In this lesson, we will look at the definitions of Total Depravity, then compare those definitions to Scripture. Can a person reject the Reformed position of Total Depravity and still be considered orthodox? Find out in lesson one of TULIP Season.
Reformed theology (Calvinism) is a very popular theological movement in the church today, especially among the young. Due to its popularity, it is essential that we "question the assumptions" of the basic tenants of the Reformed movement. These assumptions are known by the acrostic TULIP. R.C. Sproul is arguably the most influential proponent of Reformed Theology. Sproul introduces the TULIP system by discussing the theological controversy that resulted in the development of the popular acrostic. Sproul explains:
"There were basically five doctrines that were the core of the controversy. As a result of this debate, these five core theological issues became known in subsequent generations as the “five points of Calvinism.” They are now known through the very popular acrostic TULIP, which is a clever way to sum up the five articles that were in dispute. The five points, as they are stated in order to form the acrostic TULIP, are: total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints." (1)These "five points of Calvinism," as Sproul calls them, will be the topic of this course. In "TULIP Season," class participants will learn the basic five points and analyze their Biblical basis. Students will be encouraged to discard theological ideas that do not have solid Biblical footing. NOTE: Dr. White does not hold to Calvinism or Reformed Theology. His perspective will be from a point of a Berean, searching the Scriptures to test theological ideas.
(1) R.C. Sproul. TULIP and Reformed Theology, and Introduction.
Since Calvinists presuppose that no person can or will accept the Gospel, due to their total depravity, and yet some people have accepted the Gospel, their system requires a mechanism to make this possible. The mechanism is the U of TULIP, Unconditional Election. This is the subject of Lesson Two of TULIP Season. (This lesson will become available February 24).
Many people call themselves “four-point” Calvinist because they reject the idea of Limited Atonement. However, the L in the TULIP system is essential to the integrity of the system. If Limited Atonement is wrong, then you need to reject the entire system.
The fourth point of the TULIP system is Irresistible Grace. This point is another logical necessity built from the previous points, especially Unconditional Election. If men and women are so depraved that they would never accept the gift of God’s grace (they would always reject it), and so God, wanting some to be saved, worked around this problem by unconditionally electing certain men and women for salvation, now this election, if unconditional, must be introduced to the totally depraved sinner by some means that cannot be rejected. Ladies and gentlemen: Meet irresistible grace!
The Reformed doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints is interpreted in at least two different means. Is this a doctrine of perseverance or preservation? This lesson studies the doctrine as its most often taught in Calvinism, and that is a doctrine
This lesson will be available April 13.