Jacobus Arminius

Jacobus Arminius, 1560-1609, Dutch.

Both some history of Jacobus Arminius and many of his works can be found here: www.ccel.org/a/arminius

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Jacobus Arminius began as a Calvinist. Arminius changed his thinking and published five articles of "correction" to Calvinist doctrine. The calvinists convened a council at Dort, and published five responses, which today are commonly known as TULIP.

Here are Arminius' five points:

Here are the TULIP responses to refute the above statements. TULIP is thus not a summary of Calvinism as it is a response to these points. Because it touches on the heart of Calvinism it is still commonly used to represent calvinism today.

As something of a calvinist myself, I believe they mistated the argument, because they allowed Arminius to frame the questions. The real issue is salvation by grace through faith, alone - which is easily proved to be Biblical.

eph 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--
eph 2:9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

I believe the Bible also clearly teaches total depravity and irresistable grace, as well as the perseverance. The limited atonement is less easy to find, but it is there, read Pink's exposition on it, he gives the scripture references. Unconditional election is also a misused doctrine. To argue that one is automatically saved by election, even when one does not profess Christ is foolishness as best (which is not Calvinism but fatalism).

To argue that one can live in sin, profess Christ, and claim that grace allows such behavior, is also foolish. Without repentance there is no salvation. Just because we cannot choose God on our own, in no way absolves us of responsibility for our own actions.

I believe the Bible teaches both (limited) free-will and predestination as simultaneously in full force, and thus to deny either is to preach false doctrine. In the end, when we enter eternity the truth of these things will no longer apparently contradict each other. The great Calvinists of later days (Edwards, Whitfield, and Spurgeon), clearly understood that the will was involved in salvation, that nobody was saved unless they totally and willingly served Christ. But they properly gave God the credit for the change of heart that created such desire and committment.


A Brief Comparative Study of: Arminianism and Calvinism