Junius And Gomarus Saw It Coming

It is also important to comment on Junius’s relationship with Jacobus Arminius, who became professor at Leiden University in 1603. Junius carried on a correspondence with Arminius after meeting him at Leiden in 1596 at the wedding of Geertje Jacobsdochter (Arminius’s aunt) and Johannes Cuchlinus, who had been regent of the Satencollege since 1592. During the wedding celebration, Arminius and Junius discussed the doctrine of predestination and agreed to exchange letters on the subject.20 They promised to keep the correspondence confidential lest it cause trouble in the church. In this correspondence Arminius complained that Junius’s position on predestination required the existence of sin for the execution of the decree of election. Junius responded to this complaint with twenty-eight propositions in which he refuted Arminius and defended his own view. Although he did not defend full supralapsarianism like Beza, Junius emphatically denied that his views made God the author of sin. When this correspondence was publicized by one of Junius’s students, Arminius continued the debate, but Junius refused any further discussion. In 1613 the correspondence between Arminius and Junius was posthumously published under the title Amica Collatio cum Francisco Junio. 21 In order to prevent Arminius’s appointment at Leiden, Gomarus—then the senior member of the theological faculty—told the story that on his deathbed Junius had warned him against appointing Arminius as his successor at Leiden University. The curators of the university did not believe the story, however, telling Gomarus that he had no authority to speak on the matter.

—Willem van Asselt, Introduction to Franciscus Junius, A Treatise on True Theology, xviii–xix..

Subscribe to the Heidelblog today!


  1. Does this mean that Arminius was already showing signs of his semi-Arminianism, rather than just being infra- or sublapsarian?
    I altered the Wikipedia article on supralapsarianism to point out there are two forms of supralapsarianism (but my alteration was removed, probably because I didn’t have a source to quote).
    First, what is commonly called supralapsarianism and was condemned at Dort, that which places the destinarian or infernarian decree, that there will be a hell, logically before the electing/reprobating decree, which determines who is elect and who is reprobate. The consequence of this is that reprobation is a decision from the outset to name individuals specifically for eternal punishment. I called this infradestinarian or infrainfernarian.
    The other, which I would call supradestinarian or suprainfranarian, was expounded by Bunyan in his “Reprobation Asserted” ((Faith Cook follows some others in casting doubt on Bunyan’s authorship of this work, but unlike other works that have been questioned, this one has a publication date well within Bunyan’s lifetime). In this scheme, the identities of the elect and of the reprobate are determined irrespective of what’s going to happen to them, election being primarily for some purpose (left unidentified by Bunyan. Wurmbrand, somewhere in his writings, suggests the primary purpose of election is formation of the Bride of Christ, attributing the suggestion to an unidentified “Orthodox father”. Ella, who classes Bunyan’s scheme as sublapsarian, identifies the purpose as union with Christ – certainly union with Christ is a product of election distinct from salvation) other than salvation from eternal punishment, so reprobation, being merely the reverse of election (It may be that Ella rejects this definition of reprobation and, therefore, doesn’t see it as supralapsarian in this scheme), does not carry any ill will at all to the reprobate, certainly in its initial execution. The fall is decreed next, followed by its consequences. The decree that men will enter salvation through union with Christ is a soteriological decree, from which the damnation of the reprobate follows as a necessary consequence, since none but the elect can have union with Christ. So in this scheme there is no predestinating decision, based purely on election, to send certain to hell, but the damnation of the reprobate follows from the logical way the way of salvation is decreed. I prefer this scheme even to classical sublapsarianism or Bavinck’s “Pulla-et-Ovalapsarianism” (“Chicken-and-Eggralapsarianism”, to most of us).
    Furthermore, I think there is an Old Testament type suggesting it: Before the Fall, before there is sin or punsihment, the animals, particularly those that were later going to be rendered unclean in the food laws, are already divided into two classes, the domestic and the wild (Turkish Kutsal Kitap rendering – It’s “cattle” and “beasts of the earth” in the AV; I don’t think the more modern English translations highlight the classification as well as the Turkish either). Following the Fall and the giving of the Law of Moses, it is unclean domestic animals that become the subject of a redemption by the sacrifice of a clean animal, and the wild ones are left outside to be caught and killed. Mind you, the domestic animals must be taken as a type of the VISIBLE elect, since some might have chosen to break their firstborn ass’s neck rather than redeem it.

  2. This may be off topic, but seeing this post, I am asking some help from people who know their Old Country Netherlands Reformed history–perhaps someone who can read 17th century Dutch.

    The pioneer missionary in Taiwan was Robertus Junius (Robert du Jon), who was attached to the Vereenigte Oostindische Comapgnie in the 1630’s. He began a work among the Siraya people living near Forts Zeelandia and Provintia (now Tainan), a people who since the late 19th century have generally been absorbed into the Minnan-speaking Chinese majority of the island.

    I am curious if this Junius was any relation to the Junius who appears in the excerpt above.

Comments are closed.