficult to believe, when he encounters this form of Calvinism, “to see the difference between God and the devil” (23). Olson is very aware that some Calvinists accuse non-Calvinists of rejecting their theology because of “a latent humanistic love for free will” (23). But it is not humanism that leads Olson and other non-Calvinist theologians to embrace free will, he does so because: (1) “it is necessary to preserve human responsibility for sin and evil” and (2) “it is necessary to preserve God from being responsible for sin and evil.” Olson operates with the criteria of theological truth defined by Wesley and this statement is “the primary source and norm” (24). So Olson will argue in this book that high Calvinism: (1) “is not the only or the best way of interpreting Scripture,” (2) “stands in tension with the ancient faith of the Christian church and much of the heritage of evangelical faith,” and (3) “falls into contradictions” (24-25). If one has such a firm belief in a theology, then one should be able to teach it “standing in front of the gates of Auschwitz” (25); however, Olson “could not stand at those gates and preach a version of God’s sovereignty that makes the extermination of six million Jews, including many children, a part of the will and plan of God such that God foreordained and rendered it certain” (25). The issue of

More about Paul 's Epistles : An Theologian And Church History Scholar

Open Document