Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Jacobus Arminius, the Dutch Reformer of Continental Arminianism


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Jacobus Arminius

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Jacobus Arminius
Jakob Hermanszoon
Portrait of Jacobus Arminius
Jacobus Arminius (1620) by David Bailly
Born10 October 1560
Died19 October 1609 (aged 49)
EducationLeiden University
OccupationPastor, theologian
Spouse(s)Lijsbet Reael
Theological work
Tradition or movementArminianism
Main interestsSoteriology
Notable ideasPrevenient graceconditional preservation of the saints

Jacobus Arminius (10 October 1560 – 19 October 1609), the Latinized name of Jakob Hermanszoon,[a] was a Dutch theologian from the Protestant Reformation period whose views became the basis of Arminianism and the Dutch Remonstrant movement. He served from 1603 as professor in theology at the University of Leiden and wrote many books and treatises on theology.

Following his death, his challenge to the Reformed standard, the Belgic Confession, provoked ample discussion at the Synod of Dort, which crafted the five points of Calvinism in response to Arminius's teaching.

Early life

Arminius, was born in 1559 or 1560 in OudewaterUtrecht. He became an orphan while still young. His father Herman, a manufacturer of weapons, died, leaving his wife a widow with small children.[1] He never knew his father, and his mother was killed during the Spanish massacre at Oudewater in 1575.

The child was adopted by Theodorus Aemilius, a priest inclined towards Protestantism. Around 1572 (the year Oudewater was conquered by the rebels), Arminius and Aemilius settled in Utrecht. The young Jacobus studied there, probably at the Hieronymusschool. After the death of Aemilius (1574 or 1575), Arminius became acquainted with the mathematician Rudolph Snellius, also from Oudewater. The latter brought Arminius to Marburg and enabled him to study at the Leiden University, where he taught.[2] In 1576, Arminius was registered as a liberal arts student at the newly opened Leiden University.

Theological studies and ministry

Arminius remained a student at Leiden from 1576 to 1582. Although he enrolled as a student in Liberal Arts, this allowed him to pursue an education in theology, as well. His teachers in theology included Calvinist Lambertus Danaeus, Hebrew scholar Johannes Drusius, Guillaume Feuguereius (or Feugueires, d. 1613), and Johann Kolmann. Kolmann is now known for teaching that the overemphasis of God's sovereignty in high Calvinism made God "a tyrant and an executioner".[3] Although the university in Leiden was solidly Reformed, it had influences from Lutheran, Zwinglian, and Anabaptist views in addition to Calvinism. One Leiden pastor (Caspar Coolhaes) held, contra Calvin, that civil authorities did have jurisdiction in some church affairs, that it was wrong to punish and execute heretics, and that Lutherans, Calvinists, and Anabaptists could unite around core tenets.[3] The astronomer and mathematician Willebrord Snellius used Ramist philosophy in an effort to encourage his students to pursue truth without over reliance on Aristotle.[3] Under the influence of these men, Arminius studied with success and may have had seeds planted that would begin to develop into a theology that would later question the dominant Reformed theology of John Calvin. The success he showed in his studies motivated the merchants guild of Amsterdam to fund the next three years of his studies.

In 1582, Arminius began studying under Theodore Beza at Geneva. He found himself under pressure for using Ramist philosophical methods, familiar to him from his time at Leiden. Arminius was publicly forbidden to teach Ramean philosophy. After this difficult state of affairs, he moved to Basel to continue his studies.[2]

He continued to distinguish himself there as an excellent student. In 1583 Arminius was contemplating a return to Geneva when the theological faculty at Basel spontaneously offered him a doctorate.[4] He declined the honor on account of his youth (he was about 24)[5] and returned to the school in Geneva to finish his schooling in Geneva under Beza.

Commendations from Beza and Grynaeus

Upon the conclusion of Arminius' studies and a request for him to pastor in Amsterdam, Beza replied to leaders in Amsterdam with this letter:

"...Let it be known to you that from the time Arminius returned to us from Basel, his life and learning both have so approved themselves to us, that we hope the best of him in every respect, if he steadily persists in the same course, which, by the blessing of God, we doubt not he will; for, among other endowments, God has gifted him with an apt intellect both as respects the apprehension and the discrimination of things. If this henceforward be regulated by piety, which he appears assiduously to cultivate, it cannot but happen that this power of intellect, when consolidated by mature age and experience, will be productive of the richest fruits. Such is our opinion of Arminius ---a young man, unquestionably, so far as we are able to judge, most worthy of your kindness and liberality" (Letter of 3 June 1585 from Beza to Amsterdam).[5][6]

From this letter it would seem that the earlier tension from Arminius' attraction to Ramist philosophy had dissipated and Arminius was known even to Beza as an excellent though budding theologian. Three months later, John Grynaeus at the University of Basel sent this letter of commendation:

"To pious readers, greeting: 'Inasmuch as a faithful testimonial of learning and piety ought not to be refused to any learned and pious man, so neither to James Arminius, a native of Amsterdam [sic], for his deportment while he attended the University of Basle was marked by piety, moderation, and assiduity in study ; and very often, in the course of our theological discussions, he made his gift of a discerning spirit so manifest to all of us, as to elicit from us well-merited congratulations. More recently, too, in certain extraordinary prelections delivered with the consent, and by the order, of the Theological Faculty, in which he publicly expounded a few chapters of the Epistle to the Romans, he gave us the best ground to hope that he was destined erelong — if, indeed, he goes on to stir up the gift of God that is in him — to undertake and sustain the function of teaching, to which he may be lawfully set apart, with much fruit to the Church. I commend him, accordingly, to all good men, and, in particular, to the Church of God in the famous city of Amsterdam ; and I respectfully entreat that regard may be had to that learned and pious youth, so that he may never be under the necessity of intermitting theological studies which have been thus far so happily prosecuted. Farewell ! 'John James Grynaeus, Professor of Sacred Literature, and Dean of the Theological Faculty. — Written with mine own hand. Basle, 3rd September, 1583."

Beginning of public ministry

Arminius answered the call to pastor at Amsterdam in 1587, delivering Sunday and midweek sermons. After being tested by the church leaders, he was ordained in 1588. He gained a reputation as a good preacher and faithful pastor.

One of Arminius' first tasks was given to him by Ecclesiastical Court of Amsterdam; namely, to refute the teachings of Dirck Volckertszoon Coornhert, who rejected the Beza's supralapsarian doctrine of God's absolute and unconditional decree to create men so as to save some and damn others, based on nothing in themselves. The discussion had already begun with two ministers at Delft who had written "An Answer to certain Arguments of Beza and Calvin, from a Treatise on Predestination as taught in the Ninth Chapter of Romans" a document which contradicted both Beza and Coornhert. They proposed that although God's decree to save only some was indeed absolute and unconditional, it had occurred after the fall (proposing infralapsarianism rather than Beza's supralapsarianism). Arminius was tasked with refuting both Coornhert and infralapsarianism theology. He readily agreed to the task, but after greater study found himself in conflict over the matter. He determined to spend greater time in study before continuing his refutation.

In 1590 he married Lijsbet Reael, the daughter of Laurens Jacobsz Reael, a prominent merchant and poet in who also helped lead the Protestant Reformation in Amsterdam, and later helped establish the first Reformed Church in the area.[7] Arminius's marriage to Reael allowed him access to her prestigious connections, and he made many friends in the merchant industry and high society.[7] He was commissioned to organize the educational system of Amsterdam, and is said to have done it well.[3] He greatly distinguished himself by faithfulness to his duties in 1602 during a plague that swept through Amsterdam,[3] going into infected houses that others did not dare to enter in order to give them water, and supplying their neighbors with funds to care for them.[8]


At Amsterdam, Arminius taught through "a number of sermons on the Epistle of the Romans." In discussing Romans 7 in 1591, he taught that man, through grace and rebirth, did not have to live in bondage to sin, and that Romans 7:14 was speaking of a man living under the law and convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit, yet not presently regenerated. This was met with some resistance, and some detractors labeled him Pelagian for teaching that an unregenerate man could feel such conviction and desire for salvation, even with the influence of the Law and the Holy Spirit.[9] In the same year, responding to Arminius' theological positions, his colleague Petrus Plancius began to dispute him openly. During a gathering of ministers, Arminius insisted he was not teaching anything in contradiction to the Heidelberg Confession and other standards of orthodoxy, that early church theologians held similar views, and that he utterly repudiated the heresy of Pelagianism. Further, Arminius expressed some astonishment that he was not to be allowed to interpret this passage according to the dictates of his own conscience and within the pattern of historic orthodoxy. The Amsterdam burgomasters intervened, in an effort to keep the peace and tamp down divisions in the populace, urging them to peacefully coexist and for Arminius to teach nothing out of accord with the Reformed thought agreed upon at the time unless he had consulted with the church council or other bodies.[10]

During the following years, controversy emerged as he preached through Romans 9. Although he did not directly contradict Calvinist interpretations, he focused on Paul's theme of "justification by faith" in contradiction to works, rather than focusing on God's eternal decrees. During this time he "gradually developed opinions on grace, predestination and free will that were inconsistent with the doctrine of the Reformed teachers Calvin and Beza".[11]

Professor at Leiden

17-century portrait of Arminius from the Dutch portrait collection of the Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School. From an engraving by J. C. Philips and J. G. Meet.

