The Francis Asbury Society (FAS) has kindly made available a series of four videos introducing the life and theology of Jacob Arminius. The videos are the product of a partnership between FAS and Asbury University, and they feature Dr. Thomas McCall, of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and Dr. Keith Stanglin, of the Austin Graduate School of Theology. The four videos include talks on (1) the Biography of Arminius, (2) God and Creation, (3) Providence and Predestination, and (4) Sin and Salvation. McCall and Stanglin are well-suited for this project, having recently coauthored Jacob Arminius: Theologian of Grace, which looks to be a great new resource on the important Dutch theologian. Here’s a recommendation from Calvin Theological Seminary’s Richard Muller:
“Keith Stanglin and Thomas McCall have provided a much needed introduction to the thought of this major theologian that is both scholarly and accessible. They set aside the prejudices and stereotypes that have often plagued the study of Arminius and provide a significant access to the main themes of his thought–a work to be studied by scholars in the field and valued by all students of the early modern roots of contemporary Protestant thought.”
Session 1: Biography of Arminius (Stanglin)
Session 2: God and Creation (McCall)
Session 3: Providence and Predestination (McCall)
Session 4: Sin and Salvation (Stanglin)
Another way to frame this issue would be to consider whether the money should go directly to the schools or follow the student. It has been pointed out to me that if UMC ministerial candidates got equal funding for the official or approved school of their choice, then that would certainly be more fair and equitable. Also, the schools that are in high demand would thrive while those institutions that are faltering in their task would become irrelevant. You would get to see which schools are really doing a good job and which ones are presently being propped up for other reasons. Shouldn’t there be equal funding opportunities for all UMC ministerial candidates?
So, if the UMC were really interested in rewarding schools that serve the denomination by training more clergy, would we not also reward those approved but not official seminaries that train the most clergy? If the money followed the students, the whole system would seem much more equitable.