A Response to Eric of Provisionist Perspective: A Correction on the History

I wasn’t going to engage with Provisionism anymore, but through a google search I randomly came across a guy named, Eric, a Provisionist (of Leighton Flowers ilk) who has a podcast (with another friend) that seeks to promote provisionism as well. In this podcast he worked through a post of mine where I attempt to draw some corollaries between Flowers’ so-called Provisionism, and Pelagianism. You can listen to Eric’s response (if you like) to me: here. The following is a series of tweet responses I made to Eric on his Twitter account where he shared the link to this podcast of his (which aired way back on 11-25-2020). I didn’t really want post any further on provisionism because it gives its proponents more credit than they deserve. If you listen to Eric’s response to me, where he attempts to besmirch my credibility, you’ll see that he relies on a google search (that ultimately fails his cause) in his attempt to incrediblize me (and Professor Nick Needham). So, I’ll share the following as an initial burst, then later I’ll come back someday and do a post on the Second Councils of Orange, Ephesus, and Carthage; insofar as that directly relates to Eric’s misunderstanding of the history (and theology).

Ha, I just saw this (and listened). Eric it would have been better if you had maybe contacted me first, that would’ve helped your credibility. You misrepresented what I said was condemned: I had already qualified that prior—it wasn’t freewill, per se, but its abstract form. And what both Needham and I are referring to is the SYSTEM that came to be known as Pelagianism or semi-Pelagianism on a continuum. So, you assert I don’t understand the history, when Pelagius, the man, isn’t the history I’m most concerned with. Also, I know you all rely heavily on Ken Wilson, and he is not uncontroversial in the realm of this research. But the basic thrust of my argument in the post u engage with would be that Provisionists operate within the spirit and maybe not the letter of the system of Pelagianism. Further: I am NOT a Five Point Calvinist (I’m not even 4 point). In fact I am known online and through our books as a heavy critic of 5 pointism and then more broadly classical Covenant Theology. You just presume I’m part of the classical Calvinist machine when in fact I’m a known critic of it through our books and my blogging. Also, and again, the point about freewill isn’t even the point, per se, it is the anthropology within which it is framed that is of issue. I didn’t have time to get into developing that in the post though. But I assure you that I understand the history, as does Nick Needham who is a PhD maker in Scotland in the area of historical theology. You concluded w/ a false dilemma: you said either I’m “ignorant” of the history, or that I’m intentionally misleading. What if neither of those are the case, and in fact I actually believe that LF and provisionists in general fit within the spirit (maybe not the letter—that’s debatable) of the SYSTEM that came to be known as Pelagianism/ -semi (whether Pelagius held to it or not isnt the ultimate point. I think much of your misreading and thus misrepresentation of me could have been avoided if you had first contacted me about my bloggy blogpost first). Finally, I found it interesting that at your closing remarks you described what I said Pelagianism was (ie external grace etc) and then what LF says, and it sounded like word for word almost. I could tell you caught that yourself, but then just moved on. That was a good slip. Would have been cool if you had contacted me when you did this, then I could have responded when it was fresh to the audience. Oh, and one more point: I used Pelagius, the man, in the post because his thinking on the neutrality of the human will (salvifically construed) isn’t an unrelated point of departure as we get into its historical development as that came to be known as: Pelagianism. In the history, and the near history, John Cassian took up what came to be known as Pelagianism and developed it further. I will be writing a response blog post to your response to me here. I’ll do that later today and come back and link. And one more thing: when I said Pelagius was condemned, he was!! I was referring to the 2nd Council of Orange, Carthage, and Ephesus. You ought to google search a little more thoroughly.

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