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Do Arminians owe "The Church" an apology?

Do Arminians owe "The Church" an apology? February 18, 2011

The owner of YouTube channel The Pristine Faith has posted a video where he apologizes to the church at large on behalf of Arminians.  He says he is one.

His apology is for what he regards as Arminian churches’ lack of theological depth and rigor and emphasis instead on mass appeal and being relevant.

I think it would be helpful if he named specific Arminian churches.  I wonder if he’s thinking stead of the ever popular folk religion of semi-Pelagianism?  Calvinists, of course, have long confused the two.  So have some self-identified Arminians who aren’t really Arminian at all.

This broadcast apology seems to me based more on Calvinists’ accusations than on reality.  Which truly Arminian churches are guilty of the things for which this man apologizes?

It’s one thing to apologize for oneself or one’s own church or even a few churches.  Can all Arminian churches really be guilty of these things?  Are most churches guilty of them really Arminian?  Are there no Reformed churches guilty of them?

I guess what I’m musing about is this: Is the accusation made by Calvinists (I’d say Reformed but I don’t think all Reformed participate in this accusation) that all Arminian churches are theologically shallow valid?  Is it valid enough to justify a blanket apology on behalf of all Arminian churches?  And what gives one person the right to apologize on behalf of all Arminian churches?  And what is “the church” to which the apology is being made?

I, for one, do not embrace that apology; I do not think of it as on my behalf.  He doesn’t speak for me.  And I suspect most of the churches he is apologizing for are not really Arminian.  Methodist churches?  Are they, as a whole, any more Arminian than Presbyterian churches, as a whole, are Calvinistic?  I doubt it.

I will say that I think the majority of Arminian churches have not done as good a job of catechesis and doctrinal preaching as they should, but that’s probably true of most American churches–most Reformed included. 

The one exception is probably the Presbyterian Church of America that specializes in doctrinal preaching and teaching.  Kudos to them.  But I’m not sure I want to go to a church to hear a doctrinal sermon every Sunday.  And I know I’d rather go to a church that is non-doctrinal (in the pulpit) than one that preaches double predestination!


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