Anyone who has a smattering of theological knowledge will have heard of the TULIP acronym:-
T = total depravity
U = unconditional election
L = limited atonement
I = irresistible grace
P = perseverance of the saints
As a summary of Calvinistic beliefs, it is pretty inadequate. For one thing, it is couched in terminology that almost entirely negative, and therefore does not lend itself to the heartfelt doxology that good theology should always engender. For another thing, it was never intended as a summary of Calvinism, but rather as a response to the ‘five points of remonstrance’ that the followers of Arminius had previously raised against the prevalent Protestant theology of the day. And for yet another thing, each of the points is actually and seriously misleading unless very careful defined and explained.
And yet the TULIP acronym does capture some vital elements of the Calvinistic understanding of God’s scheme of salvation. So, Daniel Montgomery and Timothy Paul Jones have re-envisioned the acronym in order to give central place to God and his grace.
This is what they have come up with:-
P = planned grace. God had mapped out his plan of salvation before time began.
R = resurrecting grace. Salvation brings new life to those who are dead in their sins.
O = outrageous grace. We do not contribute any merit to our own salvation: God saves us because he has freely chosen to do so through the merits of Jesus Christ.
O = overcoming grace. God’s grace comes to those who are in active rebellion against him. He transforms their rebellion into willing submission.
F = forever grace. Those who have been marked out by God for salvation are sealed by his Holy Spirit and enabled to persevere until the final restoration of God’s kingdom. They are ‘in Christ’, and the Father can no more reject them than he can reject his own Son.