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DOCTRINE QUESTION 101
I hear much about Calvinism; would you please explain what this means?
Calvinism is a theology supposedly taught by John Calvin many years ago. It's teaching can be summarized by an acrostic of a flower known as a T-U-L-I-P. It's teaching is as follows:
- T - Total Depravity of man: This means man is totally corrupt and ruined by sin in the sight of an Holy God. In this respect the Bible agrees. Romans 3:12, They are all gone out of the way, they are together become UNPROFITABLE (a word used for spoiled fruit).
- U - Unconditional Election: Their teaching here is based on Romans 9:11 where Jacob was chosen over Esau before they were born. They are in serious error here as the verse is not talking about salvation, but the purposes of God in bringing a nation into being and eventually the Messiah through that nation. In this respect Esau could have never been the head of that nation.
- L - Limited Atonement: This claims that Christ died for those who were elected to be saved only. This is a serious error in that it makes God a respecter of person and partial in His grace. 1 John 2:2 makes it very clear that His death and sacrifice was NOT FOR THE BELIEVERS ONLY but for the whole world.
- I - Irresistible grace: This means that if God is going to save you, you cannot resist or hinder it in any way. You must be saved as you have no choice in the matter. This makes man totally passive in salvation which the bible does not teach. Man is a free moral agent to choose to repent and believe in Christ or he is responsible in perishing in his sins.
- P - Perseverance of the saints: This means they will go on and are eternally secure. This the bible teaches. in John 10:28. Hebrews 5:9 says, "Christ is the author of ETERNAL SALVATION."
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated July 2009, by Shelly Allen