New Release: Tiptoeing Through Tulip

This is a 6-Session study on the biblical doctrines of salvation (Soteriology) with Dr. Leighton Flowers.

In this study we unpack the key errors of the “limited” 5-point Calvinistic perspective as contrasted with the “provisional” corporate perspective that has been more traditionally held by many Christian pastors and theologians.

The student will learn the main distinctions between the “limited” (Calvinistic) doctrines and the “provisional” (Traditionalist) doctrines regarding salvation. Dr. Flowers teaches students how to respectfully disagree with Calvinistic believers and answer the most common objections surrounding the topics of predestination, election and soteriology. There are 6 videos along with a printable student guide that will lead students through the popular Calvinistic acronym TULIP in a side by side comparison of the two main theological perspectives in dispute.

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3 thoughts on “New Release: Tiptoeing Through Tulip

    1. I think Derwin Gray’s article fails to take the most likely option into account. But before I get into that, it’s worth noting that the “problem” he sees in Classic Arminianism is not really a problem at all. Scripture never treats people needing to respond in faith as if that would somehow make salvation based in human will, since scripture is very clear that it is by God’s gracious choice that the condition is faith; the actual salvation is won by Christ and *granted* by the Father for the sake of Christ. Faith of itself is not part of salvation or nor does it “merit” salvation as if it was a work. God promises salvation to those with faith for the sake of Christ’s work, not because faith is a super-work of human will that forces God’s hand or somesuch.

      He references Jn 1:13, but leaves out Jn 1:12:

      “But to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God— children born not of blood, nor of the desire or will of man, but born of God.”

      Those who receive Him (Christ) are those who believe. THEN God gives them the right to become children of God. How are they born? Of God – we see this in other passages as the believer identifying with the death of Christ (dying to sin) and then God raising the believer to “new life” and granting the indwelling spirit. It isn’t faith that births the person; God births the person with faith.

      Likewise, his Eph 2:8-9 reference does not support man’s faith being a “problem” as it shows God graciously gives salvation BY grace THROUGH faith. Faith doesn’t give the salvation: God does. The choice for faith to be the condition is not man’s will, but God’s will.
      [Question: What does it mean that it is by grace we have been saved, through faith, and that this is not of ourselves but is the gift of God?
      See Answer: http://ebible.com/answers/24715?ori=167400%5D

      He seems to believe that God, despite His wisdom and sovereignty, isn’t allowed to choose a condition by which to graciously offer salvation if that condition is within the capability of men.

      Tit 3:5-7 doesn’t say anything about fallen man being incapable of faith or it creating a problem for God if they were. It’s about the new birth and renewal of the Spirit which a believer receives. This is parallel with Rom 6:3-5 and the surrounding passage. The new birth is entirely from God, not the believer, but God only grants the new birth to believers because it is His gracious choice to impute Christ’s work to believers.

      With that out of the way, we can look at the “most likely option” of how people are elected, which is detailed quite clearly in the last supposed support passage he gives for why Classic Arminianism is wrong, Eph 1:

      Eph 1:

      …To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus (“the faithful in Christ Jesus” is the audience:)

      ….Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms. For He chose *us in Him* (believers) before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in His presence. In love He predestined us for adoption as His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will…In Him we (believers) have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And He has made known to us (believers) the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, …In Him we (believers) were also chosen as God’s own, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything by the counsel of His will, in order that we, (believers) who were the first to hope in Christ, would be for the praise of His glory. And you (believers) also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

      Watch Paul’s pronoun shifts. By “we” he is referencing either Jewish believers or early converts, and by “you” he is referencing either Gentile or the Ephesian converts as a whole. But in both cases he is referencing believers. Paul shows that the latter group (Gentiles or later converts) were also “included in Christ” when they believed.

      It is very important to note that this chapter NEVER states that some are predestined to believe or predestined to be chosen. Rather, it shows the various things that believers are chosen/elected and predestined to:

      – to be holy and blameless in God’s presence
      – to be adopted as Sons
      – to be redeemed
      – to have forgiveness
      – to be lavished with the riches of His grace
      – to know the mystery of His will
      – to be for the praise of God’s glory
      – to receive the Holy Spirit as a deposit
      – to someday receive an inheritance at the redemption of God’s possession
      – to be chosen as God’s own

      And all these things and blessings were predestined before time; God chose what He would do for believers and the blessings He would grant. And no believers were “afterthoughts” – God predestined these good things for all believers!

      So none of his three options work. God doesn’t pre-select some people to get faith so as to be saved. He doesn’t need to look through the corridors of time to see who will have faith and predetermine that those people get faith. It’s not the first two methods somehow working in congruence.

      Rather, God simply predestined before time that He would adopt all those in Christ (believers) and make them Holy, redeem them, view them through the blood of Christ and forgive them, etc. And that God only saves “believers” does not make it a matter of man’s will, as Mr. Gray seems to think, since it was only God’s gracious choice and predestined plan to begin with that He would grant salvation to all the faithful in Christ Jesus, and that very faith is based in the perfect work of Christ, not in the merit of man.

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