TULIP Logic vs a Calvinist’s Statement

Have you ever applied TULIP logic to a statement made by a Calvinist?  Thomas Schreiner, who contributes a Calvinist view on atonement in the book, The Nature of the Atonement states on pg 80, “God’s wrath and judgment are personally directed against sinners who have failed to praise, honor and thank him.”  My first thought was, “Well, for crying out loud, the poor schlep isn’t part of the elect and so, of course, because God has so determined, the poor schlep’s sins aren’t forgiven and therefore the poor schlep will experience God’s wrath and judgment.”  Then I wondered how the poor schlep would fair when this same thinking was applied to all five (TULIP) tenants of Calvinism.

  • As to total depravity wherein people are morally unable to choose to follow God because of their own natures – God’s wrath and judgment are personally directed against a poor schlep who failed to praise, honor and thank Him because the poor schlep isn’t part of the elect and therefore the poor schlep can’t choose to follow God.
  • As to unconditional election wherein it’s God’s choice from the beginning of time to save only those God intends to save – God’s wrath and judgment are personally directed against a poor schlep whom God chooses not to elect and therefore the poor schlep is ‘toast’.
  • As to limited atonement wherein Christ’s death atones for only for the sins of the elect – God’s wrath and judgment are personally directed against a poor schlep who failed to praise, honor and thank Him because the poor schlep isn’t one of the elected and therefore Christ’s death doesn’t atone for the poor schlep’s sins.
  • As to irresistible grace wherein the Holy Spirit overcomes all resistance and makes His influence irresistible in order to save someone – God’s wrath and judgment are personally directed against a poor schlep who failed to praise, honor and thank Him because the poor schlep isn’t elected and therefore the Holy Spirit didn’t overcome the poor schlep’s resistance.
  • As to perseverance of the saints wherein the elect will continue in their faith unless they fall away (which means they never had true faith) – God’s wrath and judgment are personally directed against a poor schlep who failed to praise, honor and thank Him because the poor schlep wasn’t elected and therefore didn’t have true faith.

Some may think I have some sort of OCD – oppositional Calvinistic disorder.  Perhaps I do – but only because I seem to come to a different conclusion when I read scriptures in support of Calvinism.  And from this little exercise, it seems evident that the most fundamental tenant of Calvinism is the concept of unconditional election.  So far as I understand, if there’s error within the ‘U’ of TULIP, then there’s simply no way that Calvinist can justify their beliefs.  I was recently made aware of a TULIP defense (if that’s the right term) by John Piper which I plan to delve into.


Author: Bob

I’m an upper Midwestern guy who has recently entered the "Buick stage" of life and decided to migrate to Florida. This blog is an attempt to rectify discordant aspects within my Christian faith ... or what often feels like my lack of Christian faith. Things which make life more enjoyable include strong black coffee, charcoal grilling anytime of the year, putz'ing at a table saw, playing chess, a good orthopedic surgeon and an occasional IPA. Please feel free to poke around and comment as you wish. I welcome discussion and the insights of others.

13 thoughts on “TULIP Logic vs a Calvinist’s Statement”

  1. why is it that all that oppose God as Word seem to defend “God’s Word” as a thing that is not God but a mere set of will-neutral ‘holy informations’ by which a ‘poor schlep’ is to guide themselves ( from within whatever ideology they happen to have ) to perfection in Christ. Why is it that everyone who opposes God as Word implicitly says that God and Lucifer ( the father of lies ) have the same language?

    Why is it that all such persons are the same who oppose Calvinism and always portray themselves to be overtly siding with the damned? Playing the dissembling part to supposedly heroically defend the damned and give them ‘a chance’ to be saved is not at all the same as loving a sinner who is elect and knows nothing about election or predestination and is still very much a sinner.

    The more you seek to portray yourself as a hero of the downtrodden vile reprobate, the more you encourage every excess of sin. After all, how could you be said to save anyone unless their behavior was excessively worse than yours and that behavior got better after you got them to ‘choose Jesus’? You need such behavior to be a demarcation between you as ideally ‘saved’ and ‘them’ as ‘needing to be saved’. Everything is relative in your theology and you need something to be relative about.

    There is no actual and non-metaphorical new birth in Arminianism. So you have to fake it and claim behavioral changes as evidence of new creatureness. So you need a wide spectrum of behaviors to change from and to in order to make it seem a valid concept to the deceived. That very theology has turned society into a slime pit.You are just the next supposed pro-Christ and very plain anti-Calvinist to start making fun of what opposes your slime pit.

