The Scapegoat of Calvinism
(By Dr. Vic Reasoner)
John Wesley observed that "to say, 'this man is an Arminian,'
has the same effect on many hearers, as to say, 'This is a mad
Arminianism has been called "the last and greatest monster
of the man of sin, the elixir of Anti-Christianism; the
mystery of the mystery of iniquity, the spawn of Popery,
and the varnished offspring of the old Pelagians."
Robert C. Harbach wrote, "Arminianism is that rejected error which has become the most insidiously devised heresy ever to lay claim to biblical support." Harbach complained that Calvinists are the most hated people in the universe because they alone stand for the truth. In contrast, he defines Arminianism as everything he rejects:
Louis Berkhof also lumps Arminians and heretics together.
||Therefore also comprehended under the brand of
Arminianism are the following evil forms of the same
proud heresy: Universalism, Romanism, Pelagianism
(naturalism), Socinianism (modernism), Amyraldianism
(synergism), Baxterianism (hypothetical redemption), New
School Presbyterianism (religious humanism), etc.(3)
Arminius is sometimes blamed for almost leading the
Reformation off course: "Calvinism came in, Arminius nearly ruined it, and the Synod of Dort restored it."(5)
First, let us look at the man who has been so maligned and
then look at his teachings which have been misrepresented.
Jacob Hermansz was a Dutch theologian of the late sixteenth
century. We know him by his Latin name, Jacobus Arminius. In 1582
James Arminius arrived in Geneva to study under Calvin's
son-in-law, and successor, Theodore Beza. Beza had made
the Calvinistic position more rigid and had taught
supralapsarianism - that the decrees of election and
damnation came prior to the decree to create man.
The fact is that the early Dutch reformers were not
Calvinists when they overthrew Catholicism in 1566. When
James Arminius was installed as pastor in Amsterdam in
1587, Calvinism was not in control. Arminius had the
reputation of being a brilliant preacher, a gifted Bible
exegete, and a humble and dedicated Christian. His
expositional preaching drew large crowds.
As the city was opened to trade, new merchants arrived
bringing in Calvinism and only toward the end of his
fifteen year tenure as pastor did Calvinism become strong
enough to create problems for Arminius.
Two ministers from Delft had debated Dirck Coornhert, a
Catholic humanist, and as a result felt it was necessary
to modify Beza's rigid position. In 1589 they published a
book which did so. As a former student of Beza, Arminius
was asked to defend his teacher, although there is no
evidence to suggest that Arminius had ever accepted the
position of Beza. There had always been a
diversity of opinion among Dutch theologians. However,
the influx of Calvinistic teaching was growing.
Arminius faced a crisis of conscience and he responded
with integrity. He concluded that supralapsarianism made
God the author of sin. No one could refute his
scholarship, but preachers began to openly attack him from
the pulpit. His words were twisted out of context and his
enemies tried to destroy his influence.
In 1603 Arminius moved to Leiden to become professor
theology at the university. He was considered the
greatest scholar of his day and taught until his death in
1609. He was the first ever to receive the Doctor of
Divinity degree from the University of Leiden. Even at
Leiden he was under attack from the Calvinist, Gomarus.
Finally, Arminius asked for a public hearing, but he died
before the synod convened. He was about 49 when he died,
and his death was probably hastened by the stress he was
After his death, 42 of his followers wrote their
manifesto, the Remonstrance, in 1610. In 1618-9 the Synod
of Dort was convened and adopted a high Calvinistic
statement which included the supralapsarian position of
Beza. Although it was Arminius who had called for an open
forum, there were 130 Calvinists present and
13 Remonstrants who were prisoners of the state and were
given no vote. "The Remonstrants were at a disadvantage
from the very start, and were summoned as defendants.
They were denied seats in the council, and were treated
throughout as accused parties."
Simon Episcopius, the successor of Arminius, delivered a
speech of two hour length, so logical and magnanimous that
it moved many hearers to tears.
Yet the Synod of Dort condemned
Arminianism as heretical and as a result some 200
Remonstrant ministers were ousted from their pulpits.
Some were banished and persecuted until 1625.
Arminianism reintroduced the spirit of tolerance to the
Church. The early Arminians were well educated and held
strong convictions, but they displayed a different spirit.
