Christian News • Christian Living • Theology • Reviews

The five points of Arminianism

1

by Jason Smathers on September 7, 2009

The five points of Calvinism are commonly known, but the inception of them is not. The five points of Calvinism are actually a rebuke to the Remonstrants’ five points. Remembering the purpose of TULIP can help us remember that we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be pigeonholed to the five points. Our theology goes well beyond them. The five points of Arminianism follow, subtitles added.

The Five Arminian Articles. A.D. 1610
Article I. [Conditional Election, rebuked by Unconditional Election]
That God, by an eternal, unchangeable purpose in Jesus Christ his Son, before the foundation of the world, hath determined, out of the fallen, sinful race of men, to save in Christ, for Christ’s sake, and through Christ, those who, through the grace of the Holy Ghost, shall believe on this his Son Jesus, and shall persevere in this faith and obedience of faith, through this grace, even to the end; and, on the other hand, to leave the incorrigible and unbelieving in sin and under wrath, and to condemn them as alienate from Christ, according to the word of the gospel in John 3:36: ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him,’ and according to other passages of Scripture also.
Article II. [General Atonement, rebuked by Limited Atonement]
That, agreeably thereto, Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, died for all men and for every man, so that he has obtained for them all, by his death on the cross, redemption and the forgiveness of sins; yet that no one actually enjoys this forgiveness of sins except the believer, according to the word of the Gospel of John 3:16: ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ And in the First Epistle of John 2:2: ‘And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.’
Article III. [Free Will, rebuked by Total Depravity]
[note: This Article seems to support total depravity, however, when considered with article IV, it is clear the Arminian doctrine is opposed to total depravity. For this reason, The Canons of Dordt rebuked articles III and IV together.]
That man has not saving grace of himself, nor of the energy of his free will, inasmuch as he, in the state of apostasy and sin, can of and by himself neither think, will, nor do any thing that is truly good (such as saving Faith eminently is); but that it is needful that he be born again of God in Christ, through his Holy Spirit, and renewed in understanding, inclination, or will, and all his powers, in order that he may rightly understand, think, will, and effect what is truly good, according to the Word of Christ, John 15:5: ‘Without me ye can do nothing.’
Article IV. [Resistible Grace, rebuked by Irresistible Grace]
That this grace of God is the beginning, continuance, and accomplishment of all good, even to this extent, that the regenerate man himself, without prevenient or assisting, awakening, following and cooperative grace, can neither think, will, nor do good, nor withstand any temptations to evil; so that all good deeds or movements, that can be conceived, must be ascribed to the grace of God in Christ. But as respects the mode of the operation of this grace, it is not irresistible, inasmuch as it is written concerning many, that they have resisted the Holy Ghost. Acts 7, and elsewhere in many places.
Article V. [Falling from Grace, rebuked by Perseverance of the Saints]
That those who are incorporated into Christ by a true faith, and have thereby become partakers of his life-giving Spirit, have thereby full power to strive against Satan, sin, the world, and their own flesh, and to win the victory; it being well understood that it is ever through the assisting grace of the Holy Ghost; and that Jesus Christ assists them through his Spirit in all temptations, extends to them his hand, and if only they are ready for the conflict, and desire his help, and are not inactive, keeps them from falling, so that they, by no craft or power of Satan, can be misled nor plucked out of Christ’s hands, according to the Word of Christ, John 10:28: ‘Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.’ But whether they are capable, through negligence, of forsaking again the first beginnings of their life in Christ, of again returning to this present evil world, of turning away from the holy doctrine which was delivered them, of losing a good conscience, of becoming devoid of grace, that must be more particularly determined out of the Holy Scripture, before we ourselves can teach it with the full persuasion of our minds.
Conclusion
These Articles, thus set forth and taught, the Remonstrants deem agreeable to the Word of God, tending to edification, and, as regards this argument, sufficient for salvation, so that it is not necessary or edifying to rise higher or to descend deeper.
——————————————————————————–
SOURCE: Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom 3 Vols. 4th Ed. n.p.: David S. Schaff, 1919. 3:545-549. [Subtitles and note added]

Previous post:

Next post: