The 400th anniversary of Arminius’ “Declaration of Sentiments” occurred last week. We missed the opportunity to mark the anniversary on its exact day here at our site. But it is still worth drawing attention to the anniversary, and more importantly, the declaration it marks. (See below for a link to the document itself.)
Here are some comments from Dr. Keith Stanglin about this important treatise:
“On Oct. 30, 1608, Jacobus Arminius delivered his now famous Declaration of Sentiments. On Oct. 20, he was summoned to the Hague to present his views to the States of Holland on the controversial doctrines of the day. He spent most of the speech deconstructing the Calvinist view of predestination later known as supralapsarianism. He then presented his positive view of predestination, and briefly addressed other important topics.
“Because he delivered his speech to laymen (in Dutch), theDeclaration of Sentiments remains a very accessible introduction to the controversies surrounding Arminius’ time in Leiden (compared to the more technical disputations). And since it was less than a year before his death, the speech represents his mature opinions on these controversies. It’s still the best thing to recommend to students who want to get started with Arminius.
“[Arminius explains] how supralapsarianism makes God the author of sin and has been rejected by the great Christian tradition; how Calvinistic predest. undermines the assurance of salvation; how grace is necessary in every stage of the Christian life, etc., etc.”
A fuller list of subjects treated in Arminius’ “Declaration of Sentiments” includes predestination, divine providence, the freedom of the will, the grace of God, the divinity of the Son of God, and the justification of man before God. You can view the declaration here.