Arminianism Clarified

George R. Brunk, Sr.

The Evangelical Arminian believes in the universal and total depravity of every member of the race in the Bible sense that it depraves all without exception, and that this depravity without a Savior would bar from God's holy place and presence.

We reject the Calvinistic view that God's sovereignty and purpose made sin unavoidable, and that Adam's guilt imputed to each member of the race makes them even in infancy justly deserve eternal damnation, and we hold that God's justice as well as His goodness would have prevented the propagation of the race in depravity had He not purposed the redemption through Christ of everyone in infancy as unconditionally as they were depraved by Adam, and that this atonement should be available unto all that come to accountability upon the condition set forth in the Gospel.

The Evangelical Arminian accepts the Bible doctrine of salvation by grace alone in the sense that without His grace in providing a Savior the whole race would have been justly destroyed in the damnation of Adam and Eve before one child was born, and therefore every soul inheriting Heaven does so solely by virtue of the Redeemer, including infants, for had it not been for this grace all would have been destroyed in Adam before they had any personal existence.

After coming to the years of understanding and turning away from God in sin and rebellion, it is of grace alone that God sustains the life, sends forth the wooing Spirit, bears long, and finally saves all who will repent, evangelically believe, and obey the Gospel.

We deny the Calvinistic view that God's saving grace is limited to the finally elect and that some infants are under the wrath of God, and that conditional salvation nullifies grace.


Evangelical Arminianism holds the Bible teaching of the sovereignty of God, in the sense that He has universal dominion over the universe including all His works and creatures, and that He will make final disposal of all things according to the perfections of His divine attributes.

We deny the Calvinistic view that true sovereignty would require God to have purposed the existence of sin and made it unavoidable, and that the free will of men and angels to choose their own course and destiny is contrary to right views of divine sovereignty.

True sovereignty whether of human rulers or of God does not consist in forcing the free will but in holding the individual responsible for his choices and conduct.

Sinners through Adam

Evangelical Arminians believe the Bible teaching that all become sinners through Adam in the sense that we first become depraved, impure or sinful by impartation through natural generation and become sinners when we come to years of accountability, by our own flesh-led and Satan-influenced attitudes and actions against God. We deny the Calvinistic view that Adam's personal sin is imputed to all persons in their infancy so as to make them worthy of God's wrath and that all infants are unsaved while they live but such as die in infancy only are under the Savior's blood. They dare not own that all infants are saved unconditionally, for their 'once - saved - always - saved" would drive them into universalism.

Righteous through Christ

True Evangelical Arminians believe the Bible teaching that there is no saving righteousness except in Christ. That as in Adam all inherited depravity unconditionally by the first birth which was the cause of personal sins and so made all guilty before God, just so Christ the second Adam by His perfect life and sacrificial death redeemed all in infancy unconditionally and imparts to all who by transgression become guilty before God, a righteous nature by the Spirit birth, upon the fulfillment of the Gospel conditions, from which divine nature under the divine grace and Spirit springs an acceptable righteous life under the blood and forbearance of God. We deny the Calvinistic view that Christ's perfections are imputed to believers and that personal righteousness is not essential to salvation.

True Evangelical Arminians accept the Bible teaching upon dead works which includes not only wicked works but also the good things that men seek to perform while in unbelief and rejecting the guidance of the divine Spirit, that they are but "filthy rags" and not acceptable to God or contributing one iota toward salvation.

We reject the Calvinistic view that all works previous to regeneration are "filthy rags" and that Christian obedience is not essential to salvation.

Whatever unconverted persons do under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, such as seeking after God, prayer and fasting, repenting of sin and sincere restitution and the work of faith, are all previous to regeneration and pleasing to God as we see in God's message to Cornelius.

Evangelical Arminians accept the Bible teaching of election in the sense that from eternity by God's foreknowledge He knows who will fulfill the conditions of salvation unto present salvation and who will hold out faithful to the end and be elect unto eternal rest.

We reject the Calvinistic view that no one has anything to do with his election or non-election, for Peter exhorted the saints who were elect unto present salvation to make their eternal election sure by diligence and faithfulness.

It should be noted that Paul closes the subject of personal election to eternal bliss upon the ground of God's foreknowledge with the climax at the end of Romans 8, and that Romans 9 deals with election to earthly benefits as Jacob for the Messianic line instead of Esau, as Isaac was chosen instead of Ishmael -not to eternal life but to be the earthly people of promise.


Evangelical Arminians accept the Bible teaching on Christian Security in the sense that God will give sufficient grace and strength to everyone to hold out unto the end providing they appropriate the means of grace, but that souls are as free to depart from God under the influence of the world, the flesh, and the devil as they are to accept the Lord.

We reject the Calvinistic view of irresistable grace and that of "once-saved-always-saved," as wholly contrary to the whole body of Bible testimony, for Christians are the salt of the earth and can lose their savor so as to be cast out, and they are branches of the true vine, but by the unfruitfulness of disloyalty and disobedience they will be cut off and destroyed, and have their names blotted out of the book of life.

Evangelical Arminians believe the Bible testimony as to the substitutionary atonement through the death and shed blood of Christ in the sense that our sins placed us under the penalty of a threefold death, bodily, spiritual, and eternal, and that Christ became our substitute in the settlement, not by the penalty method which would have made Him an eternally lost soul, but by giving His priceless blood as an acceptable substitute for our penalty and thus making salvation available to all mankind upon each individual's acceptance of the conditions of salvation, but unconditional to all in infancy.

We reject the Calvinistic view that Christ died only for a certain number, and that the shedding of the blood determined the destiny of its object instead of providing a basis of salvation, subject to every person's acceptance.

Christ died for all and therefore shed His blood in vain for many.


by George R. Brunk, Sr, from The Sword and Trumpet, July, 1937, pages 32-35


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June 8, 2005