Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
Eph. 1: 3-6
We aren't ever going to focus on TULIP. I'm sorry.
In the real world, TULIP is a bad idea unless you are a Methodist.
Michael Bush, Professor, formerly of Erskine Theological Seminary
Wesleyan Church Closes Doors After Pastor Stumbles Upon Romans 9
An Exchange between Dr. Michael Bush and Dr. Tuckett
I'd be open to discussing your explication of these five terms, showing that they are the most appropriate ways of explaining the doctrines of sin, election, atonement, freedom, and sanctification, (or whatever doctrines you argue they express)
Dr. Michael Bush
It is unfortunate that you feel the need to insert a "barb" in an otherwise civil exchange. But putting that aside, let me offer my explanation.
TULIP is not a "formula" devised by Calvinists, but a didactic for understanding the Bible. To understand the message of God's redemptive work, from Genesis to Revelation, certain tenets must be understood.
1. Is humanity basically good or totally depraved? If it is basically good, the concept of Savior is irrelevant; all we need is a guru with a self-improvement plan. (When you study Liberal theology, this is really what they are teaching. An infallible Bible, Virgin Birth, literal resurrection are not really important to their theology.)
2. Is God sovereign? If He is, then His covenant people must have been chosen by unconditional election. If He isn't, then it is really our will which determines providence. (Many people really think, God helps those who help themselves is in the Bible.)
3. What happened on the Cross? Did Christ pay the one, all-sufficient price for the sins of the covenant people, or did he merely make redemption a possibility for whomever might choose to accept the offer, or did He pay the price for everyone, regardless of faith? The meaning of the celebration of Easter is determined by how we answer this.
4. Do we choose God or does He choose us? If grace is irresistible, then God draws to the Christ all His covenant people, no one will be lost; if it is not, then if we don't "save souls for Jesus" some who might have gone to go to Heaven won't.
5. Can we lose our salvation? If God is not able to equip His covenant people to persevere, then He cannot really offer eternal life. Confident Christians are more fruitful.
A few years ago, a Regional Manager of Xerox told me about the problems one of his sales reps was having. The rep had a degree in engineering, but after 6 months on the job, had not placed one copier. The Regional Manager asked if he could "tag along" on a few calls. At the first stop, a drug store, the pharmacist asked how the copier worked. The "engineer" took over and laid of the schematics and showed the pharmacist exactly how the copier worked. The pharmacist was impressed, and said he would think about getting the copier.
The same scenario played out at the next two stops. The proprietors were impressed, but no copiers were sold.
The Regional Manager, who had only a BA in Business, asked if he could take the next call. When the business owner asked how the copier worked, the RM said, "Great!" He copied a document and handed it to the owner. "Looks good; I'll take it!"
"The meanest peasant, once called of God, felt within him a strength stronger than the might of kings. In the mighty elevation of the masses embodied in the Calvinistic doctrines of election and grace, lay the germs of the modern principles of human equality."
John Richard Green
When the "people-in-the-pews" understand the basic tenets, they are better equipped to understand the deeper mysteries and do the good works for which we were created. TULIP is the only logical, Biblical explanation of how lost sinners become eternally secure saints.
dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a
coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet
would remain silent.”