Almost everyone knows a little about John Wesley and Methodism. They also hear the term Arminianism applied to Methodism, yet few know anything of the man and his teachings from whom the term Arminianism comes. Many or most people have heard Arminianism strongly condemned. For instance Richard C. Weeks in criticizing the unscriptural Billy Graham Crusade of Chicago in 1962 says about the reason given to justify the compromise that:
This is theology again gone Arminian and experience-centered. This is the establishment of truth on an emotional level. This is the same pathetic position that made Arminian Methodism one of the easy preys for Modernism at the turn of the century. This was also to say, as long as it works and is big and "successful", it must be of God. Here is pragmatism in full-flower operating in religion [Richard C. Weeks. Billy Graham’s Chicago Ecumenical Endeavor, p. 2].
This is harsh indeed. Is such criticism justified? The author of this paper must confess that in studying for this topic he has walked through two doors. For the most part it was a pleasure to read Arminius on the Scripture and his Declaration of Sentiments. On the other hand reading on sin and sinners, and the results of Arminianism was sad and frightening indeed.
In this paper a brief account of the life of Arminius, his teaching on several distinctive and important doctrines, and a review of Arminianism will be given. The review to be given will not be concerned so much with the spread of Arminianism as with the effects or tendency of Arminian rejection of Calvinism.
THE LIFE OF JAMES ARMINIUS
James Arminius, whose real family name was Herman, was born near Utrecht, Holland in 1560. His father died while he was an infant and his mother, brother, and sister were slain by the Spanish army in 1575 during the Dutch struggle with Spain.
He was very fortunate to receive a good education. A clergyman by the name of Aemilius helped him... [continues]
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