The State of Arminianism

Following on the previous discussion, the question arises as to, Who are today’s Arminians and what are they doing?

  • Fundamentalist Wesleyan Vic Reasoner publishes the Arminian Magazine and is the leader among a group of articulate individuals who understand theology and contend for Wesley’s vision. In his book, The Hope of the Gospel: An Introduction to Wesleyan Eschatology, Vic Reasoner shows how Arminianism naturally leads to a victorious postmillennial approach to history. I would love to see Reasoner have a larger platform.
  • The Free Will Baptists have had several thinkers.  Best among these are Robert E. Picirilli and Leroy Forlines who have both taught at Free Will Baptist College.
  • Asbury Theological Seminary is probably the only openly evangelical Arminian seminary in America, and it is a good one. Unfortunately it appears that Openness theology has some sway there. Update: There is another seminary named Wesley Biblical Seminary which is more conservative and is Arminian and accredited.
  • Some Southern Baptists are starting to fight back against the growing Calvinist trend. This used to be documented on the BaptistFire website, but that site was suddenly removed, and has never been replaced.  It was a great loss to the internet community.
  • In the Prophetic Movement, I believe that John Paul Jackson is the most thoroughly Arminian. Although he does not use the term and probably has some doctrines which are more Calvinist in nature, his teachings on prophecy are very theological and have a truely unique emphasis on the agency of man. For instance, he teaches that God actually limits himself through his law on how He will bless you, but Jackson at the same time holds to and emphasizes the true omniscience of God. I’m curious to hear more of his teachings.
  • The entire Word of Faith movement is very Arminian. It emphasizes man’s agency–success and health are contingent on your faith, not God’s sovereignty. I am opposed to the many excesses of this movement and also some of the core doctrine, but I think the emphasis it places on faith and spiritual warfare is helpful to a right understanding of the world.
  • Curry Blake, a relatively unknown but significant leader in divine healing, salvages what is good from the Word of Faith movement and builds a helpful Arminian worldview of life, including healing and miracles.

Curry Blake’s most helpful point — If something is wrong, the problem is not God. This simple insight radically changed my Christian life. We should pray for God’s will to be done because it is not always done! If you feel like God hates you, it’s not because He hates you, it’s because the devil is lying to you. The perfect love of God remains at all times (even in correction). When I do not “feel” like I’m in God’s presence, I know that it is not God sovereignly pulling away but it is my need to volitionally draw in no matter how long it takes. This is the root of prayer that prevails.

Moreover, Blake says “If the Spirit does not move me, I move the Spirit.” In other words, we know from Scripture that it is God’s will is to heal (for example) and therefore, it does not require a special leading or feeling–we move out in faith and contend for it to happen. Contend not against God, but against the world and the devil. If you are fighting against God, you’re on the wrong team.

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