I’m starting to believe that ‘Calvinism’ is something you have to ‘convince’ yourself to believe. Why? I used to believe in reformed teaching, without calling myself reformed, but it turned out that I kept saying, “I don’t understand this, because its too lofty for my thoughts, so just believe what Calvin and Augustine say the bible teaches me.” If these doctrines are so lofty, then what makes Calvin and Augustine so sure that’s what the bible teaches? Christians have carried too much baggage from previous generations, and I think reformed teaching is one of them. Its time to really ask ourselves what does the bible really teach on the doctrines of election, predestination and foreknowledge. Is your understanding totally based on your study of the word of God, or from reading Spurgeon, Calvin and such…
Calvinistic teaching is marked by the famous acronym : TULIP
T – Total Depravity – man does not, and is unable and cannot seek God on his own
U – Unconditional Election – God has chosen some, out of all mankind, to be saved, but not because of any inherent good or worth in them.
L – Limited Atonement – Christ’s death on the cross was propitiatory to God, but only to cover the sins of those He has chosen
I – Irresistible Grace – Those who God has chose, will definitely and eventually be saved.
P – Perseverance of the Saints – God will continue to do a good work in a believer’s life. A believer will get better and better till the day of death, or Christ’s return.
These doctrines have huge roots in what many believe explain the doctrines of election, predestination, foreknowledge. I’ve been reading the related passages I used to be so convinced of in my reformed mind, and suddenly i feel like i’m finally being reformed.
While i don’t totally disagree with the above, neither to i believe in them totally.
For the record, I’ve not turned Armenist either.
The Lord willing, I’ll post some thoughts on the TULIP in future.