In 1603 he was called back to Leiden University to teach theology. This came about after almost simultaneous deaths in 1602 of two faculty members, Franciscus Junius and Lucas Trelcatius the elder, in an outbreak of plague. Lucas Trelcatius the younger and Arminius (despite Plancius' protest) were appointed, the decision resting largely with Franciscus Gomarus, the surviving faculty member.[12] While Gomarus cautiously approved Arminius, whose views were already suspected of unorthodoxy, his arrival opened a period of debate rather than closed it.[13] The appointment had also a political dimension, being backed by both Johannes Uytenbogaert at The Hague and Johan van Oldenbarnevelt.[14]

Escalating controversy with Gomarus

Gomarus, a Fleming who had been in Leiden since 1594, has been described as "a rather mediocre scholar" but "a forceful defender of the Calvinistic doctrine... a man of deep-rooted faith"[15] In contrast Arminius has been described as "a seeker, a doubter".[15] On the question of predestination Gomarus was a supralapsarian and it was in debate over this point that the conflict between the two began. Arminius advocated revising the Belgic Confession and the Heidelberg Catechism, but was not explicit, until much later when the debate became an open conflict.[15]

The dispute took a public turn on 7 February 1604, when Willem Bastingius in his disputation De divina praedestinatione defended a number of Arminius's theses, Arminius himself presiding. This event led Gomarus to have Samuel Gruterus argue an opposite position to these theses on 14 October 1604, but not on the official schedule. Gomarus ascribed the positions he disliked to Calvin's adversary Sebastian Castellio and his follower, Dirck Volckertszoon Coornhert. While Arminius pointed to the Bible to defend his positions, the Calvinist views set forth by "the Genevan patriarchs gradually acquired the force of Res judicata, so that resistance against it was no longer tolerated."[15]

Opponents of Arminius outside the university gradually expanded the controversy. The classis in Dordrecht drew up a gravamen in which "some differences" that "were said to have arisen in the Church and University of Leiden on the doctrine of the Reformed Churches" was laid out.[15] In response the three Leiden professors of theology (Lucas Trelcatius Jr. joining Arminius and Gomarus) and the Regent of the State College, Johannes Cuchlinus, wrote an indignant letter, stating "that as far as was known to them there was no conflict between the professors on any fundamental doctrine whatsoever."[15]

Gomarus was incited to increase his opposition to Arminius by Leiden minister Festus Hommius and Petrus Plancius, Arminius's old opponent. An anonymous series of thirty-one articles was circulated, "in which all kinds of unorthodox opinions held by Arminius were exposed".[16] Sibrandus Lubbertus, Professor of Theology at the University of Franeker, began sending letters to foreign theologians attacking Arminius with charges of heresy; and one of these letters fell into Arminius's hands. Because his opponents remained anonymous or bypassed official procedures, Arminius in April 1608 requested from the States of Holland permission to expound his views. On 30 May 1608 Arminius and Gomarus were allowed by the States to deliver speeches before the Supreme Court in The Hague. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Reinout van Brederode (Oldenbarnevelt's son-in-law) concluded that "the points of difference between the two professors, mostly relating to the subtle details of doctrine of predestination, were of minor importance and could co-exist... [and] enjoined both gentlemen to tolerate one another lovingly".[16]

In direct defiance of the Court, Gomarus then published the speech he had made before it, and Arminius followed suit by publishing his own speech. In response to the Court's opinion Gomarus declared that "he would not dare die holding Arminius' opinion, nor to appear with it before God's judgement seat."[16] Arminius then asked to defend his positions in public or for a national or provincial synod to be called to examine the matter. Seeking to avoid a synod, the States of Holland allowed Arminius to expound on his views to their assembly on 30 October 1608.

Before the assembly, Arminius finally explained his call to rewrite the Belgic Confession and the Heidelberg Catechism, saying that he did not feel obligated to explain his position before, for "as a professor, he considered himself subject only to the authority of the Leiden Curators and the States, not to the Church".[17] Arminius then gave an overview of all the various opinions existing on predestination. He claimed that supralapsarianism was contrary to the Confession and Catechism and that "supra- and infralapsarianism, basically amount to the same thing."[17] Arminius put forward his own view on predestination which he held was in concordance with the Confession and the Catechism.

Learning that Arminius had appeared before the States assembly, Gomarus requested permission to address it as well, which was granted. On 12 December 1608 Gomarus blasted Arminius, accusing "his colleague of being a supporter of Pelagianism and the Jesuits; he also attacked Johannes Wtenbogaert, whom he branded a 'courtly trumpeter.'"[18] The assembly took offence against this polemical tone, which contrasted with Arminius's eirenicism, and ordered the speeches made before them by both men to be banned from publication. Despite the ban the speeches soon appeared in print.

On 25 July 1609 Jacobus Bontebal defended the theses De vocatione hominis ad salutem under Arminius's presidency. A Roman Catholic priest (rumored to be a Jesuit) was in the audience and dared to oppose Arminius' positions. While an already seriously ill Arminius refuted the arguments, Gomarus "who was among the audience, became alternately flushing and deathly pale, and afterwards, while the Papist was within earshot, he insultingly remarked to his colleague that now the door to Papism had been widely opened."[18]

Final debate and last days

Memorial stone for Jacobus Arminius at St. Peter's Church, Leiden.

Arminius remained as a teacher at Leiden until his death, and was valued by his students.[19] Still, the conflict with Gomarus widened out into a large-scale split within Calvinism.[20] Of the local clergy, Adrianus Borrius supported Arminius, while Festus Hommius opposed him.[21] Close friends, students and supporters of Arminius included Johannes DrusiusConrad VorstiusAnthony ThysiusJohannes HalsbergiusPetrus BertiusJohannes Arnoldi Corvinus, the brothers Rembert and Simon Episcopius.[22] His successor at Leiden (again selected with the support of Uytenbogaert and Oldenbarnevelt) was Vorstius, a past influence on Arminius by his writings.[23]

Once again the States attempted to tamp down the growing controversy without calling a synod. Arminius was ordered to attend another conference with Gomarus in The Hague in on 13–14 August 1609. When the conference was to reconvene on the 18th August, Arminius' health began to fail and so he returned to Leiden. The States suspended the conference and asked both men for a written reaction to their adversary's viewpoint.

Arminius died on 19 October 1609 at his house at the Pieterskerkhof. He was buried in the Pieterskerk at Leiden, where a memorial stone on his behalf was placed in 1934.

Theology and legacy

In attempting to defend Calvinistic predestination against the teachings of Dirck Volckertszoon Coornhert, Arminius began to doubt aspects of Calvinism and modified some parts of his own view.[24] He attempted to reform Calvinism, and lent his name to a movement—Arminianism—which resisted some of the Calvinist tenets (unconditional election, the nature of the limitation of the atonement, and irresistible grace). The early Dutch followers of his teaching became known as Remonstrants after they issued a document containing five points of disagreement with mainstream Calvinism, entitled Remonstrantiæ (1610).

Arminius wrote that he sought to teach only those things which could be proved from the Scriptures and that tended toward edification among Christians (with the exception of Roman Catholics, with whom he said there could be no spiritual accord).[25] His motto was reputed to be "Bona conscientia paradisus", meaning, "A good conscience is a paradise."[26]

Arminius taught of a "preventing" (or prevenient) grace that has been conferred upon all by the Holy Spirit and this grace is "sufficient for belief, in spite of our sinful corruption, and thus for salvation."[27] Arminius stated that "the grace sufficient for salvation is conferred on the Elect, and on the Non-elect; that, if they will, they may believe or not believe, may be saved or not be saved."[28] William Witt states that "Arminius has a very high theology of grace. He insists emphatically that grace is gratuitous because it is obtained through God's redemption in Christ, not through human effort."[29]

The theology of Arminianism did not become fully developed during Arminius' lifetime, but after his death (1609) the Five articles of the Remonstrants (1610) systematized and formalized the ideas. But the Calvinist Synod of Dort (1618–19), convening for the purpose of condemning Arminius' theology, declared it and its adherents anathemas, defined the five points of Calvinism, and persecuted Arminian pastors who remained in the Netherlands. But in spite of persecution, "the Remonstrants continued in Holland as a distinct church and again and again where Calvinism was taught Arminianism raised its head."[30]

Publishers in Leiden (1629) and at Frankfurt (1631 and 1635) issued the works of Arminius in Latin.

