This year 2009 is the 500th birthday of John Calvin. Calvinism seems the rage of today. Maybe it’s because of Calvin‘s 500th birthday. A birthday gift I guess, an honorable mention maybe, this year we all will be Calvinists! Let me warn everyone though not all Calvinists are Calvinists!
I have read remarks by newspaper columnists “this pastor has taken the doctrinal position of Calvinism, he is preaching Total Depravity.”Another TV preacher openly claims, "I am a Calvinist." Total depravity is his total description of Calvinism “I am a Calvinist” he is void however of Calvin‘s convictions in his ministry.
To be an adherent of Calvinism some believe it is essential to subscribe to the following acrostic T.U.L.I.P: total depravity of man, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints. When thinking of Calvinism men stumble at these five points. They loose their footing at the very beginning of Calvinism. Wow, do they have problems with the 5 points above, especially with limited atonement. Going through these five points is like a runner jumping the hurdles. On one or more of the five points it’s easy to catch your foot on the obstacle of humanism (human based morality).
In my opinion, there is no Calvinism with out "all" the five points above. But even so, this is still just a small beginning (part) of Calvinism, believe me the five points of Calvinism is not Calvinism totally. One must read the Institutes of the Christian Religion and Calvin‘s Commentaries of the Holy Scripture. Calvinism is a total love for God breathed Scripture. Calvinism is a total lack of fear of Scripture. Calvinism is holiness toward God. Calvinism is "God Supreme."
Read Calvin's commentaries on the Scriptures, read his Harmony of the Law. Read his Institutes of the Christian Religion. Read his Of Prayer-A perpetual Exercise of Faith. Calvinism is more than the five points. Read it all. You will love Calvinism i.e Bible Theology. You can find Calvin's writings at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/?show=works.