Roger E. Olson (PhD, Rice University) is professor of theology at George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University. He is the author of many books, including Questions to All Your Answers: The Journey from Folk Religion to Examined Faith, Reformed and Always Reforming: The Postconservative Approach to Evangelical Theology, and How to Be Evangelical without Being Conservative.
Against Calvinism: Rescuing God's Reputation from Radical Reformed Theologyby Roger E. Olson
Calvinist theology has been debated and promoted for centuries. But is it a theology that should last? Roger Olson suggests that Calvinism, also commonly known as Reformed theology, holds an unwarranted place in our list of accepted theologies. In Against Calvinism, readers will find scholarly arguments explaining why Calvinist theology is incorrect and how it… See more details below
Calvinist theology has been debated and promoted for centuries. But is it a theology that should last? Roger Olson suggests that Calvinism, also commonly known as Reformed theology, holds an unwarranted place in our list of accepted theologies. In Against Calvinism, readers will find scholarly arguments explaining why Calvinist theology is incorrect and how it affects God’s reputation. Olson draws on a variety of sources, including Scripture, reason, tradition, and experience, to support his critique of Calvinism and the more historically rich, biblically faithful alternative theologies he proposes. Addressing what many evangelical Christians are concerned about today—so-called “new Calvinism,” a movement embraced by a generation labeled as “young, restless, Reformed” —Against Calvinism is the only book of its kind to offer objections from a non-Calvinist perspective to the current wave of Calvinism among Christian youth. As a companion to Michael Horton’s For Calvinism, readers will be able to compare contrasting perspectives and form their own opinions on the merits and weaknesses of Calvinism.
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After reading Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities, I was convinced that Roger Olson was in fact a Godsend to a Protestant Evangelical world that is crawling with militant Calvinists who have convinced others that doctrines like "grace" and "sovereignty" somehow belong to them. This first rate theologian takes aim at such notions showing that historic Arminianism is equally as grace-focused. I have come to appreciate that in this theological battle Roger Olson, fights fair which can't be said of many of his Calvinist opponents. He seeks to represent their position accurately in a way that they would acknowledge is fair. He does help them see the logical conclusions that their belief system leads to, which tragically many of them do not seem to realize. This quote from Olson's blog sums up the most important reason for this book being written: "[Calvinists] talk endlessly about God's glory and about God-centeredness while sucking the goodness out of God and thus divesting him of real glory. Their theology may be God-centered but the God at its center is unworthy of being at the center. Better a man-centered theology than one that revolves around a being hardly distinguishable from the devil...this would make Him unworthy of worship." The time has come for the novel doctrines of St. Augustine, which were only to be found amongst the Gnostics before him, be exposed. Calvin took these doctrines and has effectively misrepresented God to countless millions of Christians since the time of the Protestant Reformation. Calvinism was NOT the Apostolic and therefore Biblical understanding of "election", "predestination", and "free-will" and Olson contributes here to setting that record strait. This book articulates better than any other why I am personally "Against Calvinism" and my prayer is that many who've been infected with Augustinian/Calvinistic will somehow be "healed" by reading it.
This is a must read for Christians! I haven't read the "companion" version that advocates Calvinism and I'm not going to. However, the author lays out a compelling course of arguments to support his position against Calvinism.
What do i do? Why is calvinism so bad? Does it matter? Help me.