The Five Points of Calvinism all necessarily flow from the sovereignty of God (which is not one of the five points) and the total depravity of man (the first point). These are two of the most important things to understand when communicating the Gospel. Yet most Christians have a deficient view of both.
I recently took a Shakespeare class at Rollins College and had the privilege of having a conversation with a Roman Catholic college professor (also the English Department chairman) who thinks of himself as a conservative. He complained about the fact that evangelicals say that Jews go to hell if they don’t believe in Jesus. We had a conversation about the idea of “merit” and I said the key work on merit was Martin Luther’s Bondage of the Will.
If you believe that man is able to do nothing to save himself and deserves hell, then these debates about the Jews who won’t accept Jesus; those who have had no chance to hear the Gospel; those dying in infancy; the severely mentally handicapped; etc. – all have little meaning. If God chooses to save some or all of them, then it is by grace alone, just as it by grace alone for the believer who has made a conscious creedal assent to Jesus as the Son of God. We can be sure that He has chosen at least some for salvation from every nation in every generation.
In fact, only a Reformed perspective can consistently hold out hope for all Jews to be saved.
In his book, Holiness, J.C. Ryle devotes a first chapter to sin.
I edited a summary of this chapter a few years back. I retitled it: “Whatever Happened to Sin?“
If we don’t understand the depths of sin, it is pointless even to talk about salvation, let alone the second point of Calvinism: God’s Unconditional Election – or the latter three points of Calvinism: Limited Atonement, Irresistable Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints (TULIP).
The other base to cover is the idea of God’s Will. If God is indeed an omnipotent being then His will is all-encompassing. I came to the conclusion a few years ago, that in order to be a consistent Arminian, one must either deny the omnipotence or omniscience of God. If God is all powerful, then He is able to save everyone but chooses (actively) to save some, but not others.
Rather than go through the five points, I would start with those three points:
Do you believe?
1. Man is totally depraved and can merit nothing to save himself
2. God is both omnipotent and omniscient
3. The will of an Omnipotent Being is always active and never
Once you accept Absolute Sovereignty of God and the Total Depravity of Man then the U.L.I.P. follows.
For more on the Five Points of Calvinism:
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Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
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Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
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Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
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“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.
The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.
“… a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine
Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese
Running Time: 28 minutes
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Download the Free Study Guide!
God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:
1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?
Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.
Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Running Time: 240 minutes
Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.
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