John Calvin was only a 4 pointer….

Nathaniel on the Think Theologically blog has been reading and researching John Calvin.

Most Christians in thinking of Calvinists, think of the acronym TULIP…yet Nathaniel claims that John Calvin was a 4 pointer and not a 5…

Hmmm TUIP doesn’t really have the same ring to it; does it?

About Craig Benno

I'm an average aussie guy who has lived perhaps a not so average life.
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6 Responses to John Calvin was only a 4 pointer….

  1. Bobby Grow says:

    Nathaniel is wrong, with all due respect.

    Calvin didn’t have any “points;” which is why there is such controversy around this issue — e.g. how to define Calvinism. Muller has tried to shift the scholarship one way, against the “older scholarship” of folks like Armstrong, Bizer, Barth, Torrance et al. His book “After Calvin” is a perfect example of this kind of work.

    I glanced at Nathaniel’s thoughts, and it is too facile to take seriously . . . not to be a butt-head about it 🙂 .

    • Craig Benno says:

      Hi Bobby.

      While TULIP or TUIP wasn’t part of Calvin’s vocab; the theology was and certainly within his writings the idea of TUIP is supported. From what I have read of him he never even hinted at the idea of limited atonement. Here is an interesting site; though perhaps you are already conversant with David’s work.

      I made a comment regarding Calvinism on another site as to how many / most modern Calvinists are Cessationists which is something Calvin didn’t support either. Take his view on prophecy… Bobby; I know you adhere to a particular view of Calvinism; would you agree that your view is very much a minority and is even controversial within the Calvinistic spectrum?

      • Bobby Grow says:

        Yes, Craig,

        What we are advocating as Evangelical Calvinism is definitely controversial in some circles — like the Westminster Theological Seminary crowd — but then again within Princeton Theological Seminary circles “EC” is right at home (given its “Scottish Heritage” and more).

        I see what you’re saying in re. to the conceptual material present within Calvin’s own theology. But my point is that it is just anachronistic to try and read Calvin through the framework that produced the TULIP. In fact some of the main spokesmen within WTS Calvinism argue that Calvin is not the primary voice at all for “Calvinism” (i.e. how it developed in post-Reformation orthodoxy and the scholastics). In other words someone like Richard Muller will argue in his “After Calvin” that a person cannot just read Calvin’s writings and assume that they will end up with the TULIP; this is what prominent Calvinist voices today say about Calvinism’s development. So this is why I said what I did about Nathaniel’s points on Calvin and what he says about reading the Institutes and being a Calvinist. That’s just plain wrong, and that’s according to the authoritative voices who claim sole propiety to the heritage that bears Calvin’s name.

        It is true that these same guys (Richar Muller, Scott Clark, Carl Trueman et al) would say that there is continuity between what Calvin believed and its later development as Calvinism (and I mean as far as the contours of thought); and yet they also want to say that Calvin was part of a broader larger conceptual reforming movement grounded in late medieval trajectories of which Luther and then Calvin Vermigli, Bullinger, Bucer, Beza, Ursinus et al et al all stood.

        Anyway, it is rather complex at some levels. Which is really all I wanted to underscore in lieu of your post, but really in lieu of what Nathaniel was saying; it’s just more involved than he seems to be implying.

        Thanks Craig.

      • Bobby Grow says:

        Oh, yes, I have interacted with David via email in the past; and we really see eye-to-eye on many things. At least in re. to how certain folks at WTS, California revise the history in Calvinism for their own ends. It’s been awhile since I’ve had any contact with David though. His blog is a great resource.

      • Craig Benno says:

        WTS???? not sure what that means.

  2. Bobby Grow says:

    Westminster Theological Seminary in the States.

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