Hi John,

Just out of curiosity, do you think there are Arminians who would be totally comfortable with the Keswick definition of faith?

Josh Irmler


Hey Josh,

Great follow-up question! The answer to your question is yes, some would. That is why I stated in the previous Q&A (see Q#8 Reformed Theology vs. Keswick Theology) that those who would differ are “those of a more thoroughgoing persuasion.” Actually, this is true on the Reformed side too. In the early days of the Keswick Convention, the annual speakers were from various evangelical denominations including Reformed. Yet, some of those of a more thoroughgoing Reformed persuasion criticized Keswick.

For example, Andrew Murray pastored a Dutch Reformed in South Africa. Yet, he embraced Keswick theology, spoke at British Keswick, and founded the Keswick Convention in South Africa. He emphasized responsible faith, writing many excellent books on prayer and the Spirit-filled life. He is remembered today for works like Abiding in Christ and Absolute Surrender. In fact, Absolute Surrender is the written from of a series of addresses for a Keswick conference. Yet today, some of a more thoroughgoing Reformed persuasion are strongly critical of Murray. But others appreciate Murray’s writings.

It is possible to be culturally brought up in a given theological persuasion, but in your own personal walk with God actually live something different than what you embrace on paper. Some are culturally Reformed, but at heart embrace responsible faith, not inevitable faith. Others are culturally on the Arminian side, but at heart embrace responsible faith, or faith as a response to divine initiation, not unfettered choice.