Did Arminius Move the Church Away from Augustine and Toward Pelagius?


Did Jacob Arminius move the church away from Augustine and toward Pelagius? To what degree?


Your question is beyond the scope of our discussions, but we might say that from the records of history, Arminius was one who, during the Sixteenth Century, disagreed openly with the doctrine of predestination as it was being taught by Calvin and others. Though he did not understand all the true teachings of the Bible, he could see that this doctrine was grossly in error, that the Bible taught the free will of man, man’s own free choice and man’s ability to choose either to do right or wrong. We are not prepared to comment on the effects of his teachings, though we might say that his thinking was more in line with Pelagius than other teachers of the early centuries.

The Bible tells of the drastic turning away from the doctrine which occurred during the early centuries of our era, following the ascension of Christ. The apostle Paul predicted that even among his own church people there would be “men coming forward who will distort the truth to induce the disciples to break away and follow them” (Acts 20:30,). He said also, speaking prophetically, that the “time will come when they will not stand wholesome teaching, but will follow their own fancy and gather a crowd of teachers to tickle their ears. They will stop their ears to the truth and turn to mythology” (2 Tim. 4:3-4, NEB). This prophecy was literally fulfilled, and very soon after the time of Paul.