John Wesley (1703–91), the founder of the Methodist movement, embraced Arminian theology and became its most prominent champion.[31] Today, the majority of Methodists remain committed to Arminian theology, and Arminianism itself has become one of the dominant theological systems in the United States, thanks in large part to the influence of John and Charles Wesley.[32]

Personal life

Arminius and his wife Lijsbet Laurensdochtor Reael, who married in 1590, had a total of 12 children, three of whom died young during infancy. They had ten sons; Harmen (b. 1594), Pieter (b. 1596), Jan (b. 1598), Laurens (b. 1600, died in infancy), Laurens (b. 1601), Jacob (b. 1603), Willem (b. 1605), and Daniel (b. 1606). They had two other sons who also died in infancy, whose names are not part of the public record. Their daughters were Engelte (b. 1593) and Geertruyd (b. 1608).[33] He was survived by his wife and children when he died.[33]



  1. ^ Also known as Jakob Herman and the Anglicized names of Jacob Arminius and James Arminius.


  1. ^ Bangs 1985, p. 25.
  2. Jump up to:a b Meij-Tolsma 2009, pp. ix–xvi.
  3. Jump up to:a b c d e Chisholm 1911, p. 576.
  4. ^ Brandt 1854, p. 25.
  5. Jump up to:a b Picirilli 2002, p. 5.
  6. ^ Brandt 1854, p. 24.
  7. Jump up to:a b Sierhuis 2015.
  8. ^ Brandt 1854, p. 91.
  9. ^ Brandt 1854, pp. 40-41.
  10. ^ Israel 1995, p. 374.
  11. ^ Grotius 1995, p. 2.
  12. ^ Stanglin 2007, p. 30.
  13. ^ Schaff & Herzog 1951, p. 296.
  14. ^ Israel 1995, p. 393.
  15. Jump up to:a b c d e f Grotius 1995, p. 3.
  16. Jump up to:a b c Grotius 1995, p. 4.
  17. Jump up to:a b Grotius 1995.
  18. Jump up to:a b Grotius 1995, p. 6.
  19. ^ MacCulloch 2005, p. 374.
  20. ^ Schaff & Herzog 1953, p. 16.
  21. ^ Kooi 2000, p. 135.
  22. ^ Arminius 1825, p. 319.
  23. ^ Israel 1995, p. 428.
  24. ^ Gonzalez 1983, p. 255.
  25. ^ Schaff 1877, p. 508.
  26. ^ Ballor, Sytsma & Zuidema 2013, p. 368.
  27. ^ Gonzalez 1983, p. 257.
  28. ^ Arminius 1853a, p. 367.
  29. ^ Witt 1993, pp. 259–60.
  30. ^ Latourette 1975, p. 765.
  31. ^ Olson 1999, p. 464.
  32. ^ McGrath 2006, p. 384.
  33. Jump up to:a b Bangs 1986.



Further reading

External links

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Arminianism is a branch of Protestantism based on the theological ideas of the Dutch Reformed theologian Jacobus Arminius (1560–1609) and his historic supporters known as Remonstrants. His teachings held to the five solae of the Reformation, but they were distinct from particular teachings of Martin LutherHuldrych ZwingliJohn Calvin, and other Protestant Reformers. Jacobus Arminius (Jakob Harmenszoon) was a student of Theodore Beza (Calvin's successor) at the Theological University of Geneva. Arminianism is known to some as a soteriological diversification of Calvinism;[1] to others, Arminianism is a reclamation of early Church theological consensus.[2]

Dutch Arminianism was originally articulated in the Remonstrance (1610), a theological statement signed by 45 ministers and submitted to the States General of the Netherlands. The Synod of Dort (1618–19) was called by the States General to consider the Five Articles of Remonstrance. These articles asserted that

  1. Salvation (and condemnation on the day of judgment) was conditioned by the graciously enabled faith (or unbelief) of man;
  2. The Atonement is qualitatively adequate for all men, "yet that no one actually enjoys [experiences] this forgiveness of sins, except the believer ..." and thus is limited to only those who trust in Christ;
  3. "That man has not saving grace of himself, nor of the energy of his free will", and unaided by the Holy Spirit, no person is able to respond to God's will;
  4. The (Christian) Grace "of God is the beginning, continuance, and accomplishment of any good", yet man may resist the Holy Spirit; and
  5. Believers are able to resist sin through Grace, and Christ will keep them from falling; but whether they are beyond the possibility of ultimately forsaking God or "becoming devoid of grace ... must be more particularly determined from the Scriptures."

"These points", note Keith D. Stanglin and Thomas H. McCall, "are consistent with the views of Arminius; indeed, some come verbatim from his Declaration of Sentiments. Those who signed this remonstrance and others who supported its theology have since been known as Remonstrants."[3]

Many Christian denominations have been influenced by Arminian views on the will of man being freed by Grace prior to regeneration, notably the Baptists in the 17th century,[4] the Methodists in the 18th century, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the 19th century. Denominations such as the Anabaptists (beginning in 1525), Waldensians (pre-Reformation),[5] and other groups prior to the Reformation have also affirmed that each person may choose the contingent response of either resisting God's grace or yielding to it.

The original beliefs of Jacobus Arminius himself are commonly defined as Arminianism, but more broadly, the term may embrace the teachings of Simon Episcopius,[6] Hugo GrotiusJohn Wesley, and others. Classical Arminianism, to which Arminius is the main contributor, and Wesleyan Arminianism, to which John Wesley is the main contributor, are the two main schools of thought. Wesleyan–Arminian theology is taught by the Methodist Churches. Some schools of thought, notably semi-Pelagianism—which teaches that the first step of Salvation is by human will[7]—are confused as being Arminian in nature. But classical Arminianism holds that the first step of Salvation is solely the grace of God.[8] Historically, the Council of Orange (529) condemned semi-Pelagian thought (as well as Supralapsarian Calvinism), and is accepted by some as a document which can be understood as teaching a doctrine between Augustinian thought and semi-Pelagian thought, relegating Arminianism to the orthodoxy of the early Church fathers.[2]

The two systems of Calvinism and Arminianism share both history and many doctrines, and the history of Christian theology. Arminianism is related to Calvinism historically. However, because of their differences over the doctrines of divine predestination and election, many people view these schools of thought as opposed to each other. The distinction is whether God allows His desire to save all to be resisted by an individual's will (in the Arminian doctrine) or if God only desires to save some people, and that his grace is irresistible to those God chooses to save. Put another way, is God's sovereignty shown, in part, through His allowance of free decisions? Some Calvinists assert that the Arminian perspective presents a synergistic system of Salvation and therefore is not only by Grace, while Arminians firmly reject this conclusion. Many consider the theological differences to be crucial differences in doctrine, while others find them to be relatively minor.[9]


Portrait of Jacobus Arminius, from Kupferstich aus Theatrum Europaeum by Matthaeus Merian in 1662

Jacobus Arminius was a Dutch pastor and theologian in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. He was taught by Theodore BezaCalvin's hand-picked successor, but after examination of the scriptures, he rejected his teacher's theology that it is God who unconditionally elects some for salvation. Instead Arminius proposed that the election of God was of believers, thereby making it conditional on faith. Arminius's views were challenged by the Dutch Calvinists, especially Franciscus Gomarus, but Arminius died before a national synod could occur.[10]

Arminius's followers, not wanting to adopt their leader's name, called themselves the Remonstrants. Arminius died before he could satisfy Holland's State General's request for a 14-page paper outlining his views. The Remonstrants replied in his stead crafting the Five articles of Remonstrance, in which they express their points of divergence with the stricter Calvinism of the Belgic Confession.[10] After some political maneuvering, the Dutch Calvinists were able to convince Prince Maurice of Nassau to deal with the situation. Maurice systematically removed Arminian magistrates from office and called a national synod at Dordrecht. This Synod of Dort was open primarily to Dutch Calvinists (102 people), while the Arminians were excluded (13 people banned from voting), with Calvinist representatives from other countries (28 people), and in 1618 published a condemnation of Arminius and his followers as heretics. Part of this publication was the famous Five points of Calvinism in response to the five articles of Remonstrance.[10]

Arminians across Holland were removed from office, imprisoned, banished, and sworn to silence. Twelve years later Holland officially granted Arminianism protection as a religion, although animosity between Arminians and Calvinists continued.


