Does John 6:44 Teach Predestination?

A reader wrote: I’ve really enjoyed browsing your site. I’m a reformed Christian and have appreciated learning about the Orthodox Church. I do find the church appealing but I believe scripture supports the reformed position. I’ve been reading your plucking the tulip article and was hoping you’d interact with John 6, especially vss 44-59 as I’ve yet to hear a compelling argument in favor of the non reformed view of that passage.…

Calvin Dissing the Fathers

                    In an earlier blog posting “Plucking the TULIP,” I marshaled an array of patristic citations showing that a wide range of early church fathers affirmed human free will: Irenaeus of Lyons, Cyril of Jerusalem, John of Damascus, John of the Ladder, Gregory of Nyssa et al.  I did this to show that the theological consensus of the early Church refuted the Calvinist…

In Defense of “Plucking the TULIP”: A Response to Jacob Aitken

  On 8 August 2013, Jacob Aitken, the administrator for Reformed Principia aka Bayou Huguenot aka Outlaw Presbyterianism, posted what he claims to be a rebuttal of my article: “Plucking the TULIP: Part I.”  PDF file. See Aitken’s Responding to Orthodox Bridge: Part One.  Below is my response to him.   TULIP = Calvinism? Jacob Aitken writes: Arakaki identifies Calvinism with TULIP with Predestination.  In doing so he is operating off of the…

Theological Conversations With Friends

Folks, I recently received a comment from David Jones, an Orthodox Christian, who has been in conversation with a Reformed pastor about my paper on the Reformed doctrine of predestination.  Below are my responses. Robert David, I’m glad to hear of your conversation with your Reformed/Calvinist pastor friend.  It is good to see bridges being built across two different theological traditions. My assumption here is that your friend is responding to my…

"Plucking the TULIP" in PDF format

(Amended 2 April 2013) I have combined the various postings on “Plucking the TULIP” into one long (26 pages) research style paper.  The aim here is to make the overall argument against TULIP available in one document.  Hopefully, this will make it more convenient for readers to  follow the arguments I have been making concerning the Reformed doctrine of double predestination. Note: In response to various comments I made a number of…

Plucking the TULIP (4) — An Eastern Orthodox Critique of the Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

  Monergism and the Heresy of Monotheletism Much of the Reformed tradition’s Christology and Trinitarian theology came out of the ancient Ecumenical Councils.  There were many gatherings in the early Church.  Many were local councils but the great Councils made decisions that would ensure the wellbeing of the entire Church (hence the name “Ecumenical”).  These gatherings followed the precedent by the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 and are the fulfillment of Christ’s…

Plucking the TULIP (3) — An Eastern Orthodox Critique of the Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

  Two Approaches to the Trinity The Reformed tradition’s monergistic premise is consequential, not just for soteriology, but for its understanding of the Trinity.  This is because theology (the nature of God) and economy (how God relates to creation) are integrally related.  To separate the two would result in a defective theological system.  A comparison between the Eastern and Western theological traditions demonstrates how different approaches to the Trinity led to different…