First of all I need to take care of a hat tip (ht) to my buddy Seth at Contending Earnestly. This posting is being created out of my thoughts triggered by this fellow blogger’s posting and comments. The posting is about being labeled a Calvinist, and the label or term being used as a dirty word.
I really didn’t know what I was until I started reading books on theology. Speaking of theology; The word is much like the word doctrine, and Calvinism. Theology has also been reduced to a dirty word. At least a drastically minimized word in terms of evangelical importance.
Theology – the study of God. Come on, what’s more important?
I didn’t think theology was important until I ran into some blatantly bad theology. For years I had been indoctrinated in meeting peoples needs above doctrine. Now, I believe, if you don’t have sound biblical doctrine and theology, how can you truly meet the peoples ultimate need? Their need is to hear the true gospel of Jesus Christ. What do I mean by the true gospel? Funny I should ask, because it brings up the point of this post.
When I heard about the Five Points of Calvinism I will admit I had heard the term or label Calvinism and immediately thought “one of them”, and “I heard they don’t believe we have a free will.” But after reading these five points I basically recognized and interpreted it as the gospel. The gospel spoken of in scripture. These five points are also known as TULIP. This is an acronym which is defined below.
T otal Depravity – We suck. (a verb meaning we are sinners and do not seek God) (Ref. Romans 6:20, Romans 3:10-12)
U nconditional Election – God does the choosing. No matter who you are and what you’ve done. (Ref. Eph. 1:4-8)
L imited Atonement – Christ died and His blood covers those who the Father chose. (Ref. Eph. 5:25-27)
I rresistable Grace – God’s elect hear the gospel and the Holy Spirit works in the hearts and minds of the those elect and they willing come to God. (Ref. Romans 9:16, Phil. 2:12-13)
P erseverance of the Saints – The elect of God cannot lose their salvation. For heaven’s sake the elect didn’t do anything to earn salvation. God did the choosing. They are eternally secure. (Ref. Romans 8:26-39)
I think that pretty much sums up the gospel as it is told in scripture.
So, am I a Calvinsit? If you prefer a label or a badge, I will gladly wear it. I have one on my sidebar as a matter of fact. It looks like this:
A few months ago I found an article from a blogger that did a real good job of describing why he was a Calvinist. I give a high hat tip to Kevin DeYoung and his article.