6 Oct

Last week end we had our close friends Craig and Kerry over for dinner. As always it’s a good treat, especially for Phillip who never gets to see Craig (since they moved last year living now 40 minutes away from my house). I get to see Kerry regularly at the rugby so I’m not deprived as much! 

But Kerry taught me something I didn’t know ( ah! ah!). She taught me that I believe in tulip(s). Or shall I say TULIP (it is an acronym). I know what I believe in, I know what my faith is about, but this makes it maybe academic but still interesting to remember. (I do realise it might be a bit boring for some of you but at least for my own benefit, I will write it down).

There are two mains camps of theology within Christianity: Arminianism and Calvinism. Calvinism was taught by John Calvin. (And Calvin was french!!!) at the time of Martin Luther ( if you haven’t seen the movie Luther, it is soooo worth it, it even remains fairly true to the true story!) 

TULIP defines the main 5 points of Calvinism:

Total Depravity 
Unconditional Election 
Limited Atonement 
Irresistible Grace
Perseverance of the Saints 


      Total Depravity: 

Sin has affected every part of our being: our heart, emotions, mind and body. We’re not as sinful as we could be but we are completely affected by sin.

One question arises: “In light of the scriptures that declare man’s true nature as being utterly lost and incapable, how is it possible for anyone to choose or desire God?” The answer is, “He cannot. Therefore God must predestine.” 

      Unconditional Election:

God does not choose us based on anything that we could have done, or will do, He chose us before the Creation of time, according to ‘the kind attention of His will”. His election is not based on anything that He sees in us.

Limited Atonement:

Jesus died for the sins of everybody. His death was sufficient for everybody. However, it was only efficient for the elect.

Irresistible Grace:

When God calls his elect, they cannot resist His call. The Gospel message is for everyone (external call) but to His elect, the Holy Spirit extends an internal call that cannot be resisted. The Holy Spirit works in the hearts and mind of the elect and brings them to repentance and faith.

      Perseverance of the Saints: 

     You cannot lose your salvation. It’s the same as ‘once saved, always saved’. The elect is eternally secure in Christ.

Writing down these 5 main points of what I believe in has been a wonderful exercise for me. The last one, in particular, is such an encouragement. Knowing that God promises to never let me be tempted beyond what I can handle is a good reminder that even when I don’t ‘feel’ christian, when I do shout at my kids, or when my heart is filled with hatred, God is the one being faithful to perfect me until the day of Jesus’ return.

And to this, I say Thank You Lord…


2 Responses to “I BELIEVE IN TULIPS!”

  1. Leon October 22, 2008 at 1:47 pm #

    Thanks for this Ingrid! Super useful for remembering the basic points of Calvinism!

  2. David Jones October 11, 2008 at 2:03 am #

    Very, very, nicely said! 🙂

What did you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: