Monday, November 07, 2011

TESTING TULIP - INTRODUCTION

This post will serve as the introduction to the upcoming series testing TULIP according to the Scriptures.  I am not seeking to refute TULIP, but to critically examine it in accordance with 1Thess 5:21 and by using the Scriptures not my intellect or preferences in accordance with Acts 17:11.  Like the Evangelist, Teacher, theologian, and scripture translator John N. Darby I have no sacred cows in theology.  I do not love my theology and will gladly throw it away to know truth without reservation.

THE STANDARD
  • Good Doctrine meets particular standards. Deut 32:1-4, Prov 4:1-4, 1Tim 4:13-16, Tit 1:9-12, Tit 2:1. 
  • God's Word is perfect, sufficient, complete, reliable, covers all topics and is my first and final authority. Ps 119:89, Ps 119:160,  Ps 119:96, Ps 119:102 
  • No teacher (or resource) no matter how dear to me, or offensive to me will have influence above the Scriptures in this discussion. 


THE INTENT

  • To determine if TULIP (or any part thereof) is faithful to the Scriptures or not. 

THE DISCLOSURE


  • At one time I believed in TULIP but this belief was based on teachings I had received. As I grew in my study of the Word various points of TULIP were removed from my theology. I currently deny all 5 points as they have been explained to me. 
  • I do not claim the name "Dispensationalist" but I do believe that God has and will continue to work in Dispensations or Administrations in His dealings with mankind and as He works out His perfect plan for History. (Ephesians) That being said, I have long since come to the conclusion that Covenant Theology is not a faithful representation of God's workings and His plan. I will not be dealing with this in this series, but it is worthy of disclosure. A good representation of my views on the subject can be found in Renald E. Showers' "There Really is a Difference!"
  • I hold strictly to the Historical-Grammatical Hermeneutic. I do not deviate from this from cover to cover of the Bible. It is fair to disclose that I will find it hard to understand why anyone would deviate from this at any point. 
  • I have noted that contemporary believers of TULIP tend strongly and consistently toward the heresy commonly known as Lordship Salvation. This tends to poison the discussion for me, and it is very hard for me to divorce this heresy from the discussion. 
  • I am not a great theologian but I have a great resource in the Scriptures. 
  • I have received very poor treatment by TULIP believers almost without exception for a period of years. I tend not to trust those who hold to these beliefs to interact above the board. I will do my level best to give everyone a fair shake. 


THE RULES 
  • If any of the points of disclosure indicate to you that I will not be fair in this discussion then please stay out of it. I will not be defending these disclosed points. They are provided to aid the discussion in being open and Christ-honoring. 
  • A commenter may ask one question of a person at a time, no more. Once the commenter's question is answered they will be expected to answer the question of the person they asked. There may be several people talking with each other at once. This will keep questions from being buried under comments, and will hopefully keep participants from feeling overwhelmed. 
  • Intimidation will not be tolerated at all. I alone will decide if someone is dealing in intimidation. Intimidation will result in no further comments being posted by that person. 
  • Questions will be asked and answered clearly by all who participate. Underhanded questions, or answers will not be tolerated. 
  • There will be no links to articles or other resources.  Commenters may explain a point and link only to scripture. 
  • Finally, each of the discussions must at some point come to an end. The debates about Calvinism have gone on for centuries. I hope to have a better understanding at the end, and that others will as well.  If a conversation is no longer productive it will be helpful if we just end it and move on to the next topic. I understand this can be exceedingly hard in some instances. 

I think that's it. If something else unexpected comes up then I reserve the right to change these at any time. Of course, no one is obligated to participate and my intent is to have several people actually do so. I have no desire to make rules that leave people in an unfair position or feel abused. I am just trying to ensure there is proper discussion.


7 comments:

Kevl said...

Of course if something is missing in the above, or is heavy handed please comment now and let's try to work it out before we start.

Thanks,
Kev

Jan said...

At one time I believed in TULIP...

Really???! Wow! I didn't know that!

Thanks for the disclosure. It doesn't affect me in the least (except that it's interesting), but I can see where it would be valuable to others.

JanH

Kevl said...

Yep I was a 5 pointer for a while. I was actually drawn out of that by bits and parts, staring with Miles J. Standford's teaching. Now I don't agree with everything he taught - mostly his multi-gospel, and trans-acts dispensationalism stuff. He was helpful to me in several things. Positional-Truth is something I learned through him.

Side discussion here though. :)

I was also on the verge of LS theology too! I was into MacArthur and Washer... something didn't sit well though and I started asking questions. Thankfully I found some FG folk who really helped confirm some things I thought were true, and warn me away form some things that I didn't really understand.

Kev

Brian Davis said...

It is hard for me to believe that you don't have "any sacred cows in theology" when you throw out a word like heresy when talking about Lordship Salvation. Used to be a time when it took more than a personal opinion to claim a doctrine as heresy. I wonder if Thomas was a heretic when he fell at Jesus' feet and called Him Lord. John 20:28
If you are trying not to give offense, then you have probably already failed when it comes to most Reformed people who would want to discuss the issue with you on your blog. I imagine that labeling someones beliefs as heresy doesn't sit to well.

Kevl said...

Brian,

Lordship Salvation is heresy. It is another gospel which isn't a gospel at all.

I really, truly, do not concern myself with the offense of people who preach a false gospel. They are accursed.

It is not just my word or accusation. This fact has been well established. There are many teachers of Calvinism who reject Lordship Salvation, but this is not the norm across the landscape of Christendom today.

If you are unable to separate the two, and if you truly think that I cannot call heresy as it is and still be open to true discussion about TULIP then please do not participate in this discussion. You will only end up bringing frustration into the mix, which will not be helpful at all.

Kev

TRoutMac said...

Brian wrote: "I wonder if Thomas was a heretic when he fell at Jesus' feet and called Him Lord."

I never heard any critic of Lordship Salvation say that it's heresy to call Jesus Lord. Calling Jesus "Lord" is not Lordship Salvation.

Lordship Salvation essentially combines works with faith; saying that your obedience to Christ proves your salvation; that works is a necessary by-product of genuine salvation; that you must make a commitment or a promise to be obedient (making Jesus "master" of your life) in order to be saved. Adding works to faith as a requirement of salvation is a heresy known as "synergism."

I think that Kevin's hit that nail right on the head.

Kevl said...

I have now written out what Monergism.com says about Total Depravity, what the Synod of Dort says about the corruption of man (that directly relates to this discussion) what Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology says about the Providence and Eternal Decrees of God (with regard to the discussion of Total Depravity) and what Wayne Grudem says about the goodness of faith.

I have broken the claims made by these documents down into point form, and have compiled the passages referenced to support these claims. I am going to begin today to evaluate the claims in view of the passages.

Kev