Arminianism: Simple Particulars

“Arminianism stems from the teachings of Jacob Arminius of Holland, who reacting against high Calvinism and rejecting many of its distinctive tenets. He and his followers, known as the Remonstrants, denied Calvin’s monergism (salvation determinism) and opted instead for a self-limiting God who grants free will to people by means of the gift of prevenient grace. God allows his grace for salvation to be resisted and rejected, and determines to save all who do not reject it but instead embrace it as their only hope for eternal life. Christ’s atonement is universal in scope; God sent Christ to die for the sins of every person. But the atonement’s saving efficacy extends only to those who embrace the cross of faith. Arminianism confronts monergism with an evangelical synergism that affirms a necessary cooperation between divine and human agencies in salvation (though it places them on entirely different plains). In salvation, God’s grace is the superior partner; human free will (nonresistance) is the lesser partner. Arminius and his faithful followers reacted against high Calvinism without propagating any new doctrines; they pointed back to the Greek church fathers and to certain Lutherans. They were also influenced by Catholic reformer Erasmus.” (Olson, Arminian Theology, pp. 62-63)