The debate between Calvin's followers and Arminius's followers is characteristic of post-Reformation church history. The emerging Baptist movement in 17th-century England, for example, was a microcosm of the historic debate between Calvinists and Arminians. The first Baptists—called "General Baptists" because of their confession of a "general" or unlimited atonement—were Arminians.[11] The Baptist movement originated with Thomas Helwys, who left his mentor John Smyth (who had moved into shared belief and other distinctives of the Dutch Waterlander Mennonites of Amsterdam) and returned to London to start the first English Baptist Church in 1611. Later General Baptists such as John Griffith, Samuel Loveday, and Thomas Grantham defended a Reformed Arminian theology that reflected more the Arminianism of Arminius than that of the later Remonstrants or the English Arminianism of Arminian Puritans like John Goodwin or Anglican Arminians such as Jeremy Taylor and Henry Hammond. The General Baptists encapsulated their Arminian views in numerous confessions, the most influential of which was the Standard Confession of 1660. In the 1640s the Particular Baptists were formed, diverging strongly from Arminian doctrine and embracing the strong Calvinism of the Presbyterians and Independents. Their robust Calvinism was publicized in such confessions as the London Baptist Confession of 1644 and the Second London Confession of 1689. The London Confession of 1689 was later used by Calvinistic Baptists in America (called the Philadelphia Baptist Confession), whereas the Standard Confession of 1660 was used by the American heirs of the English General Baptists, who soon came to be known as Free Will Baptists.


This same dynamic between Arminianism and Calvinism can be seen in the heated discussions between friends and fellow Anglican ministers John Wesley and George Whitefield. Wesley was a champion of Arminian teachings, defending his soteriology in a periodical titled The Arminian and writing articles such as Predestination Calmly Considered. He defended Arminianism against charges of semi-Pelagianism, holding strongly to beliefs in original sin and total depravity. At the same time, Wesley attacked the determinism that he claimed characterized unconditional election and maintained a belief in the ability to lose salvation. Wesley also clarified the doctrine of prevenient grace and preached the ability of Christians to attain to perfection (fully mature, not "sinlessness"). While Wesley freely made use of the term "Arminian", he did not self-consciously root his soteriology in the theology of Arminius but was highly influenced by 17th-century English Arminianism and thinkers such as John GoodwinJeremy Taylor and Henry Hammond of the Anglican "Holy Living" school, and the Remonstrant Hugo Grotius.

Current landscape

Advocates of both Arminianism and Calvinism find a home in many Protestant denominations, and sometimes both exist within the same denomination. Faiths leaning at least in part in the Arminian direction include MethodistsFree Will BaptistsChristian Churches and Churches of ChristGeneral Baptists, the Seventh-day Adventist ChurchChurch of the NazareneThe Wesleyan ChurchThe Salvation ArmyConservative MennonitesOld Order MennonitesAmish and a part of the Charismatics including the Pentecostals.[12][13][14] Denominations leaning in the Calvinist direction are grouped as the Reformed churches and include Particular BaptistsReformed BaptistsPresbyterians, and Congregationalists. The majority of Southern Baptists, including Billy Graham, accept Arminianism with an exception allowing for a doctrine of perseverance of the saints ("eternal security").[15][16][17] Many see Calvinism as growing in acceptance,[18] and some prominent Reformed Baptists, such as Albert Mohler and Mark Dever, have been pushing for the Southern Baptist Convention to adopt a more Calvinistic orientation (no Baptist church is bound by any resolution adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention). Lutherans espouse a view of salvation and election distinct from both the Calvinist and Arminian schools of soteriology.

The current scholarly support for Arminianism is wide and varied: Among Baptist theologians, Roger E. Olson, F. Leroy Forlines, Robert Picirilli, and J. Matthew Pinson are four supporters of a return to the teachings of Arminius. Forlines and Olson have referred to such Arminianism as "Classical Arminianism",[19][20] while Picirilli, Pinson, have termed it "Reformation Arminianism"[21] or "Reformed Arminianism".[22]

Methodist theologian Thomas Oden,[23] "Evangelical Methodists" Bible scholar Ben Witherington III,[24] and Christian apologist David Pawson[25] are generally Arminian in their theologies. Holiness movement theologians Henry Orton Wiley, Carl O. Bangs and J. Kenneth Grider can also be mentioned among recent proponents of Arminianism. Various other theologians or Bible scholars as B. J. Oropeza,[26] Keith D. Stanglin,[27] Craig S. Keener, Thomas H. McCall,[27] and Grant R. Osborne can be mentioned as well.


Arminian theology usually falls into one of two groups—Classical Arminianism, drawn from the teaching of Jacobus Arminius—and Wesleyan Arminian, drawing primarily from Wesley. Both groups overlap substantially.

Classical Arminianism

Portrait of Simon Episcopius, (Anonymous)

Classical Arminianism is the theological system that was presented by Jacobus Arminius and maintained by some of the Remonstrants;[28] its influence serves as the foundation for all Arminian systems. A list of beliefs is given below:

  • Depravity is total: Arminius states "In this [fallen] state, the free will of man towards the true good is not only wounded, infirm, bent, and weakened; but it is also imprisoned, destroyed, and lost. And its powers are not only debilitated and useless unless they be assisted by grace, but it has no powers whatever except such as are excited by Divine grace."[29]
  • Atonement is intended for all: Jesus's death was for all people, Jesus draws all people to himself, and all people have opportunity for salvation through faith.[30]
  • Jesus's death satisfies God's justice: The penalty for the sins of the elect is paid in full through the crucifixion of Christ. Thus Christ's death atones for the sins of all, but requires faith to be effected. Arminius states that "Justification, when used for the act of a Judge, is either purely the imputation of righteousness through mercy… or that man is justified before God… according to the rigor of justice without any forgiveness."[31] Stephen Ashby clarifies: "Arminius allowed for only two possible ways in which the sinner might be justified: (1) by our absolute and perfect adherence to the law, or (2) purely by God's imputation of Christ's righteousness."[32]
  • Grace is resistible: God takes initiative in the salvation process and his grace comes to all people. This grace (often called prevenient or pre-regenerating grace) acts on all people to convince them of the Gospel, draw them strongly towards salvation, and enable the possibility of sincere faith. Picirilli states that "indeed this grace is so close to regeneration that it inevitably leads to regeneration unless finally resisted."[33] The offer of salvation through grace does not act irresistibly in a purely cause-effect, deterministic method but rather in an influence-and-response fashion that can be both freely accepted and freely denied.[34]
  • Man has a freed will to respond or resist: Free will is granted and limited by God's sovereignty, but God's sovereignty allows all men the choice to accept the Gospel of Jesus through faith, simultaneously allowing all men to resist.
  • Election is conditional: Arminius defined election as "the decree of God by which, of Himself, from eternity, He decreed to justify in Christ, believers, and to accept them unto eternal life."[35] God alone determines who will be saved and his determination is that all who believe Jesus through faith will be justified. According to Arminius, "God regards no one in Christ unless they are engrafted in him by faith."[35]
  • God predestines the elect to a glorious future: Predestination is not the predetermination of who will believe, but rather the predetermination of the believer's future inheritance. The elect are therefore predestined to sonship through adoption, glorification, and eternal life.[36]
  • Christ's righteousness is imputed to the believer: Justification is sola fide (by faith alone). When individuals repent and believe in Christ (saving faith), they are regenerated and brought into union with Christ, whereby the death and righteousness of Christ are imputed to them for their justification before God.[37]
  • Eternal security is also conditional: All believers have full assurance of salvation with the condition that they remain in Christ. Salvation is conditioned on faith, therefore perseverance is also conditioned.[38] Apostasy (turning from Christ) is only committed through a deliberate, willful rejection of Jesus and renunciation of saving faith. Such apostasy is irremediable.[39]

On whether a believer could commit apostasy (i.e., desert Christ by cleaving again to this evil world, losing a good conscience, or by failing to hold on to sound doctrine), Arminius declared that this matter required further study in the Scriptures.[40] Nevertheless, Arminius believed the Scriptures taught that believers are graciously empowered by Christ and the Holy Spirit "to fight against Satan, sin, the world and their own flesh, and to gain the victory over these enemies."[40] Furthermore, Christ and the Spirit are ever present to aid and assist believers through various temptations. But this security was not unconditional but conditional—"provided they [believers] stand prepared for the battle, implore his help, and be not wanting to themselves, Christ preserves them from falling."[41] Arminius goes on to say, "I never taught that a true believer can, either totally or finally fall away from the faith, and perish; yet I will not conceal, that there are passages of scripture which seem to me to wear this aspect; and those answers to them which I have been permitted to see, are not of such a kind as to approve themselves on all points to my understanding."[42][44]

After the death of Arminius in 1609, the Remonstrants maintained their leader's view on conditional security and his uncertainty regarding the possibility of believers committing apostasy. This is evidenced in the fifth article drafted by its leaders in 1610.[46] However, sometime between 1610, and the official proceeding of the Synod of Dort (1618), the Remonstrants became fully persuaded in their minds that the Scriptures taught that a true believer was capable of falling away from faith and perishing eternally as an unbeliever. They formalized their views in "The Opinion of the Remonstrants" (1618),[47] and later in the Remonstrant Confession (1621).[48]

Picirilli remarks: "Ever since that early period, then, when the issue was being examined again, Arminians have taught that those who are truly saved need to be warned against apostasy as a real and possible danger."[49]

The core beliefs of Jacobus Arminius and the Remonstrants are summarized as such by theologian Stephen Ashby:

  1. Prior to being drawn and enabled, one is unable to believe… able only to resist.
  2. Having been drawn and enabled, but prior to regeneration, one is able to believe… able also to resist.
  3. After one believes, God then regenerates; one is able to continue believing… able also to resist.
  4. Upon resisting to the point of unbelief, one is unable again to believe… able only to resist.[50]

Wesleyan Arminianism

Portrait of John Wesley, by George Romney

John Wesley has historically been the most influential advocate for the teachings of Arminian soteriology. Wesley thoroughly agreed with the vast majority of what Arminius himself taught, maintaining strong doctrines of original sin, total depravity, conditional election, prevenient grace, unlimited atonement, and the possibility of apostasy.

