I’d like to take an opportunity to flesh out what I believe. An apologist – a Christian – shouldn’t have to make people look for what he believes. So… I’m going to take a look at the famous/infamous TULIP.

In this series, I’m going to take a good look at each item, and what it addresses.

First, let’s take a look at why and how the TULIP acronym – the doctrines made easy to remember by way of the TULIP acronym – were formalized.

The Belgic Confession, Confessio Belgica, was authored by Guido de Bres, a reformed preacher in the Netherlands, who died of persecution in 1567. He was assisted by Adrien de Saravia (professor of theology in Leyden), H. Modetus (chaplain of William of Orange), and G. Wingen. (1) It was written in 1561. It was an answer to the charge that the Reformed were rebels, and heretics. It was sent to King Phillip the next year, explaining that they would “offer their backs to stripes, their tongues to knives, their mouths to gags, and their whole bodies to the fire”, rather than deny it. (2)

This Belgic Confession was revised at Antwerp in 1566, and officially adopted nationally over the next three decades. It was adopted as a doctrinal standard at the later Synod of Dort, which we will speak of in just a moment.

It consists of consists of 37 articles which deal with the doctrines of God (1-2, 8-13), Scripture (3-7), man (14), sin (15), Christ(18-21), salvation (16-17, 22-26), the Church (27-36), and the end times (37). (3) You can find a copy of it here.

After Jacob Arminius‘ death, his followers raised an objection to the Reformed view, as held by Calvin and his followers. This objection, or Remonstrance, was addressed, in 5 articles, to the States of Holland, and urged them to reexamine the Heidelberg catechism and the Netherland confession.

This remonstrance was agreed upon by 41 preachers, and the two leaders of Leyden’s state college. It was drawn up by Jan Uytenbogaert, and presented to Johan Van Oldenbarneveldt, a sympathetic Dutch statesman, in July of 1610. (4)

The Remonstrance of 1610 can be found here.

Next, the Confessionalists, or Contra-Remonstrants, wrote a counter-remonstrance. In 1610, the Conference of The Hague took place, with a deputation on each side to discuss the 5 articles. However, they agreed neither in this conference, nor in one at Delft, two years later.

The State, in 1614, banned discussion of the disputed points from the pulpit! After much politicking, a Synod was finally convened, in 1618 – at a town called Dordrecht (also known as Dort, or Dordt).

At this Synod, a series of Articles were adopted which firmly denounced the Article of the Remonstrants with 5 articles of their own, officially entitled as “The Decision of the Synod of Dordt on the Five Main Points of Doctrine in Dispute in the Netherlands”. Popularly – and more succinctly – they are titled the Canons of Dordt. (5)

They are quite long, and quite detailed rejections of each of the original Remonstrances.

The Canons of Dordt may be found here.

Basically, as we go, I’m going to look at each one of these doctrinally disputed issues in a separate post. Below this, I’ll have links to all of the posts in the series.

(Updated to fix references – 8/14/10:30pm)