The beginning of Article 17 (XVII) of the Articles of Religion seems to me to clearly teach Calvinistic predestination:

Predestination to Life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honour.

So I found it rather interesting that William Beveridge mentions that some Arminians have interpreted this article differently:

One Article (the 17th Article) has sometimes been wrested into an Arminian interpretation, but the attempt cannot be looked upon as other than a failure. (Short History, 106)

My reading inclines me to agree with Beveridge's analysis, but before passing too firm a judgment, I'd like to understand how Arminians interpret this article to favor their viewpoint. I'm not interested in the approach of those who simply reject the article or significant portions of it.

Among those Arminians who hold to the Articles, how do they defend Article 17?

  • My understanding of the Arminian position is that "He predestinated whom He foreknew" means He foresaw who would eventually come to Christ. Article 17 doesn't conflict with that, although the "secret counsel" challenges it a little, and one would think the article would clarify that predestination was based on foreseeing, if the writers of it believed that to be true. – disciple Mar 1 '17 at 4:50

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