Church History and Calvinism

, posted by Ben Henshaw

The attached article (below) complements the post by Godismyjudge entitled Prereformation Church History & the Arminian/Calvinist Debate in showing that Arminianism not only has strong historical precedent in Christian history, but actually has far greater historical precedent than Calvinism. The author takes to task the erroneous claim of Talbot and Crampton (in the preface of the book, Calvinism Hyper-Calvinism and Arminianism) that, “Historically, the church has been predominantly Calvinistic”. The second part of the article focuses on the fact that Calvinism can be traced back to the invention of a single influential individual in church history (and no, that person isn’t the apostle Paul).

While it seems that Calvinists were a rather rare breed at the time this article was written, such is not the case today, especially on the internet. However, Arminians can find comfort in the fact that historically, as the article points out; Calvinism has always fizzled out after a brief time of resurgence. It may be that the current resurgence will eventually fizzle out in like manner.

It should also be noted that the article is not arguing that the truth or error of Calvinism is entirely dependent on its place in history or the novelty of its teachings. Rather, it is only seeking to point out the origin of Calvinism and correct the false assertion that Calvinism has represented the dominant theological view throughout Christian history. Nothing could be further from the truth.