Arminians are Christians, Barely

In the introduction to his book, Willing to Believe: The Controversy over Free Will, R. C. Sproul, Sr., when asked if he thinks Arminians are Christians, answers, “‘Yes, barely.’ They are Christians by what we call a felicitous inconsistency.”1 He agrees with J. I. Packer and O. R. Johnston, who insist that Arminians, because they reject the (unproven and eminently philosophical) theory that regeneration must precede faith, they “thereby deny man’s utter helplessness in sin, and affirm that a form of semi-Pelagianism is true after all.”2 This is the reason, so the authors are convinced, that “Reformed theology condemned Arminianism as being in principal a return to Rome (because in effect it turned faith into a meritorious work) and a betrayal of the Reformation (because it denied the sovereignty of God in saving sinners . . .).3