God’s Twofold Love
The Theology of Jacob Arminius (1559-1609)
Translated by Albert Gootjes
1. Auflage 2010
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
Reformed Historical Theology - Band 014
Even though it has always been widely debated, the theology of Jacob Arminius (1559–1609) has not received the scholarly attention one would expect. Given also its remarkable influence, it is surprising how little research has been devoted to it. Only since the 1980s has the world of scholarship seen some movement on this front. The present study by William den Boer offers a new contribution to the understanding of Arminius’s theology by focusing on the theological motive that lay at its very foundation.
Arminius has been characterized as a theologian of free will, of creation, or of freedom, and lately also as a theologian of the assurance of faith. The question as to Arminius’s central concern in his theology has been answered in different ways, with each author focusing on aspects of differing degrees of importance. William den Boer defends the thesis that another characterization needs to be added, and designates Arminius as a theologian of the justice of God, or more precisely, as a theologian of the twofold love of God. He goes on to illustrate how these two characterizations are valid at one and the same time, and why they do not exclude but include all other characterizations that have been offered by placing them in their proper perspective.
In Part 1 the author posits that the leading motif of Arminius’s theology lay in a careful defense of the justice of God. Part 2 considers the reception of his theology in the discussions between Remonstrants and Counter-Remonstrants during the Hague Conference – Haagsche or Schriftelicke Conferentie – of 1611. Finally, Arminius’s theology is placed within the context of sixteenth-century debates on the cause of sin and God’s relationship to evil.
Die Theologie des Jacob Arminius hat bislang überraschend wenig Aufmerksamkeit erhalten, vor allem, wenn man ihren enormen Einfluss bedenkt. Erst seit den 1980er Jahren rückt der Theologe mehr und mehr in den Focus. William den Boer erhellt einen ganz neuen Aspekt von Arminius´Theologie. Der Autor konzentriert sich auf die grundlegenden Motive, die das Fundament dieser Theologie bilden.
Während Arminius bisher als ein Theologe des freien Willens oder der Freiheit bezeichnet wurde, führt den Boer nun die Bezeichnung „Theologe der Gerechtigkeit Gottes“ ein, genauer gesagt, Theologe der zweifachen Liebe Gottes.