What is the difference between Armianism and Calvinism? I know that they have something to do with categorizing a person’s belief in free will, but I am confused as to what each means. I keep coming across these two words and I would like to know how they differ or are the same as the Catholic position.


Have you read this?:


[quote=DeFide]Have you read this?:

No, I haven’t. Thanks for the link. I will look over it further in the morning. Thanks.:slight_smile:


The link is a good explanation of the Calvinist position. It also explains some differences with the Arminianist position. But probably the major points that I would mention are that Arminianism (like my own Methodist church) believes in free will; in the sufficiency of Christ’s atoning death (no one is predestined for hell; we choose freely whether to follow Jesus Christ or not); & unlike Calvinism, Arminian theology does not believe in eternal security (once saved, always saved).


“Zooey”‘s first two differences are not correct, as the aforementioned article explains. Arminianist and Calvinist both believe in “Free Will” and the sufficiency of Christ’ Atoning Death. Calvinist do believe that God has sovereignty in all things, including our salvation, and therefore, God does preordain some to heaven and some to hell. The difference here is that Arminianist believe that out of your goodness you chose to believe in Christ and are rightly rewarded with Christ’ death on the cross. Calvinist believe that you are dead in your sins and would never, in your own accord, chose Christ. God, out of his Grace, does chose to change the will of some (“change their hearts”) so that they desire Christ and freely accept Him.

I would encourage readers to read the aforementioned article. It’s quite good.


[FONT=Arial]AFAICS, Calvinism believes in the universal sufficiency of the Atonement - but not that it is intended to atone for all men: it is of infinite value & power, but not of infinite application. For if applied, it cannot be frustrated - to receive salvation at all, is to be the recipient of salvation entirely; which is one reason saving grace cannot be frustrated - God “always gets His man”. One can no more be “a bit saved”, than “a bit pregnant” - all that is lacking to the justified on earth, is the fruition of the salvation already bestowed as a pledge of that fruition in heaven. [/FONT]

we choose freely whether to follow Jesus Christ or not); & unlike Calvinism, Arminian theology does not believe in eternal security (once saved, always saved).

##** How does Arminianism deal with election & predestination ?**

**If no one is predestined to damnation - how is anyone lost ? Calvinism does at least wrestle with the question, intractable as it perhaps is. Unless damnation is impossible, there are at least in principle some people who are not saved, but damned - if this does come about because God so willed, how can it happen at all ? For if it can, either man can prevail against God & the tail can wag the dog: or, damnation is not within God’s Providence - it “just happens”, & men can, as it were, slip through the mesh of the net of the Fisherman. But that would imply that God rules a lot of creation - and that there is also a bit of creation that He can’t or doesn’t rule. And that is to say there are two Providences, two economies of creation, two Gods :eek: **


Armianism and Calvinism are Protestant theology and have no reference point within Catholic Theology. I.E. They are both erroneous Protestant theological concepts and have do not exist withing the Catholic framework.


Well now that can’t be completely true. There are only so many beliefs to go around, we must have some commonality…


Ignatius if you read the article by James Akin, the Director of Apologetics at Catholic Answers you would see that this subject has been one of debate for a very long time in the Catholic Church.


Incorrect. Predestination and free will are subjects of discussion but Armianism and Calvinism are false, Protestant doctrines which twist the concepts of predestination and free will beyond all reason.


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