TULIP

TULIP is an acronym for the five points of Calvinism.  It stands for:

Total Depravity

Unconditional Election

Limited Atonement

Irresistible Grace

Perseverance of the Saints

The five points were written in response to the points of Arminianism which has five points but no well known acronym such as TULIP.

Three Point Calvinism

Three point Calvinists are a cross between Calvinists and Arminians.  They hold to three points of Calvinism although not always the same three points.

Some contend that Calvinism is an all or nothing concept and that it is impossible and theologically incorrect to hold to only certain tenants of Calvinism.

Those who hold to some form of both Calvinism and Arminianism believe that they are being open minded and not dogmatic in their approach to theology.  They see this as balancing between the sovereignty of God and the free will of man and believe that the Bible clearly teaches both aspects.

The area of Calvinism that is often most in contention is the subject of limited atonement.  At the other end of spectrum the most Calvinistic viewpoint, so to say, is the idea of eternal security.  Some even consider this to be the only crucial part of Calvinism.

Four Point Calvinism

Four point Calvinism means that a person holds to four of the five points of Calvinism.  Often but not always, the point of contention for four point Calvinists is the doctrine of limited atonement.  These people instead accept the Arminian doctrine of unlimited atonement.

Some Calvinists argue that the five points of Calvinism are an “all or nothing” package and that one cannot pick and choose what they believe because each point is dependent upon the others.

Calvinism

Calvinism is a series of beliefs based on those of John Calvin and his followers.  Calvinism has five points to it which spells out the acronym TULIP.  Those who believe in all five points may be considered five point Calvinists.  Others may consider themselves three point Calvinists while others who only believe in the preservation of the saints may consider themselves a one point Calvinist.

The Arminian view is considered the alternative to the Calvinistic view.  While there are many who consider themselves strictly Arminian or Calvinist, there are others who claim to be somewhere in between.

The five points of Calvinism were not created by Calvin but rather originated at the Synod of Dort in 1619.  It was a response to the five points of the Arminian Remonstrance in 1610 (which was a response to Calvin’s ideas.)

Five points of Calvinism:

Total Depravity

Unconditional Election

Limited Atonement

Irresistible Grace

Perseverance of the Saints

For more information, see the articles Calvinism Basics and Arminianism vs. Calvinism