Question for confessional Lutherans about the doctrines of grace

I know this is the catholic answers forum, but their seems to be a lot of Lutherans of the conservative variety here.

What exactly is the difference between the reformed perspective point for point on the 5 points of Calvinism and the Lutheran view? I am a little confused about what exactly you all believe.
Is all the points in dispute? Or just some parts just dissimilar?

Anyone who knows and could clear this up for me would be great.
Thank you.

Five points… Are you referring to Calvin’s TULIP?

Sure am.

Good question…

Lutherans would agree with the “T” and the “U,” and even those two with caveats. Lutherans do not agree with the other three points, and so do not share fellowship with Reformed communions. From a FAQ on the LCMS page: lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=581

Historically… most Reformed churches adhere to the five points of Calvinist theology commonly summarized by the acrostic “tulip” as these were set forth at the Synod of Dort (1618-19). On page 41 in his book, Churches in America, Dr. Thomas Manteufel reviews these five points and explains how they compare and/or contrast with what Lutherans believe regarding these matters.

T (Total Depravity) The Calvinists rightly teach that all descendants of Adam are by nature totally corrupt in spiritual matters. People do not have freedom of the will [on their own] to turn to God in faith or cooperate in their conversions (Eph. 2:1; John 3:5-6; Rom. 8:7).

U (Unconditional predestination) Scripture does teach that it is by grace that God has predestinated the elect to eternal salvation and given them justifying faith. It is not because of any condition fulfilled by them (2 Tim. 1:9; Eph. 1:4-6; Phil. 1:29). However, the Bible does not teach, as do the Calvinists, that some are predestined for damnation. God wants all to be saved (1 Tim 2:4).

L (Limited atonement) It is true that Christ died for the church and purchased it with His blood (Eph. 5:25; Acts 20:28). Furthermore, His atoning death does not mean that all people are saved (1 Cor. 1:18). However, Jesus died for all (2 Cor. 5:15).

I (Irresistible grace) We agree that God makes us alive by His mighty power, without our aid (Eph. 2:5; John 1:13). But Scripture warns that we can resist God’s gracious call (Matt. 23:37; Acts 7:51; 2 Cor. 6:1). And some people do resist God’s grace, or all would be saved (1 Tim 2:4). Furthermore, God warns us not to resist His grace (2 Cor. 6:1; Heb. 4:7).

P (Perseverance in grace) We affirm with Scripture that those who are predestined to salvation cannot be lost but will continue by God’s power to a blessed end (Rom. 8:30; 1 Peter 1:5). Scripture does not teach, however, that those who come to faith cannot lose that faith (Heb. 6:4-6; 10:26-29; Ps. 51:11). God urges His people not to continue in sin but to live in repentance and faith (Rom. 6:1-4).

After reading the P, do you have some similar doctrine of perseverance?
Btw, Calvinist do not believe in OSAS. We believe by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit we will endure until the end, receiving our prize.
The latter teaches that although you apostate, you will still go to heaven. So it doesn’t matter how much evil you do, or if you walk away from the faith and forsake Christ, you still go to heaven.
We have no such do doctrine.

Seems this goes against Scripture:

Rom 11: 22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.

Or Matt 7:21:

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Would you say doing evil, being apostate, forsaking Christ…is this doing the will of the Father?

I thought it was clear that they don’t This is perhaps the most obvious and clear-cut difference between Lutherans and Reformed on the question of grace, and it affects the other points (predestination doesn’t have the same central role in soteriology that it does for the Reformed, because to be justified by faith and regenerate does not, as in Reformed theology, imply that one is among the elect).

Btw, Calvinist do not believe in OSAS. We believe by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit we will endure until the end, receiving our prize.
The latter teaches that although you apostate, you will still go to heaven. So it doesn’t matter how much evil you do, or if you walk away from the faith and forsake Christ, you still go to heaven.
We have no such do doctrine.

That’s a bit of a caricature. I understand why you want to distinguish yourselves from this antinomian heresy, but it’s hard to find a church where such a view of OSAS is formally taught. Southern Baptists have been known to endorse it, for sure, but I think one will look in vain for any official statement to that effect.

Of course, those who want to believe in OSAS/perseverance without the other points are in a dilemma, because if you affirm free will in an Arminian sense then it does seem to follow that a person could first believe and then choose to fall away, and OSAS would dictate that such a person is still saved. However, in my experience most who believe in OSAS would express it in terms of perseverance by saying that a true believer won’t want to sin and will eventually feel God calling them back or whatever.So I’m not sure the distinction you’re making is quite as clear-cut as you’re making it sound. That being said, the full-blown Reformed certainly have a much more consistent basis for holding to the final salvation of all who have once been regenerate without falling into antinomianism!

(I grew up as a Wesleyan Holiness kid surrounded by Southern Baptists, so arguing OSAS is actually how I first became addicted to theological argument.)

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