Five Calvinistic Answers to the Five Errors of Arminianism
What the Synod of Dort produces is five Calvinistic answers to the five points of Arminianism. It’s Arminianism that summarized its concern in five points and it is a real misrepresentation of Calvinism to say that Calvinism is summarized in five points. As important as those points are, they aren’t the summary of Calvinism. There is nothing about the Trinity. There’s nothing really about Providence. There’s really nothing about sacraments. There’s very little about the church. If you want a summary of Calvinism, you should get the Belgic Confession or the Heidelberg Catechism or the Westminster Confession of Faith. That’s a summary of Calvinism in its fullness.
The Five Points are five Calvinistic answers to the five errors of Arminianism. We ought to be clear about that. We don’t summarize our faith in the five points but we do say the five points are important and the Synod of Dort then produced what are known to history as the “Canons of Dort” – “Canon” from the Greek word meaning “Rules” – The Rules of Dort on the five points. And we’re all familiar, I suppose, with TULIP as a summary of the Five Points. The problem is that is not the order that Dort taught in. Dort taught ULTIP which as far as I know is not a flower. That is it dealt first with Unconditional election, then with Limited atonement, then with Total depravity, then with the Irresistibility of the Holy Spirit and then with Perseverance.