Arminianism

“Thou art an offence unto Me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”

Matt 16:23

“Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?”

Isa. 2:22

“And the serpent said unto the woman… ye shall be as gods.”

Gen. 3:4-5

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Order of Contents

Articles  5
Books  4
Quotes  2
On the Church Discipline of Arminians

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Articles

1600’s

Rutherford, Samuel –  ‘The Doctrine of Universal Atonement Proven False and Unscriptural’  from his Christ Dying and Drawing Sinners to Himself, no date, 88 paragraphs

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1800’s

Cunningham, William

‘The Arminian Controversy’  from his Historical Theology, vol 2 ch. 25, p. 383-525

‘Calvinism and Arminianism’, p. 418, 52 pp.  from his Reformers and the Theology of the Reformation

Hodge, Charles

‘Arminianism and Grace’  1881  31 pp.

‘Finney’s Lectures on Theology’  from the Princeton Review (April, 1847) and subsequently printed in Hodge’s collection of articles, Essays & Reviews, 1857, p. 245-284.  Charles Finney was a strongly semi-pelagian, man-oriented revivalist whose Lectures on Theology have had a strong and detrimental influence on the American church.

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Books

1600’s

Du Moulin, Peter – The Anatomy of Arminianism…  (1619; London, 1635)  420 pp.

Moulin (1568-1658) was a reformed Huguenot minister in France who also resided in England for some years.  For background on Moulin and this work, see Donald Sinnema, ch. 4, ‘The French Reformed Churches, Arminianism and the Synod of Dort (1618-1619)’ in ed. Klauber, The Theology of the French Reformed Churches…  (RHB, 2014).

Rutherford, Samuel – Rutherford’s Examination of Arminianism: the Tables of Contents with Excerpts from Every Chapter  trans. Charles Johnson & Travis Fentiman  (1668 / 2019)  135 pp.

The closest thing Rutherford wrote to systematic theology was his Examination of Arminianism.  As Arminians erred on nearly every point of theology, refuting their rising, popular system gave Rutherford the opportunity to survey the gamut of theology.  Rutherford addresses topics here nowhere addressed in his books written in English.

For the first time, a substantial portion of this work has been translated into English.  Learn theology from the greatest Scottish theologian in Church history.

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1800’s

Scott, Thomas – The Articles of the Synod of Dort, Translated from the Latin, with Notes…  (Philadelphia: Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1856)  with an Introductory Essay by Samuel Miller

Daniel Tilenus (1563-1633), once a German-born, reformed, French professor of theology, became an Arminian (c. 1613) and was deposed from his professorship in Sedan in the winter of 1619-20, due to the outworkings of the Synod of Dort (1618-19).  In 1623 he wrote a tract critical of the Synod of Dort and included in it a highly distorted, five point summary of the doctrines of Dort which made the Synod’s canons out to be hyper-calvinistic.  This was translated into English, whereas the canons of Dort were not.

“By the early nineteenth century it was sometimes simply assumed in English circles that the Tilenus abbreviation truly represented the teachings of the canons.” (Theology of the French Reformed Churches, p. 133) 

In 1811, Scott (1747–1821), an evangelical Anglican minister, sought to defend Calvinism in a book entitled, Remarks on the Refutation of Calvinism by George Tomline.  Tomline had provided the summary by Tilenus; Scott assumed it was an accurate representation of the canons of the Synod of Dort, though he argued that it did not represent true Calvinism.

Once Scott realized his mistake, he desired to make a reparation for his contributing to a gross misrepresentation.  In the 2nd edition of the work in 1817, Scott included his translation into English of the genuine canons of the Synod of Dort, with a comparison and censure of the abbreviation by Tilenus.  In 1818 Scott published the translation of the canons separately in The Articles of the Synod of Dort.

For more background to the work, see The Theology of the French Reformed Churches…  (RHB, 2014), especially pp. 133-4.

The historical introduction to the Synod of Dort by Samuel Miller, the second professor at Old Princeton Seminary, is excellent.

Girardeau, John – Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism  Buy  1890  584 pp.

Evangelical Arminianism is the popular teaching of the church at large today.  It is often hard to pin down in order to analyze carefully.  Here Girardeau carefully articulates it and contrasts it to the Biblical truths of Election, Reprobation and Justification, which fully exposes the inadequacies of Evangelical Arminianism.  An easy to read book, but in-depth with much meat.

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Quotes

John ‘Rabbi’ Duncan

“Hyper-Calvinism is all house and no door: Arminianism is all door and no house.”

“Calvinism and Pelagianism are the only consistent systems.  Arminianism is utterly inconsistent and irrational.”

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On the Church Discipline of Arminians

The French Reformed Churches  1623

The National Synod of Charenton, ch. 18, in John Quick, Synodicon in Gallia Reformata…  (London, 1692), p. 109

“10.  The Province of the Isle of France demanded what course should be taken with professed Arminians, and such as spread abroad in discourse their dogmas and tenets.  This Synod decrees that all Dogmatizers be prosecuted with Church-censures; And as for such as are known Arminians, but do not disperse their opinions, our pastors and consistories shall deal with them for three months time in order to reclaim them unto sound doctrine: But in case they continue obstinate after that time, they shall be debarred communion with us at the Lord’s Table.”

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Related Pages

The Doctrines of Grace

The Decrees of God