They had no animosity toward those who disagreed with them;
they only asked that their views be permitted to exist.
There were theologians in England who taught the essence of
what Arminius taught before Arminius. After the restoration
of Charles II in 1660, Arminianism held great influence
within the Church of England. Over time, however, the
Arminians became the more liberal party in the church. In
seventeenth century England the Latitudinarians were
considered Arminian. In the eighteenth
century the term was associated with Socinianism. It was
not until the Wesleyan Reformation that the pure doctrine
of Arminius was restored and the tendencies of Pelagianism
and Unitarianism removed. John Wesley published the first
popular account of the life of Arminius in English and
this came in the first issue of The
Arminian Magazine in January, 1778.
Having looked at the life, the spirit, and the influence of
Arminius, I conclude that we should hold him in the highest regard.
John Fletcher concluded that among the theologians who endeavored
to steer their doctrinal course between the Pelagian shelves and
the Augustinian rock, "none is more famous, and none came nearer
the truth than Arminius."(9)
But what about his doctrines which are misrepresented?
1. Arminius is misrepresented concerning total depravity
Lars Qualben in A History of the Christian Church
states that Jacob Arminius and his followers taught "Man
was not totally depraved and could therefore co-operate
with God in the spiritual regeneration."
"Arminianism, however, under its breath croons the siren song
of man's essential goodness."
However, Samuel Wakefield, an early American Methodist
theologian wrote, "True Arminianism, therefore, as fully as
Calvinism, admits the total depravity of human nature."
Let Arminius speak for himself.
||According to the Pelagian conception regeneration is
solely an act of the human will, and is practically
identical with self-reformation. With some slight
differences this is the view of modern liberal theology.
A modification of this view is that of the Semi-Pelagian
and Arminian. . . ."(4)
Arminius describes the effects of the first sin of the first
man as "the withdrawing of that primitive righteousness and
holiness. . . . The whole of this sin, however, is not
peculiar to our first parents, but is common to the entire
race and to all their posterity."
Again, Arminius explains the effects of the sin of
our first parents.
||On account of this transgression, man fell under
the displeasure and the wrath of God, rendered himself
subject to a double death, and deserving to be deprived
of the primeval righteousness and holiness in which a
great part of the image of God consisted.
Kenneth Grider explains, "Original sin refers to a state of
sin in us due to that original act of sin on Adam's part."
Wesley preached that anyone who denied original sin are but
heathens still. He claimed this as "the first grand distinguishing
point between heathenism and Christianity."
||This was the reason why all men who were to be propagated
from them in a natural way, became obnoxious to death
temporal and death eternal, and devoid of this gift of
the Holy Spirit or original righteousness: This
punishment usually receives the appellation of "a
privation of the image of God," and "original sin."
In Wesley's 272 page treatise, "The Doctrine of Original
Sin," he declared without this doctrine "the Christian
system falls at once."(18) Wesleyan-Arminians do affirm man's sinful nature, our basic inclination to
sin, our total depravity which was inherited from Adam.
2. Arminius is misrepresented as
teaching the absolute freedom of the will.
R. J. Rushdoony equates humanism with Arminianism. He
refers to the old humanistic dream that every man, by his
own free choice, can effect his salvation. "If this sounds
very much like Arminianism, it is because the same
principle undergirds Arminianism and humanism: salvation
as man's decision."(19)
Christopher Ness accused Arminians of teaching that "saving
grace is tendered to the acceptance of every man; which he
may or may not receive, just as he pleases."
John MacArthur wrote,
In Willing to Believe: The Controversy Over Free Will:
(22) R. C.
Sproul also equates Pelagianism directly with Arminianism.
Although Sproul never gets around to defining the will, he
argues for monergism as opposed to synergism.
as defined by Sproul, means that God is the single actor
in regeneration. He defines synergism as a
relationship in which God assists and humans cooperate.
This, he says, leads to absolute human autonomy. I fail
to see how cooperation with means the same thing as
Monergism has also been defined as the position
that "the grace of God is the only efficient cause in
beginning and effecting conversion."
