by Matthew Pinson
There is a flurry of activity at present from quarters in the Arminian theological community on the doctrine of corporate election. The exponents of this view are able and must be reckoned with, both by Calvinists and Arminians who emphasize the individual, personal nature of election to salvation.
However, to hear some Arminians talk, it is almost as though corporate election is the Arminian view. So I am offering this post not so much to make an argument for the individual, personal nature of election from an Arminian vantage point, but to remind my readers that there is another view among Arminians in opposition to the corporate election view. It may be a minority view, but there is a perspective with a long and distinguished history among Arminians and other non-Calvinists: that election to salvation is personal and individual. And this is not just a Reformed Arminian view. Many biblical interpreters outside Calvinism have interpreted the election passages in a more personal-individual manner.
As food for thought, I have cut and pasted some brief statements from a few modern-day Arminian authors who espouse this perspective. First is a short summary statement by Robert Picirilli, followed by a more direct statement of the doctrine by Jack Cottrell. Lastly, I have presented some brief comments Leroy Forlines makes about individual, personal election in the context of his interpretation of Romans 9.
Continue reading Individual Election, Corporate Election, and Arminianism
Kevin Hester – Trinitarian Preaching: On the Father, In the Son, and Through the Holy Spirit
Dr. Hester’s paper was recently published in the Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry
Jackson Watts – Singleness as Discipleship
Matthew Bracey – Discipleship in a Changing Legal Landscape
Gregory Hollifield – Pericope by Pericope: Transforming Disciples into Christ’s Likeness through the Theological Interpretation of Scripture
Matt Pinson – The Legacy of the Seventeenth-Century General Baptists
Toward a Non-Deterministic Theology of Divine Providence by Robert E. Picirilli
Another article An Arminian Response To John Sanders’s The God Who Risks: A Theology Of Providence
by Theological Commission
Robert Picirilli is a man who needs little introduction to the Free Will Baptist movement. He is our most significant biblical scholar, and one of the two most influential theologians we have produced in the modern period of our movement. We are especially blessed to have such a productive scholar among us even at this stage of his career.
In the last ten years, there has been a growing interest in non-Calvinist streams of Reformation theology, particularly that taught and embodied in the Dutch theologian James Arminius. Picirilli has contributed to this interest most notably through his 2002 publication Grace, Faith, and Free Will (Randall House). Appreciative followers of Picirilli will then be delighted to learn of his recently published article in the Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry entitled, “Toward a Non-Deterministic Theology of Providence.” This journal is one produced by the faculty and staff of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Though it is produced by Southern Baptists primarily for Southern Baptists, several Commission members (Matt Pinson, Jackson Watts) are among the non-Southern Baptists who have contributed to past editions.
Picirilli’s article in the latest journal without a doubt should be read and discussed by those in the larger Calvinist-Arminian dialogue. We encourage readers of this blog to check out the Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry and read Dr. Picirilli’s article, found on pages 38-61 of the most recent journal.