. . .As far as we know, both the acrostic and the associated usage of “five points of Calvinism” are of Anglo-American origin and do not date back before the nineteenth century. . .In fact, it is quite remarkable how little the acrostic has to do with Calvin or Calvinism, as is most evident in the cases of the “T” and the “L.”  Calvin’s references to the utter deformity or depravity of the human will and human abilities were directed against forms of synergism or Semi-Pelagianism and refer to the pervasiveness of sin – reducing this language to the slogan “total depravity” endangers the argument.  Calvin certainly never spoke of “limited atonement.”  Neither of these terms appears in the Canons of Dort nor is either one of these terms characteristic of the language of Reformed or Calvinistic orthodoxy in the seventeenth century.  Like TULIP itself, the terms are Anglo-American creations of fairly recent vintage.

From: Calvin and the Reformed Tradition: On the Work of Christ and the Order of Salvation by Richard A. Muller (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2012), pp. 58, 59.


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