The Calvinist’s chief theological opponent should not be Arminianism; it should be Roman Catholicism. The “five points” debate is an Arminian construction, and while Arminianism can be reduced to its “five points,” Calvinism cannot be reduced to such a limited set of doctrinal points. Calvinism is ultimately a comprehensive view of living in the world, just as Roman Catholicism is a comprehensive view of living in the world. Calvinism (with Roman Catholicism) is a unique orientation toward God, one’s neighbor, and creation. Arminianism is just a narrow set of doctrine fitting for analytic philosophers. When Calvinists make Arminians their chief opponent they either elevate Arminianism to something it is not or they demote Calvinism to a pathetically limited set of doctrine. The Arminians should be known for their five points, not the Calvinists.
This led to a very long discussion, by a lot of people. Here’s the gist of why I see Roman Catholicism as the chief of evils to be opposed in our day:
And yet, if you look at the grand sweep of history, it is not hard to see that the Roman Catholic empire (the heir of the old Roman empire) was the cradle and teacher of Islam. Certainly we can go back farther than that, but I think the influence on the overall story-line is somewhat diminished.
But Roman Catholicism is the great influencer of the [western] world we have today. I will go further than the OP in saying that “Roman Catholicism is a comprehensive view of living in the world”, and I will say that Roman Catholicism, in its comprehensiveness, is a major source of evil in the world. [Certainly, some good Roman Catholics have done some good things, and it may even be said that Roman Catholicism helped to enable a world to follow-up with the sciences. But arguably it was the Reformation that was the great enabler of the advances in the world that we see.]
In Rome’s historical quest to dominate the world, it has perpetuated all kinds of falsehoods. Insofar as Rome disfigured the gospel (pursuing its own “authority” even back in the 5th and 6th centuries), it was an enabler of Mohammad. And through some of its machinations in the Middle Ages (such as the quest for world domination – domination of the east – and the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the opponent of Jews), it became a teacher of, a motivation for, and an example to, radical Islam today: that heretics must be tortured and killed.
Roman Catholicism is, quite frankly, the source of huge swaths of what is wrong in the world today.
By comparison, Arminianism is just a piker.