National Association of Christian Ministers Summary Series: Theology

Christian Calvinism is a theological system that emphasizes the sovereignty of God and the absolute predestination of individuals to salvation or damnation. It is named after John Calvin, a French theologian who lived in the 16th century and was a key figure in the Protestant Reformation.

Calvinism teaches that God is sovereign over all things and that his will is supreme. It affirms that salvation is solely the work of God, and that humans cannot contribute to their own salvation in any way. Calvinism teaches that God has predestined some individuals to salvation, based on his sovereign choice, and that this election is not based on any merit or worthiness in the individual.

Calvinism also emphasizes the total depravity of humanity, which means that all humans are born in sin and are incapable of choosing God on their own. It teaches that salvation is by grace alone, through faith in Jesus Christ, and that this faith is a gift from God.

Another key tenet of Calvinism is the perseverance of the saints, which means that those who are truly saved will persevere in faith and obedience to God until the end of their lives. This perseverance is seen as evidence of God’s saving work in their lives.

Calvinism has had a significant impact on Protestant Christianity, and has been a major influence on many denominations and movements, such as Presbyterianism, Reformed theology, and the Puritan movement. It has also been the subject of much debate and controversy, particularly regarding the issues of predestination and free will.

TULIP Calvinism, also known as the Five Points of Calvinism, is a popular summary of the teachings of Christian Calvinism. TULIP is an acronym that represents five key doctrines of Calvinism:

1. Total Depravity: This doctrine teaches that all humans are born in sin and are spiritually dead, unable to respond to God on their own.

2. Unconditional Election: This doctrine teaches that God chooses to save some individuals, not based on any merit or worthiness in the individual, but solely on God’s sovereign choice.

3. Limited Atonement: This doctrine teaches that Jesus Christ died only for the elect, not for all people.

4. Irresistible Grace: This doctrine teaches that those whom God has chosen for salvation cannot resist his grace, but will inevitably respond in faith and repentance.

5. Perseverance of the Saints: This doctrine teaches that those who are truly saved will persevere in faith and obedience to God until the end of their lives, as evidence of God’s saving work in their lives.

TULIP Calvinism emphasizes the sovereignty of God in salvation and the total dependence of humans on God’s grace. It has been a significant influence on many denominations and movements within Protestant Christianity, and has also been the subject of much debate and controversy.

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