Randy Alcorn

Discussion in 'General discussions' started by Ryan&Amber2013, Jun 11, 2018.

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  1. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    Have any of you read anything from Randy Alcorn? I just started his book called "If God Is Good." So far it has been captivating and sound, and he is very well studied by drawing from a broad range of sources.

    Are any of you familiar with him?
     
  2. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    I've heard the name, but I've not read any of his stuff.
     
  3. Guido's Brother

    Guido's Brother Puritan Board Junior

    His book on heaven contained a lot of speculation. His book Hand in Hand: The Beauty of God's Sovereignty and Meaningful Human Choice was a muddled mess. Examples: "...orthodox Arminianism is not inherently Pelagian or semi-Pelagian." "Arminius defined predestination like you might expect Calvin to have done." "Both Arminians and Calvinists recognize prevenient grace as a divine enabling of sinners to place their faith in God."
     
  4. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Senior

    His novel "Safely Home" is one of the best Christian novels you could ever read.
     
  5. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Sophomore

    My former pastor once preached a sermon based on Alcorn's Heaven. I came out rather unimpressed.
     
  6. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Sophomore

    That looks pretty bad. How could anyone come to such conclusions?
     
  7. Logan

    Logan Puritan Board Junior

    Two of his books, and for a modern author I found him helpful in some areas.

    I'm curious to see the context of those quotations on Arminianism. Because in a certain context, those statements could be correct.
     
  8. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    I thought that the actual beliefs of classic Armianism was closer to those held by Calvinist than the theology held by Semi/pel Modern day American Christianity.
     
  9. TheInquirer

    TheInquirer Puritan Board Freshman

    I've read two of his larger works - Money, Possessions, and Eternity quite some time ago (14 years?), and Happiness last year. I think both were very helpful in their comprehensive approach. He writes from a conservative, Evangelical framework and really tries to address the heart.

    I don't remember anything that came across as huge red flags in those two works. He tries to honor Scripture and apply it well. He's gone through a decent amount of suffering (especially for standing against abortion) and he donates all his book proceeds I think due to a loss of some kind of legal action by an abortion clinic which he protested (lest the money get taken from what I recall). Even his non-profit donates excess money to other Christian organizations. He has always come across to me in his works as a very well-meaning Christian with a great heart.

    For accuracy and precision, I would put him between Piper (looser) and Grudem (tighter). He wouldn't be a "go to guy" for me on a topic like God's Sovereignty and Human Choice. I don't mean to sound elitist or critical but I think to make any strides on a topic like that is best handled by a certain kind of theologian that is a bit more trained and able in navigating the complexity than Alcorn.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  10. ReformedChristian

    ReformedChristian Puritan Board Freshman

    I have read his book on Heaven, and while it was insightful I think drew a lot of speculation on many things such Pet's in Heaven, traveling galaxies etc. Not to mention he seemed to hyper literalize a lot of passages, which makes it seem like he has a Dispensational sort of view in his Eschatology.
     
  11. Guido's Brother

    Guido's Brother Puritan Board Junior

    The Synod of Dort would beg to differ. The Canons of Dort speak of classical Arminianism bringing "back out of hell the Pelagian error" and seeking "to instil into the minds of people the pernicious poison of Pelagianism." I think the Synod of Dort understood the issues at hand far better than Randy Alcorn.
     
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  12. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    All dogs go to heaven. Didn't you know that Chris? I saw it on TV.
     
  13. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    Arminius was no Calvinist as Cocceius was not Reformed. Same problem just at a different degree and doctrine.
     
  14. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    After getting through the first part of the book, I can definitely say he's done a massive amount of research and reading on the subject of suffering, evil, and God's goodness, both from all sorts of Christians, all the way to the opposite end to the atheists, and everything in between.

    As well, in this book, I really appreciate how he doesn't try to cover up the evil and suffering in the world. He interviewed many people who have suffered, and he shares so many stories of some of the most horrible things you could hear that have happened to people, and still tries to convince us that God is all powerful, loving, wise, knowing, and good.
     
  15. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

  16. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

  17. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    He is probably quite correct when he quotes her but deviates when she is not quoted. Seen that a lot in life and reading.
     
