Recently I began reading the Rachovian Catechism, which is basically the full statement of the doctrinal system of the Socinians. That is, its a systematic theology from the Reformation time-period that is the exact opposite of Calvin’s Institutes. I just searched “Rachovian Catechism” on google books, clicked on the book, and when it opened, clicked the down arrow next to “Get this book in print” and ordered a hardcopy from one of the universities listed. Been reading a bit every day for the past week. Very interesting. Even their anti-Trinitarian views are more interesting than I would have thought since they go through literally every verse that touches on either the the subject of the deity of Christ or the trinity, giving first the Catholic/Calvinist position, and then their own interpretation(s), so that you can use this to get up to speed on BOTH systems. Calvinists would never create such a tool that will show you what their opponents think. Furthermore, it doesn’t stop with the THEORETICAL aspects of Christianity but gives you an indepth analysis of the MORAL teachings of Christianity. Its no wonder the Socinians are always so bad mouthed. Reading this thing would force you to start reading the Bible with your brain turned on for a change.
For a little sample, here is a bit from the beginning of Chapter X. Of Free Will:
Q. Is it in our power to obey God in the way you have stated?
A. It is, when strengthened by the divine aide, and by that filial spirit of which I have spoken. For it is certain that the first man was so created by God as to be endowed with free will; and there was no reason why God should deprive him of it after his fall. And the equity and justice or rectitude of God will not allow that he should deprive man of the will and power of acting rightly; especially since, subsequently to that period, he requires, under a threat of punishment, that he should will and act rightly (Deut xxx. 19). Nor is there any mention of a punishment of this kind among the penalties with which God punished the sin of Adam.
Q. Is not this free will depraved by original sin?
A. It is not yet agreed among its advocates themselves, what original sin is. [Zing!] This is certain, that by the fall of Adam the nature of man is by no means so depraved as that he is deprived of the liberty and power of obeying or not obeying God in those things which he required of him under the thread of punishment or the promise of reward. Nor can it otherwise be shown, from any testimony of Scripture, that it has this effect; while the declarations are innumerable which demontrate the contrary clearer than the sun. And the fall of Adam, as it was but one act, could not have power to deprave his own nature, much less that of his posterity. That this was not inflicted upon him by God as punishment I have just shown. I do not deny, however, that, by the habit of sinning, the nature of man is infected with a certain stain, and a very strong disposition to wickedness; but I do deny both that this of itself is a sin, and that it is of such a nature that a man,after he has imbibed the divine spirit, cannot create for himself the power of obeying God as far as He, in his infite goodness and equity, requires….[a consideration of the verses used by Catholics/Calvinists to establish original sin follows]