Jacob Arminius stated: "It represents God as decreeing something for a particular end [or purpose] which neither is nor can be good...", in that "...God wishes to subject his creature to misery..." which is "...repugnant to the Goodness of God...", such that "...he wills the greatest evil to his creatures, and that from all eternity he has preordained that evil for them, or predetermined to impart it to them, even before he resolved to bestow upon them any portion of good...", which in other words, "...it was preordained that man should be formed vicious and should commit sin, that is, that he should neither know God, love, worship, nor serve him...." (Arminius Speaks, pp.40-42)
(This will tie in nicely to the next Blog series on "Why I am NOT a Calvinist," in which I will cite dozens of reasons and their corresponding explanations, and also what I feel would make the Calvinist's own list as to why they are not Arminians, and my corresponding thoughts.)
Most Calvinists that I know, speak of coming into a belief in the "Doctrines of Grace" as something which they entered "kicking and screaming." (I do not care for that title since it implies a monopoly on grace. Calvinists excel at marketing. Calvinists own the term "Reformed" as well. They also own Sovereignty, Providence, Predestination, ect.) That bothers me because Arminians teach all those things as well, though from a different perspective, which Arminians feel is a more biblical perspective, though Calvinists disagree, but the point is that although many have BECOME Calvinists kicking and screaming, Arminius instead had LEFT Calvinism kicking and screaming. Arminius spoke highly of John Calvin and his Institutes, although I don't think that he had the same opinion of other Calvinists of his day, especially of the mindset of Beza. But the point is that the Calvinist concept of God predeterming evil, appears to have been a powerful motivation for Jacob Arminius to abandon his Calvinism, and of course I believe that is a good thing, but what is the one major concern whenever someone leaves one particular theology? Holdover Theology. You see this sometimes when a person leaves the Jehovah's Witnesses, and has a skewed understanding of the divine nature of Christ. So as I read and study Arminius' writings in Arminius Speaks, the one thing that I will be cautious to look for, is to beware of theological baggage or holdover theology.