Inspired by the ideas of the Dutch theologian Jacob Arminius, Arminianism was the subject of important theological controversies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and still today remains an important position within Protestant thought.
What became known as Arminian theology was held by people across a wide swath of geographical and ecclesial positions. This theological movement was in part a reaction to the Reformed doctrine of predestination and was founded on the assertion that God's sovereignty and human free will are compatible. More broadly, it was an attempt to articulate a holistic view of God and salvation that is grounded in Scripture and Christian tradition as well as adequate to the challenges of life.
First developed in European, British, and American contexts, the movement engaged with a wide range of intellectual challenges. While standing together in their common rejection of several key planks of Reformed theology, supporters of Arminianism took varying positions on other matters. Some were broadly committed to catholic and creedal theology, while others were more open to theological revision. Some were concerned primarily with practical matters, while others were engaged in system-building as they sought to articulate and defend an over-arching vision of God and the world.
The story of Arminian development is complex, yet essential for a proper understanding of the history of Protestant theology. The historical development of Arminian theology, however, is not well known. In AfterArminius, Thomas H. McCall and Keith D. Stanglin offer a thorough historical introduction to Arminian theology, providing an account that will be useful to scholars and students of ecclesiastical history and modern Christian thought.
Keith D. Stanglin is Professor of Historical Theology at Austin Graduate School of Theology. He is co-author of Jacob Arminius: Theologian of Grace.
Thomas H. McCall is Professor of Theology and Scholar-in-Residence at Asbury University. He is co-author of Jacob Arminius: Theologian of Grace.
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