Friday, April 27, 2012

Lynne Explains TULIP

Lynne from Australia left comments on The Wartburg Watch concerning Calvinism that I want to preserve here for myself and whatever posterity that is interested in it.
She starts off by responding to Jedidiah who asked about what reformed doctrine was:

"Jedidiah, like most code words, “Reformed Theology” has a special meaning. (Otherwise it would just be protestant theology, since all forms of Protestantism have their roots in the Reformation. No, Reformed in these circles refers specifically to Calvinism, and fairly “high” Calvinism at that, i.e. a form of Calvinism that puts a strong emphasis on God’s sovereignty as His most important attribute (as a non-Calvinist I would say it was His love). It is very important to them that nothing in any way should limit God’s absolute rule, so they believe strongly in predestination and that salvation is 100% of God and 0% of man’s free will. Hence the acronym TULIP commonly used to summarise this position:
T–total depravity (man in his wickedness cannot save himself
U — unconditional election (God chooses who He wants to save on a completely arbitrary basis)
L — limited atonement (Jesus only died for the ones that God has chosen to be saved)
I — irresistible grace (when God chooses to save you, you’re saved — you have no power to refuse
P — perseverance of the saints (you can’t be un-saved, once you’re in you’re in)
hope that helps, I’ve tried to be fair,"

Then later she talks about her history with Calvinism:

"I spent 20 years in a Calvinist church (Presbyterian Church of Australia) Mostly I encountered ‘soft’ Calvinists, who were very nuanced in their application of these principles. The internet Calvinistas tend to be a different breed — much fiercer and less nuanced, and much more likely to take the sovereignty of God all the way to a reductio ad absurdum (i.e. take the trajectory as far as they can push it, no matter how silly their end point is. Very sad.Soft Calvinists tend to be human and compassionate, hard Calvinists are very scary.
Having said all this, the point where I finally broke with Calvinism was when I went to the funeral of a new born baby, and the whole sermon was on the perfection of God’s ways, without a word of comfort for the grieving parents. That, for me, was the beginning of a massive rethink, and basically turning away from over-systematised theology."

I like her views and her insight. And I think that I'm also repelled by the "over-systematised" aspect of Calvinism theology.

No comments: