why we've grouped some questions around TULIP?

An acronym that has come to be associated with the teachings and docrtinal position of John Calvin and more recently the Reformed Theology.

T-U-L-I-P

A popularly recognized pneumatic representing the “pillars” of John Calvin’s teaching.

(aka “total inability”) Every person that is enslaved to sin as a result of the fall of man and further, is not inclined to love God. Instead, man’s nature is to reject the rule of God and serve themselves. As a result, no human has the moral capacity to choose to obey God for spiritual salvation. Their sin (“depravity”) affects every part of them (“total”). Calvin’s “total depravity” doctrine is based on his interpretation of Augustine’s definition of Original Sin.

From the beginning, God chose individuals that he would call his own. This was not based on any foreseen virtue, merit, or faith in those people. Instead, his selection is unconditional (e.g. unilateral) and based only on his mercy. He extends mercy and salvation in Christ Jesus to those chosen (the “elect”). Those not chosen are separated from him because of their sins, receiving his wrath.

(aka “particular redemption” or “definite atonement” or “particular atonement”) Because of God’s complete sovereignty over man, the sins of the elect – and only the elect – were atoned for by Jesus’ death.

(aka “efficacious grace”) God’s saving grace is effectually applied to those whom he has determined to save (that is, the elect). By his sovereignty, he overcomes any resistance to obeying the call of the gospel, bringing them to a saving faith. After all, he has purposed this from the beginning (“Unconditional election”). Here a distinction is made with the Holy Spirit’s “outward call” (preaching of the Gospel) that goes to all (elect and non-elect). It is only this “outward call” that can be rejected by sinners, whereas the “inward call” (or “effectual call”) of the Holy Spirit’s saving grace cannot be rejected (e.g “irresistible”).

(aka “perseverance of God with the saints” and “preservation of the believing”) God’s sovereignty precludes any that have received his “inward call” to be lost.  These “elect” will definitively be saved.

  • In the face of God’s sovereignty and His very real desire that all are saved, the reality that repentance could become impossible for anyone seems contradictory.  And yet, that is exactly what the Hebrews writer states1. Is there really a [more]

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  • The once saved always saved doctrine (e.g. OSAS) teaches that once someone has been saved they can never fall away or “fall from grace.” This argument usually stems from an absolute position regarding God’s sovereignty. The reasoning goes something like:

    [more]

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  • A Christian’s potential to fall from grace is a concept that runs contrary to many in the religious world today. Challenging certain pre-conceived doctrines (e.g Reformed/Calvinism), a fall from grace suggests that a person who had at one time [more]

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  • Working through how “works” are defined in Scripture isn’t for the faint of heart. Where one comes down on works defined has led some to question the very inspiration of the Bible. After all, Paul said, “one is justified by [more]

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  • We have assembled our top three salvation false doctrines.  After tackling dozens of questions related to what the Bible (God) says about salvation and various false doctrines that are promoted by various denominations and [false] teachers, there are three especially [more]

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  • The sovereignty of God is a fundamental tenant of Christianity. Merriam-Webster defines sovereignty as “supreme power especially over a body politic, freedom from external control, autonomy, controlling influence”. Within this concept, we might think of the ultimate [more]

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  • Scripture doesn’t comment about the time of Christ in typical human terms.  The exact dates of his birth or death are not mentioned. But that’s not to say that Scripture is silent about the time of Christ. In fact, the [more]

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  • Joy is a readily understood word, so a Christian’s joy may seem to be self-evident. As a word, “joy” means pretty much the same in the English as it does in the Greek – the language in which the New [more]

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  • Sin is an unfortunate reality in this world. The remedy for sin and evil in this world has been pursued and framed by many different movements. Recently, the “New Age” philosophy has centered around man’s own ability to do [more]

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  • Baptism for the forgiveness of sins” is a statement Peter makes in his sermon on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:38 ). The preposition “for” comes from the Greek word “eis” which is defined by [more]

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  • Free will: “Whether free will exists, what it is and the implications of whether it exists or not are some of the longest-running debates of philosophy and religion.” This is well-stated from Wikipedia. A search on [more]

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  • The inward call versus the outward call. Many today distinguish these as two different types of Godly or heavenly ‘callings’. Dividing the spiritual callings found in scripture between an ‘inward call’ and an ‘outward call’ is perpetuated at least in [more]

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  • What Christian’s believe and how they have come to understand what the Bible teaches isn’t always shaped purely by Scripture. The Ancient Greek influence of Gnosticism has had a profound and enduring effect on Christian thought. [more]

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  • God’s irresistible grace, also referred to as the ‘effectual call’ in the Westminster Confession of Faith, is probably better known as “irresistible grace”. It represents the “I” in “TULIP” – a broader collection of doctrines ascribed [more]

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  • It is such an important question. Can we lose our salvation? Or said another way: Can God’s grace be rejected? Can someone actually squander, neglect, or even return, as it were, their free gift from God?

    There is a prevailing thought [more]

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  • Does the Bible have anything to say about an individual’s age of accountability to God? Does a person reach a point in their lifetime when they are responsible for their sin and require reconciliation to God?

    Some might say, “No.” In [more]

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  • The doctrine of original sin is typically credited to Augustine of Hippo (334-430), but he credits Irenaeus of Lyon, Bishop of Lyon (130-202). It’s a belief widely held between both Catholic and Protestant Christian religions. While the doctrine of [more]

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  • The act of baptism is well recorded in Scripture. Not only was it a tradition among the Hebrew people for centuries, but it is what at least one Bible character was know by (John the Baptist) and it was [more]

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