New Book Announcement: Arminius Speaks: Essential Writings on Predestination, Free Will, and the Nature of God

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We are happy to announce the publication of Arminius Speaks: Essential Writings on Predestination, Free Will, and the Nature of God, edited by SEA member John D. Wagner and dedicated to SEA.

Here is a book description and some endorsements (for an attractive flier with a picture of the book on it and information on the publisher, see the attachment to this post; the book can be purchased at a discount through the publisher’s website [less expensive than listed on the flier]):

James Arminius is one of the most maligned and misunderstood theologians in church history. In an era of major debate over predestination, free will, and related concepts, Arminius was accused of being Pelagian, Semi-Pelagian, or a heretic of all sorts. This is a trend that started in his time and has continued to this day.

The truth is that he was a brilliant theologian who shook the foundations of Calvinism to the core. Yet he was quite orthodox in his thinking, as he had come right out of the Protestant Reformation, though he sought to reform some ideas of Calvin and Luther.

Contrary to common belief, Arminius believed in the utter depravity of man and that a major work of grace, i.e., prevenient grace, is necessary to bring a person to repentance. He also emphatically rejected Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism. He thoroughly answers every accusation against him and masterfully refutes William Perkins, a major Calvinist writer of that time.

How do we ultimately understand what he thought? By carefully reading his writings. Until now, this was not an easy task. The only way has been to wade through his three-volume “Works,” totaling 2,300 pages. Hence the need for a compendium of some of his best writings, edited for modern readers. Our hope is to help a new generation of Christians understand this much-misunderstood theologian, an understanding especially needed in an era in which Calvinism is experiencing a major resurgence.

Some endorsements:

“I am happy to see the publication of this work, which will make the crucial writings of Arminius more readily available to a wider audience. Many thanks to the editor for his judicious selections, and to the publisher for its devotion to the cause of scholarship.”

—Jack Cottrell, Professor of Theology, Cincinnati Christian University

“I have long awaited the publication of a selection of some of Jacobus Arminius’s key soteriological writings, and here it is! . . . Reading Arminius directly will correct misconceptions of Arminian theology based on what many Arminians whose theology diverges from Arminius at key points—have themselves taught. This will offer a corrective to the caricatures of Arminianism that characterize so many non-Arminian writings.”

—J. Matthew Pinson, President, Free Will Baptist Bible College

It’s about time someone produced an edited anthology of Arminius’ works for the reader who can’t plunge into his collected writings. This collection of selections of Arminius’ writings promises to rescue the Dutch theologian’s reputation for those who bother to read it. It should be read by anyone who talks for writes about Arminius or Arminianism and will also be a valuable resource for every Christian interested in the Calvinist-Arminian controversy that seems never-ending.”

—Roger E. Olson, Professor of Theology, George W. Truett Theological Seminary

Arminius was a brilliant theologian who submitted himself to the word of God. He probably represents what most Christians have believed about salvation. But there has been much misinformation spread by Arminius’ detractors about him and the system of thought that bears his name. This volume provides a welcome means for students of theology to access some of his key writings on topics that remain intensely controversial among believers today, and to see that Arminius was quite conservative in his theology, avoiding the extremes of Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism to the right, and of Open Theism, Semi- Pelagianism, and Pelagianism to the left.

— Brian J. Abasciano, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor of New Testament, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Pastor, Faith Community Church (Hampton, New Hampshire) President of the Society of Evangelical Arminians