Mention the word “Arminianism” and you are likely to get an ear full from folks who think it’s a heresy of the first order – that or you will hear about how they are somewhere between Calvinism and Arminianism.
I myself used to describe myself as a Calminanism (i.e. a cross between Calvinism and Arminianism) based upon a class on Romans I took during my undergrad years. Yet, the more I learn about theology the more that I realize that
a) There is a silent partner, Pelagianism, in the debate which changes the entire framework – as in instead of being an extreme, Arminianism itself is actually trying to take the middle ground between Calvinism and Pelagianism.
b) The entire debate is centered around a 1500’s modern worldview that I think is dying out – as in, I don’t folks are asking the questions that this debate is trying to answer… instead folks are more concerned about getting out there and living like Jesus than trying to chart out all the mysteries of the faith.
With all that said, I do think it is important that people understand what Arminianism actually teaches as opposed to what it’s opponents are saying. To that end, I would like to point you all to a series of posts by Dr. Roger Olson called “Arminianism FAQ (Everything You Always Wanted to Know…).”
- Why identify a theology with a man’s name? Why not just be “Christians?”
- Why is there now a rising interest in Arminianism? Why have blogs and books about “man-made theology?”
- Isn’t there a “middle ground” between Calvinism and Arminianism?
- Does Arminianism include belief in absolute free will? If so, how could God have inspired the authors of Scripture?
Hopefully you all will give these posts a read as it is good to know that the type “Arminianism” actually means. And yes, even if you are a die-hard Calvinist, give these a read as you need to know what your fellow Jesus follower means by the term.