(24) Writing in the
Beacon Dictionary of Theology, William Abraham
said, "Wesleyan Arminianism is monergistic to the
degree that all saving grace is acknowledged as coming
from God, and that even man's free cooperation is made
possible by prevenient grace."(25) Early Methodism taught that we were saved by free grace.
Call it by either term, we could only cooperate as we were
enabled by prevenient grace. This emphasis is neither
Pelagianism nor absolute human autonomy.
James Arminius declared
||Pragmatism's ally is Arminianism, the theology that
denies God's sovereign election and affirms that man
must decide on his own to trust or reject Christ. That
places on the evangelist the burden of using technique
that is clever enough, imaginative enough, or
convincing enough to sway a person's decision. . . . to
teach or imply that human technique can bring someone
to Christ is contrary to Scripture.
||But in his lapsed and sinful state, man is not
of any by himself, either to think, to will, or to do
that which is really good, but it is necessary for him to
be regenerated and renewed in his intellect, affections
or will, and in all his powers, by God in Christ through
the Holy Spirit, that he may be qualified rightly to
understand, esteem, consider, will, and perform whatever
is truly good. When he is made a partaker of this
regeneration or renovation, I consider that, since he is
delivered from sin, he is capable of thinking, willing,
and doing that which is good, but yet not without the
continued aids of Divine Grace.(26)
||In this state, the Free Will of man towards the
True Good is not only wounded, maimed, infirm, bent, and
weakened; but it is also imprisoned, destroyed, and
lost. And its powers are not only debilitated and
useless unless they be assisted
by grace, but it has no powers whatever except such
as are excited by Divine grace.
John Wesley said that the will of a sinner is "free only to
evil."(29) In another
context Wesley stated that he came to the very edge of
1. In ascribing all good to the free grace of God
2. In denying all natural free will and all power antecedent to grace
3. In excluding all merit from man even for what he has
or does by the grace of God.
Our emphasis in not upon free will, but upon God's grace,
including prevenient grace. John Fletcher stated that
Arminianism asserts "that obedient free will is always
dependent upon God's free grace; and disobedient free will
upon God's just wrath."(31)
John Wesley wrote, "Natural free-will, in the present
state of mankind, I do not understand: I only assert,
that there is a measure of free-will supernaturally
restored to every man, together with that supernatural
light which 'enlightens every man that cometh into the
It is not historic Wesleyan-Arminianism which overemphasized
free will,(33) it was the
later teaching of Charles Finney, a Pelagian, who influenced
the holiness movement at this point.
Robert Chiles surveyed three major transitions in American
Methodism between 1790 and 1935. He concluded,
||Free Will is unable to begin or to perfect any true
and spiritual good, without Grace. . . . I affirm,
therefore, that this grace is simply and absolutely
necessary for the illumination of the mind, the due
ordering of the affections, and the inclination of the
will to that which is good: It is this grace which
operates on the mind, the affections, and the will;
which infuses good thoughts into the mind, inspires good
desires into the affections, and bends the will to
carry into execution good thoughts and good desires.
This grace goes before, accompanies, and follows; it
excites, assists, operates that we will, and cooperated
lest we will in vain.
The third major change in Methodist theology, 'from free
grace to free will,' began with the Wesleyan doctrine of
grace as free for all and in all and as the sole power of
salvation. Steadily the areas of achievement assigned to
man's freedom were increased. . . . Repentance and,
eventually, faith came to be considered essentially human
acts, not God's gifts, and salvation proper became man's
divinely assisted effort to moralize and spiritualize his
3. Arminius is misrepresented as
teaching a works salvation.
Francis E. Mahaffy wrote, "An Arminian views salvation to be
to a considerable extent, the work of man. He does not look
upon man as dead in trespasses and sins . . . but rather
as sick and in need of help. The evangelist brings a
message to him to persuade him to use his own unfettered
free will to come to Christ."
Christopher Wordsworth cautioned that "we must not fall into
The Arminian error, which represents man's goodness,
foreseen by God as the ground of God's predestination of
Louis Berkhof wrote in his Systematic Theology,
"The Arminian order of salvation, while ostensibly
ascribing the work of salvation to God, really makes it
contingent on the attitude and
the work of man."
J. I. Packer concluded, "Thus, Arminianism made man's
salvation depend ultimately on man himself, saving faith
being view throughout as man's own work and, because his
own, not God's in him."
