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This week in Christian history: Crusading pope born, famous cathedral consecrated, influential theologian dies

Jacob Arminius dies — October 19, 1609

Jacobus Arminius
A portrait of Jacobus Arminius (1560-1609), also known as James Arminius, Jakob Hermanszoon, and Jacob Arminius, the Dutch Protestant theologian who challenged Reformed Theology. |

This week marks the anniversary of when Jacobus Arminius, a Protestant theologian who famously challenged the Calvinist perspective on Christian salvation, passed away.

A minister of the Dutch Reformed Church, Arminius came to reject the view by notable Protestant Reformation leader John Calvin that salvation was predetermined by God.

“To him predestination seemed too harsh a position, because it did not provide a place for the exercise of human free will in the process of salvation,” explained Britannica.

“Hence, Arminius came to assert a conditional election, according to which God elects to eternal life those who will respond in faith to the divine offer of salvation. In so doing, he meant to place greater emphasis on God’s mercy.”

Following his passing, Arminian theology was condemned by the Calvinists at the Synod of Dort, yet these views gained acceptance elsewhere in Protestant Christianity.

“Many notable Protestants have held Arminian views, including the Wesleys. Protestant groups are often divided into Arminians and Calvinists,” explains Christianity.com.

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