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周毕克论郁金香(片段)
送交者: 从上而生 2020年05月23日13:55:31 于 [彩虹之约] 发送悄悄话

—Geoffrey Thomas

The Reformation’s emphasis on sovereign grace met a great deal of resistance, not only from the Jesuits in the Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation, which was initiated especially to roll back the tide of the Reformation, but also, as we have seen, from James Arminius and his followers. The Arminians (or Remonstrants) presented five theological challenges to the Reformed faith, stating their belief in:

Conditional election. Election, they said, is based on foreseen faith, meaning that God saw ahead of time which sinners would believe in His Son and elected them on that basis. Strictly speaking, election is neither sovereign nor unmerited.

Universal atonement. Christ’s merits are universal—that is, Christ earned salvation for everyone equally—but only believers obtain its efficacy. The atoning work of Christ makes it possible for everyone to be saved, though it does not actually secure the salvation of anyone.

Partial depravity. Man is seriously but not totally depraved; with God’s enabling grace, he has the free will and ability to choose salvation in Christ. Everyone chooses to either cooperate or not cooperate with the gospel call to faith and repentance. Sinners are born again by the Spirit only when they believe of their own choice.

Resistible grace. Man can resist God’s internal, gracious call to salvation; thus, the Spirit’s work is defined and controlled by the sinner’s willingness to cooperate. God’s grace is vincible.

Lapsing from grace. Arminius and the early Arminians were unsure whether a believer could lapse from grace, but by the time the Synod of Dort met (1618), the Arminians had rejected the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. They said that unless a believer continues in the faith, he will not ultimately be saved.

The delegates at the Synod of Dort recognized that Arminian teaching threatened two major gospel themes: the glory that belongs to God alone in saving sinners and the believer’s security and assurance in God’s invincible grace. The rejection of these two themes implies the repudiation of salvation by sovereign grace alone. The synod responded to these challenges both negatively and positively in the Canons of Dort. Negatively, the delegates rebutted Arminianism in its every nuance in their rejections; positively, they expounded the main Calvinistic doctrines of salvation in a constructive way, presenting the marrow of what is called soteriological Calvinism. The word soteriological derives from soteria, the Greek word for “salvation”; soteriological, then, simply implies that which pertains to the truth or doctrine of salvation. Central to that salvation, according to the Canons of Dort, is God’s sovereign grace in saving sinners. Simply stated, the canons offer:

• Sovereign grace conceived (unconditional election)

• Sovereign grace merited (particular redemption)

• Sovereign grace needed (total depravity)

• Sovereign grace applied (irresistible grace)

• Sovereign grace preserved (perseverance of the saints).

These five points are integrally linked; they stand or fall together. They are all rooted in two inescapable truths of Scripture: man’s complete ruin by sin and God’s perfect, sovereign, and gracious remedy in Christ. These parts of salvation fit together to provide us with a biblical, consistent view of grace revealing how God saves sinners to His glory. They show how great God’s grace is, how it directs everything in this world, and how salvation is ultimately not dependent on anything that man can offer. The real heart of Calvinism is that God sovereignly and graciously loves sinners fully and unconditionally in Christ.

It is important to note that the five points do not summarize all of Calvinism; that would be a truncated view of the Reformed faith. One of the aims of this book is to show the panoramic grandeur of the Reformed faith’s worldview. The Reformed confessions, as well as numerous books, such as Abraham Kuyper’s Lectures on Calvinism, H. Henry Meeter’s The Basic Ideas of Calvinism, Leonard Coppes’ Are Five Points Enough? The Ten Points of Calvinism, and Ernest C. Reisinger and D. Matthew Allen’s Beyond Five Points, show us that Calvinism is too broad and grand to be encompassed in five doctrines. Richard Muller says the five points are “elements that can only be understood in the context of a larger body of teaching,” which includes the necessity of justification by gracious faith alone, thankful obedience, the sacraments as means of grace, and many more. Muller concludes: “When that larger number of points taught by the Reformed confessions is not respected, the famous five are jeopardized, indeed, dissolved—and the ongoing spiritual health of the church is placed at risk.”4

However, these points do summarize Calvinistic soteriology, which is one of Calvinism’s most important theological contributions. The Calvinistic plan of salvation is best defended in some of its most controversial areas by these five points.