In contrast, Kenneth Grider stated that "we Arminian-
Wesleyans are not Pelagians, since we believe in original
sin and since we believe that prevenient grace is
necessary to enable us to use our freedom for taking
savory directions in our lives."
Grider then clarifies what he means.
||The third major change in Methodist theology, 'from free
grace to free will,' began with the Wesleyan doctrine
of grace as free for all and in all and as the sole
power of salvation. Steadily the areas of achievement
assigned to man's freedom were increased. . . .
Repentance and, eventually, faith came to be
considered essentially human acts, not God's gifts,
and salvation proper became man's divinely assisted
effort to moralize and spiritualize his life.
Arminius declared that "faith, and faith only, is imputed for
righteousness. By this alone are we justified before God, absolved
from our sins, and are accounted, pronounced and declared RIGHTEOUS
by God, who delivers his judgment from the throne of grace."(41)
Arminius also wrote,
||This view means that we will not say to a
congregation in an evangelistic service, "You do your
part and God will do His part." Unregenerate persons
cannot do any such thing until God first does His part
of extending prevenient grace to them.
This view also means that the Arminian-Wesleyan will
not say, "God will meet you halfway." We cannot
initiate our own salvation. being fallen creatures,
inclined to evil and that continually, God must come
all the way to where we are and initiate in us our
"first faint desire" to turn to Christ - as John Wesley
Two years after his Aldersgate experience, Wesley explained
that he had wandered many years in the "new path of
salvation by faith and works," but about two years
ago it pleased God to show us the old way of salvation
by faith only."(43)
Those who claim the Wesleyan-Arminian doctrine teaches
otherwise need to read "Justification by Faith," which is
the fifth sermon of the doctrinal standards of
Arminius did not object to saying, "the righteousness of
Christ is imputed to us," but he did object to saying
that "the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us for
righteousness." He wanted to avoid saying that
Christ's righteousness is a cloak over our unrighteousness.
He believed in the imputation of Christ's righteousness we
are partakers in Christ.
John Wesley also embraced the doctrine of imputed
righteousness, but pronounced a similar caution:
||Evangelical faith is an assent of the mind, produced by
the Holy Spirit, through the Gospel, in sinners, who
through the law know and acknowledge their sins, and are
penitent on account of them: By which they are not only
fully persuaded within themselves, that Jesus Christ has
been constituted by God the author of salvation to those
who obey Him, and that He is their own Saviour if they
have believed in Him; and by which they also believe in
Him as such, and through Him on God as the Benevolent
Father in Him, to the salvation of believers and to the
glory of Christ and God.(42)
John Wesley wrote an essay entitled "What is an Arminian?" He
raised this question, "How can any man know what Arminius held, who
has never read one page of his writings?" Wesley proceeded to
offer this advice, "Let no man bawl against Arminians, till he
knows what the term means."
Wesley said Arminianism was usually charged with five errors:
1. they deny original sin
2. they deny justification by faith
3. they deny absolute predestination
4. they deny the grace of God to be irresistible
5. they affirm a believer may fall from grace
Wesley said that they pleaded "not guilty" to the first two
charges. In fact Wesley claimed the doctrine of original
sin was "the first, grand, distinguishing point between
heathenism and Christianity."
justification he also wrote that he
thought just as Mr. Calvin did. "In this respect I do not
differ from him an hair's breadth."
Concerning the third charge, though, there is an
undeniable difference between Calvinists and Arminians.
Calvinists believe absolute predestination; Arminians
believe in conditional predestination.
Wesley explained that Calvinists hold that God has
absolutely decreed, from all eternity to save the elect
and no others. Christ died for these and none else.
Arminians, on the other hand, hold that God has decreed,
from all eternity, "He that believeth shall
be saved: He that believeth not shall be condemned."
In order to make this possible, "Christ died for all."
Wesley said the last two points are the natural consequence of
the third. Calvinists hold that the saving grace of God is
absolutely irresistible; that no man is any more able to
resist it than to resist the stroke of lightning. But if
predestination is conditional, then grace is not
Finally, Calvinists hold that a true believer in Christ
cannot possibly fall from grace. Arminians hold, however,
that a true believer may make shipwreck of faith and a good
conscience. Not only may he fall into gross sin, but he
may fall so as to perish forever.
