Differences between Semi-Pelagianism and Arminian Beliefs

by John Hendryx

[Semi-Pelagianism]
While not denying the necessity of Grace for salvation, Semi-Pelagianism maintains that the first steps towards the Christian life are ordinarily taken by the human will and that Grace supervened only later.

[Arminianism]
In contrast to semi-pelagianism, Arminianism teaches that the first steps of grace are taken by God. This teaching derives from the Remonstrance of 1610, a codification of the teachings of Jacob Arminius (1559-1609). Here are the 3rd and 4th articles of five to show how close it actually approaches traditional Calvinism, but still leaves man with a small island of righteousness, as it affirms that, unregenerate man can think spiritual thoughts, perceive the beauty and excellency of Christ, create affections for Him and thus turn in faith to Him, apart from the quickening of the Holy Spirit. They affirm that God’s grace is always resistible, therefore, when one believes, it is not grace which makes one to differ from another person, but naturally produced faith:

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The Pelagian Captivity of the Church

By Vernelle Imaging

by R.C. Sproul

Shortly after the Reformation began, in the first few years after Martin Luther posted the Ninety-Five Theses on the church door at Wittenberg, he issued some short booklets on a variety of subjects. One of the most provocative was titled The Babylonian Captivity of the Church. In this book Luther was looking back to that period of Old Testament history when Jerusalem was destroyed by the invading armies of Babylon and the elite of the people were carried off into captivity. Luther in the sixteenth century took the image of the historic Babylonian captivity and reapplied it to his era and talked about the new Babylonian captivity of the Church. He was speaking of Rome as the modern Babylon that held the Gospel hostage with its rejection of the biblical understanding of justification. You can understand how fierce the controversy was, how polemical this title would be in that period by saying that the Church had not simply erred or strayed, but had fallen — that it’s actually now Babylonian; it is now in pagan captivity.

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Modern Reformation

The Pelagian Captivity of the Church

R. C. Sproul

Shortly after the Reformation began, in the first few years after Martin Luther posted the Ninety-Five Theses on the church door at Wittenberg, he issued some short booklets on a variety of subjects. One of the most provocative was titled The Babylonian Captivity of the Church. In this book Luther was looking back to that period of Old Testament history when Jerusalem was destroyed by the invading armies of Babylon and the elite of the people were carried off into captivity. Luther in the sixteenth century took the image of the historic Babylonian captivity and reapplied it to his era and talked about the new Babylonian captivity of the Church. He was speaking of Rome as the modern Babylon that held the Gospel hostage with its rejection of the biblical understanding of justification. You can understand how fierce the controversy was, how polemical this title would be in that period by saying that the Church had not simply erred or strayed, but had fallen-that it’s actually now Babylonian; it is now in pagan captivity.