For our fifth year, we’re bringing in some new friends to speak concerning five old truths affectionately known as the doctrines of grace. They are also curiously known as the five points of Calvinism. It is peculiar that while Luther’s name is foremost associated with a denomination, Calvin’s denominates a theology. The riddle grows more complex when you realize that the five points of Calvinism weren’t so pointy until many years later.
Because our God is sovereign, false teaching proves a servant of truth. The ancient creeds of the church were crafted in answer to heresy. The five points came into sharp focus as a rebuttal of the five points of the Remonstrance of 1610. This was a document written by the Remonstrants, followers of Jacobus Arminius, who differed with the Reformed understanding of divine election and human freedom in salvation. In response, the Synod of Dort was convened and produced the Canons of Dort, the classic statement of the five points of Calvinism. It is owing to this Dutch setting that these doctrines have been associated with the tulip.
But these truths are much older than Dort. We could say we are gathering to study Augustianism, or, better yet, Pauline theology. But this would be to the chagrin of Peter, whose first chapter of his first epistle is especially fragrant with the Calvinist tulip. Worse yet, such a statement fails to see that these doctrines, being apostolic, means they are the first the teaching of the Christ who said that no man can come to him unless the Father draws him. These truths are older than the Reformation or any church father. They are rooted in holy Scripture. They are rooted in eternity past as the Father chose a people in His Son before the foundation of the word.
These truths have often caused controversy but that is not their function. As we gather, no doubt the truth will be contended for, but our chief aim is to enjoy these truths and see that the Calvinistic tulip is far sweeter than the Arminian daisy (he loves me, he loves me not…). These five points succinctly tell the story of man’s Triune redemption. Left to himself man is totally depraved, but the Father unconditionally elected a people, the Son definitely atoned for their sins, and the Spirit effectually calls them out of death and into life. Because of the redemption of the Triune God, the saints are certain to persevere in the faith as they are preserved by the God who has loved them so. We hope these truths thrill you and that you will make plans to join us for the 2021 Christ-Centered Churches Winter Conference.
Friday, February 5, 2021
Session 1: Total Depravity—Billy Elkins
Session 2: Unconditional Election—Brett Baggett
Saturday, February 6, 2021
Doors Open9:00 AM
Session 3: Limited Atonement—Dennis Gunderson