Bnonn Tennant (the B is silent)

Where a recovering ex-atheist skewers things with a sharp two-edged sword

Presupposing freewill theism is the opposite of the Naked Bible method

Modern ideas about libertarian free will, conditioned by our culture and theological history, are completely foreign to the assumptions that ancient readers would have brought to the Bible.

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Constructive criticism of The Unseen Realm #4: predestination and foreknowledge

In which I offer a friendly critique of some elements of Michael Heiser’s The Unseen Realm—in this instance, his comments in chapter 9 on how God foreknows without predestining.

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Does the Bible teach any kind of free will?

Given how hotly debated a topic it is, you would assume it does…wouldn’t you?

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Unreflective assumptions about free will

Suppose everyone automatically assumes they have the power of contrary choice. What follows?

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Thorny problems with Molinism #2: the demonstrable falsehood of its governing intuition

The Molinist’s governing intuition is that people can’t be responsible for choices which (i) do not ultimately originate in their own wills or (ii) where they could not have done otherwise. This intuition is flatly contradicted by Jesus in John 6:44; so Molinism should be rejected as false.

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Thorny problems with Molinism #1: doing theology backwards

Molinism as a system begins with human intuitions about responsibility, and then reads these back into God’s word; rather than beginning with God’s word, and conforming our intuitions to it. In this regard it is no different than any other man-made religion.

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Why can’t God interfere with our free will?

After all, we do it all the time.

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Thorny problems with karma #6: free will

If karma decides how we should act toward other people based on their karmic debt, how can our actions really be free?

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Why do some people exercise faith and others not?

In a synergistic framework, what is the explanation for some people responding affirmatively to prevenient grace, while others do not? If it is because of the grace they receive, then God shows partiality; if it is because of their character, then they have reason to boast; if it is neither, then salvation is down to luck.

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NY Times twists on horns of secular free will dilemma

A critical look at a New York Times article that discusses the tension between the idea that all the events in the universe are caused deterministically by physical laws, and our deep-seated intuitive belief that this cannot be so because we have free will.

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What to do when skeptics attack libertarian free will—become a Calvinist

This is a continuation of the discussion started with Stuart McEwing in his article ‘Openness Theology (Part Two)’, exploring the ramifications of libertarian free will, the principle of alternative possibilities; and how an Arminian theology ultimately collapses into either a Reformed or Open theology, depending on how you push it.

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“No one is righteous”…metaphorically speaking

A polemic against the argument that, in light of the apparently contradicting evidence of our moral intuitions, total depravity should be interpreted metaphorically.

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Determinism and the authorship of sin in Calvinism and Arminianism

Arminians object to determinism because it makes God the “author of evil”—but does their own system avoid it? In this post, I argue that although they disagree with Calvinists about the nature of God’s sovereignty, their own theology commits them to an equally deterministic view.

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Understanding God’s desires

A response to my friend Jim regarding the sincerity of Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem in Matthew 23:37. This follows on from my previous argument from divine purpose, in which I rebutted the view that God intends to save all people but is prevented by human free will. Here, I address the dual question of whether my view leads necessarily to confusion or doubt about God’s word, and further interact with Jim’s proposed counter-solution of human autonomy.

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A simple argument against God’s universal salvific intent

A basic argument, with commentary, in favor of the Calvinist view of election, and against the view that God purposes to save all people without exception.

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Catholic and Reformed views of God and Scripture: a correspondence

A response to an email from a Roman Catholic correspondent, critiquing his presentation of the doctrine of Scripture and the purposes of God.

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God and goodness: a reply to Victor Reppert

A couple of weeks ago, Victor Reppert posted an argument against compatibilism, and invited a general critique. This argument looks as follows (I’m paraphrasing since Victor’s original formulation had some typos):

1. If compatibilism is true, then God could have created the world in such a way that everyone freely does what is right.
2. If God is omnipotent and perfectly good, then, were it possible, he would have created the world in such a way that everyone freely does what is right.
3. But God did not create the world in such a way that everyone freely does what is right.
4. Therefore, compatiblism is false.

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The Salvation Strawman

I have recently been focusing a fair amount on God’s sovereignty and its relationship to, and implications for, human actions and ability. The gist of this can be summarized by saying that God is active in every conceivable and actual relationship, while man is passive in his relationship to God, but active in his relationship […]

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Annotating the Catholic Encyclopedia: free will

An extensive investigation of libertarian free will, using the Catholic Encyclopedia’s entry on the topic as a launchpad. I quote the Encyclopedia, interacting with it at each major point, and demonstrate how the teaching of libertarianism contradicts both the Bible and plain reason.

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On Freedom, Responsibility, and Meaning

In the coffee shop today I happened to cast my eye over a National Geographic, and noticed an interview with Francis Collins, the head of the Human Genome Project. The interview was conducted by John Horgan, who no doubt has some claim to fame of which I am quite unaware. Collins is described as a […]

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