C. S. Lewis on Olson’s “Against Calvinism”

October 6, 2012 — 3 Comments

Roger Olson in Against Calvinism:

One day, at the end of a class session on Calvinism’s doctrine of God’s sovereignty, a student asked me a question I had put off considering. He asked:”If it was revealed to you in a way you couldn’t question or deny that the true God actually is as Calvinism says and rules as Calvinism affirms, would you still worship him?” I knew the only possible answer without a moment’s thought, even though I knew it would shock many people. I said no, that I would not because I could not. Such a God would be a moral monster.

C. S. Lewis, from God in the Dock:

The ancient man approached God (or even the gods) as the accused person approaches his judge. For the modern man, the roles are quite reversed. He is the judge: God is in the dock. He is quite a kindly judge; if God should have a reasonable defense for being the god who permits war, poverty, and disease, he is ready to listen to it. The trial may even end in God’s acquittal. But the important thing is that Man is on the bench and God is in the dock.

3 responses to C. S. Lewis on Olson’s “Against Calvinism”

  1. Interesting comparison, certainly reminds me of some of the harsher critiques of Olson (like the pyro or aomin guys)

    Are there any issues that you think could be inserted in the following statement and not count as a judgment against God?

    “If it was revealed in a way you couldn’t question or deny that the true God actually is ____________, would you still worship him?”

    (also, this comment box is very frustrating to type in)

    • You’ll have to blame WordPress for the combox.

      Is the comparison unfair? Seems to me that Olson is doing exactly what Lewis describes. Seems Olson has made himself pretty clear. God is being judged. If the Bible teaches what the reformers taught, Olson doesn’t kneel, he wags the finger.

    • I think the only word that can go in this blank that doesn’t result in a judgement of God is “non-existent.” And even then, the only reason it isn’t judgement is because you can’t judge something that doesn’t exist.

      The simple fact is that Olson explicitly says “If God is like this… I will not worship him.” That is putting constraints on who God can be if he is to be worthy of your worship, plain and simple.

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