/ Nathan Eshelman

The Canons of Dort

The Canons of Dort were approved at the Synod of Dort 405 years ago today (May 29, 1619). The Synod was a multi-national synod of reformed churches that was called to answer objections to the teaching of Prof. Jacob Arminius of Leiden University and his remonstrators. The Remonstrance taught election based on foreseen faith; Christ's death was universally meritorious; partial human depravity; and resistible and fallible states of grace.

Pastors, elders, professors, and statesmen from the established churches of the Netherlands, England, Scotland, Wales, Switzerland, and modern-day Germany came together to condemn what is today called "Arminianism" as a heresy against the Word of God. In 34 "rejections of errors" the heresy of Arminianism was condemned by the synod. Besides the rejections, the synod--in 154 sessions between November 1618 and May 29, 1619--presented 59 articles of truth that responded to each of the 4 points of Arminian soteriology.

Today many of us know the work of the Synod as the Canons of Dort under the acrostic "TULIP."Total depravity; Unconditional election; Limited atonement; Irresistible grace; and Perseverance of the saints.

If you have not read the Canons, they are worth working through. I taught through them in 2017 if you'd like to have a listen:


The Canons and the condemnation of Arminian theology are very important in today's theological climate. Man-centered theology abounds in the 21st century as it did in the 17th century. We need to return to a robust God-centered theology. The international and synod-approved Canons can help to recover that today. It is part of the need of the hour.

Nathan Eshelman

Nathan Eshelman

Pastor in Orlando, studied at Puritan Reformed Theological & Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminaries. One of the chambermen on the podcast The Jerusalem Chamber. Married to Lydia with 5 children.

Read More