The compromise of Arminianism

Arminianism is neither Augustinian nor Pelagian; it stands with one foot on truth and the other on error.

Arminianism is a grand compromise between orthodoxy and heresy. Since even Christians are reluctant to receive the truth and rejoice in it, such compromises are very common within Christianity, as they ever were throughout church history.

Arminianism is Calvinism (the most consistent form of Augustinianism) devoid of its structure and basic framework. Since Calvinism is today, to a certain extent, identified with the Answer formulated by the Synod of Dordtrecht to the Remonstrance as drawn up by Arminius's disciples, it is clear that Arminianism is miles away from classic Calvinism - it rejects the five main doctrines that mark out Calvinism as Calvinism, plus others less prominent and less fundamental.

On the other hand, it does not go to the other extreme of Pelagianism. Pelagius had taught the absolute freedom of the will and the moral neutrality of man. Arminianism recognizes that man needs God's enabling grace; he needs to cooperate with God towards his salvation. Pelagianism asserts that man is neither holy nor sinful, but with a capacity for both good and evil. Arminianism admits man's sinful nature and depravity, but not total depravity, (i.e., including all man's faculties, together with his will). Calvinism says, man is dead in sins; Pelagianism says, man is alive and well; Arminianism says, man is moribund.

Pelagianism says that God elects to save those whom he foresees will keep his commandments, that is, in one way or another, who will save themselves. Calvinism affirms God's absolute and double predestination, according to God's good pleasure. Arminianism says, God elects those whom he knows beforehand will believe on Jesus Christ and exercise evangelical obedience. Again, half way between truth and error.

In Pelagianism, man is the master of his fate; in Calvinism, God decrees the fate of every creature of his; in Arminianism, God and man, together, work out man's destiny.