What’s so Great About the Doctrines of Grace? By Richard D. Phillips
Ah springtime! The happy season when tulips and crocus brighten the garden, offering hope of warmer weather to come. I do love tulips with all their cheeriness. There is another TULIP that I have come to love as well. It’s a relationship that took years to grow but once it did, what a place of hope I found.
The doctrines of grace are vital to understanding our relationship with God and with the gospel. They are also known as the five points of Calvinism and the acronym is TULIP. The focus of these doctrines is the sovereignty of God. And thank God that He is indeed sovereign over all things.
TULIP stands for:
T – Total Depravity
U – Unconditional Election
L – Limited Atonement
I – Irresistible Grace
P – Perseverance of the Saints.
I confess that these are not the easiest doctrines to understand. That is why I so want to recommend this book to you. Phillips unpacks and simplifies these doctrines in a way that allows us to understand them, without being condescending in any way. This is a book that makes serious theology clear for all of us. While this is not an authoritative treatise on the doctrines of grace, it is a wonderful reminder of the beauty of the TULIP.
In explaining the doctrine of total depravity, Phillips says that people object with “I’m not totally depraved am I?” He then states that “the answer from the Bible, and the testimony of the universal human experience, is, yes, you really are”. He points out that some find it odd that Calvinists seem to love the doctrine of total depravity so much. He explains that accepting this doctrine causes believers to appreciate the gospel truly, that it is vital to all true spirituality, and that it exalts the cross in our eyes and fills our hearts with a holy delight. As a believer, this one doctrine alone causes me to live in amazement and awe at the love of God for lost and hopeless sinners.
In this compact book, the author explains the amazing grace of our God as he lays out the truths of the doctrines of grace. Your love for God will broaden and deepen as you grow in your understanding of these five key doctrines of the faith.
Seriously – you will be glad you read this book!