Arminian/Calvinist Controversy

John CalvinJacob Arminius

Dear hijas,

Remonstrance: The act of expressing earnest opposition or protest.

James Arminius was a Dutch theologian living from 1560 to 1609 who studied, taught, and eventually broke with Calvinism. He rejected many of the Reformed teachings through to his time and returned to the semi-Pelagianism particular to Roman Catholicism and that of Erasmus. The line of Biblical-Augustinian-Lutheran-Calvinist-monergistic teaching is come under attack once again.

From the Wesley Center Online,, and the United Methodist Church,—Worship-and-Spiritual-Growth/The-Wesleys-and-Their-Times/What-Is-an-Arminian, comes this definition from John Wesley, himself an Arminian:

5. The rise of the word was this: JAMES HARMENS, in Latin, Jacobes Arminius, was first one of the Ministers of Amsterdam, and afterwards Professor of Divinity at Leyden. He was educated at Geneva; but in the year 1591 began to doubt of the principles which he had till then received. And being more and more convinced that they were wrong, when he was vested with the Professorship, he publicly taught what he believed the truth, till, in the year 1609, he died in peace. But a few years after his death, some zealous men with the Prince of Orange at their head, furiously assaulted all that held what were called his opinions; and having procured them to be solemnly condemned, in the famous Synod of Dort, (not so numerous or learned, but full as impartial, as the Council or Synod of Trent,) some were put to death, some banished, some imprisoned for life, all turned out of their employments, and made incapable of holding any office, either in Church or State.

6. The errors charged upon these (usually termed Arminians) by their opponents, are five: (1.) That they deny original sin; (2.) That they deny justification by faith; (3.) That they deny absolute predestination; (4.) That they deny the grace of God to be irresistible; and, (5.) That they affirm, a believer may fall from grace.

The above describes, from Wesley’s point of view, what happened in the Arminian/Calvinist controversy. I will summarize as follows: one year after Arminius’ death (1610), followers of Arminius drafted five articles of faith based on Arminius’ teachings and presented them to the Reformed church in Holland. These five articles were called the Remonstrance, and/or later ‘the 5 points of Arminianism.’ His followers wanted the Belgic Confession (1561) and Heidelberg Catechism (1563), both decidedly monergistic, to be adapted and conform to these 5 points of Arminianism. They were protesting, and thus a remonstrance.

A synod of church leaders (synod is another word for ‘court’) was called in November of 1618 to examine the views of the Arminian party. It met in the city of Dort, and thus was called the Synod of Dort. Meeting from Nov. 1618 to May 1619, the Synod of Dort responded to each of the 5 points of Arminianism with 5 points of their own; the 5 points of Calvinism, known as TULIP. They overwhelmingly reaffirmed the confessional statements that already existed in the Dutch Reformed church, and reaffirmed it in light of the particular objections that the Remonstrance had brought against it.

So what were the 5 points of Arminianism, and why did the Synod of Dort produce the 5 points of Calvinism, known as TULIP?

5 Points Calvinism TULIP

And what does this have to do with free will?

As always, I remain,

Dear ol’ Dad

Vaya con Dios mis hijas!


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