Arminius Was Not Only A Synergist But He Also Denied The Imputation Of Christ’s Active Obedience

“Arminius’ views clearly belong to the category of those of Karg and Piscator: he not only attributes no soteriological purpose to Christ’s active obedience, he also restricts the purpose of the nominally passive aspects of Christ’s obedience in life and ministry to a preparatory testing of the Mediator. In addition, Arminius, like Karg, had modified the protes­ tant scholastic doctrine of a purely forensic imputation of Christ’s righteousness by arguing the necessity of active obedience on the part of believers. As in the satisfaction-theory of the medieval doctors, the distinction between a salvific passive obedience of Christ and a non-salvific active obedience points in the theology of Arminius toward a doc­trine of human involvement or cooperation in the work of salvation. In other words, Arminius’ separation of Christ’s active and passive obe­dience in his christological locus correlates with his soteriological synergism.”

Richard A. Muller, “The Christological Problem in the Thought of Jacobus Arminius,” Nederlands Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis 68–2 (1988), 157 (HT: Inwoo Lee).

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One comment

  1. Dr. Clark,

    Is the denial of the imputation of Christ’s active obedience to believers considered heresy by Reformed churches — in the past and in the present?

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