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12 May 2017

Defender of God’s justice

by William den Boer | Issue 122

WtenbogaertTHE NAME JACOB ARMINIUS (1559–1609) still provokes resistance in Calvinist circles, most notably because many Calvinists say he awarded a decisive role to man’s free will in salvation at the cost of God’s sovereign grace. The real story, as so often is the case, is more complex. 

when did God choose? 

Though we know him today by the Latin version of his Dutch name, Arminius was born Jakob Hermanszoon in 1559 in Oudewater in the Netherlands. His father died around that time; later he lost his mother, sister, and older brothers in the Spanish...

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14 Nov 2016

A faith that could not be contained

by Jennifer Powell McNutt | Issue 120

looting a church in Lyons

THE STORY OF CALVINISM’S emergence and the development of the Reformed tradition is forever tethered to Geneva. And yet Reformed Christianity in Europe reached well beyond those walls of refuge. Even the great reformer of Geneva, John Calvin, was not a Genevan himself, but a French refugee seeking asylum from persecution in his native country. 

[Reformers looting churches in Lyons, France]

It is estimated that by 1600 around 10 million people worshiped in Reformed churches, a 2,000 percent increase in just 50 years. Established churches...

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30 Nov 1986


by the Editors | Issue 12

THE FAMILIAR CARICATURE of Calvin’s theology is symbolized by the mnenomic device TULIP: Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace, and Perseverance of the saints. These so called “five points of Calvinism” arose in the seventeenth century, amid great political and theological turmoil in the Netherlands.

In the early seventeenth century, Jacob Arminius, professor of theology at the University of Leiden, came under suspicion by the more orthodox Dutch Calvinists. Arminius was viewed to have seriously...

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