    You must be born again as a non-metaphorical new creature in Jesus Christ. That means you will have a personal history of being two different beings. That is not a joke or a metaphor. In that change there will be some behavioral changes, but those changes by themselves are evidence of nothing that can be mimicked by Satan as simply ‘living a better life’ to be saved later on.

    Free willism ( that would be hardened “poor schlepism” ) denies that heaven and the lake of fire will be filled with two different creatures, but lies that it will be filled with identical creatures who supposed earned where they live by what they did in ‘free’ will. You tear the Bible in shreds before you ever begin to read it, then read it to make fun of it with philosophical lies that don’t even make sense when examined even slightly.

    By all means, just keep aping the lies of hardened “poor schleps” and defend the damned as if you really thought you were one of them, a thing you have no actual say over at all.

    It is always the free willers who automatically side with the damned. Always. In Arminian theology, the righteous are the enemy.

    Proverbs 17:15 He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.


    In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen

    1. “Just yesterday I was tecahing (in my A/G church) my high school class the Scriptural truths about God’s sovereignty in salvation. I cleverly did not use the terms “unconditional election” or “Calvinism.” I simply explained what the Bible clearly teaches in, i.e., Ephesians 1 and Romans 8. The kids came up with some good questions, and what I noticed was that we (humans) desperately want to be able to explain everything. A couple of the students hypothesized that, regarding foreknowledge, it was just that since God knows everything, he already knew who would choose him – that same ol’ saw. I explained that first of all, that that is NOT what “foreknow” means, and then helped them to see that if it were true, then God is essentially bound by our decisions. We went on from there to talk very briefly about the mysteries of God. At any rate, it was a fun exercise, and what you’ve posted today is just exactly where we were yesterday. I love these bits especially:”The issue of human freedom and unconditional election is in the same apophatic domain. We can’t make sense out of them and once we do, we have entered into error. And later, Will you trust me or will you redefine things? “I have no reason to doubt him. If you call that Pharisaical so be it.God be with you,Dan

  2. Timothy,

    Thank-you for your response. You stated, “[I] tear the Bible in shreds before [I] ever begin to read it, then read it to make fun of it with philosophical lies that don’t even make sense when examined even slightly.” I suspect you’ve not looked at any of the posts within this blog. And that’s okay – you’re responding to what I wrote on this post. Feel free to fire away.

    Perhaps I didn’t succeed as well as intended, but the poor schlep, according to Thomas Schreiner’s comment is going to experience “God’s wrath and judgment [that is] personally directed [at him because he] failed to praise, honor and thank [God] because God hasn’t “elected” the poor schlep. So, my central point of this post is that God, in His infinite wisdom, power and glory intentionally creates the poor schlep for the express purpose of experiencing wrath and judgment? Do you believe this to be the case?

    As I thought further about that, it occurred to me that Calvinism ultimately rises or falls upon unconditional election – the U in TULIP. Hence, the comments I wrote related to TLIP indicate (at least to me) that everything about Calvinism is predicated upon the belief in election.

    I am trying to understand my own Christian faith (or lack thereof) and this blog has allowed me the opportunity to dig deeper, think about faith-matters, my relationship to a Heavenly Father, and understand who I am in Christ. I freely admit to not being comfortable with Calvinist thought and arguments. You may not think so but I hope I’m open to being persuaded about Calvinism. Otherwise, I’ve been wasting a lot of time and effort here. That said, it is my belief that the Bible teaches corporate and not individual election and I would welcome the opportunity to delve deeper into this with you.



  3. Bob,

    sorry for the length..

    In order to even think you’ve got free will and can analyze the Bible to see if ..you have free will, among other things, you first have to implicitly define ALL speech as non-interfering with your will. You seem to get away with that and on a certain level not even know it because human speech can create nothing. If anyone were creating things with acts of speech you would have heard if it. But other than God creating the universe with His Speech, there is no other that even thinks “that is what words are for”.

    So you open the Bible, God’s Word, see it only as non-creating speech, think that non-creating quality of human speech is a standard quality of all speech. Your own experience of speech and being have seduced you to look at God’s Word as the the mere equal of your own. Your experience with human speech; the fact it has not changed you into another being all your life has literally deceived you. Your ACTUAL and HONEST experience have done this.

    But that non-creating quality does not have anything to do with God as Word. Jesus Christ IS the Word of God. God is not “using language” a special way. He IS His Own Word. He also cannot lie.

    1. John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word WAS God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

    2. John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh..

    3. and Jesus Christ / Word of God Said .. John 10:30 I and the Father are one.

