TULIP

The following excerpt, which serves as a summary of the five points of Calvinism, is taken from The Doctrines of Grace by James Montgomery Boice and Philip Graham Ryken.1 The doctrines of grace—these words are shorthand for five distinct Bible teachings that were linked…

The doctrines of grace and the gospel of Christ

Having briefly outlined the teaching that is commonly known as “Calvinism,” we must necessarily face one major objection that is often levelled against the system: Does it not hinder the work of the gospel? The story is frequently told that, when William Carey expressed…

The doctrines of grace: Perseverance of the saints

The fifth of the five points of Calvinism speaks of the perseverance of the saints. Sometimes known as “eternal security,” this doctrine teaches that those who are truly converted will not—cannot—lose the salvation that God has given to them by his irresistible grace. The…

The doctrines of grace: Irresistible grace

As we have seen, the first three doctrines of grace progressed in a logical order. The first (total depravity) highlighted the absolute inability of natural man to contribute anything to his salvation. The second (unconditional election) noted the sovereign initiative of God in providing…

The doctrines of grace: Limited atonement

The doctrine of limited atonement is perhaps the most misunderstood and maligned of the doctrines of grace. There are those who call themselves “four-point Calvinists” who reject this doctrine. At the same time, while it is the central point of the five, it is…

The doctrines of grace: Unconditional election

We have already examined the biblical doctrine of total depravity, and concluded that salvation, if it is at all possible, is so only by the grace of God. Salvation must necessarily be of the Lord. That is where the doctrine of unconditional election enters…

The doctrines of grace: Total depravity

As noted previously, the five points of Calvinism (doctrines of grace) arose as a response to a petition by a group of Dutch Arminians in 1610 to affirm the tenets of Arminianism as orthodox Christianity. The Synod of Dort rejected this appeal and in…

The doctrines of grace: An introduction

W. J. Seaton has written, “There is scarcely another word that arouses such suspicion, mistrust, and even animosity among professing Christians as the word Calvinism. And yet much of the zeal that is levelled against this system and those who hold and preach it…