In response to the teachings of Arminius, Calvinism developed five points that are known by the acrostic TULIP. The T in TULIP stands for total depravity. That expression sounds as if it refers to someone like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot. It sounds as if it refers to someone who is just about as
One area of theology that needs to be rethought is the doctrine of total depravity, particularly the ability or inability of the unregenerate to respond in faith to God. Often, Calvinist and Lutheran theologians will appeal to the use of the word “dead” to prove that someone is unable to respond. After all, how can
Peter Kreeft is a prolific Catholic philosopher and apologist. He has written numerous books on apologetics and introductions to philosophy that I greatly enjoyed. What makes Kreeft’s introductions different is their dialogical format. Plato wrote his philosophy in the forms of dialogues, and Kreeft has followed that tradition. In Kreeft’s case, the dialogues occur between
Are people born unable to believe? If so, how does anyone come to faith? As I work through these issues for an upcoming book examining “total depravity,” it might help to conceptualize the different answers given to explain how people who are born unable to believe can ever come to faith. Here are six options.
Bob and I wrote an article called “TULIP or ASSURE?” in which we briefly outlined what we thought was the Biblical alternative to the Five Points of Calvinism (and Arminianism). Our thinking has grown since then. Previously, we defined “A” as “All have sinned.” That was too general a statement. I now prefer “Able to
Question Shawn, in recently countering Calvinism, you mentioned man has the “ability to believe or not believe”. I agree with this, however it conflicts with GES’ normal position that “believing is passive”. Bob often says “one either believes or he does not” and this not by decision of his will. If man does not “decide
I plan to complete a series of books outlining what I think are the Biblical alternatives to the five points of Calvinism (and Arminianism). Chosen to Serve: Why Election Is to Service, Not to Eternal Life, was my answer to Unconditional Election. I have two more manuscripts in the works—one on Limited Atonement (The Cross:
J. I. Packer, the famed Reformed Anglican theologian, has written more book forewords than anyone I know. It seems that every book published by a Calvinist either has a foreword or an endorsement written by Packer. Packer, along with O. R. Johnston, translated Martin Luther’s The Bondage of the Will (Westwood, NJ: Revell, 1957). They