Wesley departs from Classical Arminianism primarily on three issues:

Wesley's atonement is a hybrid of the penal substitution theory and the governmental theory of Hugo Grotius, a lawyer and one of the Remonstrants. Steven Harper states, "Wesley does not place the substitionary element primarily within a legal framework...Rather [his doctrine seeks] to bring into proper relationship the 'justice' between God's love for persons and God's hatred of sin...it is not the satisfaction of a legal demand for justice so much as it is an act of mediated reconciliation."[51]
Possibility of apostasy
Wesley fully accepted the Arminian view that genuine Christians could apostatize and lose their salvation, as his famous sermon "A Call to Backsliders" clearly demonstrates. Harper summarizes as follows: "the act of committing sin is not in itself ground for the loss of salvation...the loss of salvation is much more related to experiences that are profound and prolonged. Wesley sees two primary pathways that could result in a permanent fall from grace: unconfessed sin and the actual expression of apostasy."[52] Wesley disagrees with Arminius, however, in maintaining that such apostasy was not final. When talking about those who have made "shipwreck" of their faith,[53] Wesley claims that "not one, or a hundred only, but I am persuaded, several thousands...innumerable are the instances...of those who had fallen but now stand upright."[54]
Christian perfection
According to Wesley's teaching, Christians could attain a state of practical perfection, meaning a lack of all voluntary sin by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, in this life. Christian perfection (or entire sanctification), according to Wesley, is "purity of intention, dedicating all the life to God" and "the mind which was in Christ, enabling us to walk as Christ walked." It is "loving God with all our heart, and our neighbor as ourselves".[55] It is "a restoration not only to the favour, but likewise to the image of God," our "being filled with the fullness of God".[56] Wesley was clear that Christian perfection did not imply perfection of bodily health or an infallibility of judgment. It also does not mean we no longer violate the will of God, for involuntary transgressions remain. Perfected Christians remain subject to temptation, and have continued need to pray for forgiveness and holiness. It is not an absolute perfection but a perfection in love. Furthermore, Wesley did not teach a salvation by perfection, but rather says that, "Even perfect holiness is acceptable to God only through Jesus Christ."[57]

Other variations[edit]

Since the time of Arminius his name has come to represent a very large variety of beliefs. Some of these beliefs, such as Pelagianism and semi-Pelagianism (see below) are not considered to be within Arminian orthodoxy and are dealt with elsewhere. Some doctrines, however, do adhere to the Arminian foundation and, while minority views, are highlighted below.

Open theism

The doctrine of open theism states that God is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient, but differs on the nature of the future. Open theists claim that the future is not completely determined (or "settled") because people have not made their free decisions yet. God therefore knows the future partially in possibilities (human free actions) rather than solely certainties (divinely determined events). As such, open theists resolve the issue of human free will and God's sovereignty by claiming that God is sovereign because he does not ordain each human choice, but rather works in cooperation with his creation to bring about his will. This notion of sovereignty and freedom is foundational to their understanding of love since open theists believe that love is not genuine unless it is freely chosen. The power of choice under this definition has the potential for as much harm as it does good, and open theists see free will as the best answer to the problem of evil. Well-known proponents of this theology are Greg BoydClark PinnockThomas Jay OordWilliam Hasker, and John E. Sanders.

Some Arminians, such as professor and theologian Robert Picirilli, reject the doctrine of open theism as a "deformed Arminianism".[58] Joseph Dongell stated that "open theism actually moves beyond classical Arminianism towards process theology."[59] There are also some Arminians, like Roger Olson, who believe Open theism to be an alternative view that a Christian can have. The majority Arminian view accepts classical theism—the belief that God's power, knowledge, and presence have no external limitations, that is, outside of his divine nature. Most Arminians reconcile human free will with God's sovereignty and foreknowledge by holding three points:

  • Human free will is limited by original sin, though God's prevenient grace restores to humanity the ability to accept God's call of salvation.[60][61]
  • God purposely exercises his sovereignty in ways that do not illustrate its extent—in other words, He has the power and authority to predetermine salvation but he chooses to apply it through different means.
  • God's foreknowledge of the future is exhaustive and complete, and therefore the future is certain and not contingent on human action. God does not determine the future, but He does know it. God's certainty and human contingency are compatible.[62]

Corporate view of election

The majority Arminian view is that election is individual and based on God's foreknowledge of faith, but a second perspective deserves mention. These Arminians reject the concept of individual election entirely, preferring to understand the doctrine in corporate terms. According to this corporate election, God never chose individuals to elect to salvation, but rather He chose to elect the believing church to salvation. Dutch Reformed theologian Herman Ridderbos says "[The certainty of salvation] does not rest on the fact that the church belongs to a certain "number", but that it belongs to Christ, from before the foundation of the world. Fixity does not lie in a hidden decree, therefore, but in corporate unity of the Church with Christ, whom it has come to know in the gospel and has learned to embrace in faith."[63]

Corporate election draws support from a similar concept of corporate election found in the Old Testament and Jewish law. Indeed most biblical scholarship is in agreement that Judeo-Greco-Roman thought in the 1st century was opposite of the Western world's "individual first" mantra—it was very collectivist or communitarian in nature.[64] Identity stemmed from membership in a group more than individuality.[64] According to Romans 9–11, supporters claim, Jewish election as the chosen people ceased with their national rejection of Jesus as Messiah. As a result of the new covenant, God's chosen people are now the corporate body of Christ, the church (sometimes called spiritual Israel—see also Covenant theology). The pastor and theologian Brian Abasciano claims "What Paul says about Jews, Gentiles, and Christians, whether of their place in God’s plan, or their election, or their salvation, or how they should think or behave, he says from a corporate perspective which views the group as primary and those he speaks about as embedded in the group. These individuals act as members of the group to which they belong, and what happens to them happens by virtue of their membership in the group."[64]

These scholars also maintain that Jesus was the only human ever elected and that individuals must be "in Christ"[65] through faith to be part of the elect. This was, in fact, Swiss Reformed theologian, Karl Barth's, understanding of the doctrine of election. Joseph Dongell, professor at Asbury Theological Seminary, states "the most conspicuous feature of Ephesians 1:3–2:10 is the phrase 'in Christ', which occurs twelve times in Ephesians 1:3–14 alone...this means that Jesus Christ himself is the chosen one, the predestined one. Whenever one is incorporated into him by grace through faith, one comes to share in Jesus' special status as chosen of God."[66] Markus Barth illustrates the inter-connectedness: "Election in Christ must be understood as the election of God's people. Only as members of that community do individuals share in the benefits of God's gracious choice."[67]

Arminianism and other views

Common misconceptions

Allegory of the theological dispute between the Remonstrants and their opponents
  • Arminianism is Pelagian (or Semi-Pelagian), denying original sin and total depravity—No system of Arminianism founded on Arminius or Wesley denies original sin or total depravity;[68] both Arminius and Wesley strongly affirmed that man's basic condition is one in which he cannot be righteous, understand God, or seek God.[69] Many Calvinist critics of Arminianism, both historically and currently, claim that Arminianism condones, accepts, or even explicitly supports Pelagianism or semi-Pelagianism. Arminius referred to Pelagianism as "the grand falsehood" and stated that he "must confess that I detest, from my heart, the consequences [of that theology]."[70] David Pawson, a British pastor, decries this association as "libelous" when attributed to Arminius' or Wesley's doctrine.[71] Indeed, most Arminians reject all accusations of Pelagianism; nonetheless, primarily due to Calvinist opponents,[72][73] the two terms remain intertwined in popular usage.
  • Arminianism denies Jesus' substitutionary payment for sins—Both Arminius and Wesley believed in the necessity and sufficiency of Christ's atonement through penal substitution.[74] Arminius held that God's justice was satisfied individually,[75] while Hugo Grotius and many of Wesley's followers taught that it was satisfied governmentally.[76]

Comparison with Calvinism

Ever since Arminius and his followers revolted against Calvinism in the early 17th century, Protestant soteriology has been largely divided between Calvinism and Arminianism. The extreme of Calvinism is hyper-Calvinism, which insists that signs of election must be sought before evangelization of the unregenerate takes place and that the eternally damned have no obligation to repent and believe, and on the extreme of Arminianism is Pelagianism, which rejects the doctrine of original sin on grounds of moral accountability; but the overwhelming majority of Protestantevangelical pastors and theologians hold to one of these two systems or somewhere in between.


