I’m often asked the question by those with an interest in historical theology: “Who was Moise Amyraut? What is Amyraldianism? What did he mean by ‘hypothetical universalism’?” If these are questions that interest you, read on. Continue reading . . .
I’m often asked the question by those with an interest in historical theology: “Who was Moise Amyraut? What is Amyraldianism? What did he mean by ‘hypothetical universalism’?” If these are questions that interest you, read on.
The Protestant Reformation initially reached France through the influence of Luther’s writings. Protestants there were severely persecuted, the culmination of which came in the infamous St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre (August 23-24, 1572) when nearly 20,000 were martyred. The Edict of Nantes granted toleration in 1598.
Our concern is with the man Moise Amyraut (also read as Moses Amyraldus) (1596-1664). He was quite studious and obtained his law degree in only one year. He enrolled at the Academy of Saumur in 1618 to study theology under John Cameron. In 1626 he began to minister in the Reformed Church in Saumur and to lecture in theology at the Academy. Like Calvin, he was burdened with bad health. His only daughter died young. He was a prolific writer (92 works). Controversy surrounding him can be isolated in three periods.
During the first period (1633-1641) he published a work on predestination (1634) in which he sought to soften what he perceived as a harshness in Calvinistic theology. He affirmed a universal will of God to save together with a universal atonement. He did, however, argue for bondage of the will. He was tried for heresy in 1637 at the national synod in Alencon but was acquitted.
During the second period (1644-1