The Synod of Dort

James Arminius.

The sixteenth-century Dutch theologian was initially trained at the Geneva Academy under T. Beza during the latter part of the sixteenth century. Later he took a pastorate in Amsterdam and as his influence increased a professorship in Leiden.

He expressed his apostasy from Calvinism both in preaching and writing, especially on the book of Romans. His views were at once recognized to be a serious departure from Reformed teaching; he theology was actually mid-way between Augustinianism and rank Pelagianism, something of both.

The Remonstrants later developed his views and today Arminianism certainly has the upper hand in evangelicalism, sad to say.

The Synod of Dort.

This Synod, convened in the Dutch city of Dordtrecht, is (together with the Westminster Assembly) the best-known and the most influential gathering of pastors in the whole history of Protestantism.

It was convened to settle a controversy in the Dutch Churches following the rise of Arminianism. Thus challenged, 84 theologians and 18 commissioners gathered together for 154 sessions between 13th Nov. 1618 and 9th May 1619. What today is known as the 5 Points of Calvinism can be traced back to this Synod whose business was partly to answer a Remonstrance presented by the Arminians.

The Canons of Dort were formulated and adopted by the Dutch churches as a symbol of their faith, together with the Belgic Confession and the Heidelberg Catechism.