    By contrast, Lucifer lies all the time. So do men. They have a speech that is not God.

    So we have two speaks in total reality.

    When an Arminian goes into the Bible, they depend on the Word of God to be the same as human language and functionally claim that it is the same, which is blasphemy; they are saying that God IS the same speech in which lies are spoken, the same speech demons have, the same speech in Satan is the Father of lies, ..in addition to not knowing what their own language really is: the spirit of anti-Christ/ anti-Word of God.

    Unconditional election depends on God being His Word. Quite literally, without God Speaking to us and re-creating us again by His act of Himself as Speech, there is no new birth. God verbatim Says we are born again by hearing Him as Word:

    1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, by the word of God who liveth and remaineth for ever.

    James 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

    1 Corinthians 4:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

    You would only think that someone had to “make a decision for Jesus” if and only if that ‘decision’ was the result of having received will-neutral, non-creating ‘holy info’ ..the speech not-God. If it were your best honesty that that non-creating speech was the only speech in total reality, then if you were ‘doing religion’ and in your own mind, doing it correctly, you would have to be an Arminian. But on the other hand, that would also be the witness that you were a fake. If God did not reveal Himself to you, you could not know anything about Him. Even though your own best honesty ( and the best honesty of all men ) would be FORCED to be that there was only one speech in total reality, you are still not excused in denying God as Word or in making up a fake gospel that is comprised of will-neutral, holy info that anyone who happened to be paying attention to or doing the required intellectual gymnastics to understand it would ‘choose’ as truth. Free will makes sense in that non-creating speech. It is the speech of all fallen men. But it is only half the truth.

    It IS part of the truth. So it does have a certain appeal as honest experience. But it is not everything.

    Unconditional election:

    1. God speaks ..we are born again. There is no way we could know in advance anything about a Creating Speech before He literally birthed us again as new creatures in Jesus Christ. There was no condition we could ‘do’ to make God Speak to us. As evidence, God Says that men cannot know about Him –CANNOT — as opposed to “will not”:

    1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    The Bible itself is very plainly the Word of God. It is also a story of the battle between those who know nothing of God BEING Word, and those to whom God has revealed Himself. What you are going through is nothing new, nor is it an accident, nor is it the result of some free willed action on your part.

    Without God proactively Speaking to you, you cannot hear Him as He actually is. Thus the Unconditional part of election.

    As for particular / individual election itself:

    1. All the Names in the Book of life are already written –and as individual names.

    Revelation 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life FROM THE FOUNDATION of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

    2. God Saves by name.

    Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

    God individually saves and individually damns.


    Don’t waste your time worrying over Calvinistic Orthodoxy. Know Christ as He actually is as Word of God / Creating Speech, that is all you need. Calvinism is the truth in a small space.

    Romans 9 deals with the issue of the wicked being made to be wicked.

    Romans 9:18-24 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

    You are seeking to find a place for God’s wisdom in a heart and emotional response set of fallen flesh that false pastors who speak the lie of human free will have given you. You didn’t start out with the emotional / religious common sense you have now. Somebody gave it to you in a thousand subtle ways. In that common sense you have now, God will never make sense.

    There is no question that God created the wicked to be the wicked. They were made to be vessels of wrath. By name and as individuals just as the elect are saved individually.

    I suppose you would like that as a quotable statement to say a Calvinist said it: So: God created the wicked to send them to the lake of fire. No question about it. In all that, God is still Perfectly Just, perfectly Righteous and Perfectly God. He is also perfectly Love.

    Proverbs 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

    Isaiah 45:5-7 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

    Tell me, Bob: exactly in what way does that violate your notions of love? Romantic love perhaps? Infatuation? Whose love and in what speech does that violate love?

    Calvinists are supposedly so stupid, so backward and so unfeeling as to worship God with God’s heart and emotional common sense rather than man’s as God gives us grace to do so without our permission or input on the matter. You don’t find us siding with the damned. You may find a simple Christian to trick into saying something outrage-worthy and you may even quote it with indignation, but you really need to remember that a fear of God is called by God a blessing and the beginning of knowledge. That fear is founded on truth, not self-permission.

    You are obviously a victim of a Satanic ploy to deprive you of the fear of God, so that you would have as a pious desire to defend God’s reputation as a desirable, will-neutral choice to make. You are the victim of the cult of Free willism. It is a cult, I’m not telling you it isn’t. It is based on half the truth, so it makes a certain sense ..outside of Christ.

    If you are elect you will hear God.

    Song of Solomon 8:13 Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice: cause me to hear it.

    Psalm 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.

