Sunday, December 01, 2013

“The Six Points of CALVINism”

These same five points are updated here using
somewhat more modern language
Dr David Snoke has posted what he calls “The Six Points of Calvinism”. The idea is to provide the same essential doctrinal points, but this time, with a different acrostic (“C-A-L-V-I-N” instead of “T-U-L-I-P”), while using “somewhat more modern language”.

Here is a brief summary:

Comprehensive brokenness. This used to be called “total depravity.” In many people’s minds, that means “as wicked as possible.” That is not what that Calvinism teaches. The correct teaching is that sin is comprehensive in our lives—there is no part of us that is untouched by sin, no part of us that we can trust to be good enough to solve our problems on our own. The word brokenness also conveys a wider scope than the word sin; sometimes the word fallenness is also used (though this letter is not a very widely understood word outside the church). Brokenness means that our problem is not only our evil choices, which may be termed sins, but also effects of evil on us by forces outside our choice …

Absolute Sovereignty. This next point conveys the gist of the U in the old TULIP: “unconditional election.” In this point Calvinists insist that the Bible tells us God’s actions are absolutely not dependent on anything we do or choose…

Lifegiving Union. This point is not explictly in the old TULIP, but is the teaching of all Calvinist theologians: our initial state is spiritually dead, and we are given new life (regeneration, a theological word for new life), and this new life comes about by the work of the Holy Spirit to unite us to Christ, who has life in himself...Calvinists insist that our faith itself is created by God through the work of the Spirit...

Verified Atonement. This is called “limited atonement” in the old TULIP; often today it is called “definite atonement,” but I really wanted a “V” for the CALVIN acronym, plus I think “verified” conveys more of the meaning Calvinists intend…

Irresistable Grace. This is the same phrase as in the TULIP. It means that what God does, we cannot undo, or resist. He changes our hearts to receive his grace and we respond. This should be a tremendous comfort, that we cannot sin so much that we actually stop the work God is doing, and fall out of his grace…

Never-ending Adoption. This is called “perseverance of the saints” in the old TULIP. In many ways it expresses the same idea as the “I”, that our relation to God is never in doubt. However, the “I” focuses on our work—that we are unable to stop God’s work. The “N” (or old “P”) focuses on God’s work, namely, that he will never change his mind and stop doing that work, dropping us from his list of children. This permanent relationship is often called adoption in the Bible, which conveys a definite, permanent relationship—God does not “unadopt” us one day if we mess up, and then adopt us again if we get better, then unadopt us again, etc.

“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:29-31)

Read the full article here: The Six Points of Calvinism

Note: the point "Lifegiving Union" above has been edited to clarify in response to some questions.

No comments:

Post a Comment