Is Arminianism a damnable heresy?

Stephen Pribble

Having been condemned by the Synod of Dordrecht (Dort) in 1618-1619, Arminianism is indeed a heresy, a serious departure from the historic faith of the Christian church. “Arminius, a theological professor at the University of Leyden, departed from the Reformed faith in his teaching concerning five important points. He taught conditional election on the ground of foreseen faith, universal atonement, partial depravity, resistible grace, and the possibility of a lapse from grace. These views were rejected by the Synod…” (from the introduction to the Canons of Dort in the Psalter Hymnal, 1959 ed.).

The Bible teaches that God elected His people in Christ before time began. “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world…” (Eph. 1:4). This election was out of God’s mere free grace and love, with nothing in the creature as a condition or cause inducing Him to do this. “(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)… So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy” (Rom. 9:11, 16).

The Bible teaches that Christ did His atoning work on behalf of His elect people, and no others. “Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Eph. 5:25). “I lay down my life for the sheep” (Jn. 10:15). “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine” (John 17:9). Continue reading

Hyper-Calvinism: the perennial misnomer

GRANT SWART

In response to those who often refer to a group of people mistakenly labeled “hyper”-Calvinists, I felt it imperative to outline a few important distinctions between true Calvinist doctrine and what is referred to as “hyper”-Calvinism. If the 17 points I have listed below are those which supposedly distinguish and constitute “hyper”-Calvinism, then by that very implication, those points cannot also be what Calvinists believe. If those are the points which allegedly separate “hyper”-Calvinists from Calvinists, then those points cannot be ascribed to both sides, for then they would not be distinguishing points.

Nowhere in Calvin’s theology did he teach any of the 17 points which I list toward the end of this article, yet these points are perennially ascribed to those who agree with the doctrines of Grace. I might remind the reader here that TULIP was not Calvin’s invention, but was an acronym for the pronouncements of the Synod of Dort (1618) tasked with defending biblical doctrine, not Calvinism per se, against obvious destructive heresies of the time. Even so, it is clear that, when the doctrines as laid out in the five points of Calvinism or TULIP are understood, none of the distinguishing 17 points as I have listed below can be ascribed to TULIP. It is quite clear therefore that the term “hyper”-Calvinism is a misnomer and has no foundation in or relation to true Calvinism.

“Hyper”-Calvinism is a term which has been brandished as a whimsical weapon by those who Continue reading