Well, I have just received word from an Arminius scholar (not Roger Olson) that my recent post on Arminius is very under-informed, and that my conclusions about Arminius being somewhat (if not full-blown) semi-Pelagian are, well, under-informed (or just not the case). I was told that I should be more cautious before basically wading into waters that I don’t yet understand. I can appreciate that, coming from the scholar it is coming from. But I am not at all convinced, yet, that my conclusions about Arminius are totally aloof (if at all!). It is true that this is a blog (which is part of the point, I’d like to add!), and so the thoughts communicated here are BLOGGY. Even though they are just bloggy, I agree, that does not mean I am not responsible for what I write; but the readerly expectations of this genre should be such that this is a blog. It is where I throw out thoughts (not usually argue them). It is where I think out loud with the rest of you. I suppose the irony, to me, of this scholar contacting me, and telling me to be more careful and slow in regard to my reading of Arminius, is that this whole discussion about Arminius happened because I posted something about him on my blog. And, for me, this is the way that I use blogging. I don’t have an actual physical location, or a network of physical bodies around me to go to the coffee shop with and talk out my theology; that’s what this space is for. So actually, if anything, I am only more encouraged to continue to place my raw thinking out in the ‘sphere’ if in fact it results in having certain scholars contacting me, and telling me to cool it. As long as they give me constructive feedback on why they think I should “cool it;” then for me, taking the risk of coming off looking wet behind the ears is worth it. And as of yet, based on what I read directly from Arminius, I am not persuaded that my conclusions were totally unfounded or wrong. I I have more time, I will engage with a few more passages from Arminius; ones that will illustrate further why concluded that Arminius was semi-Pelagian. As my interlocutor informed me, my conclusion in this regard is an old and tired reading of Arminius; and I realize it is the common charge and reading of Arminius (especially from the “Reformed” side of things). But, again, as I read Arminius directly, it is totally obvious that he endorsed a cooperative model of salvation; and there are only finite theological frameworks and grammar, in his scholastic period especially, that can fund that type of model of salvation—and as far as I am concerned, that takes us to a very semi-Pelagian/Augustinian locus.
I am not done with Arminius. You will hear more about him in the days to come right here at my blog.