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A common complaint that Calvinists make against Arminianists is that Arminianist theology leads to liberal theology, Pelagianism, semi-Pelagianism, open theism, Unitarianism, etc.

I don’t think anyone can deny that there are some liberal theologians who self-identify as Arminianists. However, the idea that Arminianism necessarily leads to liberalism is a little silly.

Consider this:
Nazis used ideas derived from evolutionary theory as justification for exterminating the Jews, Gypsies, the handicapped, and homosexuals. Does this mean that Darwinism leads to National Socialist fascism? Deists in the 17th and 18th centuries justified their ideas with Newtonian physics. Does this mean that physics leads to Deism? Under Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, and Pol Pot millions of people were murdered. Does this mean that socialism necessarily leads to massacre?

In the same way, it can’t be argued that Arminianism actually causes liberal theology. No one who read the works of Arminius could mistake him for a liberal theologian. Calvinists seem to forget that Harry Emerson Fosdick was a Presbyterian. Does Fosdick prove that Calvinism leads to liberal theology? As I have observed, liberal theology is usually the result of ignorance, misinformation, or misunderstanding.

I realize this is not an exhaustive defense of Arminianism. It doesn’t speak to whether Arminianism is true, for example. All I am arguing against here is some wrong ideas spread by well-meaning Calvinists who simply do not know what they are talking about.

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