  18. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    Ever read Philip Yancey on Disappointment with God or Kershner on God and suffering?
     
  19. Logan

    Logan Puritan Board Junior

    Why do we enjoy believing ill about others? I've not read this book and don't know much about Alcorn, but to pull a couple of quotes out of context does not seem to be speaking in love. And the worst thing is that some people will believe your implications without questioning. I looked into each of the three.

    So he's saying that it's important to understand the differences in terms and not argue against positions they don't actually hold.

    Isn't this just pointing out how Arminians might word things similarly, but mean something vastly different?

    So that quote was also dealing with how both recognize the term, but use it very differently.

    Looking at the context of all these quotes, and what you implied with your selections, it's hard to see this as not being slander.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  20. Gforce9

    Gforce9 Puritan Board Junior

    Logan,
    It is always wise to exercise charity, a quality that is in great want in my own life. I do hope you see see the lack of charity toward pastor Bredenhof in the above....
     
  21. Logan

    Logan Puritan Board Junior

    If it is uncharitable then I'm definitely open to being told how I could reword it better. Note that the "we" is not directed at Pastor Bredenhof, but at everyone in general. And it is true, we are all far too quick to believe ill of others. We often seem to revel in it.

    I'm also curious if you think Pastor Bredenhof was charitable toward Alcorn? Were the quotes not pulled out of context? Were the implications he made in both his posts not serious? I'm genuinely asking and willing to consider that I'm wrong.
     
  22. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    As well, it's encouraging to see that he says 100 percent of the royalties of the book will be used to promote good, oppose evil, and relieve world suffering.
     
  23. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Sophomore

    I really don't think he's being uncharitable. It does seem to me now that these quotations need to be kept in their respective contexts. Isolated, they can evidently be taken to mean something completely different.
     
  24. Gforce9

    Gforce9 Puritan Board Junior

    I'm fine with "calling one to account" and making them defend their position on what was said or written....no problem there. In the response, however, was a similar accusation: "but to pull a couple of quotes out of context....". Is this fact? There was no direct evidence given. I'm only saying that the charge leveled was of the same category as the response given......
     
  25. Logan

    Logan Puritan Board Junior

    Unless I misunderstand what you're saying, my entire post is direct evidence, where I quoted at length the context he pulled the quotes out of.

    Bredenhof responded saying one of Alcorn's books was a "muddled mess" and provided three one-line quotes as examples.
    Tom Hart responded with "that looks pretty bad" which was not corrected by Bredenhof in his subsequent post.
    I said I would be curious to see the context to those quotes. Despite a subsequent post, perhaps he didn't see it.
    In his subsequent post, he doubled down on it, insinuating that Alcorn and Dort are at odds.
    Mr Snyder apparently was led to make the statement, based on these quotes, that "Arminius was no Calvinist". Reading the full context, do you really think that's what Alcorn is saying? Is this not a spread of misinformation based on those original out-of-context quotes?

    What is Bredenhof's intent if not to discourage people from reading Alcorn? Do you think the quotes he used to imply Alcorn's view fairly represent Alcorn? Being charitable: whether he meant it or not, as it currently stands, he's misrepresenting Alcorn with out-of-context quotes. And is letting people draw their conclusions from those quotes and not the context. I don't see any way around that.

    All that said, I'm certainly sure I can be more charitable myself. Thank you for calling that to my attention.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  26. Gforce9

    Gforce9 Puritan Board Junior

    Logan,
    I need to back and look at all the posts. At work now, so I'll have to look later....
     
  27. Grumman Tomcat

    Grumman Tomcat Puritan Board Freshman

    I tried to read Randy Alcorn's book 'Heaven' and came away unimpressed. There are elements of Dispensationalism and his version of Heaven shows too much of a fixation with elements of this life. In heaven our focus will be God.
     
  28. SRoper

    SRoper Puritan Board Graduate

    I agree with you Logan. Dr. Bredenhof quotes are out of context. Especially in the last quote on prevenient grace, Randy Alcorn is making the opposite point than what Dr. Brendenhof's partial quote would have you believe.
     
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