Arminius Speaks: Essential Writings on Predestination, Free Will, and the Nature of God. John D. Wagner, ed. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2011. ISBN 13:978-1610970303

James O. Jones, Jr.

THE ARMINIAN MAGAZINE. Issue 1. Fall 2011. Volume 29.
Date Posted July 08, 2011

Dare we say that the majority of "Arminians" have never read the writings of James Arminius? And it is little wonder considering the three volume compilation of his writings, The Works of James Arminius, containing over 2200 pages of relatively small type, is not easily accessible to many would-be readers, and its contents are not easily navigated by those who have the access. As a result, Arminius is perhaps the most misunderstood, misquoted, and misrepresented theologian of all time, and that not by Calvinists only, but by those actually claiming to be Arminian in their theology. Thankfully, John D. Wagner has made the writings of Arminius much more accessible and much easier to read. Not only has he supplied introductions to each section, but the language of Arminius has also been updated. For those familiar with the original Works, this might not be appreciated or even necessary. But for the rest of us, who find it easier to read the New King James Version rather than the original KJV, this is a welcome addition.

This book will be especially helpful to those who are interested in the Calvinist and Arminian debate as Wagner has chosen writings that deal largely with election and salvation. By reading the words of Arminius firsthand many of the "misunderstandings" concerning Arminius' views on these subjects will be quickly dispersed. The selected writings are most helpful in understanding Arminius' orthodox view of salvation that is dependent entirely on the grace of God from beginning to end.

To quote from Robert Picirilli, who wrote the Foreword for this work, "Anyone who desires to know what Arminius really said will do well to read these selections and will share the indebtedness of the church to this editor." So those like me, who often quote Arminius or refer to his teachings, who are more than just a little interested in the ongoing Calvinist - Arminian debate, and who have found it difficult to wade through those 2200 plus pages, this book of less than 400 pages is for you. I recommend that you add this one to your collection!