This question comes over the transom regularly. I think most confessional Reformed pastors would probably say that, though they disagree strongly with Arminianism, it is not heresy. Somewhere I read (or heard) that William Ames (1576-1633), who served as an advisor at the Synod of Dort, regarded Arminianism as an error tending to heresy but not heresy itself. Whether Ames actually said that—he wrote treatises against the Remonstrants, which have not been translated—it all comes down to the definition of heresy.

Dr. R. Scott Clark is a professor at Westminster Seminary California. In this short but powerful article he examines the judgment of the Synod of Dordt (1618-19) which rejected the 5-point thesis of the Arminian Remonstrance and pronounced it heresy and those who embraced the Arminian doctrine heretics. In Part 1, he first defines the word "heresy", which is a biblical term and how it is used. In Part 2, he then examines where the doctrine and followers of Arminius fit in with the term "heresy/heretics". This article is a most refreshing antidote to the rampant spread of what is currently called, "Tolerant Calvinism" throughout the Reformed churches.

You can read this month's article here: Are the Remonstrants Heretics?

In His service and grace,

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simul iustus et peccator

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