Turning “TULIP”s into “FACTS” – Acronym Re-education Camp

john calvin Calvinists have come up with a rather clever acronym to describe their “Doctrines of Grace” called TULIP.   TULIP stands for:

T  Total Depravity

U  Unconditional Election

L  Limited Atonement

I  Irresistible Grace

P  Perseverance of the Saints.

  Not to be outdone, Arminians created FACTS to refute TULIP:

F  Freed by Grace to Believe

A  Atonement for All

C  Conditional Election

T  Total Depravity (one doctrine the two camps agree on)

S  Security in Christ

Today I would like to examine the “L” in TULIP, Limited Atonement, relative to scripture and hope to convince you it really ought to be an “A”, Atonement for All.  In a nutshell, Calvinists believe Christ died only for the “chosen”, while Arminians believe scripture teaches He died for everyone’s sins, making salvation available to anyone who believes.

Of course we could go into a lot more depth, but let’s look at just a few New Testament verses:

1 John 2:2, “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world“. (the Greek reads “the entire cosmos”)

Luke 19:9-10, “And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. (How was he a “son of Abraham”?  By faith.  Who did Jesus come to save?  That which was lost.  Who is lost?  Everybody.  Oops, now we’re chipping away at the “I”, but we’ll leave that for another time)

2 Cor 5:14, “For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died”  (“All” is a word that gets reinterpreted in Calvinism.  Its a rather simple word in real life.)

Heb 2:9, “But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.  (“Everyone”, another easily understood concept that can’t be taken at face value in Calvinism.)

John 1:29, “The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!  (I guess that could exclude those on the ISS, but the Greek is “kosmos” so you would think even they were included!)

Mark 16:15-16, “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.”  (Jesus and Calvin will just have to “agree to disagree” on this one–Jesus says anyone who believes will be saved, Calvin says only the saved will be believe, and oh, by the way, those who aren’t saved, their sins aren’t paid for.)

Rom 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”  (Because of Limited Atonement, staunch Calvinists must add a “yes, but…” to this verse.)

Last but not least we have:

John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

So its in Jesus, the “crucified God”, where we find the entirety of God’s wrath poured out.  Any sinner who goes to Hell goes there because he or she rejects God’s provision for sin–God does not send anyone to Hell in order to glorify Himself; the atonement is complete, His wrath is fully satisfied by Christ who died for any and all.  There is no “L”, Limited Atonement in the Bible, its actually an “A”, Atonement for All.


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