Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities by Roger E. Olson

By Roger E. Olson

During this booklet, Roger Olson units forth classical Arminian theology and addresses the myriad misunderstandings and misrepresentations of it throughout the a while. Irenic but incisive, Olson argues that classical Arminian theology has a rightful position within the evangelical church since it keeps deep roots inside Reformational theology, although it continues vital variations from Calvinism. Myths addressed contain: delusion 1: Arminian Theology Is the other of Calvinist/Reformed Theology fable 2: A Hybrid of Calvinism and Arminianism is feasible fable three: Arminianism isn't an Orthodox Evangelical choice fable four: the center of Arminianism Is trust in unfastened Will delusion five: Arminian Theology Denies the Sovereignty of God delusion 6: Arminianism Is a Human-Centered Theology delusion 7: Arminianism isn't a Theology of Grace delusion eight: Arminians don't believe in Predestination fable nine: Arminian Theology Denies Justification by way of Grace by myself via religion by myself fable 10: All Arminians think within the Governmental thought of the Atonement

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To them Arminianism is to Reformed theology and tradition much as Protestantism is to Roman Catholicism—a departure rather than a branch. This is the approach taken by Reformed historical theologian Richard A. Muller, who is considered an expert on post-Reformation Protestant orthodoxy. In his magisterial work God, Creation, and Providence in the Thought of Jacob Arminius, he distances Arminianism from Reformed theology while acknowledging Arminius’s education at Geneva under Calvin’s successor Theodore Beza, and Arminius’s intention of merely broadening the Reformed faith to allow for inclusion of evangelical synergism.

Book Page 54 Friday, July 28, 2006 1:23 PM 54 ARMINIAN THEOLOGY may feel that faith is their own acquisition, but in truth it is a gift of God they are not able to reject. It seems safe to conclude then that Arminius himself held no absolute antipathy to Reformed theology and even considered himself an exponent of it in some fashion. ” He was not consciously breaking away from or attempting to overturn it. Certainly Muller’s claim that Arminius’s theology represented a “full scale alternative to Reformed theology” is too extreme.

Are such predestined persons really persons in such a relationship? These are bedrock questions that cause Arminians— like other synergists—to question every form of monergism, including high Calvinism. The issue is most emphatically not a humanistic vision of autonomous free will, as if Arminians were in love with free agency for its own sake. Any fair-minded reading of Arminius, Wesley or any other classical Arminian will reveal that this is not so. Rather, the issue is the character of God and the nature of personal relationship.

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