  • Total depravity – Arminians agree with Calvinists over the doctrine of total depravity. The differences come in the understanding of how God remedies this human depravity.
  • Substitutionary effect of atonement – Arminians also affirm with Calvinists the substitutionary effect of Christ's atonement and that this effect is limited only to the elect. Classical Arminians would agree with Calvinists that this substitution was penal satisfaction for all of the elect, while most Wesleyan Arminians would maintain that the substitution was governmental in nature.


  • Nature of election – Arminians hold that election to eternal salvation has the condition of faith attached. The Calvinist doctrine of unconditional election states that salvation cannot be earned or achieved and is therefore not conditional upon any human effort, so faith is not a condition of salvation but the divinely apportioned means to it. In other words, Arminians believe that they owe their election to their faith, whereas Calvinists believe that they owe their faith to their election.
  • Nature of grace – Arminians believe that, through grace, God restores free will concerning salvation to all humanity, and each individual, therefore, is able either to accept the Gospel call through faith or resist it through unbelief. Calvinists hold that God's grace to enable salvation is given only to the elect and irresistibly leads to salvation.
  • Extent of the atonement – Arminians, along with four-point Calvinists or Amyraldians, hold to a universal atonement instead of the Calvinist doctrine that atonement is limited to the elect only, which many Calvinists prefer to call particular redemption.[77][78] Both sides (with the exception of hyper-Calvinists) believe the invitation of the gospel is universal and "must be presented to everyone [they] can reach without any distinction."[79]
  • Perseverance in faith – Arminians believe that future salvation and eternal life is secured in Christ and protected from all external forces but is conditional on remaining in Christ and can be lost through apostasy. Traditional Calvinists believe in the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, which says that because God chose some unto salvation and actually paid for their particular sins, he keeps them from apostasy and that those who do apostatize were never truly regenerated (that is, born again) or saved. Non-traditional Calvinists and other evangelicals advocate the similar but distinct doctrine of eternal security that teaches if a person was once saved, his or her salvation can never be in jeopardy, even if the person completely apostatizes.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Magnusson 1995, p. 62.
  2. Jump up to:a b Keathley 2014, p. 703, Ch. 12.
  3. ^ Stanglin & McCall 2012, p. 190.
  4. ^ Torbet 1963.
  5. ^ Visconti 2003, pp. 253–.
  6. ^ Episcopius & Ellis 2005, p. 8Episcopius was singularly responsible for the survival of the Remonstrant movement after the Synod of Dort. We may rightly regard him as the theological founder of Arminianism, since he both developed and systematized ideas which Arminius was tentatively exploring before his death and then perpetuated that theology through founding the Remonstrant seminary and teaching the next generation of pastors and teachers.
  7. ^ Stanglin & McCall 2012, p. 160.
  8. ^ Forlines 2011, pp. 20–24.
  9. ^ Gonzalez 2014, p. 180.
  10. Jump up to:a b c Wynkoop 1967, chap. 3.
  11. ^ Gonzalez 2014, pp. 225–226.
  12. ^ Akin 1993In Protestant circles there are two major camps when it comes to predestination: Calvinism and Arminianism. Calvinism is common in Presbyterian, Reformed, and a few Baptist churches. Arminianism is common in Methodist, Pentecostal, and most Baptist churches
  13. ^ Olson 2014, pp. 2–3. "Methodism, in all its forms (including ones that do not bear that name), tends to be Arminian. (Calvinist Methodist churches once existed. They were founded by followers of Wesley’s co-evangelist George Whitefield. But, so far as I am able to tell, they have all died out or merged with traditionally Reformed-Calvinist denominations.) Officially Arminian denominations include ones in the so-called “Holiness” tradition (e.g., Church of the Nazarene) and in the Pentecostal tradition (e.g., Assemblies of God). Arminianism is also the common belief of Free Will Baptists (also known as General Baptists). Many Brethren [anabaptists-pietists] churches are Arminian as well. But one can find Arminians in many denominations that are not historically officially Arminian, such as many Baptist conventions/conferences."
  14. ^ Olson 2012.
  15. ^ SBC 2000, chap. 5.
  16. ^ Harmon 1984, pp. 17–18, 45–46.
  17. ^ Walls & Dongell 2004, pp. 12–13, 16–17.
  18. ^ Walls & Dongell 2004, pp. 7–20.
  19. ^ Forlines 2011.
  20. ^ Olson 2009.
  21. ^ Picirilli 2002, p. 1.
  22. ^ Pinson 2002, pp. 149–150.
  23. ^ Driscoll 2013, pp. 99–100.
  24. ^ Witherington III 2013. The first and most important reason I'm a Wesleyan is because of the character of God [...] which is love freely given and freely received. [...] According to the Calvinistic message we are saved by grace through faith alone and our actions have nothing to do with it. [...] According to the Wesleyan approach to the gospel, it's not just about notional assent [...] it's about trusting the truth about God and that is an activity.
  25. ^ Pawson 1996.
  26. ^ Oropeza 2000.
  27. Jump up to:a b Stanglin & McCall 2012.
  28. ^ Pinson 2002, p. 137.
  29. ^ Arminius 1853a, p. 252.
  30. ^ Arminius 1853a, p. 316.
  31. ^ Arminius 1853c, p. 454.
  32. ^ Pinson 2002, p. 140.
  33. ^ Picirilli 2002, pp. 154-.
  34. ^ Forlines 2001, pp. 313–321.
  35. Jump up to:a b Arminius 1853c, p. 311.
  36. ^ Pawson 1996, pp. 109-.
  37. ^ Forlines 2011, Ch.6.
  38. ^ Picirilli 2002, p. 203.
  39. ^ Picirilli 2002, pp. 204-.
  40. Jump up to:a b Arminius 1853b, pp. 219-220.
  41. ^ Arminius 1853b. This seems to fit with Arminius’ other statements on the need for perseverance in faith. For example: "God resolves to receive into favor those who repent and believe, and to save in Christ, on account of Christ, and through Christ, those who persevere [in faith], but to leave under sin and wrath those who are impenitent and unbelievers, and to condemn them as aliens from Christ". (Arminius 1853b, pp. 465, 466) In another place he writes: "[God] wills that they, who believe and persevere in faith, shall be saved, but that those, who are unbelieving and impenitent, shall remain under condemnation". (Arminius 1853c, pp. 412, 413)
  42. ^ Arminius 1853a, p. 665. William Nichols notes: "Arminius spoke nearly the same modest words when interrogated on this subject in the last Conference which he had with Gomarus [a Calvinist], before the states of Holland, on the 12th of Aug. 1609, only two months prior to his decease".
  43. ^ Jeremiah 23
  44. ^ Oropeza 2000, p. 16. "Although Arminius denied having taught final apostasy in his Declaration of Sentiments, in the Examination of the Treatise of Perkins on the Order and Mode of Predestination he writes that a person who is being 'built' into the church of Christ may resist the continuation of this process. Concerning the believers, 'It may suffice to encourage them, if they know that no power or prudence can dislodge them from the rock, unless they of their own will forsake their position.' (Arminius 1853c, p. 455) compare with (Arminius 1853a, p. 667) A believing member of Christ may become slothful, give place to sin, and gradually die altogether, ceasing to be a member.(Arminius 1853c, p. 458) The covenant of God[43] 'does not contain in itself an impossibility of defection from God, but a promise of the gift of fear, whereby they shall be hindered from going away from God so long as that shall flourish in their hearts.' If there is any consistency in Arminius' position, he did not seem to deny the possibility of falling away"
  45. ^ John 10:28
  46. ^ Schaff 2007. The Article reads: That those who are incorporated into Christ by a true faith, and have thereby become partakers of his life-giving Spirit, have thereby full power to strive against Satan, sin, the world, and their own flesh, and to win the victory; it being well understood that it is ever through the assisting grace of the Holy Ghost; and that Jesus Christ assists them through his Spirit in all temptations, extends to them his hand, and if only they are ready for the conflict, and desire his help, and are not inactive, keeps them from falling, so that they, by not craft or power of Satan, can be misled nor plucked out of Christ's hand, according to the Word of Christ,[45]'Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.' But whether they are capable, through negligence, of forsaking again the first beginnings of their life in Christ, of again returning to this present evil world, of turning away from the holy doctrine which was delivered them, of losing a good conscience, of becoming devoid of grace, that must be more particularly determined out of the Holy Scripture, before we ourselves can teach it with full persuasion of our minds.
  47. ^ DeJong 1968, pp. 220-. Points three and four in the fifth article read: True believers can fall from true faith and can fall into such sins as cannot be consistent with true and justifying faith; not only is it possible for this to happen, but it even happens frequently. True believers are able to fall through their own fault into shameful and atrocious deeds, to persevere and to die in them; and therefore finally to fall and to perish.
  48. ^ Witzki 2010.
  49. ^ Picirilli 2002, p. 198.
  50. ^ Pinson 2002, p. 159.
  51. ^ Pinson 2002, pp. 227-.
  52. ^ Pinson 2002, pp. 239–240.
  53. ^ 1 Tim 1:19
  54. ^ Wesley & Emory 1835, p. 247, "A Call to Backsliders".
  55. ^ Wesley 1827, p. 66, "A Plain Account of Christian Perfection".
  56. ^ Wesley & Emory 1835, p. 73, "The End of Christ’s Coming".
  57. ^ Wesley 1827, p. 45, "Of Christian Perfection".
  58. ^ Picirilli 2002, pp. 40, 59-:Picirilli actually objects so strongly to the link between Arminianism and Open theism that he devotes an entire section to his objections
  59. ^ Walls & Dongell 2004, p. 45.
  60. ^ Picirilli 2002, pp. 42–43, 59-.
  61. ^ Pinson 2002, pp. 146–147.
  62. ^ Picirilli 2002, p. 40.
  63. ^ Ridderbos 1997, p. 351.
  64. Jump up to:a b c Abasciano 2005.
  65. ^ Eph 1:3–4
  66. ^ Walls & Dongell 2004, p. 76.
  67. ^ Barth 1974, p. 108.
  68. ^ Pinson 2002, pp. 138–139.
  69. ^ Arminius 1853b, p. 192.
  70. ^ Arminius 1853b, p. 219. The entire treatise occupies pages 196–452
  71. ^ Pawson 1996, p. 106.
  72. ^ Pawson 1996, pp. 97–98, 106.
  73. ^ Picirilli 2002, pp. 6-.
  74. ^ Picirilli 2002, pp. 104–105, 132–.
  75. ^ Pinson 2002, pp. 140–.
  76. ^ Picirilli 2002, p. 132.
  77. ^ Spurgeon 1858.
  78. ^ Olson 2009, p. 221.
  79. ^ Nicole 1995.


Further reading

External links

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Roger E. Olson

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Roger E. Olson
Roger Eugene Olson

February 2, 1952 (age 69)
Becky Sandahl
(m. 1973)
Ecclesiastical career
ReligionChristianity (Pentecostal · Baptist)
Academic background
Alma mater
ThesisTrinity and Eschatology (1984)
Doctoral advisorNiels Nielsen[1]
Academic work
Sub-disciplineChristian ethics
School or tradition

Roger Eugene Olson (born 1952) is an American Baptist theologian and Professor of Christian Theology of Ethics at the Baylor University.


Personal life

Olson was born on February 2, 1952, in Des Moines, Iowa. He is married and he and his wife have two daughters and one granddaughter. He is member of Calvary Baptist Church in Waco.[8]


Olson studied at Open Bible College in Des Moines, North American Baptist Seminary, and Rice University, where he obtained his Ph.D. in Religious Studies in 1984, under the supervision of Nields Nielsen.[1] He is also an ordained Baptist minister.[9]

He was influenced by: Donald G. Bloesch,[2][3] Robert Jenson,[4] Jürgen Moltmann,[5] Bernard Ramm,[6] and Jack Rogers.[7]


Since 1999, Olson has been Holder of the Foy Valentine Professor of Christian Theology of Ethics at George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor UniversityWaco, Texas.[9]

Theological Contribution

Advocacy of Arminianism

Olson identifies himself as a Classical Arminian.[10] He has written several books including Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities (2006)[11] and Against Calvinism (2011)[12] in which he defined and defended his vision of Arminianism.

Olson fundamentally defines Arminianism by God's "limited" mode of providence and by God's "predestination by foreknowledge" mode of election,[13] expressed another way :

"“Arminianism,” [...] is simply a term we use in theology for the view, held by some people before Arminius and many after him, that sinners who hear the gospel have the free will to accept or reject God’s offer of saving grace and that nobody is excluded by God from the possibility of salvation except those who freely exclude themselves.[14]

According to him, adherence to Classical Arminianism is defined by being classically Protestant, affirming total depravityconditional electionunlimited atonementprevenient grace, and that God is in no way, and by no means the author of sin and evil but that these are only permitted by him.[15] Olson's definition, without taking a position on the conditional preservation of the saints, is close to the opinion of Arminius. His opinion was in fact expressed in The Five Articles of the Remonstrants (1610), mentioning both the necessity of perseverance and an uncertainty regarding the possibility of apostasy,[16] which was not removed by the Remonstrants until 1618.[17]

For Olson, "Classical Arminianism" as defined is centered on God's Grace[14] and sovereignty,[18] and is intrinsically an evangelical theology.[19]

Olson also refers to "Classic Arminianism" as "evangelical synergism":[20] "Synergism" referring to cooperation between God and creature (through prevenient grâce)[21] and "evangelical" to distinguish it from Catholic or Easter Orthodox synergism.[22] This is "because Arminius’ beliefs did not begin with him. For example, Anabaptist theologian Balthasar Hubmaier promoted much the same view nearly a century before Arminius".[21][23]

Olson says that the first principle of Arminianism is "Jesus Christ as the full and perfect revelation of the character of God".[24] This principle has a particular significance within the Calvinism-Armininian debate, where the character of God (and especially his love) as revealed by Jesus-Christ, is for Olson, better represented by the Arminian view:

"Basic to Arminianism is God’s love. The fundamental conflict between Calvinism and Arminianism is not sovereignty but God’s characterIf Calvinism is true, God is the author of sin, evil, innocent suffering and hell. [...] Let me repeat. The most basic issue is not providence or predestination or the sovereignty of God. The most basic issue is God’s character."[25]

Olson says that, as a consequence of this point, Arminians only believe in libertarian free will to avoid making God the author of sin and evil, and because it is an experienced reality necessary for responsibility:

"Classical Arminianism does NOT say God never interferes with free will. It says God NEVER foreordains or renders certain evil. [...] An Arminian COULD believe in divine dictation of Scripture and not do violence to his or her Arminian beliefs. [...] Arminianism is not in love with libertarian free will –as if that were central in and of itself."[26]

Theology history and analysis

Olson wrote a popular and widely acclaimed survey of Christian theology titled The Story of Christian Theology (1999).[27]

He is noted for a broad view of what constitutes Protestant "orthodoxy." For example, on annihilationism he commented that some evangelical theologians have "resurrected the old polemical labels of heresy and aberrational teaching" in order to marginalize other evangelicals holding the view The mosaic of Christian belief, (2002).[28]

Olson is one of the writers who sees two "loose coalitions" developing in evangelical theology.[29]

Olson coined the label "Pannenberg's Principle" for Wolfhart Pannenberg's argument (1969) that God's deity is his rule - "The divinity of God and the reign of God in the world are inseparable."[30]

He was the editor and author of the Handbook of Denominations in the United States, 14th edition (2018).[31]



  • Olson, Roger E. (1984). Trinity and eschatology : the historical being of God in the theology of Wolfhart Pannenberg (Ph. D). Houston, TX: Rice University.
  • Grenz, Stanley J.; Olson, Roger E. (1992). 20th-Century Theology: God and the World in a Transitional Age. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  • Grenz, Stanley J.; Olson, Roger E. (1996). Who Needs Theology?: An Invitation to the Study of God's Word. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  • Olson, Roger E. (1999). The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition & Reform. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2002). The Mosaic of Christian Beliefs: Twenty Centuries of Unity & Diversity. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  • Olson, Roger E.; Hall, Christopher A. (2002). The Trinity. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2004). The Westminster handbook to evangelical theology. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.
  • Olson, Roger E.; English, Adam C. (2005). Pocket History of Theology. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2005). The SCM Press A-Z of evangelical theology. London: SCM.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2006). Arminian Theology: Myths And Realities. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2007). Pocket history of evangelical theology. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2007). Reformed and always reforming : the postconservative approach to evangelical theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2007). Questions to all your answers : a journey from folk religion to examined faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2008). How to Be Evangelical without Being Conservative. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2009). Finding God in The shack : seeking truth in a story of evil and redemption. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2009). God in Dispute: "Conversations" among Great Christian Thinkers. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2011a). Against Calvinism. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2013). The Journey of Modern Theology: From Reconstruction to Deconstruction. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2014a). Arminianism FAQ: Everything You Always Wanted to Know. [Franklin, TE]: Seedbed Publishing.
  • Olson, Roger E.; Collins Winn, Christian T. (2015). Reclaiming pietism : retrieving an evangelical tradition. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2015). Counterfeit Christianity : the persistence of errors in the church. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2017). The Essence of Christian Thought : Seeing Reality Through the Biblical Story. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
  • Olson, Roger E.; Mead, Franck S. (2018b). Handbook of denominations in the United States (14th ed.). Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press.


