Differences Between Calvinism and Arminianism

Calvinism is based on the theological beliefs and teaching of John Calvin (1509-1564), a leader in the Reformation.  Arminianism is based on the views of Dutch theologian Jacob Arminius (1560-1609). The following identifies the opposing beliefs of the doctrines between Calvinists and Arminians:


Calvinists:   Regeneration precedes believing
Arminians:  Decision making produces regeneration

Calvinists:   God elects people to believe
Arminians:  God elects the people He knows will believe, making their believing                        the reason for His choosing

Calvinists:   Christ died substituitonally and savingly for the sins of the elect
Arminians:  Christ died hypothetically for all sins, of all men, of all times


Calvinists:   God’s salvation is limited to those whom God has chosen to believe

Arminians:  God’s salvation is designed for everyone and is only limited by man’s                      choice


Calvinists:  Man's will is in bondage-totally depraved; therefore to believe on                           Christ apart from divine intervention is an impossibility.

Arminians:  Man’s will is free and has an innate ability to seek, find and choose                        Christ

Calvinists:  God has special redeeming love towards those Whom He has                                  predestined
Arminians:  God loves everybody equally and makes His love available to anyone



Sovereign Grace Chapel is distintively Calvinistic.

We believe that evangelism is essential, taking every

opportunity to preach and witness to all people, at all times.



Calvinism is not a preventive for presenting the gospel (as some may claim), but rather, an incentive. We know that God has a fold of sheep who will hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, yet how will they hear unless we proclaim the gospel?


Calvinists also believe that the gospel is more than just an invitation for sinners to believe, but also a declaration for sinners to hear about the Lordship of Jesus Christ.





Calvinism, or preferrably 'The Doctrines of Grace' are found in all the following historic creeds of the major Protestant branches:


  • Dutch Reformed - Belgic Confession 1561
  • Reformed Churches - Canons of Dort 1618
  • Christian Reformed - Heidleberg Cathechism 1563
  • Presbyterians - Westminister Confession 1648
  • Congregationalist's - Savoy Declaration 1658
  • NE Congregationalist's - Cambridge Platform 1648
  • Anglicans - 39 Articles of Faith 1553
  • Baptists - London Confession 1644, 1689 (Spurgeon adopted the latter)
  • Later Baptists in the U.S. - Philadelphia Confession of Faith 1801

Well known Calvinists include:


Martin Luther, Zwingli, John Calvin, Matthew Henry, John Bunyan, John Owen, B.B. Warfield, Charles Hodge, George Whitefield, David Brainard, Jonathan Edwards, John Newton, Isaac Watts, (all the Reformers and Puritans), Charles Spurgeon, Martin-Lloyd Jones, Donald  Barnhouse, James Boice, R. C. Sproul, John MacArthur, Al Mohler, J.I. Packer, D.A. Carson...

Arminianism in mainline denominations can be easily traced today starting with John Wesley who set the stage for Methodism, then Holiness/Pentecostalism, and modern decisional regenerationist proponents scattered among the Independents. Besides this lineage, you can also construct a strain from some of the Anabaptists that bred the Mennonites, Amish, Moravians, Quakers, Shakers, Fundamentalists, Free Will Baptists, Nazarenes etc.

Well known Arminians include:


Jacob Arminus, John Wesley, Charles Finney, D. L. Moody, Billy Sunday, J. R. Rice, Bob Jones, Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, Charles Stanley, Norman Geisler, Zane Hodges, Clark Pinnock, William MacDonald, and all the prosperity teachers like Joyce Meyers, Benny Hinn, T.D. Jakes, Pat Robertson and others.


Adult Sunday School






Join us at 9:30 Sunday morning as we seek to grow in the image of Christ using Scripture as our basis for topical and Biblical teaching. 



(These lessons can be accessed on our Audio Resources

page using the

Adult Sunday School link)




"The battle of the flesh is won or lost in the mind."


'Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.'

                  ~Romans 12:2

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