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"TULIP" Calvinism Compared to Wesleyan Perspectives


Jun 4, 2023
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By: Dennis Bratcher

John Calvin*
Foundation laid by Augustine​
John Wesley
Foundation laid by Arminius​
Total Depravity - Human beings are so affected by the negative consequences of original sin that they are incapable of being righteous, and are always and unchangeably sinful; human freedom is totally enslaved by sin so we can only choose evil.​
Deprivation - Human beings are sinful and without God, incapable (deprived) on their own of being righteous; however, they are not irredeemably sinful and can be transformed by God’s grace; God's prevenient grace restores to humanity the freedom of will.​
Unconditional Election - Since human beings can only choose evil, God by His eternal decree has chosen or elected some to be counted as righteous, without any conditions being placed on that election.​
Conditional Election - God has chosen that all humanity be righteous by His grace, yet has called us to respond to that grace by exercising our God-restored human freedom as a condition of fulfilling election.​
Limited Atonement - The effects of the Atonement, by which God forgave sinful humanity, are limited only to those whom He has chosen.​
Unlimited Atonement - The effects of the Atonement are freely available to all those whom He has chosen, which includes all humanity, "whosoever will."​
Irresistible Grace - The grace that God extends to human beings to effect their election cannot be refused, since it has been decreed by God.​
Resistible Grace - God’s grace is free and offered without merit; however, human beings have been granted freedom by God and can refuse His grace.​
Perseverance of the Saints - Since God has decreed the elect, and they cannot resist grace, they are unconditionally and eternally secure in that election.​
Assurance and Security - There is security in God’s grace that allows assurance of salvation, but that security is in relation to continued faithfulness; we can still defiantly reject God.​
*These five points as the heart of Calvinism (Reformed Tradition) actually developed from the Synod of Dordtrecht in 1618-19 in response to the Remonstrants' (followers of James Arminius) five points that challenged Reformed orthodoxy, especially the double predestination of Theodore Beza, a follower of John Calvin. Calvin's theological system was broader ranging than these five points. However, these five points came to encapsulate the Calvinist/Reformed position against Arminius and later John Wesley. (See The Canons of Dordt).
Wasn't this posted previously?

Bratcher did not get a single aspect of TULIP correct. That entire half of the table is a gigantic straw man.

Total Depravity simply means the effects of sin are total, to the point of preventing humanity from coming to God for salvation in their own might. Total Depravity does not mean utter depravity.

Unconditional Election simply means God has not conditioned his election upon any trait or faculty of the sinner being saved. Nothing more. It does not even remotely claim God didn't place conditions on the sinner.

Limited Atonement teaches the atonement is limited to those to whom it is applied. The atonement is sufficient for all to be saved, but not all are saved because it is not efficiently applied to all.

Irresistible Grace simply teaches God accomplishes the purpose for which His grace was applied. It has nothing to do with whether or not grace can be refused. It has nothing to do with the faculties or abilities of the sinner being saved.

Perseverance of the Saints simply means GOD PERSEVERES saving the saint.

The fundamental problem with Bratcher's table is he has not rendered TULIP MONERGISTICALLY. Huge, ginormous Uber-Fail. Calvinist soteriology is monergistic.

Calvinist soteriology is monergistic.
Calvinist soteriology is monergistic.
Calvinist soteriology is monergistic.
Calvinist soteriology is monergistic.
Calvinist soteriology is monergistic.

The moment anyone starts thinking anything in Calvinist soteriology pertaining to conversion is somehow related in any way to the sinner's traits, faculties, or action has left Calvinism. Because regeneration precedes faith the sinner is not doing ANYTHING to affect his own salvation. It is only AFTER a person has been brought from death to life that s/he can and does contribute anything. to paraphrase Jonathon Edwards,

The ONLY thing the sinner brings to his own
the sin from which s/he is saved.

Bratcher screwed up. There are also problems with his claim Arminius laid the foundation for Wesleyan soteriology, too, because Arminius was a subscriber of Total Depravity, understood the distinction between sufficiency and efficiency, and while he thought it might be possible for a saint to lose his salvation, he did not think it likely. Wesley departed from Arminianism in all those areas.