TULIP is an acrostic teaching tool that helps to sum up important components of what is called Reformed Theology. In this case, it is more specific to those who are often called Calvinists but much of the doctrines summed up within TULIP are held to varying degree within Protestantism.
Each letter of TULIP stands for the following:
T – Total depravity [ we are lost in our sin by default ]
U – Unconditional election [ God actively & specifically decides to save us ]
L – Limited atonement [ reconciliation with God with those He actively & specifically seeks to bring to salvation ]
I – Irresistible grace [ God’s grace regenerates us such that we seek Him ]
P – Perseverance of the saints [ God preserves those who come to faith in Him ]
Now, this is just an introduction. Down the road, there will be future posts on this topic. At those times, we will delve deeper. Below you will find some terms from this post with a definition to help you gain some background information. Of the 5 points shown above as part of TULIP (aka the 5 points of Calvinism), it is the L – Limited atonement – that is typically the most controversial. As such, there are those who reject it and claim themselves to be 4-point Calvinists. A future post will be dedicated entirely to this. In the mean time, here is a link for further individual reading.
atone/atonement = to amend or make amends; to reconcile
Calvinist = from the famous Protestant preacher and writer John Calvin who was very much steeped in the “back to the Bible” approach typical after the Reformation that created Protestantism. This term didn’t come into use until after his death just as the teaching tool TULIP wasn’t created during his life but has come into use to some up and teach key theological points of the Christian faith.
theology = study of God