The God of the Arminians Scares Me

I find it amusing to read what some antagonist against Calvinism have to say about the system of belief (It’s not a belief, but a ‘system of belief’. Significant difference which some do not understand, or choose to be ignorant of). The following is one that was written on the Minneapolis bridge collapse. The juicy bit is as follows:

Many conservative Christians wince at the idea that God is limited. But what if God limits himself so that much of what happens in the world is due to human finitude and fallenness? What if God is in charge but not in control? What if God wishes that things could be otherwise and someday will make all things perfect?

That seems more like the God of the Bible than the all-determining deity of Calvinism.

In this world, because of our ignorance and sinfulness, really bad things sometimes happen and people do really evil and wicked things. Not because God secretly plans and prods them, but because God has said to fallen, sinful people, “OK, not my will then, but thine be done — for now.”

And God says, “Pray because sometimes I can intervene to stop innocent suffering when people pray; that’s one of my self-limitations. I don’t want to do it all myself; I want your involvement and partnership in making this a better world.”

It’s a different picture of God than most conservative Christians grew up with, but it’s the only one (so far as I can tell) that relieves God of responsibility for sin and evil and disaster and calamity.

The God of Calvinism scares me; I’m not sure how to distinguish him from the devil. If you’ve come under the influence of Calvinism, think about its ramifications for the character of God. God is great but also good. In light of all the evil and innocent suffering in the world, he must have limited himself.

The full article is at This was written by Dr. Roger Olson. 

One of the irony I see is the flip side of what Olson is proposing: Take a look at the God of Calvinism, it’s a ‘scary’ God because He is in control. He allows bad things to happen and yes, it is planned. He is not the author of sin, and I confess that this is not a particularly easy thing to fully comprehend (the intricacies of it and all). But. Look what the God of the Arminians is, as painted by Olson. 

He is in charge, but not control. He limits Himself to work hand-in-hand with creatures to accomplish His ends. He is good in the way a human being conceptualises good. Is that possible that the measure of good is physical good to men and women? Rubbish… this God is a wimp. Plain and simple. Olson’s god is a demi-god at best, and a wimp at worse. And it is a god who only watches and has His hands tied, until the ‘end’. 

Whatever happened to the God who is described as:

(Psa 139:15-16)  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.  (16)  Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

In order to justify a man-centred concept of good (physical good to man and women), he chose to downgrade God. That is at the end, sad. What is worse… many people like to have an Arminian or even a half/semi Arminian God! 

And that honestly, scares me. 

A God who gives occasion for believers to think that they were able to ‘choose’ good. What an opportunity to boast on their ability!

Whatever that focuses on the self-worth of man in any aspect is but a doing of the prince of this world. 

Never settle for a half-truth!


One thought on “The God of the Arminians Scares Me

  1. Spot on.

    I can’t trust a God who is not in control.

    In fact why should I even bother praying if God is not in control. It’s like God is saying, “I hear you child, but I can’t do anything because I am limited by (natural laws / human finitude / etc)”

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