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The Undermining Of Assurance

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Chapter Summary

As important as the question concerning the ontology of salvation is, the question of the epistemology of salvation is just as crucial. The questions are connected, but also distinct. It is the difference between asking, “How can one be saved?” and, “How can I know I am saved or elect?” The latter issue raised more than an academic question; it was a significant pastoral issue in the Church. This chapter identifies and analyzes the potential problems associated with the epistemology of salvation. It gives special attention to comparing and contrasting Arminius’s opinion about the causes that undermine assurance with the opinions of his contemporaries. This investigation sheds light on how Arminius fits into the larger Christian tradition in general and into the context of early Reformed orthodoxy in particular on this question, and it shows the significance that Arminius’s vision of the problems of assurance had for his own theology.

Keywords: assurance; Church; early Reformed orthodoxy; epistemology; Jacobus Arminius; pastoral issue; salvation; theology



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