[I am re-posting this piece here, as the forum on which it was formerly posted is being decommissioned]
A number of people lately have been intrigued to meet a French
theologian, and have asked me to tell them the story of how I, a French atheist,
became a Christian scholar. Even the theologians and apologists I met recently
at the ETS Conference in Baltimore (where by God’s grace I
was delivering my first scholarly paper) seemed to care (understandably) more
about my conversion from atheism than my immediate theology paper! Therefore, it
seemed fitting to type it up properly, to have a clean telling of that story of
God breaking into my life, ready to be shared with people who ask. So here it is
(and please let me know if you spot spelling mistakes or awkward sentences, I’m
still French after all!) FROMRELIGIOUSATHEISM TO SECULARATHEISM
I grew up in a wonderfully loving family in France, near Paris. I
was the second of 3 children. We were nominally Roman Catholic, and would …
In Excusing Sinners and Blaming God, I discuss the two most important critiques of Calvinist determinism: the allegations that it excludes human free will, and that it makes God the author of sin (or otherwise involves him inappropriately in evil).
In the last few months, I was given the opportunity to develop and defend the main claims of the book in several greatly enjoyable shows, so here are the links for you to view/listen.
1-Apologetics Academy, with Jonathan McLatchie
In this web seminar given at Jonathan McLatchie's apologetics academy, I developed in detail the various arguments in my book. I explain free will, discuss the pets/puppets argument, coercion argument, manipulation argument, the principle of alternate possibilities, etc... I discuss divine involvement in evil as well, and then we take audience questions.
2-Trinities Podcast with Dale Tuggy.
I was interviewed byDale Tuggy on his philosophical show "Trinities podcast", which resulted in two different …
-"how can we reconcile a God of love with the (Calvinist) belief that He decrees some (or so many) people to perish?"
At the end of last Saturday's conference on the problem of evil, wherein I presented on "Calvinists and Arminians on the problem of evil: who can say what?", a thoughtful gentleman came and asked me the above question—definitely an important one for Calvinists like me to think about. We briefly discussed the matter, and it made me realize I had some things to say about the topic, which I hadn't read elsewhere before, so it called for a post. Here is what I have to say in response.
Love and the divine will
The question is raising the worry that there may be an incompatibility between the Calvinist doctrine
of reprobation, and a certain attribute of God, namely the (undisputedly biblical) fact that God is love. When you phrase the objection as an argument, you see that it is really a special case of the problem of evil that would go something l…