The answer, in general, is no. (I need to say that gently as I am in Grand Rapids today to give some lectures.) So argues Roger Olson is his brand-new must-read Arminian Theology. I’ll do a series on this book. The book has one major goal: “to clear the good Arminian name of false accusations and charges of heresy or heterodoxy” (9). If you have ever called Arminianism “semi-Pelagianism” or “Pelgianism” you need this book — and you will be surprised how unfair many Calvinistic accusations have been against Arminians. Not all, of course; but most.
Arminians are Protestants to the core; they are part of the Reformed movement. Olson — with many others — distinguishes Arminianism of the head (roughly liberalism) from Arminianism of the heart (evangelical Arminians).
A major, if not the major, issue is monergism vs. synergism — God’s sovereign control of everything vs. God’s creation of a world in which God permits human participation. Arminianism, Olson argues, is evangelical synergism. Arminians deny unconditional predestination and election.
He shows the variety of Arminians — Arminius himself, the Remonstrants, Wesley, and the more radical humanistic side of Finney. The major Arminian theology is by H. Orton Wiley, but there are many who are Arminian: Dale Moody, Stan Grenz, Clark Pinnock, Jack Cottrell, Howard Marshall, and Jerry Walls.
Here’s a great statement by Olson: “The gospel preached and the doctrine of salvation taught in most evangelical pulpits and lecterns, and believed in most evangelical pews, is not classical Arminianism but semi-Pelagianism if not outright Pelagianism” (30).
Olson trots out ten myths about Arminianism. I begin with Myth #1 Wednesday.