Theology from A Bunch of Dead Guys™
The Hall of Church History
The Arminians
"Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
For our gospel came not unto you in word only,
but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost,
and in much assurance" (1 Thessalonians 1:4-5).

rminianism derives its name from Jacobus Arminius, Professor of Divinity at Leyden University in Holland at the turn of the seventeenth century. Arminius had studied theology under Theodore Beza, Calvin's successor. Beza was one of the stronger proponents of the Reformed doctrine of predestination. But Arminius's theology represented a retreat from this position. In some ways, Arminius's theology was actually a return to the position taken by Roman Catholicism at the Council of Trent. Naturally, Arminianism stirred heated controversy in the Reformed churches.
    Arminius died in 1609, almost a decade before the controversy over his teachings peaked. That occurred in 1618, when a group of the late professor's followers, known as the Remonstrants, issued a protest in the form of Five Articles to the Reformed Church of Holland. Those articles were condemned by the Synod of Dordt in 1619. The synod's five-point reply was an article-by-article refutation of the Remonstrants. (The position defined by the Synod has come to be known popularly as "the five points of Calvinism," though the five points were actually a response the Arminian Articles. Calvin himself never systematized his doctrine into five points).
    The Canons of the Synod of Dordt thus constituted the Reformation's official reply to the Remonstrants. The Remonstrants were expelled from the Reformed Church, and Arminianism was tagged as a deviant doctrine. Far from dealing a crushing blow to the movement, however, the Synod of Dordt merely became the starting point for the underground spread of the doctrine. Today Arminianism is surely the majority view in Protestant churches.
    There are many strains of Arminianism. The classic Arminianism of the Remonstrants had much in common with semi-pelagianism (a compromise position between the radical free-will doctrine of Pelagius and the strong predestinarian views of Augustine). The tendencies of the Remonstrants and those who followed them were barely evangelical. In the eighteenth century, John Wesley adopted Arminian doctrine and refined it with a strong evangelical emphasis on the Reformed doctrine of justification by faith. Wesley's variety of evangelical Arminianism survives today in the Churches of the Nazarene and other conservative Wesleyan groups. Less evangelical varieties of Arminianism range all the way from the pietism of the Holiness movement to the Socinianism of liberal denominations.
Calvinism and Arminianism
Some notes on the history of the conflict, from the Grace Valley Christian Center Website.

The Wesleys and their Times

One of the most complete Wesley sites on the Web. Lots of primary sources.

The Wesley Center For Applied Theology

Several Wesley Sermons and other items of historical interest are located here. There also are some good links to various Arminian and Holiness sites.

United Methodist History

Some interesting essays on Methodist history are linked here.

Charles Wesley's Hymns

A site devoted to the hymns of Methodism's most prolific poet.

John Wesley (1703-1791): Life, Legend and Legacy

An exhibit from The John Rylands Library. (Navigate via the links you'll find at the left of the page.)

A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, by John Wesley

Wesley's famous work on "entire sanctification."

Arminianism: The Road to Rome!

A short article by Augustus Toplady, contemporary Anglican clergyman and bitter opponent of John Wesley. Toplady is best known as the author of the hymn "Rock of Ages." His diatribes against Wesley were witty and devastating—but often harsh in the extreme.

Whitefield to Wesley: No, dear Sir, you mistake.

The Winebrennerians

A complete collection of historical documents from the Churches of God, General Conference Organized as the "Church of God" by John Winebrenner, in 1825, at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

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| The Creeds | The Church Fathers | The Medieval Churchmen | The Heretics | The Eastern Orthodox | The Catholics | The Reformers | The Puritans | The Anabaptists | The Arminians | The Cultists | The Unorthodox | The Baptists | The Recent Stalwarts |

Looking for pictures of the leading figures of Church History? Visit The Museum of Pilgrims.

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