Augustine and the Annoying Orange

Augustine and the Annoying Orange

Often you’ll hear that the difference between Catholics and Calvinists is about the “doctrine of election.” Not true. Both Catholicism and Calvinism affirm that the reason for election is divine grace. Some Calvinists and Catholics believe that there is some sort of trans-world consideration of possibilities involved (Alvin Plantinga on the Reformed side, Fr. William Most on the Catholic side), but there’s no denial on...

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Raise Your Hand… If You’re Sure!

Raise Your Hand… If You’re Sure!

One of the biggest purported “selling points” of Reformed theology has always been the doctrine of assurance. It is not uncommon to hear things like, “In Rome you’re stuck on a never-ending sacramental treadmill, but what you get in Geneva is the peace that comes from the full assurance of faith. Why would anyone trade assurance for fear and uncertainty?” I would respectfully demure at this point. While it is true...

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Divine Sovereignty or Mere Adjustment?

I recently saw the film The Adjustment Bureau (warning, possible spoiler alert), which is about a powerful group of men—or possibly angels who look like men—whose job it is to make sure that “The Plan” that they have received from “Upstairs” is properly implemented on earth. Each bureau agent has a notebook containing what looks like an intricate map, and this map redraws itself each time their subject uses his or her free will to...

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