The five points are conveniently memorized through the acronym TULIP, which, since the late nineteenth century, has been a common way of summarizing and teaching Reformed soteriology. But the acronym has weak points: it rearranges the order of the Canons of Dort and simplifies them. The canons say a great deal more than is represented by TULIP, and they say it with more vitality and in a better order. Nevertheless, TULIP can be used with profit, provided each point is explained with sufficient nuances, so I will follow its order as I examine the five points.

Some people have attempted to modify the terminology of Calvinism’s five points. They prefer radical depravity, radical corruption, or pervasive evil, which suggests that evil is at the root of things, to total depravity, which they assume to mean that every man is as evil as he can be, with no good at all. They prefer using the term sovereign election rather than unconditional election because the first term indicates that God’s gracious choosing makes man willing to receive salvation in Christ, whereas unconditional election seems to downplay the necessity of repentance and faith. Instead of limited atonement, which they say implies that God’s love and power are limited, they suggest definite atonement or particular redemption, which stresses that Christ’s death was for particular individuals. They prefer efficacious or effectual grace rather than irresistible grace, which they say conflicts with the human tendency to resist the common work of the Spirit. And they choose to stress the perseverance of God or the preservation of the saints, which gets at the source of perseverance, rather than the perseverance of the saints.

While such revisions, technically speaking, are consistent with Scripture, none is essential. Personally, if I had to change the wording of any part of TULIP, I would choose only to use definite atonement over limited atonement to avoid misunderstanding. Nevertheless, when rightly explained, TULIP ably sets forth Calvinist soteriology and defends it against its critics and against Arminian theology. Critics often say that TULIP represents a harsh or cruel form of theology, but Calvinism is actually the most loving theology possible, for it is a theology of grace.

This chapter briefly explains total depravity, the first of the five points of Calvinism. The next five chapters will expound the remaining points: unconditional election, limited atonement (two chapters), irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints.

The Bible tells us that although fallen man is capable of doing some externally good acts, he cannot do anything truly good or pleasing in God’s sight (Rom. 8:8) unless he is regenerated by the Holy Spirit (John 3:1–8). From God’s standpoint, which is the only true standpoint, natural man is incapable of goodness in thought, word, or deed, and thus cannot contribute anything to his salvation. He is in total rebellion against God.

When Calvinists speak of total depravity, they are confessing our hell-deserving demerit and corruption before God because of our original and actual sins. We can neither erase our demerit nor do anything to merit the saving favor of God. To grasp the full implications of this truth, we must understand five things that lie at the heart of what Scripture presents total depravity to mean.


 Beeke, J. R. (2008). Living for God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism (pp. 48–52). Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust Publishing.


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      你的这番表述本身就是T的明证☝  /无内容 - 从上而生 05/23/20 (0)
      那么“罪”对于你来说是什么意思呢?  /无内容 - 从上而生 05/23/20 (0)
    你再注意这句: - 从上而生 05/23/20 (1)
      你注意这句 - 从上而生 05/23/20 (1)
    去掉了T就表明你懊悔哥有能力自己出埃及过红海从坟墓里秒活  /无内容 - 从上而生 05/23/20 (0)
    郁金香去掉五个限定词就是跟珍珠一样的垃圾☝️  /无内容 - 从上而生 05/23/20 (0)
  So what? - ardmore 05/23/20 (5)
      不是说solid的吗? - ardmore 05/23/20 (3)
          去掉5个限制词的圣经用语,完全适用于你的评价。 - repentant 05/23/20 (3)
            这说明你跟不懂那些术语的意思。说你是T的,你不乐意听 - 从上而生 05/23/20 (0)
      老N们始终回避不敢回答的问题就是“教义的定义” - 从上而生 05/23/20 (0)
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