So, Wesley concluded, in effect the three final questions
hinge upon one, Is predestination absolute or conditional?
Wesley's objection to Calvinism is based upon his objection to
their doctrine of predestination.
At this point it may be helpful to give the statement of
Arminius on predestination.
||In the meantime what we are afraid of is this: lest any
should use the phrase, "The righteousness of Christ," or,
"The righteousness of Christ is 'imputed to me'," as a
cover for his unrighteousness. We have known this done
a thousand times. A man has been reproved, suppose for
drunkenness: "O", said he, "I pretend to no righteousness
of my own: Christ is my righteousness." Another has been
told, that "the extortioner, the unjust, shall not
inherit the kingdom of God." He replies, with all
assurance, "I am unjust in myself, but I have a spotless
righteousness in Christ." And thus though a man be as
far from the practice as from the tempers of a Christian,
though he neither has the mind which was in Christ nor in
any respect walks as he walked, yet he has armor of proof
against all conviction, in what he calls the
"righteousness of Christ."(45)
John Wesley closed the essay in which he defines an
Arminian with a caution against using labels and calling
names. He said it was the duty of every Arminian preacher
to never in public or private to use the word
Calvinist as a term of reproach. And it is
equally the duty of every Calvinist preacher to never in
public or in private, to use the word Arminian
as a term of reproach.
John Fletcher wrote a tract entitled, "The Reconciliation;
or, An Easy Method to Unite the People of God." This tract
contains essays on "Bible Calvinism" and "Bible Arminianism."
Fletcher concluded the Church needs Bible Calvinism to
defeat Pharisaism and she needs Bible Arminianism to defeat
Fletcher may have been too optimistic about how "easy"
this unity would be to attain, yet he understood the need
When John Wesley, the Arminian, preached the funeral of
George Whitefield, the Calvinist, he said there was a trait
Whitefield exemplified which was not common. Wesley said
he had a "catholic spirit." He loved all, of whatever
opinion, mode of worship, or denomination who believed in
the Lord Jesus, loved God and man, delighted in pleasing
God and feared offending Him, who was careful to abstain
from evil and zealous of good works.
Wesley recorded in his Journal for
December 20, 1784 that he had the satisfaction of meeting
Charles Simeon. However, it was Simeon who preserved the
account of that conversation.
||1. The election of Jesus Christ.
God first decreed the salvation of sinful man by
appointing his Son Jesus Christ for a Mediator, Redeemer,
Savior, Priest and King, who might destroy sin by his own
2. The election of the Church.
God then decreed that he will receive into favor
those who repent and believe in Christ and who persevere
to the end, but to leave in sin and under wrath all who
are impenitent and unbelievers and to damn them as aliens
3. The appointment of means.
Next God decreed to administer in a sufficient and
efficacious manner the means necessary for repentance and
faith and to have such administration instituted
according to His wisdom and justice.
4. The election of individuals.
Finally, God in His foreknowledge knowing from all
eternity who would through his preventing grace believe
and through his subsequent grace would persevere through
the means of grace and likewise knowing those who would
not believe and persevere, decreed to save and damn
certain particular persons.
Across their ministry both Arminius and Wesley patiently
denied that they were heretics, but were in agreement with historic Christianity and the great ecumenical church councils. Arminius declared, "If any one will point out an error in this my opinion, I will gladly own it: Because it is possible for me to err, but I am not willing to be a heretic."
(53) Wesley also issued this appeal,
||Sir, I understand that you are called an Arminian;
and I have been sometimes called a Calvinist; and
therefore I suppose we are to draw daggers. But before
I consent to begin the combat, with your permission I
will as you a few questions. . . . Pray, Sir, do you
feel yourself a depraved creature, so depraved that you
would never have thought of turning to God, if God had
not first put it into your heart?
Yes, says the veteran, I do indeed. And do you
utterly despair of recommending yourself to God by
anything you can do; and look for salvation solely
through the blood and righteousness of Christ?
Yes, solely through Christ. But, Sir, supposing you
were at first saved by Christ, are you not somehow or
other to save yourself afterwards by your own works?
No, I must be saved by Christ from first to last.
