Five Challenging Bible Facts
by Bob Burridge ©2012, 2020
We often hear people quote passages from the Bible that are positive and encouraging. Verses are used to support political agendas and to add joyful touches to greeting cards. But there are some passages in the Bible that confuse and challenge people. In our fallen state there are some things we don’t like to hear about ourselves and about the God who made us. When understood more accurately these same teachings are very helpful and encouraging.
Creative theologies not grasping the larger message in the passages they quote have attempted to soften the hard lessons God teaches us in his word. In the early 17th Century the followers of Jacob Arminius suggested some ways around the obvious tachings of God’s written word.
A Synod met in Dordrect in the Netherlands from 1618 to 1619 to answer these questions that challenged the churches there. The results of their careful study of the Scriptures produced a document we refer to as “The Canons of Dort”. Under five heads of doctrine they showed the errors behind the confusion and organized the biblical facts into an orderly summary.
The lessons in the index below cover these five challenging teachings which still find their way into people’s belief systems today. The chapters follow the commonly used order rather than the order in which they appear in the Canons of Dort. These headings spell out the word TULIP. In the Canons the order would be ULTIP, which has no flower to help us to remember them.
Challenging Fact #1: Total Inability – “You are Worse Than You Think”
Challenging Fact #2: Unconditional Election – “The Cycle of Sovereign Grace”
Challenging Fact #3: Limited Atonement – “A Grace that Succeeds”
Challenging Fact #4: Irresistible Grace – “Persuaded to Believe”
Challenging Fact #5: Perseverance of the Saints – “Grace Secures Us for Glory”
Putting It All Together – “The Integrated TULIP”
(Bible quotations are from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.)
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