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What is the Reformed Interpretation of John 3:16?

In this piece I will attempt to say what the Reformed interpretation of John 3:16 is as it pertains to God's love for the world. It is entirely possible, however, that there is no such thing as the Reformed interpretation because there are may be many interpretations given by Calvinists. The method I employ to satisfy that attempt is to examine or describe the interpretation of those who identify as Calvinists. That method may be unsatisfactory to some readers because of the following thought. If the majority of Roman Catholics believe that the Son was created by the Father, that would not thereby make that view the Roman Catholic view. That is true. There are mechanisms in place that define conceptual boundaries about the relationship between the Father and the Son, [...]

2018-07-06T14:27:10+00:00 June 16th, 2018|6 Comments

Calvinism and Analyticity

Rich Davis has responded to a piece written by Guillaume Bignon and myself. I would like to thank him for taking the time to interact substantially with our initial response.  In this piece, I am going begin with a few points of clarification on the arguments that Bignon and I give. The clarifications will be important to understand what moves I am making in the final section, which ends on matters more philosophically substantial. As a result of this discussion, I hope to make it more clear what challenges exist for Davis’ case against Calvinism. It is now impossible for anyone to follow this discussion without having read the pieces linked above. If you have not yet done so, do that first.  But in case you do not, [...]

2018-06-07T21:20:01+00:00 May 9th, 2018|Comments Off on Calvinism and Analyticity

The irrelevance of ‘whoever’ in John 3:16 and what really matters: A response to Brian Abasciano

In “Whoever Reads John 3:16 Can Know that ‘Whoever’ Is Really There”, Brian Abasciano argues against four Calvinists: James Anderson, Guillaume Bignon, James Gibson, and James White. (I, Guillaume, apologize for not being named “James”. In my defense, my middle name is “Jacques”, which is the French title of the book of James; surely that must count.) Abasciano argues that all four Calvinists have made an embarrassing mistake by failing to understand the Greek text in John 3:16. If these Calvinists had consulted BDAG or even John Calvin’s own writings, they would have recognized that John 3:16 really does convey a generic sense of “whoever”. We, Bignon and Gibson, will let Anderson and White defend themselves since they actually spend some time discussing matters of translation. But as [...]

2018-06-07T21:18:44+00:00 April 24th, 2018|9 Comments

For God so loved the world: A Calvinist Response to Richard Brian Davis

This piece is co-authored by Guillaume Bignon and James A. Gibson. Order is alphabetical.  In "Calvinism's Gospel Tautology," Richard Brian Davis argues that John 3:16 is evidence against the Calvinist doctrine of limited atonement. According to that doctrine, the death and resurrection of Christ is intended for only a subset of humanity, the elect. How, then, is a Calvinist to understand "world" in this passage? Davis considers one possibility suggested by R.C. Sproul.  "The world for whom Christ died cannot mean the entire human family. It must refer to the universality of the elect (people from every tribe and nation) or to the inclusion of Gentiles in addition to the world of the Jews" (Sproul, cited in Davis). Davis argues that it is a fundamental mistake to take the [...]

2018-06-07T21:23:19+00:00 April 7th, 2018|13 Comments