Was John Calvin a Nominalist?

I have published a three-part series looking at the nominalist roots of John Calvin’s theology. Here are the links to my articles:

“Worldview history” and the Causative Power of Ideas

I love The Calvinist International website. The Protestant world needs more Calvinists like the people who write for this site – Calvinists willing to return to their rich heritage after so many churches in America have truncated reformed theology to be about little more than the tulip. Those who, like myself, have completely abandoned Protestantism, would do well to be well-versed in what TCL calls “the old evangelical tradition, most of which is still largely forgotten”, before launching into historically misinformed tirades against evangelicalism.

That said, my recommendation of the website is not without qualifications. Many of their writers could practice a little more intellectual charity towards their opponents, including being a little more selective in the pejorative adjectives used to describe those with whom they disagree. I would also like to see their method of resourcement significantly widened to include more extensive engagement with the breadth of what is available from the classical Christian tradition.

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Does Cooperation Limit God?

Over the years I’ve received some negative push-back for disagreeing with Watchman Nee (1903–1972) in my Colson Center article on will-power. I argued that Watchman Nee’s negative orientation to things like struggle, human effort and will-power, reflected Keswickian assumptions that were not in keeping with what Scripture has to say about will-power. In this post I want to revisit my earlier comments and then make some more general observations about the doctrine of cooperation.

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My Graduate Studies, Icons of Christ and Faith in All Its Amplitude

Strand Campus, King's College London

Strand Campus, King’s College London

Many of you know that I am currently completing the final stages of a PhD in historical theology through King’s College. Having been homeschooled and then having led a fairly sheltered and conservative life, it was a real shock to my system to be suddenly launched into the European theological scene. The suddenness of the experience was amplified by the fact that I never did a Masters degree, and even my undergraduate work had been done through correspondence.

A friend of mine who lost her faith when she went to college warned me that doing a PhD at a secular European university might be disconcerting to my “fundamentalist” Christian beliefs. She suggested that maybe I would be more comfortable pursuing my graduate studies at somewhere like Fuller. But I was resolute that I would be a King’s man.

Having almost completed my graduate studies, I am happy to say that I did not lose my faith. But at times I felt like I might.

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Revealed: Robin Phillips is Author of the Canterbury Letters

Canterbury LettersIn 2011, an anonymous author published 15 fictional letters at the Creedal Christian blog, exploring a range of practical and theological questions.

These letters, which were written from an imaginary Anglican named ‘Canterbury Chris’ to an imaginary Calvinist named ‘Geneva George’, delved into everything from the legitimacy of images in worship to the differences between Calvinist and Anglican ecclesiology.

I can now reveal that I was the author of these letters.

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My Series on Calvinism

At the Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy blog, I have published a 5-part series on why I stopped being a Calvinist. Below are links to my articles: