Courtesy of the Ligonier Affiliates program, I’m giving one of you $50 worth of merchandise from Ligonier Ministries—details at the end of this post.
Over the last year and a half, one of the men whose increasingly been a positive influence on me and my faith has been R. C. Sproul. I’ve been an online student in the Systematic Theology certificate program (and dreadfully behind on, unfortunately) since last fall and this was really my first introduction to his work and teaching.
Perhaps one of the greatest gifts I’ve received from Dr. Sproul is a MUCH better understanding of theology’s place in the sciences and the essentials of Reformed theology’s essential doctrines as summarized in the acronym TULIP, that is:
- Total Depravity
- Unconditional Election
- Limited Atonement
- Irresistible Grace
- Perseverance of the Saints
In his book What is Reformed Theology?, Dr. Sproul argues that Reformed theology is theology proper—God is its starting point and its center. Theology is “the queen of sciences,” from which all other scientific disciplines find their foundation, where religion finds its root in anthropology.
Reformed theology strives to keep God at its center, remembering that “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever,” rather than thinking God exists to glorify man. It finds its basis in God’s Word alone; thus, where Scripture is clear, so must the Christian be. It is committed to justification by faith alone, understanding that man cannot please God. It is devoted to Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest and King Who preaches the Word of God, intercedes on our behalf & rules over us as Sovereign Lord. And it is structured upon three covenants that ultimately illustrate the graciousness and wonder of God.
TULIP applies this understanding of God’s grace. If election were conditional upon us, no one would be saved. If Christ’s atonement was not effective, it would serve no purpose. If God did not preserve, we could not persevere. TULIP remind us that “salvation belongs to the Lord” (Psa. 3:8; Jonah 2:9).
These are great gifts and great reminders—the clarity that Sproul brings to these often contentious doctrines in his teaching is something that I am grateful for.
Alright, where was I…? Right—I was about to tell you how you can win the latest giveaway.
Want to win $50 worth of merchandise of your choice from the Ligonier store?
Here’s how it works:
- Leave a comment—tell me how Dr. Sproul’s ministry has influenced your faith or what books or teaching series you’re interested in from the store.
- Tell a friend about this contest—Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter or through email, if there’s someone you know who you think would benefit from this prize, you should tell them
I’ll be choosing the winner on Sunday at 5 pm EST and announcing the winner on Monday, December 6th. In the meantime, start taking a look at the Ligonier store and get some ideas for how you can use the prize.