What is Arminianism, and is it biblical?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
Arminianism is a system of belief that attempts to explain the relationship between God's sovereignty and mankind's free will, especially in relation to salvation. Arminianism is named after Jacob ...

July 01 2013 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Billy P Eldred
The other answers do a good job of explaining what Armianism is. I want to address the other part of your question. Is it biblical? 

Both Armianism and Calvinism are biblically based as the Bible is interpreted by two devout and very knowledgeable scholars of the Bible who probably spent more time studying the Bible than almost anyone debating this issue. They carefully crafted their opinions based on their own understanding of scripture. But they disagreed on these 5 points. That is why there are so many different denominations. Christians sometimes disagree on the correct way to interpret scripture. 
That does not mean that they are bad people and believe it or not it does not mean that either are wrong even though they seemingly are opposite of each other. The Bible to me is the Living Word of God and cannot contradict itself nor can it be fallible. When two scriptures seemingly disagree as those cited by Armenianist verses those cited by Calvinist seemingly do, both scriptures are correct and it is our understanding of them that fails. I believe that that is what happens in this case. I believe both sides are true but that they apply to two different groups of people. All five Calvinistic points would apply to a group as selected by God for His purpose. The 5 Armianism points would apply to everyone else. I don't believe God left anyone out. He wants us all to come to Him. Christ blood can cover the sins of ALL. If you chose to believe that you are a Calvinist. Great. Just don't judge the next person who feels like he is an Armenianist. We can both get to heaven. 

Because I believe this way does that mean I am right and anyone who disagrees with me is wrong. By no means. 

For the most part, it is okay to disagree as believers. We just need to agree that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life and there is no other way but through Him. We need to agree that we have ALL sinned. And we ALL need Him. The only reason that I get involved with this question is that I want to make sure that no one feels they are not chosen and for that reason fail to come to the only one that matters. JESUS! When we get to heaven, if one of us is wrong, or all of us, you know what, we won't care.

September 03 2015 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Closeup Jennifer Rothnie Supporter Housewife, Artist, Perpetually Curious
Arminianism is a system of theology created by Jacob Arminius, and first published in 1610. It was primarily crafted as a response to the flaws in the 'Reformed' theology of John Calvin.

Arminianism begins with the premise that God wants/desires all men to be saved (II Pet 3:9, I Tim 2:4).

From there, it can be broken down into five points much like Calvanism:

Total Depravity

Arminians believe that men are 'totally depraved', much like the Calvinist belief, and could not respond to the gospel of their own power. However, unlike Calvinists, Arminians believe that God in His common grace has given all men the ability to respond in faith to the conviction brought by Christ's death (Jn 12:32, Jn 16:18)

This position is more scripture-based than the Calvinist proposition that God only gives a select few the power to come to faith, but both systems of theology assume that man cannot choose to follow God.

Scripture shows that while all men are sinners, corrupted in flesh, and that no man can be completely sinless, this does not mean they -cannot- choose God or good. (Rom 2:14-16, John 5:40, Matt 23:37, Rom 10:17, John 8:24, etc)

Conditional Election 
This belief holds that God elects people to salvation based upon their response to the gospel (Eph. 1:13; Rom 3:28). This election is not based on a work of man, but a work of God (Rom 4:4-5, Gal 2:26). In this view, God chooses based on his foreknowledge of who will trust Christ (I Pet 1:1-2, Rom 8:29).

While stronger than the premise of Calvinism of unconditional election, both theories seem to over-complicate election/foreknowledge. 

God predestined the process (Christ) by which He would choose and redeem a people for Himself, a plan for salvation that God chose in His foreknowledge and wisdom. As such, we become part of the people of God by faith - not because God looked to the future, or because God chose that we as individuals would have faith while others would not - but because through Christ God chose to give us the right to be His children (I John 2:24-29, I John 3:1-10, Rom 8:1-16, Rom 9, Rev 21:13, II Sam 7:22-24, etc).

See https://ebible.com/questions/3273-how-are-predestination-and-election-connected-with-foreknowledge#answer-16960 for further details.

 Unlimited Atonement

This is the premise that Christ died for the whole human race (II Cor 5:19, I Tim 4:10, Heb 2:9, I John 1:29) 

"He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world". (I John 2:2)

This is the presentation of the gospel that scripture portrays. Christ died for all men, and His blood is sufficient to cover all men and all sin. However, His blood must be 'applied to the door of our lives' so to speak (Ex 12:22-23), in order for God to count it on our account.

 Resistible Grace  Because God wants all to be saved (I Tim 2:4, II Pet 3:9, Ezek 18:23), He draws all men to Himself (John 12:32, Jn 16:8). Yet, many humans resist God's will and reject the work of Christ (Mt 23:37, Heb 4:2, Lk 7:29-30, John 3:16-17)

See also: https://ebible.com/questions/3181-is-god-sovereign-or-do-we-have-a-free-will#answer-14667

 Present Assurance of Salvation 
While modern Arminians vary widely on this view, Arminius and John Wesley held that we have 'experiential' assurance of salvation, but could lose salvation for various reasons.

Other eBible questions dive into depth specifically on this:


Arminianism is a Bible/gospel based theology, but it contains some assumptions that distort or over-complicate certain points.

November 22 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
Jesus guarantees that whosoever puts stock in him has everlasting life. John 3:16 

St. Peter declares that each and every individual who calls upon Jesus will be spared. Acts 2:21 

God calls all individuals wherever to repent. Acts 17:30, 2 Peter 3:9 

God wants all individuals to be spared. 1 Timothy 2:4

These tenets of Arminianism are true and biblical.

July 01 2020 1 response Vote Up Share Report

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