Goodbye TULIP, hello ... PROOF?

“So here’s a proposal for a different memory device—one that’s truer to Reformed theology and far more helpful for discussions of Calvinism”
(The proposal is the video following the lengthy historical intro)

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G. N. Barkman's picture

Many will welcome the opportunity to examine these doctrines again.  I applaud every effort to present these truths in a new format, to help people get past labels and various misperceptions.  

In my personal experience, however, I have learned that the primary problem is usually distaste for the truth itself, not the package in which it is found.

Nevertheless, I look forward to whatever discussion may ensue!

G. N. Barkman

Paul Henebury's picture

G. N. Barkman wrote:

"In my personal experience, however, I have learned that the primary problem is usually distaste for the truth itself, not the package in which it is found."

While I understand the sentiment that says "the doctrines of grace," whether they be TULIPs, ROSES, PROOF, or whatever, are true, surely it is a little unfair, not to mention censorious, to accuse those of us who cannot bring ourselves into full agreement with these views of having "a distaste for truth."? 

Dr. Paul Henebury

I am Founder of Telos Ministries, and Senior Pastor at Agape Bible Church in N. Ca.

G. N. Barkman's picture

Paul,

Your statement is true only if you are unconvinced.  If you believe the Doctrines of Grace are true, an accurate reflection of Bible doctrine, you will perceive opposition as either lack of understanding, or opposition to truth.  If packaging these doctrines in a different form aids understanding, bravo!  However, in my experience, I have found that opposition often stems not so much from lack of understanding as desire to avoid Bible truth because it is distasteful.  But that is my perspective, and those who have not embraced these doctrines would be expected to see it differently. 

Furthermore, the "this is the truth" sentiment is precisely what Aaron wants to avoid in this forum, so I will gladly withdraw the statement.  ("I object, your honor."  "Objection sustained!")   I will endeavor to ignore past experience and assume that everyone is equally committed to Truth.  I readily acknowledge that ultimately, only God who knows the heart can accurately discern such matters. 

Therefore, let us endeavor to examine these doctrine in the light of Scripture, like the noble Bereans of old!

G. N. Barkman

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

GNB, there is some space between these two assertions

  1. Those who disagree with these ideas are not interested in truth
  2. Everybody is equally committed to truth

The excluded middle is "those interested in truth, yet who disagree." That category would include some subcategories: (a) those interested in truth and disagree because they are not thinking clearly/do not understand, (b) those interested in truth but disagree because they hold to other things they believe to be true and these are getting in the way, (c) those interested in truth who haven't gotten around to fully exploring this set of ideas yet.

Could probably go on, but you get the point. There's plenty of room to see another view as emphatically incorrect without supposing that those who hold it just don't care.

In any case, isn't it more instructive (and interesting) to look at their arguments and see how those fail, assuming they do?

G. N. Barkman's picture

Aaron,

I agree with what you said.  The two options I mentioned are:

1) Those who lack understanding of truth.

2) Those who dislike the truth.

It seems to me that your several sub-categories are all varieties of my number 1.  Am I missing something here?

G. N. Barkman

Rob Fall's picture

From where I sit, yes, your are missing something.  Those who love truth but disagree with you about what The Truth is.

G. N. Barkman wrote:

Aaron,

I agree with what you said.  The two options I mentioned are:

1) Those who lack understanding of truth.

2) Those who dislike the truth.

It seems to me that your several sub-categories are all varieties of my number 1.  Am I missing something here?

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

G. N. Barkman's picture

Rob,

I tried to cover that in a previous post, when I said I am willing to assume that everyone (who posts on SI) is equally committed to truth, even though they do not embrace the Doctrines of Grace.  (ie, as equally committed to truth as I)

So, my friend, are we ready for discussion?

G. N. Barkman

Rob Fall's picture

Am I reading you correctly, if I do not embrace the Doctrines of Grace as you do I am not as equally committed to the truth as you are?  Remember I'm a northern Baptist not a southern Baptist.  So, the term Doctrines of Grace is not part of my theological vocabulary except in passing.

G. N. Barkman wrote:

Rob,

I tried to cover that in a previous post, when I said I am willing to assume that everyone (who posts on SI) is equally committed to truth, even though they do not embrace the Doctrines of Grace.  (ie, as equally committed to truth as I)

So, my friend, are we ready for discussion?

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Paul Henebury's picture

Brother Barkman, how would you begin a worthwhile discussion?  Perhaps the first rule might be that we settle matters around what the Bible says and not on what we would like to infer from it?

Dr. Paul Henebury

I am Founder of Telos Ministries, and Senior Pastor at Agape Bible Church in N. Ca.

Rob Fall's picture

Sounds good to me.

Paul Henebury wrote:

Brother Barkman, how would you begin a worthwhile discussion?  Perhaps the first rule might be that we settle matters around what the Bible says and not on what we would like to infer from it?

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

G. N. Barkman's picture

Rob,

Please forgive me if I was not sufficiently clear.  I was trying to say the opposite of what you apparently thought.  What I said was, I am willing to assume that everyone responding to this post is as equally committed to truth as I am.  The term "Doctrines of Grace" is usually shorthand for the Calvinist TULIP, but this post endeavors to steer us away from the TULIP acrostic in favor of the new PROOF acrostic in order to avoid some of the baggage that comes with TULIP.