Allowing, then, that you were first turned by the grace
of God, are you not in some way or other to keep yourself
by your own power?
No. What, then, are you to be upheld every hour and
every moment by God, as much as an infant in its mother's
Yes, altogether. And is all your hope in the grace
and mercy of God to preserve you unto His heavenly
Yes, I have no hope but in Him. Then, Sir, with
your leave I will put up my dagger again; fir this is all
my Calvinism; this is my election, my justification by
faith, my final perseverance: it is in substance all that
I hold and as I hold it; and therefore, if you please,
instead of searching out terms and phrases to be a ground
of contention between us, we will cordially unite in
those things wherein we agree.
These men were not heretics, but reformers. Their authority
was the Word of God. As we contend for their doctrine, let us also exemplify their spirit with them a quiet confidence that the Spirit of Truth is able to convince men.
According to John Wesley this debate centers over whether
predestination is absolute or conditional. Most of the popular
"Bible teachers" today accept the premise of Arminius, but the
conclusion of Calvin. Very few want to defend the notion that God practices arbitrary discrimination.
Mildred Wynkoop wrote, "One of Wesley's concerns was that
there was something biblically defective about the Calvinism of his day. But his polemic was doctrinal, never personal. It was fearless and forceful, but never bitter. This 'break' with
Calvinism was not a break in Christian fellowship but a correction of what he believed to be a false interpretation of Scripture." (55)
Today we still share Wesley's concern that the doctrine of
absolute predestination "is not only false, but a very dangerous doctrine, as we have seen a thousand times."(56) Yet we cannot
legislate correct doctrine through force. Nor will we win the
debate through name-calling and misrepresentation.(57) We do not
deserve to have an influence unless we are faithful expositors of the Word of God. Let us stick to the issue. Our task is to set the standard of consistent biblical interpretation. May God enable us to accept the challenge and teach the Scriptures with integrity.
||Are you persuaded that you see more clearly than me? It is not unlikely that you may. Then treat me as you would
desire to be treated upon a change of circumstances.
Point me out a better way than I have yet known. Show me
it is so, by plain proof of Scripture.
1. The Works of John Wesley, 3rd ed., Thomas Jackson, ed.
(1872; Rpt. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1978), 10:358.
2. quoted by Christopher Ness, An Antidote Against Arminianism
(Internet copy from 1700 edition), p. 2.
3. Calvinism - The Truth (Grand Rapids: First Protestant
Reformed Church, 1993), 3, 28.
4. Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans,
1941), p. 473. In his History of Christian Doctrine, Berkhof frequently combines Arminianism with Semi-Pelagianism or Socinianism. Since Pelagius and Socinian were heretics, this amounts to guilt by association. For a complaint against this practice, see Donald M. Lake, "Jacob Arminius' Contribution to a Theology of Grace, Grace Unlimited, Clark H. Pinnock, ed. (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1975), 239. In the same book Grant R. Osborne writes, "One of the tragedies of our current situation in evangelicalism is the emotive code-words or labels which we attach to certain positions and which enable us to automatically reject the totality of that position on the basis of the label. One of the worst of these "code-words" is "semi-pelagian" which means automatically that the position is a-biblical, and that the data within need not be studied further. To many strong Calvinists any Wesleyan-Arminian position is automatically "semi-pelagian"
("Soteriology in the Epistle to the Hebrews," p. 165).
5. Carl Bangs, Arminius: A Study in the Dutch Reformation (1971;
Rpt. Grand Rapids: Francis Asbury Press, 1985), 21.
6. John F. Hurst, Short History of the Christian Church (New
York: Harper & Brothers, 1893), 320.
7. Frank L. Day, "Simon Episcopius and the Remonstrants of
Holland," The Theologians of Methodism, W. F. Tillett, ed. (1895; Rpt. Salem, OH: Schmul, 1992), 18. See also "Account of the Proceedings of the Synod of Dort," added at notes to the 1996 printing of The Works of James Arminius: The London Edition,
translated by James Nichols and William Nichols (1825-1875; Rpt. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996), 1:489-90.
8. A good overview is provided by Daniel D. Corner in "The Synod of Dort Unmasked," chapter 4 of The Believer's Conditional Security
(Washington, PA: Evangelical Outreach, 1997), 57-73.
