The Five Points Of Calvinism

Selections from the writings of Loraine Boettner

It is the author's conviction that Christianity comes to its fullest expression in the Reformed faith. The great advantage of the Reformed faith is that in the framework of the five points of Calvinism it sets forth clearly what the Bible teaches concerning the way of salvation. Only when these truths are seen as a unit and in relation to each other can one really understand or appreciate the Christian system in all its strength and beauty. The reason that so many Christians have only a weak faith, and that so many churches present only a rather superficial form of Christianity, is that they never really see the system in its logical consistency. It is not enough for the professing Christian to know that God loves him and that his sins have been forgiven; he should know how and why his redemption has been accomplished and how it has been made effective. This is set forth systematically in the five points of Calvinism.

Historically the five points of Calvinism have been held by the Presbyterian and Reformed churches and by many Baptists, while the substance of the five points of Arminianism has been held by the Methodist and Lutheran churches and also by many Baptists. The five points of Calvinism may be more easily remembered if they are associated with the word T-U-L-I-P:

T - Total inability
U - Unconditional election
L - Limited atonement
I - Irresistible (efficacious) grace
P - Perseverance of the saints

Note: This is an abridged version of Boettner's “Reformed Doctrine of Predestination”.
The complete book can be found at

Updated 11-18-2008