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Christian faith: five points of New Calvinism

From total depravity to grace, the tenets of a theology undergoing a revival of Calvinism in America's Christian faith.

Calvinism generally refers to five doctrinal points – Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace, and Perseverance of the saints (or TULIP) – that were established after John Calvin died. Scholar Allen Guelzo, putting his interpretation on TULIP, says the doctrines explain the most basic questions any theology or philosophy can ask:

•Why are people the way they are? Total depravity – you're fully corrupted by sin.

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•How can people ever change? Unconditional election – God chose some people to be saved without regard to their behavior or character.

•Who benefits from this change? Limited atonement – only God's chosen.

•How does this change happen? Irresistible grace – you can't thwart God's effort to save you.

•What guarantees the change lasts? Perseverance of the saints – once saved, you'll continue in faith.


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