9. The Works of the Reverend John Fletcher (1833; Rpt. Salem,
OH: Schmul, 1974), 2:281.
10. (New York: Thomas Nelson, 1958), 351. See also the statement by Louis Berkhof, "Man has by nature an irresistible bias for evil. He is not able to apprehend and love spiritual excellence, to seek
and do spiritual things, the things of God that pertain to
salvation. This position, which is Augustinian and Calvinistic, is flatly contradicted by Pelagianism and Socinianism, and in part also by Semi-Pelagianism and Arminianism (p. 248).
11. Harbach, p. 6.
12. Christian Theology (1862; Rpt. Salem, OH: Schmul, 1985), 290-1.
13. Works, 2:151.
14. Works, 2:156
15. Works, 2:375.
16. J. Kenneth Grider, A Wesleyan-Holiness Theology (Kansas
City: Beacon Hill, 1994), 277.
17. "Original Sin," Sermon #44, III.1.
18. Works, 9:194.
19. Systematic Theology (Vallecito, CA: Ross House, 1994), 2:923.
He also said, "Anyone who uses the term 'free will' is importing the religion of Satan into Biblical doctrine" (1:524).
20. Ness, p. 32.
21. Our Sufficiency in Christ (Dallas: Word, 1991), 152.
22. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1997?).
23. Allen C. Guelzo, "Sproul on the Will," Christianity Today,
2 March, 1998, pp. 59-61.
24. C. G. Fry, "Monergism," Evangelical Dictionary of Theology,
ed. Walter A. Elwell (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984), 729.
25. "Monergism," Beacon Dictionary of Theology, ed. Richard S.
Taylor (Kansas City: Beacon Hill, 1983), 344.
26. Works, 1:659-60.
27. Works, 2:192
28. Works, 2:700.
29. "The Spirit of Bondage and of Adoption," Sermon #9, II.7.
30. Works, 8:285
31. Fletcher's Works, 2:229.
32. Works, 10:229-30
33. Mildred Wynkoop, Foundations of Wesleyan-Arminian Theology
(Kansas City: Beacon Hill, 1967), 69.
34. William Burt Pope, A Compendium of Christian Theology
(London: Wesleyan Conference Office, 1880), 3:74.
35. Theological Transition in American Methodism: 1790-1935
(Nashville: Abingdon, 1965), 186-7.
36. "Evangelism," The Journal of Christian Reconstruction, Gary
North, ed., Vol. 7, No. 2 (Winter, 1981): 61.
37. quoted by Samuel Fisk, Divine Sovereignty and Human Freedom
(Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1973), 73.
38. Berkhof, p. 421.
39. "Introductory Essay," in John Owen, The Death of Death in the
Death of Christ (London: Banner of Truth, 1959), 3-4.
40. pp. 246-7.
41. Works, 2:701
42. Works, 2:400.
43. Journal, 22 June, 1740.
44. Works, 2:43-45. See also the comments of Carl Bangs, pp.
45. "The Lord our Righteousness," Sermon #20, II.19.
46. "Original Sin," Sermon #44, III.1.
47. Journal, 14 May, 1765.
48. Works, 1:653. For an excellent commentary upon these
sentiments of Arminius on predestination, see Wynkoop, p. 53-55 and the chapter on "Predestination" by her brother, Carl Bangs, pp.
49. Works, 10:359-61.
50. Fletcher's Works, 2:283-363.
51. "On the Death of George Whitefield," Sermon #53, III.7.
52. quoted by J. I. Packer, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God
(Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1961), 13-14.
53. Works, 2:702.
54. "Preface" to Wesley's Sermons, 9.
55. Wynkoop, 13.
56. Letter to Lady [Maxwell], 30 Sept, 1788 in Works, 13:149-150.
57. While the Calvinists adopted the TULIP acronym to explain
their position, they have also assigned to us the acronym LILAC
which misrepresents our position:
|T - Total Depravity
U - Unconditional Election
L - Limited Atonement
I - Irresistible Grace
P - Preservation of the Saints
||L - Limited Depravity
I - I elect God
L - Limitless Atonement
A - Arrestible Grace
C - Carnal Security
For more information you may contact
Dr. Vic Reasoner.