Friday, June 1, 2007

The Tulip Acrostic

A much debated in the past and even more so in the 21st century is the philosophy of the Docrines of Grace, more popularly labeled as "Calvinism". The Society of Gentleman has concluded that we will, within the next few weeks, either refute or prove the Doctrines of Grace. Below, outlined in an acrostic known as the "TULIP" acrostic are the five main points of controversy. ------------------------------------ T -Total Depravity - This means that man is tainted by the effects of Adam's fall in every part of his human constitution, his mind, emotions and will. While fallen, man is still capable of moral good, but he is incapable of any spiritual good, or of any good that would earn him the favor or blessing of God. --------------------------------------- U -Unconditional Election - This means that God chose men in Christ for the ultimate end of their salvation even before the foundation of the world, and hence, apart from any merit, worth or goodness in man.----------------------------------------------------------------------------- L - Limited Atonement - Jesus Christ died a substitutionary, penal sacrifice for sinners'; therefore, He had to be, of necessity, a substitute for actual, particular human beings when He died on the cross. This being the case, the Father limited the scope of redemption by limiting His intention in saving not all the human race, but only those chosen from the mass of humanity and given to His Son for the purpose of their redemption. ------------------------------------------------ I - Irresistible Grace - When God commences His saving work within a human soul, the grace of salvation, while initially spurned, even resisted, will ultimately win the tug of war, and that soul will eventually be infallibly saved. ------------------------------------------------ P - Perseverence of the Saints - This means that a true saint, an unconditionally elect man, will persevere in his faith unto the end and be eternally glorified. -------------------------------------------------- We will be working on each point one at a time, producing results in roughly every 3-4 weeks. In Christ, Stephenb

4 comments:

Christy said...

Hi there. I have a question on the big "L". You state, "He had to be, of necessity, a substitute for actual, particular human beings when He died on the cross." But a man is not saved until he repents and believes, so Jesus didn't save anyone at the cross, He made salvation possible. Jesus is not a substitute until a man has faith in Him. He is not a substitute for unregenerate ones, only regenerated ones (which comes through faith). Is that right?

Calvin and Hobbs said...

Making salvation "possible" at the cross is the old Arminian argument that there is no real saving power in Calvary. Jesus didn't die as the "Great Enabler" (the classic semi-Pelagian view); the Bible everywhere affirms He is the Savior! Also, at Calvary, He performs His greatest High Priestly work. As such He is an actual representative of His people in the same way the Old Testament High Priest represented Israel. This was seen in the OT high priestly vestments which included the 12 precious gem stones representing the 12 tribes. Though this typical representation is not the exacting kind of representation we see at the cross, it pictures it. Also, I take issue with the statement that regeneration comes through faith. How can a dead man believe to the regeneration of his own soul? The proper order is visible in John chapter three: "Except a man be born again (lit. "from above") he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).

Tony Ramsek said...

Hi. Don't the elect have to believe to be justified? If you don't believe in Christ, you're not justified. So the cross isn't the instrument that justifies (saves) anyone, faith is the instrument. The cross is the grounds for our salvation. Without faith in Christ we are not saved. Thus the cross alone doesn't save anyone. Is that right?

calvin and hobbs said...

Yes, the justified are justified by the instrumental means of faith. I must believe on Christ in order to be justified, receiving and resting in His finished work accomplished fully and finally at Calvary. But when you say that "the cross alone doesn't save anyone," are you suggesting that the atonement of Jesus Christ is incomplete apart from the additive of human faith? Where, I ask you, does faith, called a "gift" in Eph. 2:8,9, come from? Is faith not the very gift purchased by our Great High Priest's sacrifice at the cross for His people? As J.I. Packer so admirably says in his marvelous introduction to Owen's "The Death of Death in the Death of Christ"-"The Cross saves. Where the Arminian will only say:'I could not have gained my salvation without Calvary,' The Calvinist will say: 'Christ gained my salvation for me at Calvary.' The former makes the Cross the sine qua non of salvation, the latter sees it as the actual procuring cause of salvation, and traces the source of every spiritual blessing, faith included, back to the great transaction between God and His Son carried through on Calvary's hill" (Introductory Essay, pg.7). Packer goes on later in this same work to say the following: "It is Calvinism that gives due honor to the Cross...He (the Calvinist) insists that the Bible sees the Cross as revealing God's power to save, not His impotence. Christ did not win a hypothetical salvation for hypothetical believers, a mere possibility of salvation for any who might possibly believe, but a real salvation for His own chosen people. His precious blood really does 'save us all';the intended effects of His self-offering do in fact follow, just because the Cross was what it was. Its saving power does not depend on faith being added to it. The Cross secured the full salvation of all for whom Christ died. 'God forbid,' therefore, 'that I should boast, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ' (Gal. 4:14)(Introductory Essay, pg. 11-12). What say ye?