Monday, April 27, 2009

Tripping TULIP Part 7: Conclusion

Please find Part 6 here.

My closing thoughts on modern Calvinism’s TULIP: What more can I say? I have not created some infallible refutation of TULIP. Much greater theological minds have created much better works I’m sure, though I have not read them. I know people will continue to argue these doctrines, both for and against, as long as we endure in this life. I would love to see the Pastors and other officers of the Church stand up and bring the Body into unity in Christ instead of allowing so much wrangling about man’s systems of theology. It could be that God is going to do that, I cannot be sure.

What I can confidently say is that I have completed this article with nothing other than several translations of the Bible, two source articles describing TULIP, some Greek helps, and Darby’s translation notes (not commentary and not overview just his notes on the translation). I didn’t need to study up on the arguments against TULIP to come to the findings I have. I did not read ahead in the articles but have gone through them in order responding as I went. This is the confidence that one can have when their sole purpose is to find out what the Scriptures say and believe it.

If the Scriptures would have indicated that TULIP is true, I would have been convinced and I would have said so. However, though a multitude of proof-texts were provided by the source material, not even one of them actually supported the doctrines they were cited for when read in context.

It must be noted that it is much easier to tear apart someone else’s theology than it is to accurately describe truth. It is no small feat to put together articles such as those I have used as sources. The authors were doing what they could, and they are to be commended for their effort. My work here has not been to do anything but show that TULIP is not an accurate representation of what the Scriptures say. I have not given a teaching to replace TULIP, such can be found in the Scriptures however. My work was relatively easy.

The great tragedy of systematic theology is students of these systems learn what the system says and then finds that confirmed in verses of the Bible. I do believe that we should BE “systematic” about our study, but not locked into a “system.” I hope that makes sense. One Brother who briefly reviewed this series noted to me that he taught Systematic Theology for years. My comments, previous to his notes, were overly harsh. We need to BE systematic, but just not rely on what has been determined to be part of the system.

The student of the Word studies the whole Word of God allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture. This consistently means he or she can’t always answer questions quickly, there are very few “packaged answers” for people who study the whole Word consistently. TULIP allows people to hold to many things without ever having learned them from Scripture. That may be good enough for mankind, but God wants us to show ourselves approved rightly dividing the Word of Truth.


Jean said...


I have read through your study, and I am in shock (literally). I will pray about this and ask the Lord to lead me, because even though I am calvinist because of what I have been taught by people more inteligent than silly me, I can honestly say scripture has never confirmed TULIP to me. As a new believer I felt obliged to be a calvinst, they say they right and anyone else who challenges calvinism is heretic but over the past few months I have been doubting some of the doctrines of Calvinism, especially the doctrine of Limited Atonement which makes me really mad! How offensive can it get! It sounds so wrong. Scripture is clear that Christ died for everyone, the whole world.
To be honest I bought into Calvinism also because of how the Lord saved me, but when I look at how others are drawn to Christ, Calvinism would not make sense....I have learnt so much from your study, its like so many of my questions were answered. As a berean of course I will check with scripture and pray, but I have been blessed beyond measure by this study, its like it was written just for me, as in I felt like the Lord used it to open my eyes...Thank you


Kevl said...

Hi Jean,

I'm responding to you a long time after you wrote this. I missed your comment, and I'm sorry for that.

Thank you for your kind words, I trust the Lord is leading you.