Friday, June 15, 2012

A Warning on believing TULIP Calvinism

A systematic framework for understanding the Scriptures can be a very helpful servant, for collecting and organizing information.  However, it can also be a terrible tyrant of a master.
More and more modern Calvinists are taking in their understanding of Scripture through the grid of the TULIP, and after some initial helpful results it begins to stunt their growth, and traps them into a dreadful framework from which there can be no escape. At first the five points seem to be a summation of the teachings of of the Bible on salvation, then they become the teaching of the Bible, then they themselves become the all of the Bible. At that stage the five point Calvinists must necessarily fight to the death against a "four pointer" and call them a heretic, because the lesser Calvinist is questioning the authority of the Scripture.

In addition to that, the categories are very confusing. Total Depravity means well, but it's never pointed out that man actually does have natural abilities, or faculties, given at his creation, that are undimmed by the fall. Limited Atonement sounds good, but it encourages the assumption that all of Salvation is encompassed by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

However, the biggest problem of all is it's structure. Where is the love of God for His creatures held up? Where is the love for creation? Where is His general benevolence? Where is His compassion for fallen humanity? Where is His regard for the lowly and the least? Why have all the categories been rolled up into the concept of elect and not faith or love? Where is the love of the creatures for God’s children?
And worst of all, where is the centrality of Christ in this acrostic? How they get away with pretending to hold the Biblical model without centering it, and grounding it in Him? There is simply no way to hold to Christ being the end of the matter for all who believe using this model as it has no basis in Him, no reference to Him, except tangentially in His death in the L. This model has been constructed with the elect in mind, which is namely me. It's the height of folly to hold to a system where I am at the center and pretend that is not the case.

2 comments:

Rick Brownell said...

You are truly ignorant of Calvinism and apparently Biblical Christianity as well.

Phil said...

Yes, thank you for bringing it up, there is that explanation: Calvinism is full of a lot of people with bad doctrine because it's full of lazy jerks.