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Who Was Arminius?

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For Arminius, God's grace is essential and necessary, but is not absolutely efficacious. Man's response to grace remains the final, decisive factor in salvation.

James Arminius (Jacob Harmenszoon) is undoubtedly the most famous theologian ever produced by the Dutch Reformed Church. His fame is a great irony since the Dutch Reformed Church historically was a bastion of strict Calvinism, and Arminius has given his name to a movement very much in opposition to historic Calvinism. Who was this Arminius? What did he teach? Are the differences between Calvinism and Arminianism important today?

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W. Robert Godfrey is professor of church history and president of Westminster Seminary California (Escondido, California).

Issue: "Arminianism" May/June 1992 Vol. 1 No. 3 Page number(s): 5-7, 24

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