What's a good church? With what sources did you write this piece? ...and why?
God will lead you to the right church for you. From what I've seen, churches roughly divide over the following three categories of what has been called "spiritual living":
Bible Teaching, works, and ritual.
Each church stresses one of these three over the others, but all churches have something on all three categories. Naturally, each one deems it "right", the mix of the three chosen.
We are each individuals, so no one church is right for everyone. God will show you which church is right for you, as you ponder the matter.
As you grow, you may be shown a different church, because you might grow out of the church you are in, currently.
There are true doctrines, and also false doctrines, taught in probably every church, but don't worry too much about what's false: God will bring it to your attention at the right time, IF you want to be corrected. Also, He teaches the pastors, so they may revise any errors in their teaching, and then pass on the corrected information to you. In short, you needn't be hasty about what's false. See Phillipians 3:15.
In any event, it's important to keep an open mind, and to use Romans 12:2-3 to test what you hear. To turn off, to become dogmatic, to any disagreeing teaching would not be a good idea. By the same token, to accept anything uncritically would also be unwise. Frequent use of 1Jn1:9 is critical, and cannot be overstressed in its importance.
Perhaps if you peruse the links below, you will be "led" to the right faith for you -- then, the right church for you will perhaps become obvious.
For an Index of Christian religions' links --> click here
2. Where do you get your information?
Obviously, the original source is Scripture, which is demonstrably written by God. Obviously, only God is right!
My primary source for doctrine is my own pastor-teacher's church. However, I don't know him personally, and he does not know of this website, so he cannot in any way be considered responsible for what I say here.
I don't know if my pastor would have any thoughts on TULIP or its revision. He is nondenominational, merely teaches the actual words in their original languages, and therefore backs up any interpretation he sees, so his audience can choose to accept or reject what he says.
In any event, you can therefore compare what's said here to my pastor's site, to test me for error, should you choose.
The site: CLICK HERE for rbthieme.org. Again, if I'm wrong, it's my fault. To the extent what's in here is correct, the Holy Spirit banged it through to my pea brain. I use 1Jn1:9 almost as often as I breathe!
I review other teachers also, but their teachings seem to me to be less complete. The above site offers audiotapes of Scripture taught directly in the original languages, and is the most comprehensive source of teaching Bible Doctrine I've found.
I think comprehensiveness is EXTREMELY important in learning the Word. One must also be discerning about wasteful teachings. Only time and diligent study ferret out the "wheat" from the "chaff".
3. Why are you writing this webpage?
Strictly speaking, I am of no denomination and have no axe to grind. It strikes me though, that a denomination which has some very sound doctrine is being misrepresented by "TULIP", which after all began as a sort of polemic against Arminius (Council of Dordt's five points).
I've been thinking about TULIP since 1981, when someone gave me the pro-Calvinism book, The Five Points of Calvinism, by David N. Steele et. al., ISBN 0-87552-444-3, 1980 edition. Arminianism is depicted there, side by side in each of the Five Points, but I don't know how accurately it is depicted. Scripture disagrees with both "sides", primarily in that Sovereignty is undervalued by both sides -- neither side meaning to undervalue it, of course!
Secondly, I have recently learned a great deal about today's Calvinistic arguments through a chat channel and website called #scripture, and before that, #apologetics (on undernet).
It is my experience on the chat channels which now prompts my making this site, because I respect and like the people in that channel, yet I've often differed from their explanations of doctrines I likewise believe. Folks there often ask why I differ, and this website is the best way to explain my answers (and save keystrokes, heh).
It's no light thing to propose a rewrite of TULIP! I hope that the proposal will encourage someone steeped in Calvinism to rewrite it! (It's about time the definition of free will got corrected, eh?)
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