    True servants of God, as new creatures in Jesus Christ find God Himself in His Word. Liars find only “will neutral holy info” “about” God. The difference is absolute and complete.

    This written to you on the premise that you are not one of the damned. But that is not up to me, or you.

    Again, sorry for the length.

    Job 23:13-15 But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth. For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him. Therefore am I troubled at his presence: when I consider, I am afraid of him.


    In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen

    1. Hi Robert,i’ve been reading your site for a while and rellay appreciate it. i’m a catachumen and have only been attending an Orthodox parish since January. i’ve been doing tons of reading and listening to other sites and sources as well.i’m wondering if you have thoughts on a couple issues i’m dealing with right now: the relation of the Orthodox Church to the State (both historically and normatively) and also an Orthodox view of mission/benevolence is the Orthodox Church as vigorous about being involved in building/funding hospitals or charitable organizations as are Catholics and Protestants? guy

      1. I appreciate your comment, Nurzat. I regret that I don’t know much about the Orthodox Church and as such can’t comment on your questions above. Regards // Bob

  4. Dear Timothy,

    Again, thank-you for the detailed response and the scripture references you’ve provided. It going to take a little time to read through, think about and respond to what you’ve said and as I’m having to think about God’s Word from a different perspective, I might respond with a new post. We’ll see. But I will respond so please check back in a couple of days or so.



  5. okay.

    You might want to look up “higher criticism” and where it began, what it is, the philosophers involved, the German School, their occult backgrounds, etc.. also “hermeneutics” and the like. In short, in the last one hundred years or so, plain heresy has become the new ‘orthodoxy’ by the use of Higher Criticism. But you really need to do that type of research for yourself with Christ in the school of prayer as God gives grace.

    John 10:1-5 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.


    In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen

  6. Hey Timothy,

    You mention higher criticism and I couldn’t help but notice that you quote the KJV. I didn’t know if there was a connection there or not. Do you think the KJV is more reliable than modern translations?


  7. I found this on Wikipedia: Higher criticism treats the Bible as a text created by human beings at a particular historical time and for various human motives, in contrast with the treatment of the Bible as the inerrant word of God.

  8. Timothy,

    This is the first time I’ve come across the concept of Higher Criticism. Do you agree with the Wikipedia definition previously posted? Be it ignorance on my part, I don’t know if arguments I make are manifestations of Higher Criticism. That said, within the context of these posts/rebuttals, it’s my preferences to stay within (I’ll call it) Calvinistic boundaries. Also, my preferred Bible is the NIV and because I’ve run into KJ/NIV difficulties before, I’d like to ask; will arguments I make using the NIV be problematic to you?



  9. Bob,

    Thats a decent working definition of higher criticism. It falls within a meta definition that would go: treating the Word of God as non-creating speech ..as if God’s word were a will-neutral medium of communication and could not be God Himself as Word

    I use KJV, Darby among others. The NIV and other versions are treating God as Word in this manner:

    1. assume you have free will and that what God Says is will-neutral, holy information that you must understand in order to choose it as truth and activate it for yourself..

    2. what God actually said is unimportant, it is only important if it fits with Arminian theology that has had to morph as a phrasing paradigm with the years to keep looking respectable. That “new speak” then becomes the way to hide the plain truth of the Bible by making it seem by the wording used that ‘more modern’ concepts of free will, etc are proved “from Scripture”.

    I would call the NIV the heretics favorite Bible. But you can use it if you want. Perhaps going to Biblos.com and comparing would help if there is an issue on a particular verse. You can also download eSword for free and get many Bible versions and even in foreign languages. Not sure about the NIV.

    For all that, I’m not a KJ only-ist or anything like that. People can do the arguments of “I want the actual text!” and learn hebrew, aramaic and greek. But part of the reason you can be born again in Jesus Christ is that God is His Word and no amount language changing, or of Scripture twisting, either as mis-quoiting or purposeful mis-printing will stop that. God protecting His Word for His elect as well as having written it is part of the same truth.

    I would highly recommend a book called “Theopneustia: The Plenary Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures” by Gaussen ( which you can read online at: http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/book_theopneustia.html ). Written in the 1800s and out of print for ages until recently, it will show you that all of the arguments being used by arminians today are very old and were exactly the same back then used by the Judaists and others. I have a copy my grandfather had..

    other than that, God bless. Just understand my assumption is that you are a brother with some deceptions and the rebukes of the actual household of faith are in order from God through you to me or through me to you. That’s all just part of it. That’s not at all to say those who are hardened in the lie of free will are saved.

    Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.


    In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen

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