To summarize this material, theologians often refer to the TULIP acronym. This helps us understand the different aspects of Calvinism and Arminianism:


Comparison of Calvinism and Arminianism (TULIP)



Total Depravity: Sinners are so depraved that they are unable to seek for God or exercise faith in receiving Christ (Rom. 3:11-12; Jn. 6:44, 65). T

Total Depravity: Arminians agree that “none seek for God” (Rom. 3:10-11). They agree that no one would come to Christ, unless he was drawn (Jn. 6:44, 65). However, they believe that God is drawing “all men” (Jn. 12:32; 16:8). Therefore, because all men are being drawn through prevenient grace, they have the ability to exercise faith.

Unconditional Election: Salvation is not dependent on man’s freewill to choose it. Faith is a gift of God (Rom. 12:3; Eph. 2:8). If human-generated faith plays a part in salvation, salvation would not be entirely by grace (Eph. 1:4-5; 1 Pet. 2:8; Rom. 9:16-24).

U Conditional Election: Salvation is dependent on man’s freewill to choose it (Eph. 1:13; Rom. 3:28). Arminians deny that this is a work, since faith and works are constantly contrasted in the Bible (Rom. 4:4-5; Gal. 2:16).
Limited Atonement: This means that Christ only died for the elect (not the entire world). Calvinists infer this from the passages that say that Christ died “for his people” (Mt. 1:21; Jn. 10:11, 15, 26-27; 15:13; 17:9; Acts 20:28). L

Unlimited Atonement: Christ died for the whole human race, even if they reject his offer of salvation (Jn. 1:29; 1 Jn. 2:2; 2 Cor. 5:19; 1 Tim. 4:10; Heb. 2:9; Titus 2:11).

Irresistible Grace: God’s offer of salvation is irresistible, since it does not depend on human will (Rom. 9:16; Jn. 6:37, 44, 65; 15:16). God causes the elect to believe the gospel (Acts 13:48), even though they are often not aware of this.

I Resistible Grace: God desires that all people be saved (1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet 3:9; Ezek. 18:23), and he calls and convicts all people (Jn. 12:32; 16:8). However, Scripture teaches that humans are capable of resisting God’s will (Mt. 23:37; Heb. 4:2; Lk. 7:29-30).
Perseverance of the Saints: Since salvation depends on God, the elect cannot lose their salvation. The elect will show this though good works (2 Pet. 1:10; Heb. 3:6, 14; Col. 1:23). P

Present Assurance of Salvation: Since salvation is a freewill decision, we do not have eternal security. We can have present assurance of salvation, but can also lose our salvation for various reasons. However, it is neither logically nor biblically necessary for Arminians to reject eternal security. This author is Arminian and holds firmly to eternal security (see “Eternal Security”).