Paul, I gladly accept your proposal. 

So, now, where do we begin?

G. N. Barkman

Paul Henebury's picture

Perhaps we should begin with you providing a statement of one or all of "the doctrines of grace" and agreeing to abide by what I said above:

Perhaps the first rule might be that we settle matters around what the Bible says and not on what we would like to infer from it?

 

Dr. Paul Henebury

I am Founder of Telos Ministries, and Senior Pastor at Agape Bible Church in N. Ca.

G. N. Barkman's picture

Great.  Let's start with the doctrine of election.  Conditional or unconditional?

"But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and believe in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."  (II Thessalonians 2:13,14)

G. N. Barkman

Rob Fall's picture

How conditional is your unconditional? (Not directed at you, GNB)

G. N. Barkman wrote:

Great.  Let's start with the doctrine of election.  Conditional or unconditional?

"But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and believe in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."  (II Thessalonians 2:13,14)

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

It will be interesting to see how they describe each of the statements represented in PROOF. Unfortunately, one problem I see with it replacing TULIP is specificity. The wording seems to general, requiring extended explanation to have any idea where the discussion might be focused - like outrageous grace (the second "O" in PROOF). We'll see. 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

DrJamesAch's picture

A Calvinist entered the pearly gates and saw 2 lines; one labeled "Elect" and one labeled "Free Will".

The Calvinist approached the Elect line and upon arrival at the gate, the angel asked, "What brings you to this line?". The Calvinist replied, "I chose to come to this line". The angel responded, "The Free Will line is over there".

So the Calvinist traveled to the Free Will line. When he arrived, the angel of the Free Will line asked, "What brings you to this line", and the Calvinisted replied, "I was forced into coming to this line".

Dr James Ach

What Kills You Makes You Stronger Rom 8:13; 7:24-25

Do Right Christians, and Calvinisms Other Side

Paul Henebury's picture

2 Thess. 2:13 says that the saints are "chosen to salvation."  But this is said to be "through" (ev) "sanctification by/of the Spirit and belief in the truth."  The preposition governs the two phrases.  These are conditions of salvation, and this accords with justification by faith (no faith, no justification, hence no salvation - Rom. 3:23f.; 5:1).

This verse declares that salvation is conditioned, but it also declares that salvation comes to people via God's choosing.  If we now compare this with verses like 1 Pet. 1:2; Eph. 1:11, and 3:11, where God's foreknowledge and eternal purpose are in view, it is hard to come away not believing that God's choice relates to both the people and the means of them coming to salvation (cf. 1 Cor. 1:2).

In places like Eph. 1:4, supported by Rom. 8:29 and 2 Tim. 1:9, the election is to our walk as saints and not so much to what makes us saints.  This is sometimes overlooked in these discussions. 

 

 

 

Dr. Paul Henebury

I am Founder of Telos Ministries, and Senior Pastor at Agape Bible Church in N. Ca.

DrJamesAch's picture

GN BARMKAN SAYS: "Many will welcome the opportunity to examine these doctrines again.  I applaud every effort to present these truths in a new format, to help people get past labels and various misperceptions. 

In my personal experience, however, I have learned that the primary problem is usually distaste for the truth itself, not the package in which it is found."

I fail to see why if the "truths" of-assuming you mean TULIP-TULIP are presented in a prima facie matter that they would need to be reformatted. I further fail to see how altering the acronym helps "people get past labels and various misconceptions". Is not PROOF still a label of what Calvin's theology is?

And while I can not contend about your experiences as subjective as experiences are, I can say that your experience begins on the premise that those who disagree have a distaste for the truth. You have made that premise without any qualifying evidence or debate and it excludes any chance of answering a legitimate question: what if you're wrong?

Dr James Ach

What Kills You Makes You Stronger Rom 8:13; 7:24-25

Do Right Christians, and Calvinisms Other Side

DrJamesAch's picture

Paul Henebury wrote:

2 Thess. 2:13 says that the saints are "chosen to salvation."  But this is said to be "through" (ev) "sanctification by/of the Spirit and belief in the truth."  The preposition governs the two phrases.  These are conditions of salvation, and this accords with justification by faith (no faith, no justification, hence no salvation - Rom. 3:23f.; 5:1).

This verse declares that salvation is conditioned, but it also declares that salvation comes to people via God's choosing.  If we now compare this with verses like 1 Pet. 1:2; Eph. 1:11, and 3:11, where God's foreknowledge and eternal purpose are in view, it is hard to come away not believing that God's choice relates to both the people and the means of them coming to salvation (cf. 1 Cor. 1:2).

In places like Eph. 1:4, supported by Rom. 8:29 and 2 Tim. 1:9, the election is to our walk as saints and not so much to what makes us saints.  This is sometimes overlooked in these discussions. 

 

 

 

I would add to that that this verse emphasises that it is the method of salvation from God's perspective this is chosen here, the emphasis is not on the person chosen but the means chosen.

Dr James Ach

What Kills You Makes You Stronger Rom 8:13; 7:24-25

Do Right Christians, and Calvinisms Other Side