Term embracing in gen. the teachings of Jacobus Arminius (Jacob Harmensen, or Hermansz, 15601609; minister Amsterdam; prof. theol. Leiden). The theol. views of Arminius and his followers were summed up in 5 points, briefly: 1. God from all eternity predestined to eternal life those of whom He foresaw that they would remain steadfast in faith to their end. 2. Christ died for all mankind, not only for the elect. 3. Man cooperates in his conversion by free will. 4. Man may resist divine grace. 5. Man may fall from divine grace. This last tenet was first held but doubtfully; but ultimately it was firmly accepted. The 161819 Syn. of Dordrecht* condemned the Arminian doctrines, and the civil powers, as was the gen. practice of the age, enforced the decrees of the council by pains and penalties. But the new view spread rapidly. In 1621 S. Episcopius,* at the request of the leading Remonstrants* (Arminians), drew up a formula of faith in 25 chaps. that was widely circulated and subscribed by the most eminent men in Holland and Fr., such as H. Grotius,* Philip(pus) van Limborch (16331712; Dutch Remonstrant theol.), Jean le Clerc (Johannes Clericus; 16571736; Swiss Prot. theol.), and J. J. Wettstein* In Fr. the effect of the controversy appeared in the modified Calvinism* of M. Amyraut* W. Laud* introduced Arminianism into the Ch. of Eng., where it was adopted by R. Cudworth,* Jeremy Taylor,* J. R. Tillotson,* W Chillingworth,* J. R. Pearson,* D. Whitby,* and others. Arminianism in the Ch. of Eng. at last became a negative term, implying the negation of Calvinism rather than any exact system of theol. Much of what passed for Arminianism was in fact Pelagianism, synergism in some form. A modified Arminianism arose again in Eng. in the Wesleyan Reformation of the 17th c.; its ablest expositions may be found in the works of John Wesley,* J. W. Fletcher,* and Richard Watson* (17811833); the other Eng. conformists and the Presbs in Scot. and elsewhere continued to be mainly Calvinists.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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