  • Olson, Roger E. (1990). "The Creative Suffering of God. By Paul S. Fiddes. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1988. Pp. 281. £29.50". Scottish Journal of Theology43 (1): 114–115. doi:10.1017/S0036930600039727.
  • Olson, Roger E. (1992). "Metaphysics and the Idea of God . Wolfhart Pannenberg , Philip Clayton". The Journal of Religion72 (2): 285–286. doi:10.1086/488878.
  • Olson, Roger E. (1995). "Whales and Elephants Both God's Creatures but can They Meet?: Evangelicals and Liberals in Dialogue". Pro Ecclesia: A Journal of Catholic and Evangelical Theology72 (2): 165–189. doi:10.1177/106385129500400206S2CID 220286351.
  • Olson, Roger E.; Fackre, Gabriel (1999). "FEATURES - Evangelical essentials? Reservations and reminders - Summing up the gospel". The Christian Century116 (23): 816.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2001). "The Barthian Revolt in Modern Theology: Theology Without Weapons. By Gary Dorrien. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1999. Pp. 239. $29.95". Scottish Journal of Theology54 (2): 260–263. doi:10.1017/S0036930600051498.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2001). "BOOK NOTES - The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition and Reform". Theology Today58 (2): 276.
  • Olson, Roger E.; Augsburger, Daniel (2002). "BOOK REVIEWS AND NOTES - The Story of Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition and Reform". Church History71 (2): 446.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2003). "Tensions in Evangelical Theology". Dialog: A Journal of Theology42 (1): 76–85.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2003). "The Tradition Temptation"Christianity Today. Retrieved 2019-08-27.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2004). "Christology: A Global Introduction By Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen Grand Rapids, Baker Academic, 2003. 300 pp. $21.99". Theology Today60 (4): 580–581. doi:10.1177/004057360406000422S2CID 170214333.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2005). "Alan P. F. Sell, Confessing and Commending the Faith: Historic Witness and Apologetic Method (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2002), pp. 550". Scottish Journal of Theology58 (3): 358. doi:10.1017/S0036930605241558.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2006). "PENTECOSTALISM - Pentecostalism's dark side - Suspicions and scandals". The Christian Century123 (5): 276.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2007). "Deification in Contemporary Theology". Theology Today64 (2): 186–200. doi:10.1177/004057360706400205S2CID 170904062.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2009). "'Theology' after 'God' - A conversation". The Christian Century36 (25): 32.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2012). "Predestination: The American Career of A Contentious Doctrine - By Peter J. Thuesen". Religious Studies Review38 (2): 81–82. doi:10.1111/j.1748-0922.2012.01596_31.x.
  • Olson, Roger E. (2012). "Pietism and Pentecostalism: Spiritual Cousins or Competitors?". Pneuma34 (3): 319–344. doi:10.1163/15700747-12341235.

Notes and references


  1. Jump up to:a b Olson 2011b.
  2. Jump up to:a b McWilliams 2018, p. 138.
  3. Jump up to:a b Olson 2019a.
  4. Jump up to:a b Olson 2017b.
  5. Jump up to:a b Olson 2014b.
  6. Jump up to:a b Olson 2014c.
  7. Jump up to:a b Olson 2019b.
  8. ^ Olson 2018a, p. 2.
  9. Jump up to:a b Olson 2018a, p. 1.
  10. ^ Olson 2010b. "I [...] have always identified myself as a classical Arminian."
  11. ^ Olson 2006.
  12. ^ Olson 2011a.
  13. ^ Olson 2018c. "What is Arminianism? A) Belief that God limits himself to give human beings free will to go against his perfect will so that God did not design or ordain sin and evil (or their consequences such as innocent suffering); B) Belief that, although sinners cannot achieve salvation on their own, without “prevenient grace” (enabling grace), God makes salvation possible for all through Jesus Christ and offers free salvation to all through the gospel. “A” is called “limited providence,” “B” is called “predestination by foreknowledge.”"
  14. Jump up to:a b Olson 2017a. "“Arminianism,” [...] is simply a term we use in theology for the view, held by some people before Arminius and many after him, that sinners who hear the gospel have the free will to accept or reject God’s offer of saving grace and that nobody is excluded by God from the possibility of salvation except those who freely exclude themselves. But true, historical, classical Arminianism includes the belief that this free will is itself a gift of God through prevenient grace; it is not a natural ability every person has of himself or herself. All people have free will to do many things, but free will to repent and believe unto salvation is always a gift of God’s grace."
  15. ^ Olson 2014a, p. 21. [...] in my mind, any person is an Arminian who: 1) is classically Protestant, 2) affirms total depravity (in the sense of helplessness to save himself or contribute meritoriously to his salvation such that a sinner is totally dependent on prevenient grace for even the first movement of the will toward God), 3) affirms conditional election and predestination based on foreknowledge, 4) affirms universal atonement, 5) affirms that grace is always resistible, and 6) affirms that God is in no way and by no means the author of sin and evil but affirms that these are only permitted by God’s consequent will.
  16. ^ Witzki 2009, p. 13.
  17. ^ DeJong 1968, pp. 220-. Points three and four in the fifth article read: True believers can fall from true faith and can fall into such sins as cannot be consistent with true and justifying faith; not only is it possible for this to happen, but it even happens frequently. True believers are able to fall through their own fault into shameful and atrocious deeds, to persevere and to die in them; and therefore finally to fall and to perish.
  18. ^ Olson 2010e.
  19. ^ Olson 2010d.
  20. ^ Olson 2006, p. 18.
  21. Jump up to:a b Olson 2014a, p. 1.
  22. ^ Olson 2010c.
  23. ^ Olson 2013b. I am using “Arminianism” as a handy [...] synonym for “evangelical synergism” (a term I borrow from Donald Bloesch). [...] It’s simply a Protestant perspective on salvation, God’s role and ours, that is similar to, if not identical with, what was assumed by the Greek church fathers and taught by Hubmaier, Menno Simons, and even Philipp Melanchthon (after Luther died). It was also taught by Danish Lutheran theologian Niels Hemmingsen (d. 1600)—independently of Arminius. (Arminius mentions Hemmingsen as holding the basic view of soteriology he held and he may have been influenced by Hemmingsen.)
  24. ^ Olson 2014a, p. 11.
  25. ^ Olson 2013a.
  26. ^ Olson 2010a. "Classical Arminianism does NOT say God never interferes with free will. It says God NEVER foreordains or renders certain evil. [...] An Arminian COULD believe in divine dictation of Scripture and not do violence to his or her Arminian beliefs. [...] Arminianism is not in love with libertarian free will –as if that were central in and of itself. Classical Arminians have gone out of our way (beginning with Arminius himself) to make clear that our sole reasons for believe in free will AS ARMINIANS [...] are 1) to avoid making God the author of sin and evil, and 2) to make clear human responsibility for sin and evil."
  27. ^ Olson 2018a, p. 22. Award for best book in theology/ethics for 1999, Christianity Today, April, 2000. “Gold Medallion Award”, Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, June, 2000. Award for “Best Book in Theology/Doctrine” for 2001, Christian Publishers Association of Brazil, April, 2002
  28. ^ Knight 2003, p. 473. "In a similar vein, Roger E. Olson has pointed out that "many conservative evangelical theologians have resurrected the old polemical labels of heresy and aberrational teaching to marginalize those evangelicals who would dare to embrace a belief that was once relegated to the sectarian margins of Protestantism. This hardly seems like a valuable expenditure of time and energy. Annihilationism does not strike at the heart of the gospel or even deny any major Christian belief; it is simply a reinterpretation of hell."
  29. ^ Toulouse 2006, p. 241. "Roger E. Olson has developed the discussion of these two "loose coalitions" in "The Future of Evangelical Theology," Christianity Today (hereafter CT) (February 9, 1998): 40-48. He offers Edward Veith's Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide."
  30. ^ Grenz 2001, p. 49. "[...] to cite his own poignant statement, which Roger E. Olson has labeled "Pannenberg's Principle""
  31. ^ Olson & Mead 2018b.


External links